Vitamins And Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are both essential nutrients which are required in a daily diet. Altogether, there are 13 essential vitamins and many minerals which are required for the body to function properly and to maintain the optimal health. Both vitamins and minerals combined perform hundreds of roles in the body.

Let us learn in detail about these vitamins and minerals below.


Vitamins are organic compounds, found in natural foods which are required for normal growth and maintenance of the body. Both humans and animals require vitamins for their growth.

The word vitamins is a combination of Latin words “vita” and “amine” which means life and nitrogen respectively. Casimir Funk discovered a substance that helps for growth and maintenance of the body and named it in 1884.

Vitamins act as a catalyst in the generation of energy by utilizing carbohydrates and fats properly. Humans cannot live without vitamins and the human body cannot produce it on its own ( except vitamin D and Vitamin B3). So it should be taken in required quantities through other sources such as the food we take, vitamin capsules etc. Vitamins can be found in major foods like meat, leafy vegetables, fruits etc.

Vitamin deficiency may cause some diseases and overdose also causes diseases.

Types of Vitamins

Vitamins are of two types:

  • Fat-soluble – which are dissolved in fat
  • Water-soluble – which are dissolved in water


Here is a table that illustrates the type of vitamins, sources, and diseases due to vitamin deficiency.



Food Sources

Deficiency Diseases

Vitamin A


Green leafy vegetables, ripe yellow fruits, guava, milk, liver, nuts, tomatoes, oranges, carrots, broccoli, watermelon etc.

Hyperkeratosis, night blindness, and keratomalacia

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)


Fresh fruits, potatoes, sweet potatoes, peas, corn, cashew nuts, wheat, milk, black beans, dates etc.


Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)


Banana, dates, mushrooms, grapes, mangoes, peas, pumpkin, popcorn etc.

Slow growth, sore eyes

Vitamin B3 (Niacin)


Meat, fish, eggs, milk products, cereals, mushroom, guava etc.


Vitamin C


Fresh fruits, black currant, broccoli, goat milk and chestnuts.


Vitamin D


Fish, egg, liver, beef, cod, chicken breast etc.

Rickets and Osteomalacia

Vitamin E


Potatoes, pumpkin, guava, mango, milk, nuts, seeds etc.

Heart problems, Hemolysis and sterility

Vitamin K


Tomatoes, broccoli, chestnuts, cashew nuts,beef, lamb, mangoes, grapes etc.



Minerals are also organic compounds found in nature, which helps in growth of human body. Minerals are essential for human body to work properly. Deficiency of minerals leads to several disorders.

List of Minerals, their sources and functions

Vitamins And Minerals





Blackberries, dates, milk, egg, pomegranate, almonds, wheat, soybeans etc.

Important for healthy bones, teeth and immune system


Passion fruit, onions, fresh fruits, sweet potato, broccoli, pumpkin seeds, eggs, milk etc.

Helps in regulation of blood pressure and blood volume. It also helps in proper functioning of nerves and muscles


Sea foods, iodised salt, milk and foods that are grown in iodine rich places

Promotes healthy hair, nails, skin and teeth. Also controls body weight and growth


Passion fruit, pomegranate, dates, beef, tuna, oats etc.

Phosphorous along with calcium is necessary in formation of bones, teeth etc.

For more information about Vitamins , Minerals and sources of nutrition, visit BYJU’S. 

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