Minerals arrive through inorganic substances, such as rocks, soil, and water. We also obtain them from animals and plants. It happens naturally, as rich soil and water feed nutrients to fruit trees, for example, and leafy vegetables. Along with amino acids, our body requires up to 16 macro and trace minerals to maintain strong bones and teeth, circulation, brain function, the proper balance of bodily fluids and systems, and to protect against viral and bacterial infections. Although the two groups have equal value, amounts are not an indication of importance. The body responds by absorbing the minerals it needs. No nutrient can single-handedly change the way our body or organs work; instead, they require a balance.
Supplement Pro and Con
Due to industrialization, only 20 minerals remain in the food chain today. Since the body requires a minimum of 60, supplements are a necessary additive to the human diet. The problem stems from an unregulated supplement industry, which produces ineffective products full of fillers or undisclosed ingredients. It’s vital to research brands through the Food and Drug Administration, FDA, and the Office of Dietary Supplements, ODS. Please consult a doctor or dietitian to learn more about taking supplements, the dosage, and whether they affect your current medication. Be aware of the information concerning RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance), and AI (Adequate Intake). Vitamin toxicity can result in an overdose. Toxicity numbers spike in vitamins, which promote immune function, bone health, and mood.
- Vegans or vegetarians would benefit from taking B12; however, it’s not necessary for a diet including dairy products, eggs, chicken, seafood, and steak.
- Consuming too much vitamin K, a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as a coagulant, can interfere with the medicine warfarin (also called coumadin), a blood thinner. John’s Wort, a popular supplement for depression, can lead to serotonin syndrome if taken alongside antidepressants.
Minerals comprise up to five percent of average body weight, most of the mineral weight coming from three macro-minerals stored in the bones and needed for proper muscle function, energy, metabolism, transmitting nerve impulses, and creating genetic proteins.
- Calcium: Milk, cheese, yogurt, and additional dairy products serve as the best source of calcium. Canned sardines, salmon, tofu, broccoli, and other fruits and vegetables contain lesser amounts. In general, calcium from milk or soft bones (for example, from canned salmon) will absorb into the body easier than plant-based foods.
- Phosphorus: This second most plentiful mineral in the body activates B-complex vitamins and enzymes. Foods that are are high in calcium tend to be equally high in phosphorus. Additional sources include whole-grain products and meat.
- Magnesium: Found in green, leafy vegetables, grains, legumes, meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. In a diverse diet, a deficiency is rare!
The Trace Minerals
Micro minerals are only needed in small quantities. Without trace minerals and other nutrients, our cells would stop growing, functioning properly, or producing the hormones and enzymes required to sustain living.
- Chromium: Acts with insulin to metabolize glucose; the body needs the fuel of wheat germ, whole-grain products, cheese, beer, liver, and molasses.
- Copper: Responsible for creating red blood cells, connective tissue, and nerve fibers. Copper fosters an absorption of iron. Liver, seafood, legumes, nuts, seeds, prunes, and barley offer essential sources.
- Fluoride: An ingredient in toothpaste and fluoridated water to prevent dental disorders and maintain strong bones.
- Iodine: Its one function is balancing the thyroid’s hormones; therefore, eat seafood!
- Iron: The body needs between three to five grams of iron, impacting the red blood cells carrying of oxygen. A balanced diet should include plenty of proteins, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish.
- Manganese: Drink coffee and teas and consume nuts, legumes, and bran to balance metabolism levels.
- Potassium: Maintains proper metabolism and muscle function.
- Selenium: Antioxidants and vitamin E work together to protect the cell membrane. The body needs a variety of proteins, whole-grain products, onions, mushrooms, and garlic.
- Sulfur: Protein is the answer to receive the necessary amino acids.
- Zinc: Instrumental in growth and reproduction of the body’s metabolism. Continue eating or start enjoying oysters, yogurt, protein, and select fortified cereals.
Consuming eight glasses of water daily is good for your health. It contains macro and micro minerals that dissolve into ions, promoting electrical charges to help circulate blood and regulate muscle action. Comprising six minerals, you’ll find water in plant-based foods, such as soft fruits and vegetables!
Eating healthy offers a life of wellness!