The Best Way to Get Your Vitamins and Minerals
You’ve heard it for years: If you want to be healthy, you need to get enough vitamins and minerals. The words “vitamins” and “minerals” are paired together so often that people assume they’re the same things. In reality, vitamins and minerals are very different. This month, let’s revisit your freshman health class to get a refresher on the difference between vitamins and minerals — and the best way to make sure your body is getting enough of both.
Vitamins and minerals are micro-nutrients that support your overall health. The difference is that vitamins are organic compounds and minerals are inorganic compounds. While vitamins can be broken down, minerals will retain their chemical structure regardless of what they are exposed to.
There are 13 vitamins. They fall under two categories: water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water and are easily dissolved in your bloodstream. All of the B vitamins and vitamin C are water-soluble vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins don’t dissolve in water and are best absorbed by the body through fatty or high-fat foods. Vitamins A, D, E, and K are all fat-soluble vitamins.
For the human diet, there are 16 essential minerals. They’re classified as macro-minerals, like calcium and potassium, which you need quite a bit of, and micro-minerals, like iron and fluoride, which you need very little of. While your body needs larger amounts of certain minerals than others, all essential minerals are necessary to maintain good health.
When it comes to micro-nutrients like vitamins and minerals, your body only needs small amounts of these nutrients to enjoy the health benefits. There’s a fine line between getting a healthy amount and getting too much. The best source of vitamins and minerals is through food. If you’re getting vitamins and minerals from foods, then you’re probably eating a safe amount. However, if you take supplements, it’s important to make sure you’re not
getting too much of a good thing.
When taking supplements, it’s very easy for fat-soluble vitamins, like vitamin A or vitamin D, to build up to toxic levels. Likewise, taking too much of certain minerals can cause an imbalance due to the way minerals interact with one another. For example, even a minor overload of manganese can magnify an iron deficiency. Before you start taking vitamin or mineral supplements, talk to your doctor about the potential risks. If you are worried that you may have vitamin or mineral deficiencies, look into getting a blood test before making changes to your diet.
I hope this was valuable for you,
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