Skip to content
Skip to main content

About this free course

Become an OU student

Download this course

Share this free course

The science of nutrition and healthy eating
The science of nutrition and healthy eating

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

6 Vitamins and minerals

Vitamins and minerals are needed in our diet in very small quantities. They are called micronutrients and normally there is enough of each one in a balanced and varied eating pattern. (Figure 13).

Described image
Figure 13 Nutrition label listing vitamins and minerals

As well as sodium and potassium, numerous other minerals are needed for good health. For example, iron is needed to prevent anaemia, calcium for bones and iodine for thyroid functioning. There are two main groups of vitamins:

  • fat-soluble ones – vitamins A, D, E and K
  • water-soluble ones – the B group (B1, B2, etc.) and vitamin C.

Foods such as breakfast cereals often have extra vitamins added. They are described as ‘fortified’. If you want to know more, here is a fascinating resource about vitamins and minerals [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .