WHAT ARE MINERALS?
A mineral is a naturally occurring (non-man-made) substance that is inorganic (has no hydrogen or carbon bonds), has a fixed chemical structure, and has an orderly crystalline structure. Minerals play an important role in our bodies, supporting metabolism, human growth, blood formation, and nerve and muscle function.
They play a variety of role in the body, from general ones like electrolyte balance (sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium) and bone formation (calcium and phosphorous) to very specific ones like the synthesis of thyroid hormones (iodine) and hemoglobin (iron). Minerals frequently interact with one another (for example, copper and iron), with vitamins (for example, calcium and vitamin D, selenium and vitamin E), and with other dietary components (e.g. iron with protein).
It is critical that we have adequate supplies of all essential minerals because one mineral cannot replace another. This should not be a problem if you eat a well-balanced, varied diet.
What are the different types of minerals?
Minerals are classified into two subgroups based on the amount required by the body:
1- Macro minerals: Minerals that must be consumed in quantities greater than 100mg per day. Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium, Chloride, and Sulfur are among them.
2- Micro/trace minerals are minerals that are required in the diet in amounts less than 100mg per day. Iron, zinc, iodine, manganese, selenium, and copper are among them.
Which minerals are necessary, and why?
A necessary component for proper fluid balance, hearing, balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction.
It is required for proper fluid balance and is important in maintaining the pH levels of the fluid in your body.
One of our bodies' most important minerals. It is essential for fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction.
Critical for bone and tooth health; essential for nerve function, blood clotting, blood pressure regulation, and immune system health.
Aids in the management of how your body stores and uses energy, and plays an important role in the filtering of waste in your kidneys. Aids in the growth, maintenance, and repair of tissue and cells. Phosphorus is found in every cell of your body.
Found in bones; required for protein synthesis, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and immune system function.
It is found in protein molecules and is essential for skin health.
MINERAL TRACES (MICROMINERALS)
Part of a molecule (hemoglobin) found in red blood cells that transport oxygen to the body's organs.
An essential component for the production of protein and genetic material, as well as for the health of the immune system.
Found in thyroid hormone, which aids in the regulation of our metabolism.
Antioxidant that shields us from free radicals.
Aids in the oxidation of iron in our bodies.
It aids in the regulation of blood sugar, improves bone health, and acts as an antioxidant.
It prevents tooth decay and encourages bone growth.
Aids in the regulation of blood sugar levels. Improves our ability to digest protein, carbohydrates, and lipids.
Aids in the breakdown of toxins in our bodies by enzymes.
It is a component of the B12 vitamin and is required for healthy red blood cell formation as well as neurological health.
Is necessary for the formation of strong bones.
Our mineral requirements change with age, gender, activity level, health status, and life stage. Climate and environment also have an impact. In the high mountains, for example, the body produces more red blood cells and, as a result, requires an extra iron boost. This is found primarily in meat and green leafy vegetables. However, you should be aware that our bodies require Vitamin C in order to properly utilize the iron in plant-based foods. For this purpose, the combination of cereal and fruit is ideal. Many of us are deficient in iodine. For your own cooking and baking, always use iodized table salt.
The extent to which minerals are absorbed is determined by a number of factors. These include the type of mineral-containing food, the type of other foods consumed during a meal, the person's age, and the degree to which the person is deficient in the mineral.
Minerals found in animal foods are more readily absorbed than minerals found in plant foods.
Some minerals can interfere with the absorption of others; for example, a high zinc intake can reduce copper absorption.
When there is a mineral deficiency in the body, the amount of mineral absorbed increases. This is especially true when it comes to iron absorption.