Published: July 17, 2020
Minerals are an important diet staple to keep your body healthy. Your body uses minerals for all sorts of functions, such as keeping your bones, muscles, heart, and brain working properly. They are also responsible for making enzymes and hormones essential for your health.
You might be wondering what minerals are. They are a group of 16 inorganic nutrients (i.e., nutrients that do not contain carbon) that the body needs for normal cell function, growth, and development. The body can’t naturally produce minerals. They are known as essential nutrients because it is essential for us to consume them. Minerals are grouped into two categories: major minerals or macrominerals and trace minerals.
Most people get the number of minerals they need by consuming a wide variety of phytonutrients in their diets. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a mineral supplement if you are mineral deficient. People who have certain health problems or take some medicines may need to adjust the minerals in their diets with guidance from their medical professional.
What are macrominerals and trace minerals?
There are two kinds of minerals: macrominerals and trace minerals. The body needs to consume larger amounts of macrominerals, such as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur. While trace minerals are minerals that your body only needs a small amount of in order to function properly, such as iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium.
Why are minerals necessary in my nutrition?
Minerals are necessary for your everyday diet because they:
- Build strong bones and teeth.
- Assist in controlling body fluids inside and outside cells.
- Turn the food you eat into energy!
Where can I find minerals in my diet?
You can find minerals in your everyday diet! Foods that contain the highest minerals include nuts, dark leafy greens, beans, seeds, shellfish, fish, mushrooms, whole grains, low-fat dairy, beef, lamb, whole grains, avocados, cheese, dried fruits, and tofu. Now that you know more about minerals and their importance for your health, you can work on making sure you incorporate them into your daily diet to keep healthy!
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