Nutrients are essential for healthy growth and different bodily functions. A healthy diet can provide you with the nutrients your body needs as it processes the raw materials for energy. Human body is designed to produce skin, bone, and muscles every day for which it requires chemical messengers to reach various pathways.
This process can only be carried out if the body is enriched with fuel so as to sustain your life. The body cannot manufacture all nutrients on its own and therefore it needs external sources.
What are Micronutrients?
Micronutrients include all vitamins and minerals that are obtained from external sources. Although the body needs tiny amounts of nutrients, they are still necessary for optimal function. Failing to obtain any of the nutrients can lead you to various diseases.
Some of the diseases that can occur from deficiencies are scurvy, blindness, and rickets. Vitamin D is essential for the health of bones as rickets is a condition marked by weak bones.
Micronutrients are beneficial for overall health as strong bones form by combination of calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and other minerals including magnesium, and phosphorus. Micronutrients also plays a vital role in prevent birth defects.
Folicacid is essential in pregnancy to prevent brain and spinal abnormalities in babies. Moreover, healthy teeth result from intake of fluoride which is an essential mineral for preventing dental cavities.
What is the Difference between Vitamins and Minerals?
Vitamins and minerals differ in properties as their chemical structure is different. Vitamins break down on heat as they are organic in nature whereas minerals are inorganic and have their structure retained.
Minerals can find their way into the body as they will easily absorb in their actual form. Vitamins are affected by exposure to air and heat while cooking and therefore they are tougher to get absorbed.
Essential Vitamins for Health
There are vital vitamins needed for healthy functioning of the body. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones whereas Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron. Manganese overload can cause problems if you are deficient in iron. Therefore, micronutrients have a tricky play role as their interaction be good and bad at times.
Water Soluble Vitamins
Water soluble vitamins get absorbed into the blood during digestion. The foods you eat have water portions and the body is also mostly water which makes it easier to absorb vitamins. Excess vitamins are excreted by the kidneys in urine. The major water soluble vitamins are Folic acid, Biotin, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Thiamin, Vitamin B12, and Vitamin C.
Fat Soluble Vitamins
Fat soluble vitamins are different from the water soluble vitamins as they take time to get absorbed. The food ingested is digested with the help of stomach acid. Bile is needed to absorb vitamins from food into the blood but it also needs protein to accompany them. Fat soluble vitamins include Vitamin A, Vitamin D, and Vitamin E.
Major Minerals and their Benefits
The major minerals have benefits as trace minerals have but these are just present in higher levels. Potassium gets absorbed readily in the blood stream as they act just like water soluble vitamins. Calcium is more like fat soluble vitamins because it takes time to absorb. Other major minerals are phosphorus, magnesium, chloride, sodium, and sulfur. The body only needs certain levels of minerals as excess can lead to deficiency of other nutrients.
What are Trace Minerals?
Trace minerals have their role in the body and include chromium, flouride, copper, iodine, iron, zinc, selenium, and manganese. Iron helps oxygen to travel thrpugh bloodstream while zinc helps blood clot. Copper helps with iron metabolism and carrying oxygen through the bloodstream.