Why Are Minerals And Vitamins Important
Healthy human diet invariably constitutes the adequate mix of carbohydrates, proteins, fats, vitamins and minerals. The carbohydrates and fats are principal providers of energy to the body to carry its different functions; proteins are essential for growth of new body cells. The human body requires large amounts of the first three nutrients, and they are collectively called macro-nutrients. Vitamins and minerals are required in small amounts but are vital for sustenance of healthy life. They are called the micro nutrients.
There are around 30 essential vitamins and minerals which are essential for healthy body. Most of them cannot be produced by the human body in sufficient quantities and thus have to be ingested from our food intake. Most of the micro nutrients required by the body are extracted from the various food items during the digestion process of the food we consume every day in our diet. Studies have identified the various rich sources of these micro nutrients found in nature, and it is recommended to be included in our diet to maintain right nutritional balance. These micro nutrients play the host of roles in the efficient functioning of various body mechanisms and are thus called essential micro nutrients.
Some of the significant areas which are governed by the micro nutrients include maintaining immune system of the body to guard it against attack from undesirable microphages. They have the important role in repair of cellular damages, healing wounds, converting food to energy, strengthening the bone structure and hundreds of other vital operations.
The deficiencies of different vitamins in the body also lead to a variety of diseases which can be easily avoided by just including the right food ingredients that are rich in specific vitamins in the diet. The vitamins are typically classified as Vitamins A,B,C,D,E,K, etc, and non-availability of the specific vitamin in adequate quantities result in diseases in the body. The lack of Vitamin A remains the cause of blindness in many developing countries. Insufficient quantity of Vitamin C, mainly found in fresh fruits and vegetables, causes the disease called scurvy. Old time sailors often suffered from this disease during their long voyages. The lack of vitamin D can cause skeletal deformities like bowed legs in children and weakness in bones of adults. Conversely, a diet rich in Vitamin D along with mineral elements like calcium, phosphorus and magnesium helps the bones to remain strong and prevents possible fracture due to accidental falls.
Many vitamins and minerals work together in concert to perform vital functions for the healthy growth of body cells. For example, Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron which is the main carrier of oxygen to different body parts. Vitamin D helps to pluck the calcium available in the food we eat from digestive tract itself otherwise calcium in bones would be used for the calcium requirement of the body making them weak.
Vitamin C and Vitamin K are micro nutrients which work as antioxidants neutralizing adverse cellular damage caused by Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) that attack the body tissues and cause several diseases including premature ageing.