Vitamins and minerals are essential micronutrients required by the body. These nutrients perform several roles in the body. These are not produced by the body in larger amounts, therefore, need to be taken through food.
These nutrients help in strengthening bones, heal wounds and boost the immune system. They help in converting food into energy and repair damaged cells. Deficiency in any of these nutrients leads to several diseases such as scurvy, rickets, blindness, etc.
However, the two are essential for the body, yet are very different from each other. Let us have a look at some common differences between vitamins and minerals.
Difference between Vitamins and Minerals
Following are the important difference between vitamins and minerals:
|Vitamins are organic compounds obtained from animals and plants||Minerals are inorganic compounds originated in the earth|
|All the 13 vitamins are needed||All the minerals are not needed by the body|
|Vitamins are easily broken down by heat and chemical agents. It is difficult to shuttle vitamins to the body from the food||Minerals are indestructible and are less vulnerable to heat and chemical agents. Minerals in water and soil easily find their way to the body through plants and animals.|
|Vitamins are classified as water soluble and fat soluble.||Minerals are classified as macrominerals and microminerals.|
|Vitamins develop red blood cells and help in blood clotting. They also release energy from the food and help in maintaining healthy skin, eye, and hair.||Minerals help in blood coagulation and muscle contraction. They also help in the bone and tooth formation,|
|A few examples of vitamins are Vitamin A, B and C||A few examples of minerals are iron and calcium.|
What are Vitamins?
Vitamins are organic compounds required in small quantities. These are not produced by the body in huge amounts and, therefore, need to come from food.
These vitamins can be water soluble or fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins cannot be stored by the body for long. They are excreted in urine. Fat soluble vitamins are stored in the fatty tissues and liver. These can be stored in the body for several days.
What are Minerals?
Minerals can be obtained from food such as cereals, bread, meat, fish, milk, nuts, etc. Not all minerals are required by the body. For eg., calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium and potassium are required by the body more than iron and zinc.
From the above difference between vitamins and minerals, we can conclude that they differ in their biological function and chemical composition. To maintain a good body, one should maintain a balanced diet in order to get sufficient vitamins and minerals every day.