Home Fitness Nutrition Vitamins & Minerals

Vitamins, Minerals, and Amino Acid Sources

vitamins, minerals, and amino acids

When you think of a balanced diet, it's likely that you think of a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and plenty of water. But there's a great deal more to nutrition, and a great many more choices that can make healthy eating choices difficult. The basic building blocks of nutrition are vitamins, minerals, and amino acids -- three vital components of all the foods we eat.

A balanced diet is rich in these vital nutrients, and obtains them from a variety of food sources. There are, of course, some foods that are overwhelmed by empty caloric content like sugar, and the harm that the empty calories can have on your body typically overwhelms the benefits the nutrients in these foods provide.


Vitamins play a vital role within the human body and are required for virtually every bodily function that occurs. While several vitamins are essential for life itself, others are required to maintain good health, ward off disease, and promote various functions to occur within the body.

There are 13 primary vitamins and each vitamin is categorized as either water soluble or fat soluble. Water soluble vitamins (B vitamins and C) are stored in the body for a brief period of time and eliminated through the kidneys (in the form of urine). For this reason, water soluble vitamins must be consumed from either food or a vitamin supplement on a daily basis.

On the other hand, fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, and K) are absorbed in the intestines (as is fat), moved into circulation via the lymphatic system, and stored within the liver. Vitamins include:

    vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin B1
  • Vitamin B2
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B5
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B7
  • Vitamin B9
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K


Minerals are involved in several metabolic functions that occur within the human body. Several minerals are components of enzymes (protein based molecules that speed up a chemical reaction in a living organism) which act as catalysts for many of the chemical reactions that occur within the body. Minerals also regulate and manage the normal function of human and animal organs, muscles, and tissues.

For example, sodium and potassium are crucial for maintaining proper fluid balance, calcium is a the primary structural component in bones and teeth, and iron is responsible for transporting oxygen, in the blood, throughout the body.

Skin, hair, nails, teeth, bones, and all other tissues require minerals in able to form. In addition, minerals are also involved in several bodily functions, including controlling several systems within the body and in the production of energy. In the event that an individual is deficient in any one of the major or trace minerals, the human body will digress to a level of structural weakness, internal system dysfunction, and over time, contract some form of debilitating disease. Some minerals include:

  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium
  • Zinc

Amino Acids

Amino Acids play several key roles within the human body and are responsible, or assist with, several bodily functions required to sustain life. For instance, amino acids assist in building and maintaining all bodily tissues like skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons, organs, blood, and bones. Amino Acids are the building blocks of protein and are the vital components of skin, hair, muscle tissue, the body's organs, blood cells, various enzymes, hormones, and body fluids. Amino Acids are also responsible for regulating functions such as growth, digestion, and maintaining the body's immune system. Amino Acids include:

Essential Amino Acids

  • Arginine
  • Histidine
  • vitamins, minerals, and amino acids
  • Isoleucine
  • Leucine
  • Lysine
  • Methionine
  • Phenylalanine
  • Threonine
  • Tryptophan
  • Valine

Non-Essential Amino Acids

  • Alanine
  • Asparagine
  • Aspartic Acid
  • Cysteine
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Glutamine
  • Glycine
  • Proline
  • Serine
  • Tyrosine
  • Herbs

There are two types of Amino Acids, Essential and Non-Essential. Essential Amino Acids are not produced within the body naturally and are extracted from the foods we consume each day. Non-Essential Amino Acids are found naturally within the body and are produced by the body from the essential amino acids or from the normal breakdown of proteins.