9 Important Minerals For Healthy Diet And Lifestyle
In today’s post we will cover 9 of the most important minerals that you should know about not only for weight loss goals but also for a healthy life in general.
Almost all calcium content in the body resides in the skeletal system, and it is readily available for use.
There’s calcium in our teeth as well, but it can’t be accessed by the body, as it is integrated into a mineral called hydroxyapatite.
There is a possibility of replacing hydroxyapatite with fluorapatite, another mineral, that has the ability of creating decay-resistant tooth enamel.
The Role Of Calcium In Physiological Functions
while 99% of the calcium content of the body is in the bones and in the teeth, the remainder of 1% can be found in the bodily fluids and it fulfills important roles in the following life supporting processes:
– Ion transport regulation
– Blood pressure stability
– Muscle contraction regulation
– Hormonal secretions
– Blood clotting regulation
Calcium Storage And Osteoporosis
Calcium deposits in the bones help maintaining the bone density. When the body uses these deposits for other processes, they get depleted and the bones become fragile as they lose in density. This condition occurs especially with the old age and it is known as Osteoporosis. It can be prevented by ensuring we get enough calcium from our diet while we are younger.
The Recommended Dietary Allowance of calcium, as settled by the The Food and Nutrition Board of the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine, is of 1400mg per day.
Where To Get It From
Among the best sources of calcium there are: milk and other dairy products, legumes and green vegetables.
Our teeth and skeletal system contain as much as 85% of the phosphorus in the body. The remainder of 15% is part of the genetic material in the cells and of various bodily fluids.
The Role Of Phosphorus In The Body
Phosphorus plays an active role in controlling the pH of the blood.
The phosphorus content in ATP helps supplying energy for sustaining various body processes
Phosphorus is an essential component of RNA, DNA and phospholipids.
The RDA is the same as for calcium.
Where To Get It From
Among the best phosphorus sources there are fish, legumes, milk and dairy.
We take our needed reserves of sodium from table salt, as well as from the salt used as a preservative in many foods. There’s also a funny joke that in the Middle Age, humans were using so much salt to preserve their foods, that they were thirsty almost all the time. As water wasn’t as pure as it is today, they resorted to beer to quench their thirst.
The Role Of Sodium In The Body
Sodium is the key player in maintaining a proper electrolyte balance in the cells.
It is also involved in nerve transmission and in the contraction of the nerves.
It contributes to regulating the pH balance in the cells.
It is possible that sodium is a factor for high blood pressure in some people.
The minimum Sodium RDA is of 500mg per day. While there isn’t a recommended maximum intake, most nutritional guides advise reducing it.
Where To Get It From
Almost all foods are sodium sources, besides the fact that we all use table salt as a kitchen staple.
Potassium is special because of positive electrical charge. The lack of potassium is a major health hazard because it cuts the thirst sensation. The victims can become dehydrated, thus exposing themselves to serious risks. People who are low on potassium should be very careful with taking diuretics.
The Role Of Potassium In The Body
Potassium is an important element for maintaining the fluid and electrolyte balance.
It also contributes to maintaining the regular heartbeat.
Potassium should always be balanced with sodium in the body.
The daily Potassium RDA is of minimum 2,000mg – 3,500mg.
Where To Get It From
Potassium is present in raw foods such as bananas and orange juice.
This negative ion helps balancing the positive ions of sodium, potassium and magnesium in the bodily fluids and in the cells.
The Role Of Chloride In The Body
Chloride is actively involved in maintaining the fluid and electrolyte balance in the body.
It is also a component of hydrochloric acid, the substance that helps us digest the food.
There isn’t any chloride RDA.
Although it isn’t used as a nutrient in itself, sulfur is needed in thiamin and proteins.
The Role Of Sulfur In The Body
Sulfur helps proteins maintain their rigidity.
There is no known RDA or minimum requirement for sulfur.
Our body needs very small amounts if iodine. It is a component of thyroxin, the hormone manufactured by the thyroid gland. When your body is low on iodine, the thyroid gland enlarges in order to be able to supply more thyroxin, causing what we know as goiter. Iodine excess may also determine the formation of a lump in the neck.
The Role Of Iodine In The Body
Iodine is important in the process of synthesis of the thyroxin hormone.
Low Iodine levels during pregnancy may trigger cretinism in the newborns.
Most developed countries have a law enforcing the commercialization of iodized table salt. Since almost all people use it, this is an effective measure for preventing goiter.
Iron is present in all cells in our body. Most if it belongs to hemoglobin and myoglobin molecules, responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body.
The Role Of Iron In The Body
Iron is a key element in carrying and storage of oxygen in the body.
It is also very important for the production of CO2.
It is used in the process of producing new cells, hormones, neurotransmitters and amino acids.
The Iron RDA is between 12mg and 15 mg a day.
Best Iron Sources
As strange as it may sound, cast iron cookware is a great iron source. Among other sources there are red meat, fish and leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale.
Iron deficiency is known as anemia and it is a severe condition. It is one of the most widespread deficiencies in the world, affecting mainly countries with low meat consumption.
Zinc is present in our body in tiny amounts, but it is important for the normal functioning of all organs.
The Role Of Zinc In The Body
It is a component of RNA and DNA.
It produces Heme in hemoglobin.
It supports the digestive function or the pancreas.
It releases Vitamin A from getting stored by the liver.
It helps the neutralization of free radicals.
The Zinc RDA is of 12-15 mg/day.
The best Zinc sources are seafood, meats, poultry, whole grains and some legumes.
That’s it for today. We hope that you learned a thing or two on these minerals and we wish you the best!
Chris and Jordan