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All foods can be broken down into macro foods or micro foods. The macro foods can be broken down further into three categories, proteins, carbohydrates and fats. The micro nutrients are known as vitamins and minerals. A "vitamin" is any of the organic compounds required by the body in small amounts (micronutrients), to protect health and for proper growth in living creatures.
Vitamins are organic substances (made by plants or animals), minerals are inorganic elements that come from the earth; soil and water and are absorbed by plants. Animals and humans absorb minerals from the plants they eat. Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that your body needs to grow and develop normally.
do vitamins do?
Vitamins also assist in the formation of hormones, blood cells, nervous-system chemicals, and genetic material. The various vitamins are not chemically related, and most differ in their physiological actions. They generally act as catalysts, combining with proteins to create metabolically active enzymes that in turn produce hundreds of important chemical reactions throughout the body. Without vitamins, many of these reactions would slow down or cease. Vitamins have been taken as supplements (ie to supplement a healthy diet) for decades. There are vast amounts of studies, some negative but mostly positive attesting to the benefits of taking vitamins. If you would like to view a wide variety of top quality multi vitamins then click here.
Vitamin break down
The 13 well-identified vitamins are classified according to their ability to be absorbed in fat or in water. The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E, and vitamin K. These are generally consumed along with fat-containing foods. Because they can be stored in the body's fat, they do not have to be consumed every day. The water-soluble vitamins include the eight B vitamins and vitamin C. These cannot be stored by the body and must be consumed frequently, preferably every day.
Most vitamin supplements work best when taken along with food. Usually, oil-soluble vitamins should be taken before meals and water soluble vitamins should be taken after meals.
odd one out - Vitamin D
Only vitamin D can be manufactured by the body (most commonly absorbed through sunlight). All others must be derived from the diet. Lack of sufficient vitamin intake causes a wide range of health problems and dysfunctions. The U.S. Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council have published recommended dietary allowances (RDA) for vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. RDA’s are normally expressed in international units (IU) or milligrams. For adults and children of normal health, these recommendations are useful guidelines not only for professionals in nutrition but also for the growing number of families and individuals who eat irregular meals and rely on prepared foods (many of which are now required to carry nutritional labelling). Unfortunately, these RDA’s give only the bare minimum required to ward off deficiency diseases such as rickets, scurvy, and night blindness. What they do not account for are the amounts needed to maintain maximum health.
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