atouts des légumineuses

The basics on vitamins and minerals

September 2021 – Reading time : 3min

Vitamins and minerals are micronutrients essential to the body’s good performance. However, as the body cannot produce them in the right quantities, they must be supplied by the diet. But what are they needed for? How are they provided?

What are vitamins?

Vitamins belong to the micronutrient category. In other words, our bodies need them in small quantities. However, this does not mean that they are not essential! They have important functions in different biochemical body processes.

13 vitamins are grouped according to their solubility, into fat-soluble and water-soluble vitamins. Each category has different characteristics.

The fat-soluble vitamins

Fat-soluble vitamins composed of vitamins A, D, E and K are in many cases provided by dietary lipids.

Les vitamines hydrosolubles

Water-soluble vitamins are composed of vitamin C and vitamins of the B group (B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12). These are mainly provided by fruit and vegetables. They are absorbed at the same time as fats and are stored. However, they are not stored for long periods of time, except for vitamin B12.

For more information on these vitamins click here:

Vitamin B9

Folic acid, vitamin B9, folates?

Vitamin B9 can be either called folic acid or folates. What is the difference?

Folates are the vitamin B9 naturally present in food. Folic acid is the synthesised form that can be taken as a supplement, especially by pregnant women.

What is vitamin B9 for?

Vitamin B9 plays an essential role in cell growth processes, especially in the production of genetic material and amino acids. It is therefore important during the various stages of life. It is also necessary for the development of red blood cells, the functioning of the nervous system and the immune system.

Vitamin B9 intake

It is important for the body’s needs and normal functioning to get enough vitamin B9 from the diet. What about a high intake of vitamin B9?

There is no need to worry about this! There is no risk of excessive intake from the diet. Indeed, as vitamin B9 is water-soluble, the body will eliminate its excess.

However, in case of a deficiency, the consequences are more serious, especially during pregnancy.

Vitamin B9 sources

Many food items are naturally rich in vitamin B9, such as green leafy vegetables and liver. It can also be found in pulses such as chickpeas and lentils, or in complete cereals. It can also be found in pulses such as chickpeas and lentils, or in wholegrain cereals.

Epi&Co and vitamin B9

Epi&Co products are mainly composed of chickpeas from Occitania (French areas) and wheat from the French Grand Est region, but some are also composed of many other pulses. Thanks to the presence of chickpeas, our products are rich in vitamin B9, with an average of 60µg of vitamin B9 per 100g of product, providing folate while enjoying a delicious and healthy meal.

Epi&Co therefore allows you to satisfy your body’s vitamin B9 needs, while enjoying yourself!

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. In nature, there are 8 different forms of vitamin E components, but the most common form is “alpha-tocopherol”. It is also the one with the highest vitamin activity.

What is vitamin E for ?

Thanks to its antioxidant capacity, vitamin E protects the body’s cell membranes (proteins, lipids and DNA) by catching free radicals and preventing them from spreading. The result? A more difficult access to the arteries, and a better elimination.

Vitamin E intake

Vitamin E is a physiological antioxidant whose intake is closely linked to our consumption of polyunsaturated fats. These fats are part of the cell membranes and proteins that transport fats in the blood. They are very sensitive to oxidation and vitamin E is their protective shield. Knowing that these fats must be provided every day in our diet, it is therefore important to combine them with a sufficient intake of “tocopherol” to protect them.

It is found primarily in fats, and its most important sources are plant-based, such as oils, oleaginous fruits, whole grains and cereal germs.

Epi&Co and vitamin E

Epi&Co products are mainly made from Languedoc (French area) chickpeas and wheat, but also from sunflower oil and of different seeds. Thanks to the presence of sunflower, our products are sources of vitamin E with an average of 2mg of vitamin E per 100g of product. Epi&Co products thus enable you to satisfy your body’s needs while enjoying yourself.


What are minerals?

Minerals belong to the micronutrient family. This means that our body needs them but in small quantities. Just like vitamins: necessary in small quantities, they are nonetheless indispensable!

Indeed, it plays an essential role for:

  • The metabolism: they are a component of enzymes and hormones
  • The body structure: they play a key role in the formation of bones and teeth
  • The body functions: they help maintain heart rate, muscle contraction, neural conductivity, and acid-base balance

There are about twenty minerals that are essential for humans. These are divided into two categories:


The macroelements

Macroelements are present in our bodies in quite large quantities and consist of calcium, phosphorus, sodium, potassium, chlorine and magnesium.

The micro-nutrients

The trace elements present in smaller quantities are iodine, copper, zinc, selenium, and chrome.

For more information on these minerals, click here:


What is manganese for?

Manganese is an essential trace element for the human body and its properties are relatively similar to those of copper: it is an antioxidant. It therefore acts as a cofactor in many enzymatic reactions that protect cells from free radical attacks.

Moreover, manganese is involved in the synthesis of certain vitamins such as vitamins E and B1, and is also involved in a number of metabolic functions, such as lipid or glucose metabolism.

Manganese intake

A manganese intake of 2 to 3 mg for an adult is recommended.

As previously mentioned, manganese is an anti-oxidant. However, when it is present in excess in the body, it can become pro-oxidant. This means that it will generate oxidative stress by increasing the number of reactive molecules to damage cells. Consequently, in too large quantities, it has the opposite effect of manganese.

Manganese sources

Manganese is found mainly in cereal products, pulses, oilseeds, and also in tea.

Epi&Co and manganese

Epi&Co products are mainly made from chickpeas from Occitania and wheat from the Grand Est region (French areas), but some of them also contain many other pulses. Thanks to the presence of chickpeas and certain seeds, our products are a source of manganese with an average of 0.5 mg of manganese per 100g of product.


Phosphorus is a mineral mainly found in bones and teeth. It is linked to calcium, thus ensuring good ossification.

What is phosphorus for?

Phosphorus plays a role in bone construction and rigidity, in association with calcium.

However, its role is much more than that. Phosphorus plays an important role in energy production. It is an essential component of ATP (the body’s primary source of energy).

In addition, phosphorus is an essential component of various biological compounds such as DNA, RNA and the phospholipids in cell membranes.

Phosphorus intake

It is recommended that an adult should have a phosphorus intake of about 750 mg per day. However, these requirements may increase over the lifetime. Moreover, the risks of phosphorus deficiency are very low in modern societies, on the contrary: it is more the excesses that should be monitored because it can cause skin problems, joint pain and calcification of the arteries.

Phosphorus sources

Phosphorus is mainly found in cereals, dairy products and oilseeds.

Epi&Co and phosphorus

Epi&Co products are mainly composed of chickpeas from Languedoc (French area) and wheat, but some also contain oilseeds. Thanks to the presence of chickpeas and certain seeds, our products are a source of phosphorus with an average of 160 mg of phosphorus per 100g of product.


For more information on the Epi&Co range, go here!