Your Body

The Sparkplugs of Life

Vitamins and Minerals are substances that are only needed in tiny amounts, but without them, we wouldn’t be able to function. Getting the right balance of vitamins and minerals in your diet is important to help prevent you from getting ill and to ensure your body is in good working order. Vitamins and minerals can also help your performance in sports, so it’s important to include a wide variety of foods in your diet to ensure you are not deficient in any. Here are some of the important vitamins and minerals you need, and some examples of foods that contain them.

Vitamin C,
antioxidant vitamin
Red peppers, strawberries, papaya, kiwi, oranges, blackcurrants, curly kale, brussels sprouts and broccoli.
Vitamin A,
antioxidant vitamin
Oily fish, liver and carotenes which are converted in the body to Vitamin A are found in carrots, sweet potato, red peppers, spinach, butternut squash, watercress, apricots and mangoes.
Vitamin E,
antioxidant vitamin
Rapeseed oil, olive oil, hazelnuts, almonds, other nuts, seeds, avocado, butternut squash, curly kale, tamarillos, blackberries and tomatoes.
antioxidant trace mineral
Brazil nuts, lobster, tuna, lemon sole, squid, scallops, sardines, sunflower seeds, cashew nuts, mixed nuts and raisins.
Beta-carotene (orange),
Lycopene (red) and
Lutein (yellow)
Carrots, sweet potato, fresh apricots, tomatoes, pink grapefruit and spinach.
Nutrient Functions Sources
B Vitamins Help release energy from carbohydrates, fats & proteins. Whole grains, dairy procducts, eggs, lean meat, pulses.
Calcium Builds bone & teeth, nerve & muscle function. Dairy products, pulses, beans, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables.
Iron Red blood cell formation, transport of oxygen. Red meat, whole grains, green leafy vegetables, fortified breakfast cereals.
Zinc Healthy immune system, wound healing, cell growth. Eggs, wholegrain cereals, shellfish.
Potassium Fluid balance, muscle & nerve function. Fruit especially bananas and avocadoes, vegetables.

Vitamins Facts

Your body can't make vitamins, so we must eat them in foods. Vitamins are not a source of energy or calories, but they are essential 'sparkplugs' that help release energy from cells.

Eating a minimum of 5 servings of fruit and vegetables a day will supply adequate vitamins and minerals, and if you take a multivitamin as a safety net, take one that provides just 100% of the RDA. If you want to take more, seek medical or dietetic advice.

Minerals Facts

Minerals help form many structures of the body e.g. calcium in bones, iron in red blood cells. Minerals, like vitamins do not provide energy, but are essential for general health.