Today, many people are missing important minerals from their diet. This is due to a few reasons, which we’ll get into later.
So why are minerals important? And what are the problems with mineral deficiency? Basically, our human bodies can’t function properly without the minerals it needs. As minerals are essential to human health, it’s imperative that we seek out minerals in the right foods and with the additional help of supplements.
The importance of minerals in the bodyAll foods contain varying amounts of vitamins and minerals. Without minerals, the healthy ingredients we consume don’t get fully absorbed. Minerals are essential because they facilitate healthy growth and development in the body.
Minerals are as necessary to our survival as humans in order to sustain life. In fact, 6% of our human body weight is mineral matter. Minerals do the following (and more) for human bodies:
Aid in cognitive function and physiological processes
Contribute to healthy bone, tissue, blood, muscle, and nerve cell functioning
Act as catalysts for transmission of messages through the nervous system.
Aid in digestion and metabolism
Balance the body’s blood and tissue so it neither becomes too alkaline nor acidic
Helps nutrients pass through the bloodstream
Enables proper constriction and relaxation of blood vessels
Helps with proper muscle contraction
Minerals are part of the delicate balance of chemicals in our bodies. Consumption of minerals is vital for humans to absorb and process vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, and B complex vitamins. Even the smallest variation of minerals in blood concentration can be life-threatening.
The most important mineralsTo understand why minerals are important to the body, first understand that there are two variations of minerals: macrominerals and trace minerals.
MacromineralsYour body needs high amounts of macrominerals. Macrominerals come in the form of:
CalciumThe human body is most abundant with this mineral. It’s essential to growing children for building strong bones and teeth. Calcium is also largely responsible for muscle function and nerve transmission throughout the body. Calcium is rich in foods like dairy products and plant foods like beans and spinach.
PhosphorusPhosphorus is essential for the growth and repair of body cells and tissues. It’s also important for genetic building blocks DNA and RNA. Phosphorus is often found in products like meat, nuts, eggs, and legumes.
MagnesiumMagnesium is important for bone health and balancing calcium levels. It is also a big contributor to energy levels in the body, and conversely, aiding in a better night’s sleep. Studies have shown that a proper dose of magnesium can even reduce PMS symptoms. While it helps to take a magnesium supplement, this mineral can be found in leafy green vegetables and whole grains like pumpkin seeds, walnuts, almonds, and cashews.
SodiumSodium helps your body maintain stable blood pressure and is fundamental for muscle and nerve function. This mineral can be found in natural foods like celery, milk, and beets, though most people get sodium from sodium chloride (also known as table salt).
PotassiumPotassium is another mineral that contributes to healthy blood pressure levels and nervous system function. It also supports heart, digestive, and muscular functions. Most think of bananas when they think of potassium, but there are a number of potassium-rich foods. Spinach, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, dairy products, and fish are all great sources of potassium.
ChlorideChloride works in conjunction with sodium and potassium to ensure healthy fluid levels in the body. Some foods containing high chloride levels are seaweed, lettuce, olives, and tomatoes.
Trace mineralsTrace minerals are minerals that your body requires in much smaller quantities. Important trace minerals include:
IronIron is crucial in providing oxygen to your body tissues and is an important component of your body’s hemoglobin. When you don’t have enough iron in your body, you become tired, weak, and can even develop anemia. Foods rich in iron include beans, eggs, green vegetables, and dried fruit.
ZincZinc helps with cell growth and improves immune system function. Zinc is also important for cognition and memory and helps your body produce T3—an essential thyroid hormone. Zinc is found in foods like vegetables, oysters, beef, and pork.
ManganeseManganese helps the body in the formation of blood clots, building connective tissue, and producing sex hormones. It can be found in all kinds of beans as well as pineapples and seeds.
CopperPaired with iron, copper enables the body to form red blood cells. It aids the body in its maintenance of the immune system and nerve health. Copper is found in seafood, black pepper, vegetables, and fruits.
IodineIodine is important for healthy growth and development and helps the body produce thyroid hormones. Ways to get iodine is though greens like swiss chard and turnip greens, sesame seeds, and squash.
FluorideFluoride is important for dental health. It helps prevent tooth decay and aids in healthy bone structure. Most get their fluoride intake from water, though it is also a mineral present in tea and different kinds of seafood.
Problems with mineral deficiencyAccording to EWG, over 40% percent of adults have below-average dietary intakes of vitamins A, C, D, and E as well as calcium and magnesium. For some age groups, the number of people deficient in certain minerals can reach all the way up to 90 percent.
Dr. Linus Pauling, a two-time Nobel Prize winner, famously said, “you can trace every sickness and every disease back to a mineral deficiency.”
Over the past few decades, overfarming has lead to not having enough nutrients in the soil, which in turn has resulted in an increase in worldwide mineral deficiencies. Mineral deficiency is also caused by diet, for example, if someone mainly eats processed junk food, a low-calorie diet, has severe food allergies, etc. Mineral deficiency results in all kinds of health problems, such as:
Nausea/loss of appetite
How to get more minerals into your bodyYou can get a lot of the minerals you need from following a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals from dark leafy greens to ancient grains to meat and eggs, and more. For many, we know it’s hard to get all the proper nutrients your body needs while living a bust lifestyle. Our Complete Colloidal Mineral Complex has up to 72 plant-derived trace minerals that are essential to everyday health. It is a great way to give your body all of the minerals it needs to function at its best levels.
We hope you’ve gained a better understanding of why minerals are important, and how to incorporate them into your diet in an easy and efficient way.