Vitamins are a group of organic nutrients, which are essential to regulate the chemical processes that go on in the body. Generally speaking vitamins cannot be made in the body and must be obtained from foods, or supplements.
There are two main groups of vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamins A, D and E which can be dissolved in fat and can be stored in the body and water-soluble vitamins which include the B vitamins and vitamin C, that dissolve in water and are not stored in the body. Consequently, water-soluble vitamins need to be replenished on a daily basis.
Minerals are inorganic substances that cannot be synthesised by our bodies, making the body reliant upon the dietary intake. Minerals actively participate in regulating a wide range of physiological functions, including transporting oxygen to cells and in the general upkeep of the central nervous system. Minerals are also required for growth, maintenance, repair and the health of bones and tissues.
The nutritional value of minerals is every bit as important to us as vitamins yet today’s highly processed foods coupled with the depletion of mineral levels in the soil arising from intensive farming practices can lead to shortfalls of these elements in our daily diet. It’s becoming increasingly evident from UK dietary surveys that a worryingly large proportion of adults and children are failing to achieve the recommended daily targets for a range of minerals and trace elements.