Whole Food Vitamins and Minerals 101 from Webber Naturals What are vitamins? Vitamins are organic compounds found in foods and are essential for keeping us alive and thriving. We need vitamins to support our muscles, bones, blood cells, teeth, hair, nails, and all the other tissues in our bodies. We also need them to help us digest food and release energy, and to support our recovery from illness and injury. Unlike bacteria, fungi, and plants, which produce their own vitamins, we have to get our vitamins from food and/or supplements. There are two types of vitamins: water soluble and fat soluble, and vitamins also come in different forms. Bioavailable vitamins, such as vitamins D3 and K2, are much easier for the body to absorb and use, but these are often lacking in multinutrient formulas. What are minerals? As with vitamins, we need minerals to keep us alive and healthy, and we have to acquire these from our food and/or supplements as we cannot produce them ourselves. Minerals are elements found naturally in the soil, water, and air, as well as in our bodies and those of other animals and plants. We need minerals like calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus to maintain strong bones and teeth, and we need other minerals such as iron and copper for healthy red blood cells, and zinc for immune function. The cells in our bodies also need minerals to communicate with each other. Minerals function as electrolytes, allowing the body to send signals that affect nerve function, muscle activity, and other physiological processes. Whole-food Sources Whole foods and fresh foods are often packed with vitamins and minerals. In contrast, overly processed foods often lack nutrients and may even result in a net nutrient loss as the body must use up vitamins and minerals to digest these foods. Besides a poor diet, there are plenty of other things that can increase our nutrient needs, including: Stress, pollution, alcohol, certain medications, smoking, intense physical activity, pregnancy, and nursing. Malabsorption issues, genetics, and aging can also affect how well we absorb and use vitamins and minerals. Most Complete Multis contain 55 essential nutrients in a non-GMO whole food base to ensure you get the daily recommended vitamins you need to keep living your best life.