Vitamins vs. minerals: How important are they?

Have you ever tried tracking the calorie intake?
When trying to lose weight, I decided to count my calories, and the results shook me.
My calorie intake did decrease, but the quanty of vitamins and minerals took a dip. It is then that I
decided to research the importance of vitamins and minerals.
Here is everything I learned.
Vitamins are organic; plants and animals make them. Humans absorb these through food. They have a
complex composion and destroy with excessive cooking or usage of chemicals.
Minerals are inorganic compounds. They originate in soil and water. Later, plants and animals absorb these. These are less vulnerable and stay intact.
What happens during a vitamin or mineral deficiency?
There are 13 vitamins, and the human body needs all of these for proper funconing. But not all minerals
are necessary. Let’s see what a vitamin or mineral deficiency can do to the body.


Vitamins are either fat-soluble or water-soluble.

Fat-soluble vitamins

The fay ssues of our body store the fat-soluble vitamins. They can absorb them easily when consumed
with some dietary fat.
Vitamin A
Vitamin A is an immunity booster and prevents night blindness. It plays a prominent role in healthifying
skin, hair, bones, gums, and teeth. Fish, egg yolks, green leafy vegetables, tomatoes, beef liver, etc. are a few sources.
An adult man should take 900 micrograms(mcg) of vitamin A in his diet. A woman may need 700 mcg intheir daily diets.
A mild deficiency of vitamin A can cause fague, infecons, and inferlity. However, a severe deficiency
leads people to night blindness, total blindness, patches in the white part of the eye, or sclera.
Vitamin D
The human body generates vitamin D in the presence of sunlight. It aids in absorbing calcium and
phosphorus for building strong bones and teeth.
Apart from sunlight, our body receives vitamin D from milk, milk products, egg, fay fish, and fish liver oil. Both men and women below 70 will require 600 IU of vitamin D intake daily. Aer 70, the quanty
increases to 800 IU.
If the body is unable to meet the requirement, one may face a deficiency leading to diseases. Weak and
so bones prone to breakage is a result of this deficiency. In children, the condion is called rickets, while in adults, they refer to it as Osteomalacia. Anorexia, irregular heartbeats, damage to the kidney, and heart are other severe diseases that may occur. Most lactose intolerant or vegan diet followers are suscepble to vitamin D deficiency.
Vitamin E
Vitamin E, an anoxidant, protects the cells by scavenging free radicals. It also maintains red blood cells
and is an immunity booster.
Vegetable oils, nuts, forfied cereals, red bell pepper, mango, avocado, etc. are rich in Vitamin E.
Try to consume at least 15 mg or 22 IU daily. If you are a lactang woman, it is advisable to up the value to 28 IU.
Vitamin E deficiency is rare as it is present in a variety of foods. Sll, if there are digesve disorders, the
body may not absorb it properly. The diseases due to vitamin E deficiency are damage to the rena of the
eye and peripheral nerves. Loss of body control and a steep fall in immunity may also happen.
Vitamin K
Vitamin K is essenal for blood clong and building bones. Consuming green leafy vegetables helps the
body to maintain adequate levels of this vitamin. Also, beef liver is a prominent source.
As an adult man, you may need 120 mcg of vitamin K, while a woman will suffice with 90 mcg.
A deficiency is rare but existent. When a wound takes longer to clot, it might be indicang a vitamin K
deficiency. It may also lead to weaker bones and hemorrhages.

Water-soluble vitamins

The body cannot store water-soluble vitamins. Hence, one needs to replenish them frequently.
Vitamin C
Ask anyone about the best immunity booster, and vitamin C is a prompt answer. It is a vital anoxidant that neutralizes free radicals, heals wounds, prevents infecons, generates collagen, and makes hormones used in the brain and nerves. Citrus fruits, cabbage, cauliflower, bell peppers, tomatoes, potatoes, melons, etc. can provide ample vitamin C.
Since it is a water-soluble vitamin, you must restock the vitamin daily. 90 mg for an adult man and 75 mg for women will suffice the daily requirement. In a pregnant or lactang woman, the intake increases to 85 and 120 mg.
A dip in immunity is the first indicaon of vitamin C deficiency. Scurvy, the disease due to loss of collagen, is also common. Skin spots, bleeding gums, iron-deficiency, hair loss, fague, etc. results of vitamin C deficiency.
Vitamin B
There are 8 B vitamins; B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B7, B9, and B12. All these help enzymes to perform their
respecve jobs. The three super vitamins in this zone are B6 or pyridoxine, B9 or folate, and B12
Vitamin B6
Vitamin B6 boosts the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, and fat. It helps maintain the immune system and brain health. Beef liver, poultry, fay fish, and dark leafy vegetables can restore your need for this vitamin.
An adult man and woman must have 1.3 mg, while those above 50 years may need 1.5 to 1.7 mg. For
pregnant and lactang women, 1.9 mg and 2.0 mg are the necessary units. A deficiency can lead to anemia, depression, low immunity, and somemes cause kidney diseases and
intesnal disorders.
Vitamin B9
Vitamin B9 or folate is essenal in our system. It helps form DNA, RNA, and protein metabolism. Healthy red blood cells, vital during the growth stages, are also a result of folate.
Pregnant and lactang mothers are advised to have lots of green leafy vegetables and supplements. Nuts, whole grains, beans, sunflower seeds, fresh fruits, and juices are good sources of Vitamin B9.
At least 400 mcg should be the daily intake for both men and women. If the person is pregnant or a
lactang mother, the intake must increase to 600 mcg and 500 mcg, respecvely.
Any shortage can deter the daily life of an individual. One may face fague, anemia, shortness of breath,
incapability of doing everyday tasks, hair loss, pale skin, etc. If the deficiency occurs in a pregnant woman, it will adversely affect the fetus.
Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 helps the brain and nerve cells in our body funcon efficiently. DNA formaon is its other
Milk, milk products, and animal meat are sources of vitamin B12. Some breakfast cereals may also
supplement, but most of your requirement is procured from meat.
A very amount of 2.5 mcg is required daily for both men and women. However, the quanty increases
a bit for pregnant and lactang mothers wherein 2.6 mcg and 2.8 mcg suffice their needs.
Since the vitamin is needed in such small quanes, the deficiency is rare. Sll, somemes the body is incapable of absorpon resulng in anemia, depression, nerve damage, demena, memory loss, and seizures.


The primary funcon of minerals is to maintain the water balance in your body. Potassium, sodium, and chloride derived from vegetables, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, and most dairy products are the main leads responsible for water balance.
Then some minerals are responsible for bone health. Calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium aid in the funcon. Most calcium-rich foods, such as milk, milk products, fish, and dark leafy vegetables, also contain phosphorus and magnesium.
Iron and copper help in ferrying oxygen and generang hemoglobin.
Mineral deficiency can adversely affect your body’s alignment, resulng in fague, poor appete, muscle cramps, numbness, seizures, and irregular heartbeat.
One should include diverse foods in their diet to incorporate all the necessary nutrients into the system.
Otherwise, a deficiency may strike, resulng in damages.