Young woman cooking healty dinner.
Young woman cooking healty dinner.

What vitamins and minerals do and why we need them

What is the meaning of metabolism?

All living things need energy to function – from fueling physical activities like walking and running, to performing cellular functions that may not be as obvious to the naked eye. Some organisms like plants can get their energy from processes like photosynthesis, and don’t need to consume food for energy. Humans, however, do need to eat food in order to sustain energy. Through a series of chemical and physical processes, the human body turns food into energy. This is called metabolism.  

So how exactly does metabolism work? Our bodies’ energy comes from the food we eat. When we eat carbohydrates, fat and proteins, some energy gets released as heat for your body. Energy also gets released as chemical energy in a stored state known as adenosine tri-phosphate (or ATP). ATP is like a reservoir – it serves as the intermediate between the energy-releasing and energy-demanding chemical reactions needed for cells to function.

While the macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) in food get this process started, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) are vital, and normal metabolic processes can’t happen without them. Different micronutrients have different jobs to ensure that your body is getting the energy it needs to work properly. 

Now the big question: What are these micronutrients?[1]

Biotin (vitamin B7)

Niacin (vitamin B3)

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5)

Riboflavin (vitamin B2)

Thiamin (vitamin B1)

Vitamin B6

Vitamin B12

Calcium

Phosphorous

Manganese

Iron

Magnesium

Copper

  • 1Huskisson, E, et al. “The Role of Vitamins and Minerals in Energy Metabolism and Well-Being.” Journal of International Medical Research, vol. 35, no. 3, 2007, pp. 277–289., doi:10.1177/147323000703500301.

These vitamins and minerals work to both produce and release energy from the food you eat. They are a critical part of your body’s energy metabolism processes. It’s important to make sure that you’re getting enough of these nutrients to produce all the energy your body needs.

Are you getting enough micronutrients to support your body’s energy requirements? 

The vitamins and minerals that are essential for your body’s energy needs can be found naturally in foods, but the key to supporting energy metabolism in your body is to ensure that you’re consistently getting a balanced mix of the appropriate micronutrients. Consider adding a multivitamin to your daily routine to help support your body’s energy needs.