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Health Benefits of Minerals

Monday, 05 May 2014 19:54  by Charity B.

Minerals are naturally occurring compounds found on earth and in food that our bodies need for proper functioning.

Minerals may be classified as macrominerals or trace minerals, depending on how largely the body needs them. Macrominerals are needed in larger quantities and include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur. Your body needs just small amounts of trace minerals, which include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium.

Minerals are critical for the proper functioning of the body, and are in involved in a variety of important functions such as metabolism, water balance, bone health, hormone regulation and hundreds of other functions. The best ways to get adequate minerals in your body is by eating a variety of healthy foods. Below you will find a list of various minerals, their functions, and food sources.

Calcium

  • Needed for: forming bones and teeth, nerve and muscle function, and cell communication and functioning
  • It can help: prevent osteoporosis, relieve arthritis, improve dental health, relieve insomnia, and relieve menstrual and menopause symptoms
  • Found in: fish with bones, dairy products, bok choy, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, broccoli, almonds, and calcium-fortified orange juice

Phosphorus

  • Needed for: normal cell function, energy production; forming bones and teeth, storing energy from food, and aiding red blood cells in delivering oxygen throughout body
  • It can help: reduce muscle weakness, improve bone health, boost brain function, correct sexual weakness, aid in dental care, and optimize metabolism
  • Found in: meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products, nuts, peas, cereals, bread

Magnesium

  • Needed for: bone strength, normal nerve and muscle function, steadying heart rhythm, energy and protein production
  • It can help: reduce high blood pressure, improve bone health, and treat diabetes, alcoholism, asthma and menopause
  • Found in: leafy green vegetables, nuts, bran cereal, seafood, dairy products

Potassium

  • Needed for: nerve and muscle function, water balance in body tissue and blood, and normal heart beat
  • It can help: regulate blood sugar and blood pressure, increase water flow in the body, alleviate muscle disorders and cramps, boost brain function, and manage arthritis
  • Found in: milk, bananas, potatoes, tomatoes, oranges, melons, prunes, spinach, turnip greens, collards greens, kale, peas and beans

Iron

  • Needed for: muscle function and aiding red blood cells in delivering oxygen throughout body
  • It can help: aid in metabolism and muscle activity, improve brain function and immunity, treat insomnia and restless leg syndrome, regulate body temperature, and form hemoglobin and thus prevent anemia by helping to transport oxygen to organs and tissue in the body
  • Found in: meat, poultry, fish, liver, soybeans, eggs, beans, lentils, peas, molasses, spinach, turnip greens, clams, prunes and raisins, fortified cereals, nuts

Manganese

  • Needed for: bone formation and wound healing, protein metabolism
  • It can help: with the management of body metabolism, osteoporosis, reducing fatigue, reproduction, sprains, inflammation, brain function and epilepsy
  • Found in: pecans, almonds, legumes, green and black tea, whole grains, pineapple juice

Copper

  • Needed for: helps protect cells from damage and helps form bone and red blood cells
  • It can help: improve brain function, sooth arthritis, improve skin, prevent heart disease, and boost immunity
  • Found in: organ meats, shellfish, chocolate, mushrooms, beans, nuts, whole grain cereals

Zinc

  • Needed for: healthy skin, wound healing, fighting illnesses and infections, and enzymatic functions
  • It can help: help mange skin care, treat eczema and acne, heal wounds, treat prostate disorders, and aid in weight loss, reproduction, hair care, appetite loss, eye care, and night blindness
  • Found in: liver, eggs, meat, oysters, dairy products, beans, peas, lentils, peanuts, nuts, whole grains, pumpkin seeds

Selenium

  • Needed for: protecting cells from damage and thyroid gland function
  • It can help: protect cells from oxidative damage by preventing free radical production
  • Found in: vegetables, fish, shellfish, meat, eggs, grains, brewer’s yeast, wheat germ, brazil nuts
Last modified on Monday, 05 May 2014 20:15

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