martes, 17 de mayo de 2011

Know Your Vitamins and Minerals

By , Guide
Created November 04, 2010 Health's Disease and Condition content is reviewed by our Medical Review Board
Vitamins and minerals are called micro-nutrients because you only need a small amount of them, compared to the macro-nutrients you need in large amounts: carbohydrates, proteins and fats. Although you only need small amounts of vitamins and minerals, they're crucial for good health.
A healthy, balanced diet should provide you with the vitamins and minerals your body needs. However, people who have certain health conditions, eat nutrient-poor diets, or are taking some types of medications may need to take some dietary supplements to ensure they get enough of all these vitamins and minerals.

1. Water-Soluble Vitamins

Fresh FruitsAngelika Stern
The water-soluble vitamins include thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, B6, folate, B12 (the B-Complex family of vitamins) and vitamin C. They are vital for many of your body's functions, including energy production and immune system function, and they'll help to keep your heart healthy.
Your body doesn't store most of the water-soluble vitamins very long, so they need to be replenished daily. Learn more about the water-soluble vitamins.

2. Fat-Soluble Vitamins

Pretty vegetablesMichel Marcon
The fat-soluble vitamins include vitamins A, D, E and K, and are vital for many of the functions your body needs to stay healthy, including cell differentiation and immune system function, and they'll help to keep your bones strong.
Your body does store the fat-soluble vitamins; however, you still need small amounts each day to keep up those stores. Learn more about fat-soluble vitamins.

3. Major Minerals

milk and dairy productsTy Smith
The major minerals are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium. These minerals are necessary for many processes in your body, especially fluid balance, maintenance of bones and teeth, muscle contractions and nervous system function. Learn more about the major minerals.

4. Trace Minerals

Mixed nutsMike Coombes
These minerals include chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. They are all essential for good health, but your body only needs a very small amount of each one. These trace minerals are important for immune system function, energy, metabolism, and antioxidant protection. Learn more about the trace minerals.
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