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Difference between Minerals and Vitamins
We need Minerals and Vitamins essentially for being healthy. They are required in small amounts for proper growth, and proper functioning of immune system, nervous system, and internal and external organs. They also help to heal wounds and keep the diseases away. We get most vitamins and minerals from balanced diets of heathy food.
Read through this article to understand Vitamins and Minerals, and how they are different from each other.
What are Minerals?
Minerals are naturally occurring substances in rock, soil, and water, which are essential for us to be heathy. They are inorganic substances, which means they are not derived from any living organism. The atoms of minerals are arranged to form crystalline structure.
Types of Minerals
Minerals are found mainly in two types −
Metallic Minerals − As the name suggests, Metallic minerals appear shimmery due to presence of metals in their chemical composition. For example, gold, silver, copper, mercury. Metallic minerals are further divided into two types:
Ferrus Minerals − They are the minerals containing iron.
Non-ferus Minerals − They are the minerals which do not contain iron.
Non-metallic Minerals − Non-metallic minerals are not shiny. For example, limestone.
Why are Minerals Essential?
Minerals are essential to us for the following reasons −
They boost the immune system. Iron helps maintain amount and quality of blood in body. Lack of iron can cause Anemia.
They help in producing energy in the body. You require oxygen for producing energy in body. The Red Blood cells have an iron component that binds oxygen molecules to the cells.
They help to keep the muscles strong. Zinc heals the wounds fast and repairs body cells.
They keep bones and teeth strong. Calcium is the most abundant mineral that contributes health of bones and teeth. Lack of Calcium can cause a condition of brittle bones named Osteoporosis.
They maintain adequate balance of water in body cells. Potassium is responsible to maintain water level in body. Potassium helps keep regular impulses of heart, and body reflexes.
Examples of Minerals
Some of the examples of minerals include −
Calcium (Ca) − Milk, Cheese, Curd, Dates, Tomatoes, and Drinking water.
Iron (Fe) − Beetroot, Sugarcane, Red meat, Spinach, and Dried fruits.
Phosphorus (P) − Asparagus, Bananas, Broccoli, Celery, Mushrooms, Onions, and Raddish.
Potassium (K) − Potatoes, Butternut, Beetroot greens, Avocado, and Coconut water.
Sodium Chloride (NaCl) − Lettuce, Olives, Tomatoes, Table salt, Rock salt, and Sea salt.
Magnesium (Mg) − Avocado, Dark Chocolate, Legumes, Nuts, Tofu, Soya milk, and Whole grains.
Zinc (Zn) − Shellfish and Dairy products.
Iodine (I2) − Iodized salt, Fortified foods.
Copper (Cu) − Potatoes, Beans, Nuts, Black pepper, and Yeast.
Fluoride (F-) − Coffee, Crab legs, Grapes, Shrimps, Wines, and Black tea.
Manganese (Mn) − Coffee, Tea, Spices, Soyabeans, and Whole grains.
Selenium (Se) − Poultry, Seafood, Organ meats, Brazil nuts, Cottage Cheese, Beans, Cashews, etc.
How Can We Get Minerals in Our Diet?
We can include some amount of minerals in our diet by following some simple steps −
Eating mineral-rich food. For example, Shellfish such as Clams, Lobster, Crab, and Cocoa, Beans, Organ meat, Sprouts, Fruits, Seeds, and Nuts.
Cooking food in Iron, Brass, or Copper utensils.
Drinking spring water.
Drinking water which is kept in a copper container overnight.
Including rock salt/raw salt in diet instead of refined salt.
What are Vitamins?
Vitamins are organic molecules found in plants and animals, which organisms require for their normal growth. They play a major role in hormones formation.
Types of Vitamins
There are main two types of vitamins −
Water-soluble Vitamins − The range of B vitamins and vitamin C are water-soluble. They are not retained in the body for long. A, B, C, D, E, and K. They are excreted through urine and sweat.
Fat-soluble Vitamins − The vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble. They are retained in the body for long time.
How Can We Get Vitamins in Our Diet?
We can include vitamins from various food sources as follows −
Vitamin A − All saffron-coloured fruits and vegetables such as Mango, Papaya, Carrot, Pumpkin, etc.
Vitamin D − Mushrooms, Egg Yolks, Cheese, Red Meat, Chicken/Goat Liver, Oily Fish.
Vitamin E − Almonds, Sunflower seeds, Peanuts,
Vitamin K − Green vegetables such as Cabbage, Spinach, Collard, Kale, Broccoli, etc.
Vitamin B − It is a range of B-vitamins. We can acquire these vitamins from fruits, dairy, vegetables, organ meats, fish, seeds, and nuts.
Vitamin C − All citrus fruits such as Lemon, Sweet lime, Orange, Tangerine, Grapefruit, and some other fruits like Tamarind and Indian Gooseberry, and tomatoes provide vitamin C.
Difference between Minerals and Vitamins
The following table highlights the prominent differences between Minerals and Vitamins −
|Form||They are inorganic substances.||They are organic substances|
|Existence||They are present in Earth’s crust.||They are present in plants and animal products.|
|Essence for health||Not all minerals found on Earth are essential for health.||All vitamins are essential for health.|
|Vulnerability to heat||Minerals are highly heat tolerant.||Vitamins are highly vulnerable to heat.|
From the above discussion, it is clear that both Vitamins and Minerals are natural substances. They both are required for maintaining normal health. The terms "Vitamins" and "Minerals" often go as twins, but they are different in the form they exist on Earth, their types, structure, and their tolerance to heat.
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