Healthy Eating - Which vitamins and minerals

Eating enough fiber every day, 200 grams of vegetables and two pieces of fruit ... We know best. But not all people get this on a daily basis.

What are vitamins?

Vitamins are chemical compounds that are essential for the body. They play a role in the growth, recovery and proper functioning of the body. Because a person is hardly able to make them himself, we have to get vitamins mainly from food. There are thirteen types: four fat-soluble vitamins and nine water-soluble vitamins. The fat-soluble ones are vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K. These types of vitamins are mainly in the fat of foods and can be stored in the tissues of the body. The water-soluble vitamins are vitamins Bi, B2, B3, B5, B6, B8, Bil (folic acid), B12 and vitamin C. These are all in the moisture of foods. With the exception of vitamin B12, the body cannot properly store these water-soluble vitamins; an excess leaves the body through the urine.

Vitamingood for:is mainly in:
askin. eyes, growth, resistanceliver, fish, milk (products) and butter
B1heart and nervous systempork and grain products
B2energy supplymilk (products), meat (goods), vegetables, fruit and grain products
B3energy supplymeat and fish, grain products, vegetables and fruit
B5energy supplymeat, fish, eggs, potatoes, milk (products), fruit and vegetables
B6metabolismmeat, eggs, fish, grain products, potatoes and legumes
B8skin and haireggs, milk, soy products and nuts
B11white and red blood cellsgreen vegetables, fruit, whole-grain products
B12nervous systemfoodstuffs of animal origin
C.resistancevegetables, fruit and potatoes
Dbones and teethanimal foods
Eprotects cellsgrains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, fruit
K.blood clotting, bone productionspinach, broccoli, oils
Mineralgood for:is mainly in:
Calciumbones and teethmilk (products)
Chloridefluid balance and blood pressuresalt
Chromeinsulin actioncereal products
Phosphorusbones and teethmilk, fish, meat and bread
Ironoxygen transport in bloodmeat, potatoes, bread and vegetables
Iodinenervous systemsea ​​fish and vegetables
Potassiumfluid balance and blood pressurepotatoes, bread, milk (products), meat, vegetables
Copperformation of connective and bone tissueorgan meats, crustaceans and shellfish, sea fish, nuts, grain products
Magnesiumbones and musclescocoa, dark chocolate, shellfish, shrimp, soybeans, nuts
Manganesemetabolismgrains, rice, nuts, leafy vegetables, fruit, meat, fish and tea
Molybdenummetabolismlegumes, grains and nuts
Sodiumfluid balance and blood pressurealmost all foods and drinks
SeleniumRed blood cellsorgan meats, fish, shellfish, grains
Zincmetabolismmeat, fish, herring, brown bread, legumes, rice


There are two types of vitamins that the body produces itself: vitamin D and vitamin K. Vitamin D is formed in the skin under the influence of the sun. For that it is important to come out for 15 minutes every day with your hands and face uncovered. Vitamin K is made by bacteria in the gut. Babies cannot do this enough yet and therefore need vitamin K drops.

What are minerals?

Like vitamins, these substances are indispensable in many body processes. They are needed for, among other things, the regulation of enzymes and hormones and cannot be made by the body itself. So you have to get them through food. Not all minerals have yet been shown to be necessary for the proper functioning of the body. It is known that the minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chloride and phosphorus are essential.

Forty grams of fiber

Fiber is important for a good intestinal function. An adult needs thirty to forty grams of it a day, but most people don't make it. On average, an adult only receives nineteen grams of fiber per day. Fiber is found in wholemeal bread, potatoes, vegetables, fruit and legumes, among other things. Whoever eats at least two ounces of vegetables, 2 pieces of fruit, about six slices of wholemeal bread and two ounces of potatoes, (wholemeal) pasta, (brown rice) rice or legumes, comes up with the recommended daily allowance. A shortage of dietary fiber causes intestinal problems, such as too slow bowel movements, constipation and hemorrhoids or bulges of the colon wall. Whether fibers reduce the risk of colorectal cancer has not been sufficiently proven.

The good thing about fibers

Being overweight

Dietary fibers hardly provide any calories, but they do feel full. This reduces the chance that you will eat more than is actually good.

Heart and vascular disease

Fiber has a beneficial effect on blood pressure and cholesterol levels. They lower LDL cholesterol levels, which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.


There are indications that fibers from wholegrain products in particular can lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.


There is still insufficient evidence that vitamins or minerals alone can reduce the risk of cancer. There are indications that folic acid (vitamin B11) reduces the risk of colon cancer. Selenium has a beneficial effect on a reduced risk of prostate cancer.

Four spoons of vegetables

About 84% of adults do not eat enough vegetables. According to the standard they should take four serving spoons of vegetables per day. Almost all children from the age of seven (98%!) Eat too little vegetables. For them it applies that they should eat three serving spoons of vegetables per day. This is the conclusion of a study by the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), commissioned by the Ministry of Health. In addition, the Dutch also eat too little fruit and fish. Moreover, they get too many unhealthy fats. This causes a lack of important nutrients, such as vitamins A, Bi, C and E, magnesium, potassium and zinc. Adults eat healthier than children and young people, RIVM notes. They often opt for sweets, cakes, sugar and cakes.

Hard-eating children

If children learn to eat healthy at a young age, chances are that they will continue to do so for the rest of their lives. Easily said, if every meal is unwillingly sitting at the table. Children naturally have an aversion to bitter vegetables. By continuing to offer it, they can learn to eat it. They often start to appreciate the taste after seven attempts. When children eat healthy and varied food, they get all the vitamins and minerals they need. Vitamin pills are then in principle not necessary. An exception is made for children who have a dark skin color or do not come out sufficiently. A recommendation of ten micrograms of vitamin D per day applies to them.

Brain shrinkage by hamburgers

People who often eat fast food get a lot of saturated fats that are bad for the blood circulation in the brain. There are also few vitamins B, C, D and E in this fatty bite, which makes the brain shrink. Just like with Alzheimer's. This is according to a study by the University of Portland.

How much do you need?

The Beraadsgroep Nutrition of the Health Council has drawn up advice on how many vitamins and minerals a person needs per day. This 'recommended daily allowance' (RDA) can differ per age group and gender. Exactly how much you need for each vitamin is explained on the website, of the Vitamin Information Bureau. Those who eat healthily can assume that they are getting enough important nutrients and do not have to figure out this guideline.

Wholemeal or high-fiber white bread?

The total amount of dietary fiber in fiber-enriched white bread is comparable to the amount of dietary fiber in wholemeal bread. This usually also applies to the content of
vitamins Bi, B3, B6, folic acid, iron and zinc. However, it does not have the same nutritional value. In fact, unlike wholemeal bread, enriched white bread does not contain the entire grain. This contains more fiber, vitamins and minerals and has a more positive effect on health.

Video: What is the difference between vitamins and minerals? (February 2020).

Leave Your Comment