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Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements

Vitamins are essential for our overall health. Our bodies don't produce vitamins so it's important to eat a balanced diet in order to get all the vitamins we need. There are thirteen vitamins in all: A, B (8 of these), C, D and K.

The different vitamins have different functions. For example, Vitamin C aids in healing when we get a cut and also helps us to resist infections. Vitamin C can be found in several foods, among them citrus fruits such as oranges.

Minerals are just as important as vitamins and they, too have different functions. Calcium is one of the minerals we can't do without. Calcium promotes strong bones and teeth. It is found in milk and dairy products and some foods have calcium added to them. Potassium, iron and zinc are other important minerals. Zinc has some of the same functions as Vitamin C.

You've probably seen food labels detailing the percentages of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of the nutrients contained in the food inside that package. These are standards set forth by the government as to the recommended amounts of these nutrients our bodies need to stay healthy.

There are times, however when we are not able to consume the amount or kinds of foods necessary in one day to provide all these nutrients. That's why vitamin and mineral supplements are important. In this way, we are able to ensure our nutritional needs are being met as deficiencies in many of the vitamins and minerals can lead to serious health problems.