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10 Essential Minerals That You Must Know About

Trace nutrients in the body are needed in trace amounts for the bodies to function properly. Even though these are generally in fewer amounts the body still needs them for very vital functions so don’t discredit the importance of these nutrients in the human body. Even the slightest deficiencies can lead to serious health problems. Most of the time you don’t have to worry about deficiencies from trace elements because the body gets them from plant foods and meats which is the general human diet.

If you ever feel that you’re unwell and the doctors can’t pinpoint to a reason then it may be a deficiency in one of these trace elements. There are 21 essential nutrients required by the human body to function properly. They are called essential because the human body can’t manufacture these nutrients on its own. It relies on other sources to replenish them. Out of these 21, 5 are major which are calcium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, and potassium. The others are trace minerals which are iron, copper, cobalt, manganese, molybdenum, zinc, iodine, sulfur, boron, selenium, chloride, silicon, nickel, chromium, arsenic and vanadium. The daily requirement for these minerals is not more than 100mg/day.

The body is a very complex machine and everything is interlinked. The deficiency or excess of even one element in the body can have a spiraling effect. Read on to know how each of these is important for your body

The Major Elements

1.      Calcium
Calcium is needed for the bones and is essential for teeth, bones, and nails. It is the most common mineral in the body. Calcium is needed for blood clotting, the function of other enzymes and the osmosis of fluids through cell walls. It is also needed for heart and muscle function. If you feel like you have weaker bones, slower nervous functions, and muscle sensitivity. Broccoli, cabbage, seeds, nuts, and fruits like oranges are good sources of calcium.

2.      Phosphorous
Phosphorus is the most used mineral as compared to others. It is used in bones and teeth with calcium to strengthen them. Every cell has phosphorus in its nucleus and protoplasm. It metabolizes carbohydrates, fats, and proteins which are specifically used to nerve and brain cells. A deficiency of phosphorus can cause nervous energy to get exhausted which results in mental fatigue, depression, and a decrease in the density of the bones and teeth. Keep the phosphorus content in the body high by eating coconut, green veggies and fruits like apples and avocado.

3.      Potassium
Potassium is vital to get rid of toxins and deliver nutrients to and from different parts of the body. It regulates heartbeat, boosts healing and liver function. If you have poor muscle control, liver problems or slow healing you could be deficient in potassium. Cereals, fresh fruit, vegetables, fish and nuts are great sources of potassium.

4.      Sodium
Along with potassium, sodium helps in nutrient exchange within cells, maintains water balance, produces digestive juices and eliminates rogue carbon dioxide. Muscle cramps, problems with digestion, arthritis, rheumatism, and kidney stones are indicators that you may be deficient in sodium. Eat strawberry, melon, fish, and seeds to increase your sodium count.

5.      Magnesium
Magnesium is required for the immune system and biochemical reactions in the body. If you have a poor complexion, irritability, and digestive disorders, you could be deficient in magnesium. Get magnesium from nuts, cereals, fish, and spinach.

Trace Elements

The following are a few trace elements that are essential and have known to be deficient in people from some parts of the world. Most elements are received by the

1.     Iron

One of the most important trace minerals, iron is needed to transport hemoglobin in red blood cells. Hemoglobin is required to maintain the size and shape of the red blood cells with transport oxygen and to the rest of the body. Green leafy veggies, dry fruits, cereals, and liver are good sources of iron. Women need more content of iron in their bodies and are more prone to deficiencies than men.

2.      Iodine
Iodine is another element that is most important to regulate thyroid function. The thyroid regulates metabolism and breaks down fats and carbs into energy. If you have a low metabolism it could be a deficiency in Iodine. Dry fruits, green leafy veggies, fruits like banana and watermelon are good sources of iodine. The article 5 Things You Should Know About Iodine sheds more light in the importance of iodine in your diet.
3.      Manganese
Manganese is needed by the kidneys, lungs, adrenal gland, bones and the liver. Manganese helps to regulate chemical reactions, strengthen tissues and bones, increase thyroid function, regulate blood sugar levels and facilitates enzyme formation in the entire body. Since this is a trace mineral you may not know immediately if you have a deficiency, however, if you have weak bones, fatigue, low immunity, hormonal imbalance or infertility you could be deficient in manganese. To increase manganese levels eat beans, cereals, green veggies, and sweet potatoes.
4.   Copper
Copper is needed mainly for the adequate absorption of iron. It has a supporting role and is found in the liver, gallbladder, lungs and the heart. Since it is related to iron, it has similar symptoms of deficiency too like less hemoglobin, anemia and low energy levels.
5.   Zinc
Zinc is perhaps one of the most important even in the trace materials. It regulates blood sugar, healing, and facilitates the transport of carbon dioxide from the rest of the body to the lungs for purification. If you’re suffering from intestinal and prostate problems and a lack of taste, you could have a zinc deficiency. Nuts, seafood, cereal, and seeds are the best sources of zinc.
The other minerals rarely have a deficiency because they are required in even lesser quantities than these. Eat a good healthy balanced diet and these deficiencies will never trouble. In some unfortunate cases, where your body is unable to absorb these nutrients, you can take supplements. It is always advised to get a full body check up every 6 months to check for any deficiencies.


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