Vitamins & Minerals
Why do we need vitamins ?
We need vitamins to stay healthy. Better said: we can't live without them since they are essential for growth and development. Vitamins are the goodies that make all these processes possible that take place in our body. On this and following pages I will answer questions like
- What vitamins are there?
- How do you get those vitamins?
- Do we extract vitamins from food or does our body make them?
- What happens when we have vitamin deficiency?
What are Vitamins?
Like mentioned above: vitamines play an important role in all kinds of processes in our body. Processes like like metabolism and digestion. These goodies also make "communication" between cells possible. Very important for complicated processes that go through different stages. If these processes can't take place will will get sick and eventually die. For this reason the word vitamin come from the Latin word "vita" which means "life". Next to vitamins we need more "vital" goodies: minerals. Both vitamins and minerals ensure that our body, - this complex bio-chemical factory -, works properly.
How many Vitamins are there?
Alltogether we need 13 vitamins. Our body produces 4 of them itself:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B3
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin K
Because the quantities produced are usually very small (except for vitamin K), we have to supplement them with vitamins from food. The other 9 vitamins have to be taken from our diet anyway. For this reason it is very important to have a varied diet which is not always as easy as it sounds. Many people have the same breakfast every morning for instance. In the old days, when our ancestors were nomads, people ate what they found underway. In this way they didn't have much choice than to have a varied diet.
In times of illness, pregnancy, when we get older or when we have to do hard labor we need extra vitamins. Nowadays easy to do since there are many brands of supplements on the market.