Minerals our body needs to stay healthy are vast and there are all very important to our health benefits if we must remain healthy. Our bones, heart, blood building and many other functional part of our body needs these minerals to stay optimaly healthy.
The millions of tiny cells in your body require essential nutrients to grow, develop and work together in perfect harmony. These essential nutrients, those that your body needs but cannot produce, include the inorganic substances found in foods known as minerals.
What Are Minerals?
In the context of nutrition, a mineral is a chemical element required as an essential nutrient by organisms to perform functions necessary for life. Minerals originate in the earth and cannot be made by living organisms. Plants get minerals from soil. Most of the minerals in a human diet come from eating plants and food or from drinking water. As a group, minerals are one of the four groups of essential nutrients, the others of which are vitamins, essential fatty acids, and essential amino acids.
The five major minerals in the human body are calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. All of the remaining elements in a human body are called “trace elements”. The trace elements that have a specific biochemical function in the human body are sulfur, iron, chlorine, cobalt, copper, zinc, manganese, molybdenum, iodine and selenium.
Types Of Minerals.
The body needs many minerals; these are called essential minerals. Essential minerals are sometimes divided up into major minerals (macrominerals) and trace minerals (microminerals). These two groups of minerals are equally important, but trace minerals are needed in smaller amounts than major minerals. The amounts needed in the body are not an indication of their importance.
(A balanced diet usually provides all of the essential minerals).
Macro And Trace-Minerals:
Important for healthy bones and teeth; helps muscles relax and contract; important in nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure regulation, immune system health.
Magnesium is important for a bunch of enzyme-catalyzed reactions imperative for the normal functioning of the body. It also keeps your kidneys, heart and brain healthy.
Like calcium, phosphorus is essential for the formation of bones and teeth. It’s also vital to your energy production and is used to form nucleic acids like DNA. Phosphorus is needed for bone and tooth health just like calcium, but it is also a vital part of metabolizing energy.
Without phosphorous, your body can’t turn food into energy and strength. It also is essential to kidney and liver function. Foods high in phosphorus are usually also high in protein. Dairy, beef, chicken and even cola beverages have a high phosphorus content.
Balancing your electrolytes requires potassium, much like sodium. Potassium is also essential for proper nerve and muscle function. Sodium and potassium play a major role in water metabolism. Sodium is the major component of the cations of extracellular fluids. Just as calcium and magnesium interact together, sodium and potassium are closely interacting macrominerals.
Sodium and potassium are the most important electrolyte minerals in the body fluids. Sodium is necessary for maintaining proper nerve and muscle function as well. The bulk of human sodium requirements is obtained from sodium chloride, namely table salt. The RDA for table salt varies greatly based upon climatic conditions, body temperature, exercise, disease conditions, and renal function. The RDA for an adult in a temperate climate is about 500 mg.
Chloride, usually consumed as a salt compound such as sodium chloride — better known as table salt — balances the fluids in your body and plays an essential role in the production of digestive juices in the stomach. With the high salt content of foods, most people meet the daily recommended intake of 1,800 to 2,300 milligrams per day.
Iron is an essential part of proteins called hemoglobin and myoglobin. Hemoglobin is found in red blood cells and makes it possible to transport oxygen from your lungs to the organs and other tissues. Myoglobin is similar to hemoglobin, except that it carries oxygen to muscle cells.
Iron is also essential for normal immune system function and normal cell growth. Iron-rich foods include organ meats, muscle meat, poultry, fish, legumes, and dark leafy greens.
You only need it in small amounts, but it is essential for life. Selenium is necessary for reproduction and the synthesis of DNA. It is also an antioxidant that may protect you against cancer, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Sources include Brazil nuts, yellow fin tuna and cottage cheese.
Cobalt, a trace mineral, is actually part of vitamin B-12, and they work together to help form red blood cells. Cobalt is only found in animal foods. Strict vegetarians who avoid meat products may need to supplement their diets to meet their needs for cobalt and vitamin B-12.
Fluoride is found in both your teeth and bones but is most notable because of its effect on tooth enamel and its ability to help prevent dental caries. Most people meet their fluoride needs through their drinking water or from food made with fluoridated water.
The mineral sulfur is found in every protein in your body but is concentrated in the keratin of your skin, hair and nails. Chicken, fish and broccoli are good sources of sulfur.
Manganese is involved in the formation of bone and is needed for wound healing. It’s essential for the production of enzymes involved in protein, cholesterol, and carbohydrate metabolism. Manganese is also involved in some antioxidant activity.
Manganese is found in pecans and other nuts, pineapples, sweet potatoes, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.
Part of many enzymes; needed for making protein and genetic material; has a function in taste perception, wound healing, normal fetal development, production of sperm, normal growth and sexual maturation, immune system health.
Iodine is essential in our diet to ensure the thyroid gland in our neck functions normally. The thyroid is responsible for growth, brain development and the rate at which we burn energy.
Copper is needed in only very small amounts. This trace mineral is necessary for the oxidation of iron before it transports oxygen in your blood. Cashews, sunflower seeds and black-eyed peas can help you meet your copper needs.
Chromium is necessary for healthy and storage of sugar and starch. It enhances the effects of insulin, a hormone that regulates the amount of glucose in your blood. Chromium is essential for the metabolism of proteins and fats, as well.
Dietary chromium is found in small quantities in a wide variety of foods, so deficiency is rare. Meat, whole grains, broccoli, potatoes, apples, bananas, garlic, and basil are all good sources of dietary.
Most of the minerals our body needs to stay healthy can be derived from food nutrition or from fruit and herbs, it is certain that these are good sources for the maximum mineral required for our daily nutritional needs