The human body creates cells, which in turn generate skin, hair, collagen, bone, protein, and energy. The body requires the right nutritional balance to produce these essential elements. Vitamins are one source of these nutrients, and playing a similar role, with benefits such as fending off infections and proper blood clotting, are minerals.
Multiple studies have emphasized the importance of minerals. However, the body does not manufacture these organic compounds, deriving them instead from food. Different foods produce different nutrients, so to ensure that your body gets the recommended intake to sustain its normal function, Rory Brown, Lifestyle and Food Writer, recommends adding the following minerals to your diet.
Classified as a sulfite oxidase, this mineral's primary function is to breakdown sulfites in the body. Sulfites are the byproducts of processed foods in the digestive cycle, and molybdenum reduces the toxin buildup that stems from consuming artificial chemicals. Another benefit of adding molybdenum to your diet are the results of recent research that credits this mineral for combating nitrosamines, which are cancer-causing cells. Some plant-based sources of molybdenum are legumes and green leafy vegetables. Animal-based producers include milk and all its byproducts as well as poultry.
Copper forms enzymes, bones, and cartilage. Paired with iron, it also creates red blood cells, which ferry oxygen around the body. Copper rich foods include chocolate, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, molasses, and shellfish. Skin hypopigmentation is a symptom of copper deficiency. Anemia is also linked to low copper levels in the diet.
Nuts such as Brazil nuts and walnuts, crab, prawns, and brown rice are some of the foods that the body extracts selenium from. This mineral increases sperm count in men and relieves menopause symptoms in women. Selenium also plays a hand in thyroid health. Deficiency indicators include brittle nails, skin lesions, fatigue, and gastrointestinal anomalies.
Every DNA sample has traces of nickel in it. Converting food to energy is one of nickel's functions. Add peas and red beans to your diet to get the most out of this mineral.
Chromium helps digest fats in a chemical reaction known as cholesterol synthesis. It has also proven to boost brain function. Apples, liver, eggs, and cheese are packed with this mineral. Chromium compounds are also present in the yeast used to brew beer, as well as in oats, whole grains, and prunes.
Manganese is stored in the kidneys, pancreas, and bones, a testament to its fundamental role in the body. Although the body only utilizes trace amounts of it, cartilage and bone development are its core function. Incorporate legumes, tempeh, and tea into your diet to fortify your bones.
Additional Minerals to Consider
Calcium is a renowned mineral that helps the body absorb water, while zinc from flounder and spinach, to name a few, are responsible for a healthy immune system. The body gets potassium from beverages such as coffee, but consume modest amounts of sodium chloride derived from salt to prevent diseases like high blood pressure.
Minerals are measured in milligrams (mg) and international units (IU). In addition to food, they can be sourced from supplements in capsule and liquid form, skin gels, or powders. Consult your medical practitioner about the recommended daily intake to prevent overdosing. Allergies, organ failure, and seizures are some of the side effects associated with supplements. They may also counteract with other minerals in the body and prove not beneficial in the end.
About Rory Brown (Charleston, SC): After spending the first 40 years of his life in the United States, Rory Brown decided to focus on the quality of life and began living internationally. He now spends his time in Lake Como, Italy, Sydney, Australia, Charleston, South Carolina, and Kauai, Hawaii. His appreciation for simple health food that embraces local traditions of excellence has earned him credit among farm-to-table communities everywhere he goes.
Brown began his career as a technologist and has always focused on healthy lifestyle choices. His well-researched lifestyle writing has increasingly focused on living life to the fullest each day throughout the world.
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