Major Minerals the body needs
Major minerals travel through the body in various ways. Potassium, for example, is quickly absorbed into the bloodstream, where it circulates freely and is excreted by the kidneys, much like a water-soluble vitamin. Calcium is more like a fat-soluble vitamin because it requires a carrier for absorption and transport.
Good sources of calcium include tofu, milk, yoghurt, cheese, leafy greens, seafood, beans, and rainbow trout.
Chloride is a component of table salt or sea salt, which is also known as sodium chloride.
Good sources of Chloride include tomatoes, olives, celery and seaweed.
Good sources of magnesium include pumpkin seeds, almonds, spinach, cashews, peanuts, black beans, dark chocolate, whole-wheat bread, baked potatoes, avocado, brown rice, oatmeal, bananas, milk, raisins, chicken breast, beetroot, apples, broccoli, and carrot.
Good sources of Phosphorus include chicken, turkey, pork, seafood, dairy, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, nuts, whole grains, quinoa, beans and lentils, and soy sauce.
Good sources of potassium include bananas, apricots, melon, grapefruit, raisins, dates, green vegetables, beetroot, sweet and white potatoes, mushrooms, peas and cucumber.
It is an important body electrolyte found in the blood. Chloride is responsible for keeping the fluid balance within cells and maintaining pH levels, pressure, and volume of blood. It is also indispensable to gastric juices (as part of hydrochloric acid), which aid in digestion in the stomach. Chloride, potassium, and sodium are vital minerals that are essential for the conduction of electrical impulses through the nervous system
One of the important tasks of major minerals is to maintain a proper balance of water in the body. Sodium, chloride, and potassium take the lead in doing this. Three other major minerals—calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium—are important for healthy bones. Sulfur helps stabilize protein structures, including some of those that makeup hair, skin, and nails.
Sulfur is an essential mineral that the body can’t make on its own, it must be consumed through the diet.
Good sources of Sulfur include lean meat and poultry, liver, heart and kidney, fish and seafood, black beans, kidney beans, split peas and white beans.
Trace elements in the body
Chromium enhances insulin function and influences carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism. It can be found in seafood, nuts, wholemeal flour, tomatoes, mushrooms, broccoli, barley, pork chops, egg yolk, beef and herring.
Copper is a mineral that the body requires in small quantities to maintain good health. It uses copper to form red blood cells, bone, connective tissue and some important enzymes. Copper is also involved in the processing of cholesterols, the proper functioning of the immune system, and the growth and development of babies in the womb
Copper is found in liver, mushrooms, seafood, leafy greens and dark chocolate.
Fluoride is a naturally occurring mineral found in water in varying amounts and depending on where in the UK we all live. It can help prevent tooth decay, which is why most water companies add it to the water we find in our taps.
Water fluoridisation is a controversial subject. There are studies that say that fluoride is dangerous, can cause problems in the brain, such as calcification of brain tissues. There is also thought that fluoride can be dangerous to bones, causing damage such as build upon bones. But fluoride is still listed as being ‘of use’, a trace element needed. There is no need at all to add to the fluoride already in our drinking water, even if we buy bottled water, there is still trace elements of fluoride to be found in what we drink and eat. Therefore this trace element can be relatively ignored, unless of course, we consider taking the government to task on the subject of fluoride in our drinking water, we seem to have been here before!
But there is no doubt that Fluoride as a trace element is useful for keeping teeth in order, the key here is not adding it to the diet, providing toothpaste is used to clean teeth this will be enough Fluoride to do what it's needed for.
The body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones called thyroxin and triiodothyronine, so it's required for normal thyroid gland function. Iodine is also essential for immune system function and breast health.5
Iodine is found naturally in seafood and plant-based foods grown in iodine-rich soils such as the soil found near oceans. Most green vegetables contain iodine, a diet rich in these offers enough iodine to comply with what the body needs.
Iron is an essential part of proteins called haemoglobin and Myoglobin. Haemoglobin is found in red blood cells and makes it possible to transport oxygen from the lungs to the organs, and to other tissues. Myoglobin is similar to haemoglobin, except that it carries oxygen to muscle cells. Iron is also essential for normal immune system function and normal cell growth.
Iron-rich foods include organ meats (liver, heart, kidney), lean beef, port, poultry, and fish, pulses, and dark leafy greens.
Iron supplements are sometimes needed by the body, especially in the female body, and when pregnant or when menstruation is heavy, taking away blood that is iron-rich. Also sometimes at risk from iron deficiency is the elderly, as the body slows down with the ageing process. These times are easily rectified with a boost of iron usually by way of iron tablets. However, iron tablets have a side effect rendering the individual likely to suffer from constipation. It would be far better to eat to be healthy, especially those foods, listed above, as taking iron tablets really is a last stand of defence.
Manganese is involved in the formation of bone and is needed for wound healing. It's essential for the production of enzymes involved in protein, cholesterol, and carbohydrate metabolism.
Manganese can be found in pecans and other nuts, pineapples, beetroot, sweet potatoes, seeds, legumes, and whole grains.
Molybdenum is a component of enzymes that the body uses for breaking down amino-acids, as well as drugs and toxins.
It's found in a wide variety of plant foods, especially legumes (plants seeding via a pod such as peas and beans) and nuts, but the content mostly depends on how much molybdenum is in the soil, (usually moderately fertile soil)
Selenium is used in antioxidant reactions that help protect the cells in the body and is essential for healthy thyroid function. It's also critical for reproduction and DNA synthesis.
Selenium is found in many plant-based foods such as whole grains, nuts, seeds, and legumes. Brazil nuts contain more selenium than any other food. It's not likely to suffer from a selenium deficiency as long as lots of plant-based foods are consumed.
Zinc is used in many different chemical reactions and is a major component of the immune system, it is required to be able to taste food and smell all that is around. As long as an individual is a meat-eater, then there will be no problem with zinc intake.
Zinc and the Immune System
This mighty little mineral does lots of things for us: cell division, wound healing and enzyme functioning, to name a few. On top of that, scientists are proving that it benefits our immune system as well.
Zinc helps the Immune System to function in a balanced way. When there is enough zinc in the body, it assists the main immune cells in doing their job. Zinc also has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. Both of these affect how our bodies recover from and respond to illness.
The immune system's first line of defence is made up of our skin, mucous membranes, nasal hairs and stomach acid. Think of it as the defensive wall around a castle. If a virus or bacteria infection causes problems in the body, responsibility passes to our Immune System, it’s the immune cell's to respond efficiently so the infection can be killed. Think of these cells like soldiers on the battlements. If they are not functioning well, it's easier for an infection to take over the castle and spread infection. Zinc supports the Immune System in mounting an effective defence against attack.
One of our body's responses to infection is that body's core temperature rises so the infection can't survive in such an uncomfortable environment. We experience this as high temperature, aches and pains and general misery. This doesn't feel good but it is a necessary immune response, as long as it is balanced and not drawn out too long. As an anti-oxidant, zinc can modulate this response to keep inflammation under control. It also ensures that, after the infection is destroyed, the immune system returns to normal surveillance duties. In this way, zinc helps to reduce symptoms and speed recovery from illness.
There are more than one type of Zinc supplement on offer, especially if it’s the Immune System that is being boosted before the season of colds, flue and Coronavirus hits. Zinc sulphate is the least expensive form of zinc, but it is the least easily absorbed and can cause stomach upset. Zinc picolinate is the best form, it may cost more to buy but is much easier absorbed by the body, therefore this is one recommended.
Zinc can found in seafood, especially in oysters, lean beef, pork, chicken, liver, kidney, and turkey.
How much zinc do people need?
The amount of zinc needed each day depends on your age. Average daily recommended amounts for different ages are listed below in milligrams. (mg):
Birth to 6 months 2mg.
Children 7 months to 3 years 3mg.
Children 4 years to 8 years 5mg.
Children 9 years to 13 years 8mg.
Adults 14 years upwards (male) 11mg.
Adults 14 years upwards (female) 9mg.
Pregnant teens 12mg.
Pregnant women 8mg.
Breastfeeding teens 13mg.
Breastfeeding women 12mg.
Over 60 years of age (men) 11mg.
Over 60 years of age (women) 8mg.