Vitamins and minerals are substances the body needs to function in more ways than you may think. Too often people find themselves dealing with painful headaches, lethargy, or other symptoms and wonder why they get them so often.
The pins and needles that tingle your skin or the excessive hair you seem to lose in the shower have reasons. Vitamin and mineral deficiency is real, even in America. It’s imperative to ensure you’re getting enough of both each day.
What’s the difference between vitamins and minerals? How much is too much or how do you know if you’re consuming too little?
Keep reading to get the answers.
What are Vitamins?
Vitamins help the body build, digest, and repair itself. They are inorganic compounds. This means they’re capable of being broken down via sources like air, heat, and light.
When you look at vitamins, there are two main types: vitamins that are water-soluble vs fat-soluble. All this means is the capability of the vitamin to activate in the body.
Water-soluble vitamins dissolve best in water and are easier for the body to break down. This is because our bodies are made mostly of water. While this is good, it’s also important to understand the body is just as likely to remove the water-soluble vitamins it takes in.
The body removes water-soluble vitamins in the urine. You are unlikely to overdose on any of these vitamins due to this mechanism. Water-soluble vitamins consist of:
- B1 (Thiamine)
- B2 (Riboflavin)
- B3 (Niacin)
- B5 (Pantothenic Acid)
- B6 (Pyridoxine)
- B7 (Biotin)
- B9 (Folate)
- B12 (Cobalamin)
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
These vitamins are coenzymes that help perform a range of functions. The B vitamins have their own essentials roles. The body uses water-soluble vitamins right away as there is always a constant supply of water.
Vitamin C is particularly important for the immune system. It’s best to talk with your doctor to determine if you have any deficiencies or notice symptoms before buying vitamins online.
Fat-soluble vitamins work just like water-soluble vitamins. The only real thing that sets it apart is that they dissolve in body fat, not water. Body weight can play a strong role in the uptake of these vitamins.
For example, people who are overweight are more likely to deal with a fat-soluble deficiency. This is because excess body fat impedes proper utilization. There are 4 fat-soluble vitamins:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
The best times to take fat-soluble vitamins will be during the times you consume a high-fat meal. Like water-soluble vitamins, fat-soluble vitamins have their own unique roles.
For example, vitamin A geals maintain good eyes, bones, teeth, and skin. Vitamin D also has a role in healthy bones and teeth. Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” also has a strong relationship with skin pigmentation.
What Are Minerals?
Minerals are inorganic compounds which means they’re capable of maintaining their chemical structure despite harsh exposure to elements like heat or air.
Minerals are naturally occurring substances the body needs to complete functions. Minerals are needed to help regulate your heartbeat, create hormones, build bones and muscle, and support brain function.
There are 13 primary minerals your body needs. The body requires micronutrients in smaller amounts:
The best way to ensure your body gets all the nutrients it needs is to eat a variety of foods. Trace minerals are also needing in small amounts:
Seasalt is a great way to ingest the minerals you need if you’re not certain you’re getting enough. You should monitor your intake for each. Having too much of one mineral can result in the deficiency of another mineral.
The Primary Difference Between Vitamins and Minerals
Both vitamins and minerals are both important in sustaining life by converting the food we eat into energy and repairing cellular damage. Still, there are differences between the two that make each unique.
Vitamins help the body release energy it receives from food. Vitamins are crucial components of many coenzymes. Vitamins help the body to produce energy to help you work, whether consciously or not.
Vitamins also assist the body in building proteins and cells. This is most important during healing when you need to make new cells rapidly.
The body produces a lot of collagen to bind wounds and keep skin taut. Vitamin C is a must for this as it supports new blood vessels and plays a role in keeping the immune system strong.
There are a few minerals that also function as electrolytes. Electrolytes aid in regulating muscle and nerve function.
They also help maintain water and acid-base balance. You’re more likely to develop bodily disorders if you have a disruption in electrolyte balance. The body uses minerals for osmosis to ensure proper water balance.
Minerals also carry out tasks for transferring oxygen to the body (iron) and assisting with the creation of hemoglobin (copper). Minerals are needed to help the body fend itself from damage to body cells. Minerals are key enzymes in enhancing various activities within the body too.
Vitamins and minerals may be different, but the body needs both to work in optimal condition and survive. You wouldn’t be able to do this by living on junk food and empty calories.
If you are deficient in either, you may experience unusual and persistent symptoms such as hair loss, headaches, lethargy, nausea, or a rapid heart beat. This is your body’s way of telling you something is wrong.
Incorporating Vitamins and Minerals
While you need all essential nutrients to remain in good health, it’s helpful to learn the difference between vitamins and minerals. Being more informed allows you to better determine which your body needs more of depending on any symptoms you may have.
The daily supplements you take each day also become more than just a routine. Once you know what vitamins and minerals do for your body, you feel good taking them. They become as important as medicine
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