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Vitamins and minerals

vitamins; minerals; soluble; tissue; calcium; zinc; macrominerals; macro; minerals; trace; minerals; B; group; fat; soluble; water; iron; A; D; E; K; B12; calcium; phosphorous; magnesium; sodium; potassium; chloride; sulphur; zinc; iron; manganese; copper; iodine; cobalt; fluoride; selenium ;


Introducing vitamins

We hear so much about vitamins these days but what are they?

Vitamins are substances that your body needs so that it can work properly. There are two types of vitamins.

Let me introduce you.

Fat soluble vitamins

A I help you see at night and help your body fight infectionsvitamins
D I help make strong bones
E I protect your skin
K I help stop bleeding

These guys hang around in the fatty tissues of your body and liver for a few days, some of them for months, until your body needs them.

Then they are collected by a special carrier (sort of limo service!) and taken to where they are needed.

Water soluble vitamins

vitamin cI help fight infections
We help make energy and protein and red blood cells.
And lots of oth... Got to go o o o  
B group vitamins

These guys are always on the move through your bloodstream.

If your body doesn't need them right away they just keep going until they come out when you urinate (do a wee).

These are just a few of the jobs they do. Vitamins are pretty vital, hey?


 Your body needs these to help you grow, develop and be healthy.
healthy kids

You get the minerals you need from the food you eat, and each one has special tasks that the body wants them to do.

There are two types of minerals - macro minerals and trace minerals.

Macro minerals

Macro is a Greek word, which means large and your body needs large amounts of all the minerals in this group.

Calcium (say cal-see-um), iron, phosphorous (say foss-for-us), magnesium (say mag-nee-zee-um), sodium (say so-dee-um), potassium (say poe-tass-ee-um) and sulphur (say sul-fur).

  • Calcium is in milk, cheese and other dairy foods such as yoghurt, plus canned fish (salmon and sardines.
  • seedsPotassium is found in fruit, seeds and nuts, bananas, potatoes and legumes.
  • Iron is needed in red blood cells and it helps oxygen be moved all around your body.
  • Sodium and chlorine can be found in table salt and lots of foods like processed meats, bread, biscuits and cheese.

Trace minerals

Trace is a word which means 'only a tiny bit' so that's how much you need of minerals like manganese (say man-gan-eez), copper, iodine (say eye-o-deen), zinc, cobalt (say co-ball-t), fluoride (say flew-ride), and selenium (say sel-en-ee-um).

Three important minerals

healthy kidsWe’re going to take a closer look at three minerals which are important for you, young people.

These are:

Zinc which is so powerful that you only need a bit to help you grow. It helps fight off illnesses and infections.

Iron which helps make red bloodcells which carry oxygen round your body and gives you lots of energy.

Calcium (say cal-see-um) which builds strong bones and teeth.

Zinc and iron like to hang out together and are often found in the same foods, eg red meat.

Where you get them 

Zinc is found in meat, legumes, fish and poultry (chicken and other birds).
fruitIron is found in red meat, liver, and some cereals.

Eat vitamin C at the same time as iron and it will help your body use more of the iron. You get vitamin C from fresh raw fruits and green vegetables.
Calcium is in dairy foods like milk, yoghurt and cheeses. So make sure that your growing body gets a good start by getting plenty of calcium to grow strong bones and teeth. calcium

Dr Kim says:

Dr Kim

"If you eat a variety of foods you will get all the vitamins that your body needs to help you grow and keep you healthy."



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We've provided this information to help you to understand important things about staying healthy and happy. However, if you feel sick or unhappy, it is important to tell your mum or dad, a teacher or another grown-up.


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