Function of Vitamins All of the following require vitamins to function properly: – Nerves – Muscles – Skin
Types of Vitamins Fat Soluble Vitamins – Vitamins that are transported through the body by being absorbed and stored in fat. Water Soluble Vitamins – Vitamins that are dissolved in water and transported through the body.
Fat Soluble Vitamins Vitamin A Vitamin D Vitamin E Vitamin K
Water Soluble Vitamins Vitamin C B Vitamins – Thiamin – Riboflavin – Niacin – Folate
Vitamin A Function – Enhances hair and skin Prevents – Night blindness Food Sources – Red, orange and dark green vegetables
Vitamin D Called the “Sunshine Vitamin” Function – Manufactured by the body with exposure to sunlight. – Works with the body to build and maintain healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin D Prevents – Rickets (softening of the bones) Food Sources – Added to milk products
Vitamin E Function – Protects membranes of white and red blood cells. Prevents – Neurological problems Food Sources – Oils (corn, olive, sunflower) – Nuts (almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts)
Vitamin K Function – Helps blood to clot Prevents – Hemorrhaging Food Sources – Dark green vegetables
Vitamin C Function – Helps to form collagen which holds the cells together and aids in healing. Prevents – Scurvy (swollen bleeding gums and the opening of previously healed wounds) Food Sources – Citrus fruits, strawberries, broccoli and tomatoes
B-Vitamins Function – Helps turn carbohydrates into energy. – Helps to promote a healthy nervous system. Types – Thiamin – Riboflavin – Niacin – Folate
Thiamin Also known as B1 Prevents – Beriberi (wasting and partial paralysis) Food Sources – Enriched and whole grain breads and cereals
Riboflavin Also known as B2 Prevents – Premature aging Food Sources – Whole grains and milk products
Niacin Also known as B3 Prevents – Pellagra (diarrhea, dermatitis, dementia and death) Food Sources – Meat, poultry, fish
Folate Also known as: – Folic Acid – Folacin – Vitamin B9
Folate Prevents – Neural tube birth disorders, such as Spina Bifida – The fetal spinal column doesn’t close completely during the first month of pregnancy. There is nerve damage that causes paralysis of the legs.
Folate Neural tube damage occurs during the first weeks of pregnancy before a woman may realize she is pregnant. Meeting the folate requirements before becoming pregnant is essential for prevention.
Folate Food Sources – Dark Green Leafy Vegetables – Broccoli – Liver – Legumes – Fortified breakfast cereals
Function of Minerals Most minerals help build strong bones and teeth. Others are used to make substances that the body needs. Minerals are usually needed in tiny amounts, but are critical to good health.
Food Sources of Minerals Minerals can be found in most foods – Dairy products – Animal products – Fruits – Vegetables
Types of Minerals Macro Minerals Trace or Micro Minerals Electrolytes
Macro Minerals Define – Needed in great quantities in the body Types – Calcium – Phosphorus – Magnesium
Calcium One of the most common mineral deficiencies in the United States. Calcium deficiency causes osteoporosis. Osteoporosis causes bones to gradually lose their minerals which makes them become weak and frail. Good sources of calcium are found in dairy products.
Trace or Micro Minerals Define – Needed in smaller quantities in the body, but are just as essential as macro minerals. Types – Iron – Iodine – Fluoride – Zinc – Copper
Iron The other most common mineral deficiencies in the United States. Iron deficiency causes anemia, or low red blood cell formation. Animal products provide excellent sources of iron.
Electrolytes Define – Helps maintain the fluid balance in the body – Helps maintain the heartbeat – Helps muscle and nerve action – Can easily become imbalanced in cases of dehydration, illness and diarrhea
Summary Vitamins and minerals are vital for a healthy diet. Without them, our bodies suffer from many illnesses that can be prevented. Eating a well balanced diet allows your body to benefit from the variety of vitamins and minerals found in foods.