Why do we need minerals in our diet? In one sentence : Our bodies canБt produce all of the nutrients that we need to function properly, so we have to eat them. To understand why we need to eat minerals, it s best to first understand what minerals are. б Minerals are inorganic substances, which occur naturally in non-living things such as water, rocks and soil, as well as in plants and animals. бб Some minerals are for our cells to function properly, so they are actively taken into plants from the soil and water. б We obtain minerals when they eat plants, as well as from water. What do dietary minerals do? The minerals in our diet are essential for a variety of bodily functions. They are important for building strong bones and teeth, blood, skin, hair, nerve function, muscle and for metabolic processes such as those that turn the food we eat into energy.
This means that minerals are needed for the body to work properly, for growth and development, and overall, for
maintaining normal health. Different minerals are required in different amounts but they are all essential. Minerals are grouped depending on how much they are needed on a daily basis so the minerals that are needed more in bigger amounts on a daily basis are known as the minerals, macro-minerals or major minerals. The minerals that are needed less and in smaller amounts are known as micro-minerals or trace elements. Children, pregnant and breastfeeding mothers and older people may need to adjust their intake depending on the type of mineral. It is also important to note that excessively high intakes of minerals can be toxic (harmful).
No nutrient can single-handedly change the way our body or organs work. б б It is balance that brings it all together. б Read about the balance of iron. Did you know? б As few as 20 of the iron tablets, used to treat anaemia, can be enough to kill. Why do we need to eat vitamins? In one sentence: Our bodies can t produce all of the nutrients that we need to function properly, so we have to eat them. To understand why we need vitamins, it s best to first understand what vitamins are. P Vitamins are compounds which are necessary for our normal growth and function, which we cannot make within our bodies, and so we must obtain them from our foods. Most of the compounds needed for our body cells to function for our health, can be made by our cells from other nutrients. P For some reason, we evolved without the ability to make the small number that we call vitamins.
P They were present in ample amounts in ordinary foods throughout evolution, so we did not need to make them. P We only need tiny amounts of vitamins, and they are still present in ample amounts in many foods, but it is possible to become deficient in vitamins, and that damages health. Did you know? P Other species do not all need the same vitamins. P For example: birds and guinea-pigs, can make their own Vitamin C. Contrary to common understanding, there is actually no value in consuming extra vitamins, above what is necessary, in supplements which is a huge industry. P It has been shown that these supplements can actually damage your health! P Vitamin supplements are however recommended in certain specific situations defined by scientific research.