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What are vitamins & minerals?


Your body needs Vitamins in small amounts to work properly. Vitamins come in 2 types: Fat-soluble vitamins and water soluble vitamins.

Fat-soluble vitamins are found mainly in fatty foods and animal products, such as vegetable oils, milk and dairy foods, eggs, liver, oily fish and butter.Your body stores these vitamins in your liver and fatty tissues for future use. The fat-soluble vitamins are:

Vitamin A
Vitamin D
Vitamin E
Vitamin K

Water-soluble vitamins on the other hand are not stored in the body, so you need to have them more frequently. Water-soluble vitamins are found in a wide range of foods, including fruit, vegetables, potatoes, grains, milk and dairy foods. Unlike fat-soluble vitamins, they can be destroyed by heat or by being exposed to the air. They can also be lost in water used for cooking. Water-soluble vitamins are vitamin C, the B vitamins and folic acid.

Like Vitamins minerals are essential nutrients the body needs to function correctly. They are needed for 3 primary reasons.

For healthy bones and teeth.
Controlling body and cellular fluids.
Turning food into energy.

Minerals are found in meat, cereals (including cereal products such as bread), fish, milk and dairy foods, vegetables, fruit (especially dried fruit) and nuts.

The main essential minerals are calcium, iron and zinc although there are also many other types of minerals that are an important part of a healthy diet.