Topics covered in this snack-sized chapter:
Minerals, made of metals and other are inorganic compounds, are as essential to bodily functions as vitamins.
Different plants and animals absorb minerals from plants and animals.
Our body needs different inorganic minerals to function and sustain life.
To fulfill the mineral demands of our body, we make plants or animals or both, a part of our diet.
Our body needs larger amounts of calcium for growth, function and development.
Sometimes these minerals are also referred as trace minerals.
Calcium maintains the integrity of the skeletal system, providing strength and structure to the bones and teeth.
It plays a crucial role in
- Generation and transmission of nerve impulses, the
- Contraction of muscle fibers, and
It is essential for wound healing and maintenance of cell membranes.
The body needs iron to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body.
- The activation of various enzymes and release of some hormones that regulate digestion and metabolism
Iron is important in the formation of hemoglobin, which is the part of your red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.
Magnesium is required so that the body can use other vitamins and minerals properly – Vitamin C and calcium work better.
- Your entire body needs oxygen to stay healthy and alive.
Magnesium is essential for energy production, protein formation and cellular replication.
Magnesium works very closely with calcium to help keep bones strong throughout the life.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that is required by every cell in the body for normal functioning.
The majority of phosphorus in the body is found as phosphate (PO4).
Approximately 85% of the body's phosphorus is found in bone.
Potassium serves as the ionic counterpart to other electrolytes like sodium and chloride, and needs a balance of these minerals for many essential body functions.
Studies have shown that potassium may help to prevent high blood pressure and may enhance the effect of antihypertensive medications.
Both physical and mental stress can lead to a deficiency in potassium.
Alcohol, coffee, and sugar deplete potassium levels in the body.
Zinc is a constituent of many enzymes and is essential for proper functioning of various enzymes.
Zinc is essential for the metabolism and structural stability of nucleic acids.
Zinc has been associated with a variety of bodily functions such as the healing of wounds, reproduction, growth, and maintenance of glucose tolerance in the body.
Chromium is a trace mineral that is found in very small amounts in the human body.
Scientists believe that it helps insulin bring glucose into the cells for energy, performing an important metabolic task.
Because of this, many researchers believe that chromium can be helpful in reducing blood sugar in cases of Type 2 diabetes.
Chromium may also play a part in reducing high blood pressure.
Copper is involved in the absorption, storage and metabolism of iron.
It is important in the formation of red blood cells and keeps bones, blood vessels, nerves and the immune system healthy.
Fluorine occurs naturally as the negatively charged ion, fluoride (F-).
Fluoride is considered a trace element because only small amounts are present in the body (about 2.6 grams in adults), and because the daily requirement for maintaining dental health is only a few milligrams a day.
About 95% of the total body fluoride is found in bones and teeth.
Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones, which are necessary for maintaining normal metabolism in all cells of the body.
Reports suggest that iodine may have a number of important functions in the body unrelated to thyroid function that might help people with a wide variety of conditions; these other uses for iodine are only supported by minimal research.
Manganese is a mineral element that is both nutritionally essential and potentially toxic.
Magnesium is needed for bone, protein, making new cells, activating B vitamins, relaxing nerves and muscles, clotting blood, and in energy production.
Molybdenum is a very important mineral for regulating the pH balance in the body.
For each one tenth of a pH point difference, the oxygen level in the blood may increase or decrease by ten times.
This has a direct change on the metabolism and the body's ability to burn fat.
If the body doesn't have enough oxygen, the metabolism cannot oxidize enough to burn fat.
- For example: When there is sufficient magnesium in the body