What are vitamins and minerals? What are the different varieties and why should we eat them?
What are vitamins?
There are thirteen different types of vitamins and all of them are essential to us because our body cannot produce these substances on its own. We need to get vitamins regularly through our diet so as not to risk a deficiency of any kind.
Research has shown that different types of vitamins dissolve in different ways and therefore they have been divided into two different categories. The first category are fat-soluble vitamins and these need to be taken with fat to achieve optimal effect and they are leached out of the body through ether.It has also been seen that fat-soluble vitamins can be stored in body fat so the body can save the excess and use when needed. Thisincludes vitamins A, E, K and D, where the latter stands out from others in the same category. Our body can actually produce it on its own but needs sunlight and its UBV rays to be able to do so. Up here in the Nordic countries and the Nordic climate means that during the dark months of the year it becomes more difficult for the body to produce enough vitamin D and may therefore need an extra supplement in the form of, for example, vitamin capsules. The second category is water soluble and this includes the B vitamins and vitamin C. These are a total of eight pieces and dissolve easily in water, which means that they disappear from the body with your urine. Therefore, the body can not store these varieties of vitamins and you will quickly notice if you are at risk of deficiency in any of these.
What are the functions of vitamins?
Vitamins have several different functions and many times they work together to create chemical transformations in the body. We need vitamins to, among other things, extract energies from fats and carbohydrates, to create certain hormones and to create antioxidants that protect against free radicals.
We do not need a large amount of each vitamin, but everyone still needs to be included in our diet so we do not risk a shortage of any. Therefore, a varied diet is crucial but can be supplemented with a vitamin supplement.
What are minerals?
Like vitamins, our body cannot produce minerals and therefore needs to be added regularly through diet and supplements. Minerals are graded based on the degree to which they occur in the body and in this way we can know which ones we need more or less of. The different minerals are:
Some of these also act as electrolytes (charged ions) and work both inside and outside the body's cells. In case of increased sweating, vomiting or diarrhea, it is these electrolytes that we lose and must replenish. This can easily be done via sports drinks or fluid replacement that contains electrolytes and when ingested balances the body's levels of ions.
Important to know!
When cooking food he heating process break down and affect vitamin as well as mineral levels and much nutrition is lost. Therefore, heating with a lower temperature is preferable, for example steaming vegetables is better than frying and heating in the microwave. So even if you as an active person eat well and a lot of food, you can lose vitamins and minerals that your body needs and therefore a dietary supplement can be good to eat up to your regular diet.