What Minerals Does the Body Need?

mineralsMinerals are components of the nutrients used by the human body to build muscles, bones, for body oxygenation, blood clotting, heartbeat regulation and other vital functions.

Unlike some vitamins, the human body cannot generate minerals and for that reason they must be supplied through the food we eat. Also it is important to  be aware that the human body uses minerals in a large variety of ways and it would be unable to function properly without them.

The sources of essential minerals are through almost all naturally produced food items such as meat and fish products, fruit vegetables, dairy products and cereals. The following are the general descriptions of essential and trace minerals.

Essential Minerals

Essential minerals are elements and their salts that exist naturally on planet earth; many of them are essential for the health and production of our blood cells, bones, skin, and the growth of nerve cells.

Among all the necessary nutrients in the human diet these are the principal essential minerals; calcium, magnesium, iron, iodine, selenium, zinc, sodium, copper, and fluorine. Of these, calcium falls into the category of an essential macro-mineral and that is, it ought to be consumed in larger quantities, particularly in the young formative years of the human body.

All these elements are essential because they are involved in the production of enzymes, hormones, and vitamins in the human body.

They also assist in fluid regulation, cellular integrity, energy production, and muscle production and combine with other nutrients in various bodily functions.

Sources of Essential Minerals

If one or more of these minerals are lacking in the diet for a long period the deficiency will lead to serious life threatening problems.

Major Minerals

Humans require major minerals for effective functioning of their bodies. Also among these essential minerals are sulphur and traces of zinc, which combined with calcium promote the skeletal structure of bones, teeth, nerve function, the regulation of blood pressure, and muscle relaxation.

Lack of major minerals elements in the diet can lead to stunted growth in children, hypertension, pre-eclampsia, osteoporosis, and cancer of the colon among many other defects.

Sources of Major Minerals

  • legumes
  • fortified foods
  • tofu
  • dairy products
  • fish

Trace Minerals

Almost everybody is aware that there are many essential mineral required for the correct functioning of the human body but unfortunately, only a few people are aware of the importance of trace minerals.

Essentially these elements are often ignored since they are needed in such minute quantities. Despite the tiny amounts needed, lack of trace minerals can have an adverse effect on health.

So which mineral elements can be termed as necessary trace minerals?

They include a number of elements such as strontium, aluminium, silicon, lead, vanadium, zinc, iodine, copper, boron, and chromium, even arsenic!

The problem here is that despite their necessity to the functioning of the body, the amounts required are so small it becomes critical that individuals do not ingest such an excess of them that it might lead to serious health problems.

The aim is to maintain a balances that avoids either extremes. For instance, too much zinc will hinder the bodies ability to absorb essential  copper and iron. Similarly, a lot of iron can lead to oxidative damage and free-radicals that are known to accelerate ageing in young people.

Sources of Trace Minerals

  • raw and steamed vegetables
  • certain meats and fish
  • some fruits

Deficiencies in both essential and trace elements can exist in produce that has been harvested from exhausted land or chemical spraying. Commercial products are obtainable that can address deficiencies but we advise getting qualified medical opinion before starting on a course of mineral or vitamin deficiency products.

Over consumption can lead to serious poisoning and other health problems.

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Category: Minerals

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Hi ! I'm Jaks and I am the writer for this site. To be completely healthy and fit you must keep your body moving and active and most of all eating the correct food is vital. Learn more about this site

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