Guide to Minerals - Benefits, Deficiency, Rich Food Sources and other information

Minerals are inorganic substances like sodium, potassium, chlorine, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iodine, iron, cobalt, copper. Minerals are the most basic form into which organic matter can be broken. Minerals play an important role in the health of your body in terms of healthy bones, teeth, hair, nails, nerve and muscle activity and regulation of body fluids.

Benefits of Minerals

Benefits of Minerals

Minerals are essential for regulating and building the cells which make up the body. Minerals help to maintain the volume of water necessary for the life processes in the body. These are essential for the proper growth and assimilation of the organic substances, and development of every part of the body. Each of the essential food minerals does a specific job in the body, while some of them do extra work in teams to keep the body cells healthy. Even slight changes in the concentration of the important minerals in the blood may rapidly endanger life.

Sources of Minerals

Sources of Minerals

Plants incorporate minerals from the soil into their own tisses. For this reason fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are often excellent sources of minerals. Minerals, as they occur in the earth in their natural form, are inorgainc or lifeless. In plants, however, most minerals are combined with organic molecules. This usually results in better mineral absorption. Green leafy vegetables are the best source of many minerals.

Minerals are classified into two categories: major and minor, on the basis of intake level.

Total Mineral Content Required in the Body

In the above graph, minerals from calcium to magnesium are major minerals, and minerals after that are trace minerals.

Please see the following minerals chart for your reference:

Mineral Benefits Recommended Daily Allowance Food Sources Deficiency Symptoms
Calcium Builds and maintains bone strength, which prevents stress fractures, Builds and maintains teeth, Helps regulate heart function, Assists in muscle growth and contraction.
  • Adults 1200 mg
  • Children 800 mg
  • Infants 500 mg
  • Pregnant & Lactating Women 1200 mg
Milk & milk products, Calcium fortified juices, Beans, Oranges, Broccoli Spontaneous nerve discharge and tetany (cramps)
Chlorine Maintains nerve impulses that control the muscles, Maintains water balance and distribution, Needed for the production of stomach acid.
  • Adults 750 mg
  • Children 600 mg
Table salt (sodium chloride) Acid-based imbalance
Magnesium Aids in the body's enery production, Combats stress, Assists in bone growth, Helps regulate body temperature.
  • Men 350 mg
  • Women 300 mg
  • Children 150-200 mg
  • Infants 40-60 mg
Bananas, Green vegetables, Corn, Apples, Whole wheat bread Increased nervous system irritability, vasodilation, and arrhythmias
Phosphorus Helps in almost every chemical reaction in the body, assists in the use of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy, Stimulates heart and muscle contractions, Prevents tooth decay.
  • Adults 1200 mg
  • Children 800 mg
Meats, Fish, Chicken, Eggs, Whole grains, Chocolate! Loss of energy and cellular function
Potassium Aids in the conversion of glucose to glycogen, Nourishes the muscles, Stimulates the kidney to get rid of body wastes.
  • Adults 2000 mg
  • Children 1500 mg
Bananas, Green leafy vegetables, Oranges, Potatoes, Raisins, Dried beans Muscle weakness, abnormal electrocardiogram, and alkaline urine
Sodium With water, helps retain fluids that counteract dehydration, Helps our bodies produce a thirst sensation so we'll drink more fluids.
  • Adults 500 mg
  • Children 400 mg
Seafood, Poultry, Carrots, Beets Nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and dizziness
Iron Along with protein, helps form hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs through the blood to the body tissues, which includes the muscles.
  • Men 10-12 mg
  • Women 15 mg
  • Children 10 mg
  • Pregnant Women 30 mg
Beef, Lamb, Pork, Leafy green vegetables, Iron fortified cereals, Breads Anaemia, decreased oxygen transport, and energy loss
Selenium Boosts your immune system and helps protect your body from cancer.
  • Men 70 mcg
  • Women 55 mcg
  • Children 20 - 30 mcg
  • Infants 10 - 15 mcg
  • Pregnant Women 65 mcg
  • Lactating Women 75 mcg
Seafood, liver, lean meats, grains No specific symptoms
Zinc Helps remove carbon dioxide from excercising muscles, Aids in healing, Boost the immune system, Protects against pollution.
  • Men 15 mg
  • Women 12 mg
  • Children 10 mg
  • Infants 5 mg
Lean meats, liver, eggs, seafood, whole grains, dairy products May be cause of anaemia, retardation in growth, and delayed genital maturation

Happy healthy living to you!

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