- You may know that getting a balance of key vitamins and minerals is important to helping support a healthy lifestyle. But what’s the difference between these two categories?
- Learn how they function differently in the body—and which vitamins and minerals you should be aiming to include in your diet.
Vitamins and minerals are different categories of nutrients that help support overall health. But while vitamins and minerals are often grouped together, the truth is, these compounds are actually pretty different.
Both vitamins and minerals are considered micronutrients, meaning the body only needs them in small (or “micro”) amounts. Larger amounts or too much of any vitamin or mineral may actually do more harm than good. Think of it like Goldilocks and the Three Bears: not too little, not too much, but just the right amount of vitamins and minerals are necessary for optimal support. (1)
Eating a balanced diet full of whole grains, vegetables, fruits, healthy fats, and other nutritious foods is a great way to get these micronutrients into your system—and for any shortfalls, dietary supplements can help fill in the gaps.*
So, what’s the difference between vitamins and minerals?
Let’s start with vitamins. Vitamins are organic compounds, which means they can be broken down by a variety of sources, including heat, air, and light. Within the vitamin category, there are two different types of vitamins: water-soluble vitamins and fat-soluble vitamins.