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VITAMINS AND MINERALS

 

Vitamins are substances that your body needs so that it can work properly. 

There are two types of vitamins:

1. Fat soluble vitamins

These hang around in the fatty tissues of your body and liver for a few days, some of them for months, until your body needs them. (Like Vitamin A, D, E, K)

2. Water soluble vitamins

These helps fight infection. They also help making energy and protein and red blood cells. (Like B Group vitamins and vitamin C)

Minerals are needed by the body to help you grow, develop and be healthy. You get the minerals you need from the food you eat, and each one has special tasks that the body wants them to do.

There are two types of minerals:

1. Macro minerals

Macro is a Greek word, which means large and your body needs large amounts of all the minerals in this group. Examples are: Calcium, Iron, Phosphorous, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, and Sulphur.

  • Calcium is in milk, cheese and other dairy foods such as yoghurt.
  • Potassium is found in fruit, seeds and nuts, bananas, potatoes and legumes.
  • Iron is needed in red blood cells and it helps oxygen be moved all around your body.
  • Sodium and chlorine can be found in table salt and lots of foods like processed meats, bread, biscuits and cheese.

2. Trace minerals

Trace is a word which means ‘only a tiny bit’ so that’s how much you need of minerals like manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium.

Three important minerals, especially for young people are:

  • Zinc which is so powerful that you only need a bit to help you grow. It is found in meat, fish and poultry.
  • Iron which helps make red blood cells which carry oxygen round your body and gives you lots of energy. It can be found in red meat, liver, and some cereals.
  • Calcium which builds strong bones and teeth. It is in dairy foods like milk, yoghurt and cheeses

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