The Importance of Minerals in Nutrition

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The Importance of Minerals in Nutrition
The Importance of Minerals in Nutrition
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Every living cell on earth depends on minerals for proper structure and function. Minerals are naturally occurring chemical elements found on earth. Erosion breaks down stone, rocks, particles and sand to form the soil that is the basis of plant growth. The minerals are thus transferred to the plants and then passed on to the herbivorous animals that eat the plants. People eat plants and herbivorous animals to obtain essential mineral nutrients.

Minerals are needed for the correct composition of body fluids, including blood, and the correct composition of tissues, bones, teeth, muscles and nerves. Minerals also play an important role in maintaining healthy nerve function, regulating muscle tone, and supporting a healthy cardiovascular system.

Like vitamins, minerals act as coenzymes that enable the body to perform its biochemical functions:

  • Energy production
  • Growth
  • Improvement
  • Proper use of vitamins and other nutrients

The human body must have an appropriate chemical balance depending on the different mineral levels in the body and the ratios of certain mineral levels to each other. If a mineral level is out of balance, all other mineral levels can be affected. If this type of imbalance is not corrected, a chain imbalance reaction can begin, which can lead to illness or illness.

Nutritionally, minerals are generally divided into two groups as macrominerals and trace minerals (microminerals). Macrominerals include calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and sodium. These are minerals that are needed in large quantities in the body. Trace or microminerals are minerals that are only needed in very small amounts in the body. These include zinc, copper, chromium, selenium, molybdenum, manganese, iodine, iron, boron, silicon, and vanadium. Although they are only necessary in small amounts, they are still essential for health.

Unlike vitamins , minerals are very stable in composition and are not degraded by heat, cooking or light. Even if cooked or boiled, they retain their nutritional value throughout the cooking process. Therefore, it is possible to include minerals in various recipes to help prevent a nutritional deficiency. This is especially important for people on special diets who cannot get their mineral requirements from the foods they eat. For example, people who follow a dairy-free diet cannot get enough calcium for health. These individuals can incorporate calcium into a variety of convenience foods such as bread, casseroles, cookies, juices, and semi-solid foods.

Minerals taken as dietary supplements come from mineral salts, which are minerals that bind to a molecule, such as sulfate, carbonate, citrate, oxide, picolinate, or other negatively charged chemical group. Since minerals and some mineral salts usually occur naturally in the ground, it is important for complementary companies to test these mineral materials for the absence of significant amounts of lead, arsenic, mercury and cadmium; all of these can cause toxic situations in humans. causes certain diseases.

Mineral Functions & Facts: Macrominerals


Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. It accounts for 1.5-2% of our body weight, and bones make up about 99% of the body’s calcium content. The main function of calcium is to create and maintain healthy bones and teeth; however, it plays a role in most of the body’s enzyme activity as well as in the regulation of cardiovascular function. It is recommended that all individuals consume approximately 1000 mg. the daily calcium element, which is the 100% recommended daily value for this nutrient.

The primary source of calcium is dairy products, which obliges individuals on a dairy-free diet to add additional calcium to their diet. Some plant foods are also rich in calcium, such as tofu, kale, spinach, turnip greens, and members of the cabbage family. However, the calcium from spinach is poorly absorbed. Sardines are also a very good resource.

When taking calcium dietary supplements, it is important to take the supplements with food to ensure the best possible absorption. It is also best to take smaller doses of calcium than to take a megadose, spread it out throughout the day. When it comes to absorption, calcium bis-glycinate and calcium citrate malate are considered to be the best sources of calcium. Calcium citrate and calcium carbonate are also well absorbed when taken with food. Adequate vitamin D levels in the diet help maximize calcium absorption. Since calcium is a very important component in our body, it is especially important to make sure your supplement company uses calcium materials that are very low in heavy metal contaminants such as lead.

Calcium deficiency can lead to rickets (bone deformity disease) and growth retardation in children. In adults, deficiency can lead to osteoporosis, poor bone density, muscle spasms, leg cramps, and cardiovascular irregularities.

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Magnesium has more biochemical functions than any other mineral in the body. More than 300 metabolic reactions involve this important nutrient, so it would be wise to ensure your daily intake is adequate. Magnesium is also extremely important in regulating heart rhythm. The recommended daily value for magnesium is 400 mg. and most dietary studies show that most individuals only take 220-320 mg. a daily, non-optimal level. However, it is important not to consume magnesium as excess amounts of this mineral have a laxative effect.

Magnesium-rich foods include green leafy vegetables, fruits, and grains. Meat and dairy products are less rich sources. Good sources of magnesium in dietary supplements are citrate, glycinate, aspartate, and oxide. There is no compelling data to show that different magnesium salts have a significant difference in magnesium bioavailability.

Magnesium deficiency can lead to serious health problems, including cardiovascular disease. You should discuss this with your doctor to make sure you are getting enough of this nutrient.

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Potassium is an essential mineral for health and organ function, but most individuals’ potassium needs are met through their diet. Supplements other than diet are NOT RECOMMENDED. This is because life-sustaining functions are regulated by potassium, and disrupting the chemical balance of this nutrient can be life-threatening. Therefore, dietary supplements do not contain significant amounts of potassium.

Almost all healthy foods are high in potassium content, such as dairy products, fish, meat, poultry, vegetables, cereals, fruits, nuts, potatoes, rice and beans. Unless the person has a serious health condition such as kidney or cardiovascular disease , the person’s potassium level is usually fine. Potassium should only be supplemented if prescribed by your doctor.

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Phosphorus is an essential macromineral in the body, but diet such as potassium usually provides adequate levels. Phosphorus deficiency and the need for supplements are rare because almost all foods, including sodas, are rich in this mineral. Some nutritional supplements may contain small amounts of phosphorus as a safety factor, but this supplement is rarely required.

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Sodium is another mineral derived from the food we eat and the salt used to season our food. Sodium deficiency is rare and most people actually have extreme levels. People with excessive sodium levels are often advised by their doctor to reduce their salt intake because excess sodium can cause edema, high blood pressure, potassium deficiency and kidney problems.

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Zinc is an essential mineral for humans and animals and plays many vital roles in maintaining health. Zinc plays a role in more than 200 enzymatic reactions that make up our metabolic processes. Other vital functions of zinc include:

  • Maintaining growth and development
  • Maintaining a healthy, effective immune response
  • Supporting healthy skin and proper wound healing
  • Supporting sexual maturation and reproduction

Zinc is found in many food sources, including egg yolks, fish, meat (including fish and poultry), seafood, seeds, and grains. Despite being found in many foods that are consumed regularly, zinc deficiency is common due to bodily functions that interfere with its absorption:

  • Zinc loss through sweating
  • Diarrhea
  • Kidney disease

The binding of zinc with phytates from consumed legumes and grains makes thezinc non-absorbable.

Because zinc is bound to certain foods, it is recommended that at least some of the daily zinc supplements be taken in the evening (about two hours away from dinner) or at bedtime.

Zinc deficiency can lead to loss of taste and / or odor, delayed sexual maturation, and reduced immune response. The 100% recommended daily value for zinc is 15mg, but many healthcare professionals believe this to be too low and recommend at least 25-30mg. daily.

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Copper is an important trace mineral in human and animal nutrition. Copper aids in the formation of various human tissues and red blood cells. It also works synergistically with zinc and vitamin C in the formation of skin protein. Although rare in humans, copper deficiency can interfere with normal growth and development. Most people consume sufficient amounts of copper in their diets so no additional supplements are needed. In fact, excessive copper intake can cause copper toxicity and a decrease in zinc and vitamin C levels. This is why copper supplements are not common. If copper supplements are taken or copper is included in the multi-mineral preparation, the dose should not exceed 1-3 mg. daily. The recommended daily value is 2 mg.

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Selenium is an important road element in humans and animals. It participates in a healthy immune system, detoxification process and also has high antioxidant activity. It works synergistically with vitamin E and vitamin C in preventing free radical formation.

Selenium can be found in meat and grains, but depending on how much it is in these foods, it is very dependent on soil. Therefore, regions where soil is low in selenium produce crops with low selenium content or livestock lacking in this nutrient. One of the best sources of selenium is Brazil nuts, which can contain more than 500 micrograms per ounce of nuts.

The 100% recommended daily value for selenium is 70 micrograms, but taking up to 200 micrograms is considered safe for most people. Too much selenium should not be consumed as it can lead to selenium toxicity and this can cause many health problems. If you are eating a lot of Brazil nuts (more than an ounce per day), you should not take supplements containing selenium.

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Chromium is an essential mineral in human nutrition, although its mechanisms are not well understood. Chromium plays an important role in carbohydrate metabolism and is important in glucose regulating activities. It may be useful in type II diabetes, but more clinical trial is needed to confirm this premise. Good dietary sources of chromium are whole grains, grains, mushrooms, and meat. The recommended 100% daily value for chromium is 120 micrograms.

The average American diet is a chromium deficiency because chromium is poorly absorbed even from chromium-rich foods. For this reason, many vitamin / mineral products now contain chromium. As with selenium, excess chromium should not be consumed due to the possibility of toxicity leading to organ failure.

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Manganese is believed to be essential in human nutrition. Manganese deficiency in animals is well documented, but not documented in humans. It probably functions in enzymatic and biochemical reactions in the body. Some of the best sources of manganese are grains, nuts, vegetables, and teas. The recommended daily value is listed as 2 mg, as it is believed to be essential as a human nutrient. Most multiple vitamin / mineral combinations contain this amount.

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Molybdenum is a trace mineral needed by both animals and humans to activate certain enzymes used in catabolism and detoxification processes. While deficiencies are very rare in humans, individuals going into detoxification protocols may wish to supplement with this mineral to ensure catabolism is at optimal levels. Molybdenum is found naturally in beans, liver, cereal grains, peas, legumes, and dark green leafy vegetables. Molybdenum intake should not exceed 1 mg. daily. Excessive amounts can lead to gout or molybdenum poisoning. The recommended daily value is 70 micrograms.

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Trace amounts of iodine are vital to human nutrition, primarily functioning in maintaining a healthy thyroid gland. Iodine deficiency can cause goiter, a condition characterized by an extremely swollen thyroid gland. Goiter is rare these days because most people are consuming enough iodine using iodized salt in their diets. Other foods high in iodine include seafood, seaweed, asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, chard, turnip greens and sesame. The daily need for iodine is 0.15 milligrams and many vitamin / mineral products contain this amount. Individuals following a low-sodium diet may not be consuming enough iodized salt to meet their daily needs, so they will need to make sure they take a supplement or eat iodine-rich foods.

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In human nutrition, iron is important in the respiratory process, in the transport of oxygen in the blood and in the oxygenation of red blood cells. It is estimated that 25% of the world’s population is iron deficient. Iron deficiency often causes anemia, tissue inflammation, and fatigue.

However, iron supplements are not recommended unless anemic is diagnosed. If you are not anemic, you should choose a vitamin / mineral supplement that does not contain iron or contains low amounts. The 100% recommended daily value for iron is 18 milligrams (27 milligrams for pregnant women). These doses should not be exceeded unless prescribed by your doctor.

Foods rich in iron include eggs, meat, whole grains, almonds, avocados, beets, and green vegetables. Iron found in breads, milk and cereals is not well absorbed. If your doctor prescribes an iron supplement, it should be taken with food as iron tends to irritate and irritate the digestive and gastrointestinal systems.

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Boron is a trace mineral necessary for plants. Although its biochemical mechanism is not yet known, evidence is growing that it is also necessary for animals and humans. There is some, if not great, evidence that boron supports bone and joint health and can increase calcium and magnesium absorption. For this reason, some mineral supplements contain trace amounts, usually one milligram or less. Fruits and vegetables are our natural sources of dietary boron. A recommended daily value for this nutrient has not been determined yet.

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Whether vanadium is necessary for human nutrition has not been determined. There is some evidence that it may be necessary for some other animals. The typical human diet provides about 30 micrograms of vanadium per day, primarily from shellfish, dill, olives, and vegetable oils. Most vanadium that is ingested is poorly absorbed. There is currently no reason to recommend vanadium supplements, but some doctors encourage trace amounts.


Silicon is not considered an essential mineral for human health. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that this nutrient should be fortified. It is found naturally in many foods such as alfalfa, beets, rice, whole grains, soybeans, and green vegetables, but its absorption factor and usefulness are still questionable.

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