The Facts About Nutrition

The Basics

Every day, scientists are discovering substances in food that promote health and protect against diseases. As time goes on, they will likely uncover even more exciting links between nutrients and health.

In the meantime, here are some basic things we know for sure about vitamins and minerals:

  • Vitamins and minerals have no calories.

  • All vitamins and minerals can be found in foods.

  • If your diet has too little of a vitamin or mineral over a long period of time, you will develop a deficiency.

  • The best form of most vitamins and minerals is the kind you get from food.

So go ahead: Add any or all of the foods mentioned in this article to your grocery list. Choosing foods and beverages that are loaded with vitamins, minerals, and other healthful substances will help satisfy hunger, ward off chronic diseases, and keep a zip in your step.

Originally published Mar. 3, 2004.
Medically updated July 3, 2008.

SOURCES: Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, February 2002. Journal of Nutrition, August 2003. The Journal of the American Medical Association 2002; 287. The New England Journal of Medicine, 2001; 345.

©2004 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.

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