Vitamins and Minerals
The body uses vitamins and minerals to perform basic functions for living; even those that are needed in very small amounts. Vitamins and minerals help promote growth and development, support the immune system, and help the body turn food into energy. Vitamins are organic compounds (formed by plants or animals) that promote normal functioning in the body. Minerals are inorganic compounds, which means they come from the earth.
Scientists have determined the adequate amount of each nutrient we should consume on a daily basis. The reference values are called Dietary References.
Intakes (DRI): The values are broken down by gender and age. There are also different values for pregnant women and women who are lactating. To view these different values, visit the USDA's page.
Sources: Fresh, whole foods are rich in vitamins and minerals and are the best sources. Some people may choose to take supplements to make sure they reach the minimum daily intake of the different vitamins and minerals. Supplements are good for those who may not have access to adequate amounts of fresh foods, but the body prefers to use vitamins and minerals from food sources.
For more information about Vitamins & Minerals click here.
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