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Morgan Hill
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May 27, 2023

Must-have minerals

The last article discussed vitamins – the various types, why
they are important and where to get them.
The last article discussed vitamins – the various types, why they are important and where to get them.

However, you can’t really talk about vitamins without also considering minerals.

Your next question is probably “what are minerals and where do I get them?” Good question.

A mineral is an inorganic substance that must be included in the diet to maintain a number of essential bodily functions such as the regulation of heart beat life, transportation of oxygen to every cell (and we have a lot of them), building of bones and teeth and muscle contraction.

Minerals, as with vitamins, should come from the food you eat. Although mineral supplements have their place, they should not be your main source.

Minerals are divided into two groups: macro and trace. Macro, are needed daily in amounts of 100 milligrams to one gram. These include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and potassium. Let’s look at these a bit closer.

Calcium is found in milk and milk products. It is essential for strong bones, teeth, muscle tissue, regulating heartbeat, blood clotting, muscle action and nerve function.

Phosphorus (used in bone development and important in protein, fat and carbohydrate utilization) is found in fish, meat, poultry, eggs and grains.

Magnesium, which can be obtained from nuts, green vegetables and whole grains, is important for acid/alkaline balance, as well as the metabolism of carbohydrates, other minerals and sugar.

Potassium is an essential mineral for the maintenance of fluid balance, as well as controlling heart muscle and nervous system activity and regulating the kidneys.

“Trace” minerals are involved in protein, hormone and vitamin formation; immunity, muscle function and nerve transmission. The following is a brief description of these minerals.

Copper is found in oysters, nuts, organ meats and legumes. It serves in the formation of red blood cells, bone growth and health and works with vitamin C to form elastin, which keeps your skin pliable.

Iodine, found in seafood and iodized salt, is a component of the hormone, thyroxine, which controls metabolism.

Zinc, which is sourced through lean meats, liver, eggs, seafood and whole grains, is involved in digestion and metabolism and it plays a crucial role in the development of the reproductive system, as well as aids in healing.

Selenium, also found in seafood, organ meats, lean meats and grains, protects the body tissues against damage from radiation, pollution and normal metabolic processing.

Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay (which is why it is added to toothpaste) and may help protect bones from osteoporosis (bone density loss). It is easy to get enough (if not too much) from drinking tap water, sodas and other commercial products made with fluoridated water.

Cobalt, which is a component of vitamin B12, aids in the production of red blood cells and is necessary for normal cell growth and healthy nerve tissue. However, you should note that not all trace minerals are good for you.

There are several that can be toxic. Our bodies are set up such that we can eliminate most of what we get of these minerals from our environment. It is important to be aware of them, though, so we do not ingest too much. Among these are aluminum, arsenic, lead, mercury, nickel and tin.

Needless to say, minerals are a vital part of our daily intake. Without them, our bodies would not be able to function. There are far too many minerals for me to discuss in one article, but these are some of the more important ones.

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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