Vitamins and minerals are essential for a healthy body. However, they differ in their chemical composition, biological function, and nutritional needs. Below we will present different types of Vitamins and Minerals and a series of comparative tables, infographics, and information about these two major components.
Vitamins are organic compounds while minerals are inorganic. Minerals have a much simpler chemical composition compared to vitamins. While vitamins are obtained from plants and animals, the body obtains from the minerals in the soil and water. In particular, it is possible for one to buy mineral water or sparkling water, which has naturally occurring minerals or added minerals.
Types of Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins can be water-soluble or fat-soluble. While water-soluble vitamins are not stored in the body and have to be taken with water, fat-soluble vitamins dissolve in the body’s fat cells and are also stored in the body.
Minerals are divided into macrominerals and trace elements. Trace minerals are needed by the body in small quantities, while macro minerals are needed in large quantities.
While all vitamins (A, B, C, D, E, and K) are needed for the body, not all minerals are necessary. Some of the necessary minerals are calcium, magnesium, zinc, iodine, sodium, copper, chromium, iron, sulfur, manganese, potassium and phosphorus.
Vitamins are easily destroyed during cooking due to thermal or chemical agents. Therefore special attention is necessary while preparing the food or storing it. Minerals, on the other hand, are not vulnerable to heat chemical reactions or sunlight. While vitamins are destructible, minerals are indestructible.
Vitamins release energy from food, red blood cells develop, help in blood clotting and help maintain healthy skin, eyes, and hair. On the other hand, minerals help in the formation of bones and teeth, blood clotting, muscle contraction and also in maintaining the acid-alkaline balance in the blood.
Health benefits and risks
Studies after studies have shown that taking multivitamins does not help improve health. In fact, several studies have shown that vitamin pills can actually increase the risk of certain diseases such as cancer. The Atlantic published an excerpt from a book entitled Do you believe in magic ?: The meaning and nonsense of alternative medicine that describes several of these studies.
Summary of Differences
- Vitamins are organic compounds obtained from plants and animals. The minerals are inorganic and obtained from soils and waters.
- Vitamins can be water-soluble or fat-soluble. Minerals are divided into macrominerals and trace elements.
- Vitamins are easily destroyed during cooking due to thermal or chemical agents. Minerals are not vulnerable to heat or chemical reactions or sunlight.
- While all vitamins are needed for the body, not all minerals are necessary.
- Minerals help in bone and teeth formation, blood clotting and muscle contraction. Vitamins release energy from food, red blood cells develop, help in blood clotting and help maintain healthy skin, eyes, and hair.
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