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).
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.