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Vitamins and minerals

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Vitamins and minerals play an extremely important role in maintaining good health for people of all age groups. These essential nutrients are needed in small amounts but impact significantly on the course of bodily functions.

What are vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are nutrients that the body needs to function normally. Vitamins are organic compounds that are necessary for various metabolic processes, such as energy production, immune system function and tissue repair.

There are 13 vitamins, including A, B, C, D, E and K, each with their specific functions and sources. Minerals are inorganic substances that are necessary for building healthy bones, maintaining fluid balance and conducting nerve impulses. There are two types of minerals: macrominerals, needed in larger amounts, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, and trace or trace minerals, needed in smaller amounts, such as iron, zinc, and selenium.

Which foods are rich in vitamins and minerals

Essential vitamins and the foods in which they are found:


  • Vitamin A - found in foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, cantaloupe and liver.
  • Vitamin B - found in foods such as whole grains, beans, nuts, meat, fish, poultry and dairy products.
  • Vitamin C - found in foods such as citrus fruits, strawberries, kiwis, broccoli, red and green peppers and tomatoes.
  • Vitamin D - found in foods such as oily fish, egg yolks and fortified dairy products.
  • Vitamin E - found in foods such as nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, spinach and broccoli.
  • Vitamin K - found in foods such as leafy greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and green beans.

Essential minerals and the foods they are found in:

  • Calcium - found in foods such as dairy products, leafy greens, fortified cereals and fortified orange juice.
  • Iron - found in foods such as red meat, poultry, fish, beans and fortified cereals.
  • Magnesium - found in foods such as spinach, nuts, whole grains, beans and avocados.
  • Potassium - found in foods such as bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, beans and dairy products.
  • Zinc - found in foods such as meat, seafood, beans, nuts and fortified cereals.

A balanced diet is the best way to ensure an adequate intake of vitamins and minerals.

What happens when there is a deficiency of a particular vitamin or mineral

Mineral and vitamin deficiencies can lead to a number of health problems. If you suspect you have a deficiency, it is important to see your GP to determine the best course of treatment.