While the health benefits of minerals can be found in the food we eat, you can also get them from supplements. However, if you're taking them in pill or capsule form, they must be taken in the correct quantities. Minerals are chemical elements that are an essential part of a balanced diet and your body needs them to be able to function properly.
There are two kinds of minerals. One is known as macrominerals and the other is known as trace minerals. Your body needs a lot more macrominerals than it does trace minerals. Macrominerals are made up of calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, sulfur and chloride. Trace minerals are made up of copper, cobalt, fluoride, iron, iodine, manganese, selenium and zinc.
While your body has the power to create vitamins, minerals have to come from outside the body. Below is a guide to all the major minerals you'll need for your health and wellbeing.
We all know by now that the mineral calcium is vital for strong bones and teeth but calcium also helps regulate our heart rhythm, muscle flexibility and boosts our nervous system. Calcium is absorbed into our body with the aid of vitamin D, magnesium and phosphorus. Good sources of calcium for vegetarians who also consume dairy products are milk, cheese, yoghurt, eggs, nuts, legumes and green leafy vegetables as well as pink Himalayan salt. Vegans have to settle for the last four items.
Copper is essential for normal metabolic function. A shortage of copper can cause Crohn's disease, an inflammation of the digestive system. A shortage of copper can also cause uneven skin pigmentation, but an overdose could cause muscle cramps, nausea and liver damage. Good sources of copper for vegans and vegetarians can be found in nuts and seeds. There's a lot more to be said about an anti-inflammation diet and how you can create perfect balance and harmony within yourself.
Iodine is crucial for the efficient functioning of the thyroid gland, which in itself is essential for regulating the body's metabolism and at the rate in which it uses energy. One of the best sources of iodine can be found in sea vegetable such as nori, hijiki, wakame, arame and kombu, all forms of kelp. Did you know that sea vegetables were the first foods humans ate? Good sources of iodine for vegans and vegetarians can be found in the vegetables we eat as well as in pink Himalayan salt.
Cabbage and Brussels Sprouts can be a rich source of iodine, so long as the soil in which they grow is rich in this mineral. Choose organic vegetables for the best results. Regular table salt may be enriched with iodine but it's by no means the best form of salt you can ingest and should be avoided. Opt for pink Himalayan salt, as not only does this particular salt contain iodine, it also contains all the essential nutrients our bodies require to transport these elements in and out of our cells and by that, regulating our blood pressure.
Himalayan salt contains 84 minerals, a vast number considering only 118 elements are known to science. It's for this reason that by adding pink Himalayan pink to your diet, it can help rectify virtually any mineral deficiency you may have. Himalayan salt also contains calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
Deficiency of iodine is a serious issue since this mineral plays an essential role in the functioning metabolism of your thyroid gland. By adding a small amount of Himalayan salt to your food, you won’t ever need to worry about iodine deficiency again.
Iron is used by your body to manufacture red blood cells, which carry oxygen from the lungs to your body's tissues in the form of haemoglobin. If you suffer from constant tiredness and have pale skin, this could be an indication that you're deficient of iron in your system. However, taking in too much iron can affect your body's ability to absorb other minerals such as copper and zinc. And ingesting large quantities of iron can cause damage to your liver. It's extremely important to maintain balance and a healthy lifestyle to avoid any mineral deficiency. Good sources of iron for vegans and vegetarians can be found in dark green leafy vegetables and dried apricots.
Magnesium helps prevent vascular disease and muscle cramping. It's also important for keeping your nervous and hormonal systems healthy. Good sources of magnesium for vegans and vegetarians can be found in apples, bananas, citrus fruit, dried fruit, brown rice, corn, nuts, beans and ginger.
Selenium works well with vitamin E to detoxify your body and it can help prevent diseases such as cancer as well as maintain healthy tissue. Good sources of selenium for vegans and vegetarians can be found in Brazil Nuts, Broccoli, Mushrooms, Radishes, Tomatoes and Brown Rice.
Zinc helps build a healthy immune system. It also helps us recover from illness and lowers cholesterol. Zinc is essential for hormone-related health needs and this is especially important for menstruating women. One clear way to find out if you suffer from a shortage of zinc is when you start noticing white marks on your fingernails. Another is a reduced sense of taste and smell. And in some cases, a skin condition such as acne, though acne also has many other causes too. Good sources of zinc for vegans and vegetarians can be found in Whole Grain Products, Cashew Nuts, Seeds, Ginger, and Chickpeas as well as Brewer's Yeast.
Phosphorus helps give your body energy and is important for the healthy growth of cell membranes. It also helps to promote healthy teeth and bone development. Though much of this mineral is found in animal protein, a good plant-based source of phosphorus can be found in nuts, seeds, lentils, beans, bananas and oatmeal. You'd want to limit this mineral if you have kidney disease as removing phosphorus from blood can be a little troublesome.
Please take note that the information on this site is designed for educational purposes and is intended solely for general readership. The contents herein are not intended to offer any personal medical advice or to diagnose any health issues you may have. This information is also by no means a substitute for medical care by a licensed healthcare provider. For that, you'd need to consult your medical doctor or a health care practitioner for any advice should you require prescription medication.