Q:

What are the functions of vitamins and minerals in the body?

A:

Quick Answer

Vitamins are vital for immune system function, energy production and strengthening of bones, notes nutrition expert Shereen Lehman for About.com. Minerals are essential for muscle contraction, maintenance of teeth and bones, nervous system function and fluid balance.

Continue Reading
What are the functions of vitamins and minerals in the body?
Credit: Maxmilian Stock Ltd Photolibrary Getty Images

Full Answer

Vitamin A is necessary for adequate growth, normal vision and cell differentiation, and its deficiency causes slow growth and visual problems. It is found in dark green vegetables, whole milk, meats, liver, fish, egg yolk and butter. Vitamin D is important for the absorption and utilization of calcium, and its deficiency leads to weak teeth and bones. It is formed by the body when the skin is exposed to sunlight. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which protects body cells from damage. It is found in cereals, seeds, vegetable oils and nuts. Vitamin K is vital for normal blood clotting and is found in soybeans, broccoli, cabbage and leafy vegetables, notes Lehman.

Calcium is a major mineral that prevents osteoporosis and is found in dark green vegetables and dairy products. Chloride is a vital nutrient in the production of digestive juices and is found in tomatoes and salt. Magnesium is essential for biochemical reactions and is found in legumes, seeds, nuts and whole grains. According to Lehman, phosphorus is vital for the formation of the cell membrane and energy production and is found in high protein foods. Potassium is essential for fluid balance and muscle contraction and is found in fruits and vegetables. Sodium is required to maintain blood pressure and is found in salt.

Learn more about Nutritional Content

Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is the nutritional value of spinach?

    A:

    Spinach provides key proteins, irons, minerals and vitamins essential for maintaining healthy skin, hair and bones. Full of phytonutrients and antioxidants, spinach protects the body from free radicals. Because of its nutritional value, it comes out on top in its ranking for world's healthiest vegetable, according to WHFoods.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the health benefits of green barley?

    A:

    Green barley is loaded with vitamins and minerals and is thought to boost energy and immunity. It is believed to help prevent cancer and lower cholesterol.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What are the nutritional benefits of broccoli?

    A:

    In addition to being loaded with vitamins and minerals, broccoli can also help lower cholesterol and aid the body in detoxing, and it contains a flavonoid with a unique anti-inflammatory effect, according to The George Mateljan Foundation. Broccoli retains most of its nutritional benefits when steamed.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do humans need a balanced diet?

    A:

    WebMD states that eating a balanced diet helps people get the correct balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients in their body. Having the right balance of vitamins, minerals and nutrients can prevent heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and many types of cancer. Eating a balanced diet also can help humans feel healthier and have more energy. It boosts their immune system too.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore