Vitamins and Minerals in Your Diet

Diet is an important factor for maintenance of optimal health of every individual. Without a healthy balanced diet it is not possible to maintain health. The major constituents of diet are proteins (the building blocks of life), fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. The first three are essentially for providing energy, growth & development, for providing fat stores to withstand short lean periods. The vitamins and minerals are also essential for maintaining good health. Vitamins and minerals in many cases act as cofactor in different important reaction for maintenance of optimal health.

For living healthy life we need to ideally consume all the vitamins, especially water soluble vitamins on daily basis. The water soluble vitamins are vitamin C, B complex group of vitamins (vitamin B1, B2, B6, pantothenic acid, niacin, biotin, B12 etc. are B complex vitamins). Water soluble vitamins can not be stored (if storage is present it is barely sufficient for few day only) and need to be consumed daily. Fat soluble vitamin are vitamins A, D, E and K. the fat soluble vitamin can be stored in the adipose tissues of the body and can be utilized when required. But deficient intake for long time can lead to deficiency of fat soluble vitamins also. Deficiency of any vitamin can lead to vitamin deficiency disorders, which are typical for different vitamins. Deficiency disorder of water soluble vitamins generally occur more commonly due to lack of storage in the body unlike fat soluble vitamins.

Minerals are also essential for leading a healthy and purposeful life for every individual. Other than acting as cofactor minerals are essential for maintenance of electrolyte balance in the body. Deficient intake of minerals in food can lead to various problems (like low calcium can cause osteoporosis or weak bones). Some of the common minerals that humans require are calcium, sodium, potassium, iodine, iron. If the requirement of certain mineral is in very small quantity, they are known as trace elements. Some of the examples of trace elements are chromium, molybdenum, zinc etc.

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