Know Your Food

Vitamins and Minerals

Michael Centore

Know Your Food

Vitamins and Minerals

Know YOur Food

Fats and Cholesterol Fiber Flavorings, Colorings, and Preservatives Food Safety Genetically Modif ied Foods Gluten Organic Foods Protein Salt Starch and Other Carbohydrates

Sugar and Sweeteners Vitamins and Minerals Water

Know Your Food

Vitamins and Minerals

Michael Centore

Mason Crest

Mason Crest 450 Parkway Drive, Suite D Broomall, PA 19008 www.masoncrest.com

© 2018 by Mason Crest, an imprint of National Highlights, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping, or any information storage and retrieval system, without permission from the publisher. MTM Publishing, Inc. 435 West 23rd Street, #8C New York, NY 10011

www.mtmpublishing.com President: Valerie Tomaselli Vice President, Book Development: Hilary Poole Designer: Annemarie Redmond Copyeditor: Peter Jaskowiak

Editorial Assistant: Leigh Eron Series ISBN: 978-1-4222-3733-5

Hardback ISBN: 978-1-4222-3745-8 E-Book ISBN: 978-1-4222-8052-2 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Centore, Michael, 1980– author. Title: Vitamins and minerals / by Michael Centore. Description: Broomall, PA: Mason Crest, [2018] | Series: Know your food | Audience: Ages 12+ | Audience: Grades 7 to 8. | Includes index. Identifiers: LCCN 2017000403 (print) | LCCN 2017002819 (ebook) | ISBN 9781422237458 (hardback: alk. paper) | ISBN 9781422280522 (ebook) Subjects: LCSH: Vitamins in human nutrition—Juvenile literature. | Minerals in human nutrition—Juvenile literature. Classification: LCC QP771 .C46 2018 (print) | LCC QP771 (ebook) | DDC 612.3/99—dc23

LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2017000403 Printed and bound in the United States of America. First printing 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 QR CODES AND LINKSTOTHIRD PARTY CONTENT

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Table of Contents

Series Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Chapter One: The Basics . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Chapter Two: Nutrient Profiles . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21 Chapter Three: The Right Amounts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 35 Chapter Four: Vitamins, Minerals, and Diet . . . . . . . . . . . . 47 Further Reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55 Series Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 57 Index . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59 About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Photo Credits . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 64 Words to Understand: These words with their easy-to-understand definitions will increase the reader’s understanding of the text, while building vocabulary skills. Sidebars: This boxed material within the main text allows readers to build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspectives by weaving together additional information to provide realistic and holistic perspectives. Educational Videos: Readers can view videos by scanning our QR codes, which will provide them with additional educational content to supplement the text. Examples include news coverage, moments in history, speeches, iconic sports moments, and much more. Text-Dependent Questions: These questions send the reader back to the text for more careful attention to the evidence presented there. Research Projects: Readers are pointed toward areas of further inquiry connected to each chapter. Suggestions are provided for projects that encourage deeper research and analysis. Series Glossary of Key Terms: This back-of-the-book glossary contains terminology used throughout the series. Words found here increase the reader’s ability to read and comprehend higher-level books and articles in this field.

Key Icons to Look for:

SERIES Introduction I n the early 19th century, a book was published in France called Physiologie du goût ( The Physiology of Taste ), and since that time, it has never gone out of print. Its author was Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. Brillat-Savarin is still considered to be one of the great food writers, and he was, to use our current lingo, arguably the first “foodie.” Among other pearls, Physiologie du goût gave us one of the quintessential aphorisms about dining: “Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” This concept was introduced to Americans in the 20th century by a nutritionist named Victor Lindlahr, who wrote simply, “You are what you eat.” Lindlahr interpreted the saying literally: if you eat healthy food, he argued, you will become a healthy person. But Brillat-Savarin likely had something a bit more metaphorical in mind. His work suggested that the dishes we create and consume have not only nutritional implications, but ethical, philosophical, and even political implications, too. To be clear, Brillat-Savarin had a great deal to say on the importance of nutrition. In his writings he advised people to limit their intake of “floury and starchy substances,” and for that reason he is sometimes considered to be the inventor of the low-carb diet. But Brillat-Savarin also took the idea of dining extremely seriously. He was devoted to the notion of pleasure in eating and was a fierce advocate of the importance of being a good host. In fact, he went so far as to say that anyone who doesn’t make an effort to feed his guests “does not deserve to have friends.” Brillat-Savarin also understood that food was at once deeply personal and extremely social. “Cooking is one of the oldest arts,” he wrote, “and one that has rendered us the most important service in civic life.” Modern diners and cooks still grapple with the many implications of Brillat- Savarin’s most famous statement. Certainly on a nutritional level, we understand that a diet that’s low in fat and high in whole grains is a key to healthy living. This is no minor issue. Unless our current course is reversed, today’s “obesity epidemic” is poised to significantly reduce the life spans of future generations. Meanwhile, we are becoming increasingly aware of how the decisions we make at supermarkets can ripple outward, impacting our neighborhoods, nations, and the earth as


a whole. Increasing numbers of us are demanding organically produced foods and ethically sourced ingredients. Some shoppers reject products that contain artificial ingredients like trans fats or high-fructose corn syrup. Some adopt gluten-free or vegan diets, while others “go Paleo” in the hopes of returning to a more “natural” way of eating. A simple trip to the supermarket can begin to feel like a personality test—the implicit question is not only “what does a healthy person eat?,” but also “what does a good person eat?” The Know Your Food series introduces students to these complex issues by looking at the various components that make up our meals: carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and so on. Each volume focuses on one component and explains its function in our bodies, how it gets into food, how it changes when cooked, and what happens when we consume too much or too little. The volumes also look at food production—for example, how did the food dye called Red No. 2 end up in our food, and why was it taken out? What are genetically modified organisms, and are they safe or not? Along the way, the volumes also explore different diets, such as low-carb, low-fat, vegetarian, and gluten-free, going beyond the hype to examine their potential benefits and possible downsides. Each chapter features definitions of key terms for that specific section, while a Series Glossary at the back provides an overview of words that are most important to the set overall. Chapters have Text-Dependent Questions at the end, to help students assess their comprehension of the most important material, as well as suggested Research Projects that will help them continue their exploration. Last but not least, QR codes accompany each chapter; students with cell phones or tablets can scan these codes for videos that will help bring the topics to life. (Those without devices can access the videos via an Internet browser; the addresses are included at the end of the Further Reading list.) In the spirit of Brillat-Savarin, the volumes in this set look beyond nutrition to also consider various historical, political, and ethical aspects of food. Whether it’s the key role that sugar played in the slave trade, the implications of industrial meat production in the fight against climate change, or the short-sighted political decisions that resulted in the water catastrophe in Flint, Michigan, the Know Your Food series introduces students to the ways in which a meal can be, in a real sense, much more than just a meal.


SERIES Introduction T K TK


Chapter 1 The Basics

W ords to U nderstand amino acid: an organic molecule that is the building block of proteins. bile: a bitter fluid produced by the liver that aids digestion. bioavailability: the amount of a vitamin or mineral that the body is able to use. collagen: a fibrous protein that is found in the body’s connective tissues, blood vessels, teeth, and bones. deficiency: not getting enough of something, such as vitamins or minerals in the diet. enzymes: proteins that start or speed up processes within the body. macronutrients: nutrients required in large amounts for the health of

living organisms, including proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. micronutrients: nutrients required in very small amounts for the health of living organisms. soluble: able to dissolve. T ake your vitamins!” is a command we’ve probably all heard at one time or another. Maybe it was a parent giving us a Flintstones chewable, or a doctor or teacher informing us about the things we need to do to stay healthy. However we’ve encountered them, vitamins and minerals are essential to the proper functioning of our bodies. Without them, we would be unable to do the


Vitamins and Minerals

most basic things—like breathe; grow new skin, muscle, and bone; or digest food. They sustain our lives but remain a little mysterious: What are they, exactly, and how do we keep track of those strange one-letter names? What are the differences between vitamins and minerals? We hear about vitamin or mineral deficiency , but is it possible to overdo it and consume too much? W hat T hey A re and W here Y ou G et T hem Let’s start with the basics: vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients. They are sometimes called micronutrients , because the body only requires small amounts of them for its health, growth, and development. They are thus different from macronutrients (such as fats, carbohydrates, and proteins), which the body needs in large amounts.

We get most of our vitamins from food, but not all—the human body makes vitamin D when exposed to the sun.


The Basics


Vital Amines to Vitamins

The word vitamin comes from vital amine , or vitamine , a term coined by the Polish scientist Casimir Funk in 1911. He isolated a substance in

Vitamins are organic substances, meaning they contain carbon and are made naturally by plants and animals. Minerals are inorganic substances, meaning they are chemical compounds that do not contain carbon and are found in nonliving substances like rocks, soil, and water. Plants absorb inorganic substances and animals (including humans) eat them, but don’t make them themselves. Heat, air, and acid can all change the chemical structure of organic substances, while inorganic substances maintain their chemical structure. This means that heat from cooking, exposure to light, and other environmental factors can destroy some vitamins before you consume them. There are two ways of obtaining vitamins: either the body makes them on its own, or we eat them. There are 13 vitamins essential to the human body; of these, we are only able to synthesize, or produce, vitamins D and B 3 (also known as niacin). Your skin makes vitamin D whenever you expose it to the ultraviolet B rays in sunlight. Just 15 minutes of sun a few times a week is enough to get the recommended levels—a good reason to get outside! When we eat foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, including meat, eggs, and dairy products, our liver converts it into vitamin B 3 . Some of our intestinal bacteria can synthesize a type of vitamin K called K 2 , but we need to eat plenty of leafy green vegetables and whole grains to make sure we’re brown rice that helped prevent beriberi, a disease that affects the nervous system and causes crippling weakness in the limbs. Because the substance had a nitrogen- containing group called an amine , Funk called it a vitamine —an amine that was vital to life. Later it was discovered that not all “vitamines” contained nitrogen or were amines, so the “e” was dropped to form the modern spelling. ▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲▲


Vitamins and Minerals

Leafy greens like spinach are a great source of vitamin K.


The Basics

getting enough vitamin K overall. Lots of other animals make their own vitamin C, but humans do not. The primates we descended from lost that ability around 60 million years ago. Since then, we’ve been relying on fruit to get our necessary dosage.

T wo K inds of S oluble Vitamins can be broken down into two categories: water soluble or fat soluble. Water-soluble vitamins dissolve in water before the bloodstream absorbs them. They circulate freely throughout the body, and they cannot be stored. Unused water-soluble vitamins are eliminated through the urine, which is why you need to keep replenishing them every few days. Water-soluble vitamins are found in many different food sources, including fruits, vegetables, grains, and milk and dairy products. They include vitamin C plus the eight B-complex vitamins. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K. They dissolve in fat and are absorbed into the bloodstream through the wall of the small intestine. Unlike water-soluble

Eggs are a source of fat-soluble vitamins such as A and D.


Vitamins and Minerals

vitamins, your body can store these vitamins in fatty tissues and the liver. You don’t have to eat them every day, since your body can tap into these stores when it needs them. Fatty foods such as vegetable oils, eggs, fish, and animal products are the best sources of fat- soluble vitamins. Each category of vitamins has specific functions. Water-soluble vitamins work with enzymes , proteins that start or speed up processes within the body, to get energy from food, produce DNA and new cells, and synthesize proteins. They also help make

Educational Video

How Do Vitamins Work?

Scan this code for a video with more information about vitamins in the body.

collagen , a fibrous protein found throughout the body, especially connective tissues like ligaments and tendons. Fat-soluble vitamins keep skin healthy and vision sharp, as well as build strong bones and teeth. Vitamin K is especially important because it helps blood clot, which helps ensure that you don’t lose too much blood if you happen to get cut. M ajor and T race M inerals Like vitamins, minerals are divided into two classes: macrominerals (sometimes called “major” minerals) and trace minerals. Both are important for your health, but your body stores macrominerals in larger amounts. They include calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, chloride, sulfur, and sodium. Trace minerals are found in smaller amounts; in fact, it would only take a thimble to contain all the trace minerals in your body. They include iron, copper, zinc, manganese, and several others.


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