We all know the importance of getting an adequate amount of vitamins and minerals in our diet. However, it can be confusing to know what the difference between those two things are.
Vitamins are materials made organically, meaning that they are naturally created by plants or animals. There are two types of vitamins, fat and water soluble ones. Fat soluble vitamins are ones that break down in fat and are kept within our bodies, like vitamin A, K, E, and D. Water soluble ones are those who break down in water and cannot be kept within our bodies, meaning we need to constantly replenish them. These vitamins include vitamin C, B6, B12, riboflavin, folate, and niacin. Vitamins are essential for supporting the body and helping it with daily functions. Each vitamin has a unique function and helps the body in a different way, meaning it is important to consume a good amount of all vitamins, not just one. A lack of one vitamin can cause problems in the body and can even lead to certain diseases.
Minerals are materials that are already present in the environment and are consumed by animals and plants, which is how we consume them. Similarly to vitamins, there are also two types of minerals: macro-minerals and trace minerals. Macro-minerals are those who the body requires a large amount of to function, such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, etc. Trace minerals, on the other hand, are those that the body only needs a small amount of to function, like iron, copper, zinc, etc.. Minerals are responsible for many important bodily functions, such as hormone regulation, brain function, muscle support, and more. Similarly to vitamins, a deficiency in minerals can also cause health issues, which is why it is important to consume a good amount on a regular basis.
The best source of both vitamins and minerals is a balanced diet, meaning that it is easiest to receive them from the food that you eat. However, if you are deficient in one, it may be beneficial to take a supplement of that vitamin or mineral to make sure that you are receiving an adequate amount!