Food and Nutrition Notes

Micronutrients: Vitamins and Minerals

Vitamins and minerals are known as micronutrients because they are needed in the body in small amounts (usually only a few milligrams per day).

Groups of Vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins are vitamins A (retinol) and D. These are found mainly on fatty foods from animal sources, such as butter, lard, dairy foods, oily fish and liver.

Although the body needs these vitamins every day, foods containing them do not need to be consumed daily as the body will store unused fat-soluble vitamins in the liver and in fatty tissue.

Water-soluble vitamins are vitamins B1 (thiamin), B9 (folate), B12 and vitamin C (ascorbic acid). They are found mainly in fruit, vegatables and grains.

They can be destroyed by exposure to heat or air, and can also be lost in the water used for cooking. They are not stored in the body, as any excess is excreted. Therefore, these vitamins need to be consumed daily to fulfil dietary requirements.

Vitamins: Functions, Sources and Deficiencies

Minerals: Functions, Sources and Deficiencies