Vitamins and minerals, also known as micronutrients, are nutrients that are found in small amounts in our diet. These nutrients are essential for our body to function properly. This means that our body is not able to make all vitamins and minerals itself, but we have to get them from our diet. That is why it is so important not only to eat enough but also varied.
What are vitamins and minerals?
Vitamins, minerals and trace elements are indispensable for a well-functioning body. They help in the production of hormones and enzymes, keep your energy stable and ensure optimal resistance and metabolism. These nutrients also play an important role for the proper functioning of our muscles, normal growth and development. The difference between vitamins, minerals and trace elements is the amount the body needs of each on a daily basis.
Some examples of vitamins are: A, D, E and K. These vitamins are fat-soluble and are therefore usually found in products with fat, such as butter. Vitamins B and C are only soluble in water and are mainly found in fruits and vegetables.
Some examples of minerals are: Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Sodium, and Phosphorus.
Some examples of trace elements are: Iodine, Copper, Zinc and Selenium. These nutrients are often found in bread, nuts and dairy products.
How much do you need daily?
The amount of micronutrients we need each day is usually stated in milligrams (mg) and micrograms (mcg or ug). Even though we only need small amounts, these small nutrients are indispensable and play an important role for all kinds of processes in our body. So you can say that vitamins and minerals are the superheroes of our body.
How does your body absorb this?
As I just told you, we need to get the most vitamins and minerals from our diet. However, vitamins D and K are the exception to this. Vitamin D is produced by the skin under the influence of sunlight and vitamin K can be produced in very small amounts in the intestine, provided you have a healthy intestinal flora.
The vitamins and minerals that we ingest with our food are absorbed through the small intestine. There it goes through the intestinal wall to the bloodstream, where it ends up in the right place in the body with the help of enzymes.
Deficiency vitamins and minerals
If we eat too little or too one-sidedly, suffer from gastrointestinal complaints and/or another disease, we run the risk of not getting enough vitamins and minerals. In the short term, this does little to no damage and your body comes a long way with the reserves. If we get too few nutrients in the long term, this can have negative consequences for our health. For example, think of poor resistance, depression and fatigue. That is why it is important to get enough vitamins and minerals every day. This way you strengthen your immune system, you feel good about yourself and you have enough energy.
If you are often tired or if you suffer from gastrointestinal complaints, it is wise to take a closer look at your diet. A healthy diet contains, according to the 'Guidelines for a Good Diet' of the Health Council, every day at least 250 grams of vegetables and 2 servings of fruit per day.
From the research 'Food Consumption Survey' of the RIVM, that the Dutch often do not meet the standard of the recommended amount of nutrients. This can have a major impact on energy metabolism, causing you to feel “tired often.”
How can you prevent shortages?
The answer is actually very simple: choose natural food, unprocessed and fresh products and eat as few ready-made meals as possible, do not cook from packages and bags. Make sure to eat some vegetables with every meal to get the vitamins and minerals your body needs.
Do you have trouble with this or want to make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals daily, try us Daily Vitamin Pack.
Tip: Start the day with a piece of fruit and a handful of nuts or a delicious green smoothie. Now you get a lot of vitamins, minerals and healthy fats so that you have enough energy to start the day and have less need to sniff.