Most of us know that we need minerals, but don’t have a clue why….well the following is a list that identifies the minerals, what its function is and where to find it in our foods…following this chart is a colour chart that displays the information differently.
|Sodium||Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction||Table salt, soy sauce; large amounts in processed foods; small amounts in milk, breads, vegetables, and unprocessed meats|
|Chloride||Needed for proper fluid balance, stomach acid||Table salt, soy sauce; large amounts in processed foods; small amounts in milk, meats, breads, and vegetables|
|Potassium||Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction||Meats, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes|
|Calcium||Important for healthy bones and teeth; helps muscles relax and contract; important in nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure regulation, immune system health||Milk and milk products; canned fish with bones (salmon, sardines); fortified tofu and fortified soy milk; greens (broccoli, mustard greens); legumes|
|Phosphorus||Important for healthy bones and teeth; found in every cell; part of the system that maintains acid-base balance||Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, processed foods (including soda pop)|
|Magnesium||Found in bones; needed for making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, immune system health||Nuts and seeds; legumes; leafy, green vegetables; seafood; chocolate; artichokes; “hard” drinking water|
|Sulfur||Found in protein molecules||Occurs in foods as part of protein: meats, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, legumes, nuts|
Trace minerals (microminerals)
Iron gets caught in the middle. While considered a trace mineral, the amounts of iron are by far the largest out of the trace minerals…consequently, sometimes it is listed with the ones above. The body needs trace minerals in very small amounts.
|Iron||Part of a molecule (hemoglobin) found in red blood cells that carries oxygen in the body; needed for energy metabolism||Organ meats; red meats; fish; poultry; shellfish (especially clams); egg yolks; legumes; dried fruits; dark, leafy greens; iron-enriched breads and cereals; and fortified cereals|
|Zinc||Part of many enzymes; needed for making protein and genetic material; has a function in taste perception, wound healing, normal fetal development, production of sperm, normal growth and sexual maturation, immune system health||Meats, fish, poultry, leavened whole grains, vegetables|
|Iodine||Found in thyroid hormone, which helps regulate growth, development, and metabolism||Seafood, foods grown in iodine-rich soil, iodized salt, bread, dairy products|
|Selenium||Antioxidant||Meats, seafood, grains|
|Copper||Part of many enzymes; needed for iron metabolism||Legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, organ meats, drinking water|
|Manganese||Part of many enzymes||Widespread in foods, especially plant foods|
|Fluoride||Involved in formation of bones and teeth; helps prevent tooth decay||Drinking water (either fluoridated or naturally containing fluoride), fish, and most teas|
|Chromium||Works closely with insulin to regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels||Unrefined foods, especially liver, brewer’s yeast, whole grains, nuts, cheeses|
|Molybdenum||Part of some enzymes||Legumes; breads and grains; leafy greens; leafy, green vegetables; milk; liver|
Other trace nutrients known to be essential in tiny amounts include nickel (required in the metabolism of urea; required as a co-factor and to make super oxide dismutase (SOD) which is an anti-oxidant); silicon (required in connective tissue), vanadium(used in insulin sensitivity), and cobalt (required to make Vitamin B12).
The more information you have, the healthier your choices can be. Be responsible for your health. Your the one that has to live with your body.
Here’s to your health!
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