Since childhood, we know that minerals are good for us. They keep our body strong and keep us from getting sick. We know that these elements help regulate our body processes and that they can be acquired from the food we eat or supplements we take. But how much do we really know about minerals? Are we familiar with each one?
There are a number of essential minerals needed by the body and they are categorized into two: macro and micro. Macro or major minerals are those needed in quantities of 100 mg or more. These include phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, chlorine, magnesium and sulfur. Micro minerals, on the other hand, are often referred to as trace minerals because they are present at low levels in the body. These minerals are iron, iodine, chromium, cobalt, copper, iodine, manganese, selenium, zinc, molybdenum, fluorine.
To get a closer look at the common minerals your body needs, here’s a short list:
Calcium is the main mineral used by your skeletal system to strengthen bones and teeth. Aside from that, it also helps in the formation of cell membranes and regulation of the heartbeat. This mineral is needed by the body in large amounts daily (1,000 mg) and can be found in milk, dairy products, tofu, and other calcium-rich food such as salmon, broccoli, sardines and green leafy vegetables.
This mineral is classified as an electrolyte that regulates the electrical activity of the heart. It is important in your diet because it also allows your cells and organs to function properly and optimally. Deficiency in potassium is caused by vomiting and diarrhea. This mineral is abundant in bananas, oranges, peanuts, potatoes and beans.
The right amount of magnesium in the body (400 mg) aids in bone growth and proper muscles contraction. Studies say it may help prevent diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure and osteoporosis. It is also helpful in treating migraines, asthma attacks and fibromyalgia. Magnesium-rich food include legumes, whole grains, nuts, spinach and apricots.
Not only does iron help carry oxygen from the lungs to different parts of the body, it also helps in the formation of hemoglobin – a part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen. A deficiency in this mineral leads to serious health problems like anemia – a condition characterized by weakness and fatigue. For sufficient amounts of iron, eat red meat, tuna, eggs, dried fruits and green leafy vegetables.
Zinc helps your body heal wounds, cuts, infections and generally boosts the immune system. It aids in cell growth and plays an essential role in vision, reproduction and growth. Lack of this mineral may result to weight loss, hair loss and depression. Zinc can be found in lobster, oysters, shrimp and mushrooms.
About the author: Melissa Page is a passionate writer who blogs for successful companies such as ICan Benefit Group, a company that offers the answers to today’s healthcare crisis. When she’s not writing, she plays bowling with her friends.