All living things require minerals to function properly (regulate muscle tone, produce blood, etc.) and to maintain a proper chemical balance.

Minerals are found in soil where rock erosion turns them into tiny stone fragments, remaining in the ground where they are used by microbes and then pass from the soil to plants that are eaten by herbivores.

Humans acquire minerals by eating plants or herbivores.

The field of mineral nutrition is divided into two groups: macrominerals (found in large quantities in the body) and trace minerals (which only appear in small amounts).

Among macro minerals are sulfur, calcium, chloride, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and sodium while micro minerals are copper, fluoride, iron, manganese, selenium, iodine and zinc.

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Macrominerals

Sulfur

Problems for Sulfur Deficients
Problems for Sulfur Deficient

Function: 

Needed for assimilation of body protein, important for liver and skin cells and the whole metabolism. It is useful in treating skin (eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis).

Foods that contain:

Beans, nettles, cheese, eggs, nuts, bran, fish, lean meat, spinach, onions, turnips, cauliflower, black and red currants, garlic, oysters, leeks, spinach, kale, coltsfoot, Eurasia and fennel.

Calcium

Food that are Source of Rich Calcium
Food that are Source of Rich Calcium

Function: 

This mineral rebuilds bones and teeth and helps in the clotting of blood. It helps prevent bleeding and swelling and ensures a normal response of the muscle and nerves. It helps metabolize iron.

Its deficiency can cause:

Joint pain, increased cholesterol, muscle cramps, nervousness, rickets, osteoporosis, dental cavities, among others.

Its excess can cause:

Constipation, nausea and abdominal pain. In severe cases, delirium and coma.

Foods that contain:

Dairy (milk, cheese, yogurt), asparagus, beans, cauliflower, clams, beets, cabbage, carrots, celery, almonds, watercress, spinach, onions, lemons, tangerines, elderberry, nettle, watercress, turnip, leaves of turnips, vegetables, alfalfa, horsetail, rutabaga, raspberry leaf and pumpkin seeds.

Chlorine

 

Problems Due to Chlorine Deficiency
Problems Due to Chlorine Deficiency

Function: 
Enables and controls muscle function. Necessary for normal digestion, active gastric secretions, and enzymes.

Foods that contain:

Kelp, olives, wheat, cheese, cabbage, celery, dates, eggs, chicory, fish, potatoes, oysters, spinach, onions, sauerkraut.

Phosphorus

Rich Sources of Phosphorus
Rich Sources of Phosphorus

Function: 

It combines with calcium to form bones, maintains the alkaline active enzyme system and the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. It helps cell regeneration.

Its deficiency can cause:

Fragile bones and teeth, fatigue, loss of appetite and susceptibility to infections.

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Its excess can cause:

Difficulty absorbing calcium.

Foods that contain:

Apples, alfalfa, almonds, barley, beans, bran, cheese, eggs, lentils, liver, milk, asparagus, cabbage, corn, celery, cauliflower, fish, figs, rye, wheat, peas, lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, grapes, raspberries, tangerines, watercress, kale, lecithin and all soy products, iris rhizome.

Magnesium

Problems Due to Magnesium Deficiency
Problems Due to Magnesium Deficiency

Function: 

Strengthens the cardiovascular system essential for the structure of bones and nerves. Activates enzymes necessary for digestion.

Its deficiency can cause:

The risk of diabetes, fatigue, arrhythmias, muscle spasms, and nervousness.

Foods that contain:

Honey, almonds, barley, kale, watercress, beans, clams, corn, peas, plums, figs, raisins, potatoes, dates, parsnips, kale, dandelion, Brussels sprouts, bananas, carrots , fish, elderberry, lemon, raspberry, chicory, nettle, alfalfa, and cress.

Potassium

Problems due to Potasium Deficiency
Problems due to Potassium Deficiency

Function: 

Essential for normal growth, healthy muscles and nerves.

Its deficiency can cause:

Muscle weakness, nausea, tiredness and heart failure.

Foods that contain:

Alfalfa, beans, olives, bran, pomegranates, nuts, plums, potatoes, celery, raisins, spinach, cherries, lettuce, lemons, kale, leafy vegetables of all kinds, bananas, beets, cabbage, carrots, grapes and tangerines.

Sodium

Recomended Salt
Recommended Salt

Function: 
Helps muscles to function and protects the tissues when water is lost in the body.

Its excess can cause:

Nausea, high blood pressure and fluid retention

Foods that contain:

Tomato, carrots, dandelion, peaches, cheese, clams, oysters, beef, beets, olives, raisins, milk, spinach, turnip, watercress, wheat germ, celery, eggs, spinach, and cherries.

Copper

Copper Deficiency Symtoms
Copper Deficiency Symptoms

Function: 
Necessary for the formation of iron and hemoglobin. Essential for the formation of collagen.

Its deficiency can cause:

Hair loss and premature graying

Its excess can cause:

Destruction of the eye tissue. People with vision problems must balance their consumption of copper and iron, zinc and calcium.

Foods that contain:

Beans, liver, mushrooms, peas, leafy vegetables, nuts, seafood, black and red currants, whole grains, kale, potatoes, asparagus, peaches, bran, and watercress.

Fluoride

Affect of Flouride`s Different level in the Human Body
Effect of Flouride`s Different level in the Human Body

Function: 
Protect and preserve the bones. Involved in the metabolism of calcium and phosphorus.

Its deficiency can cause:

Dental cavities and bone fractures.

Foods that contain:

Red wheat, beets, dairy products, cabbage, garlic, spinach, whole wheat, food-marine origin, rye, and watercress.

Iron

Effect of Iron Deficiency
Effect of Iron Deficiency

Function: 

Necessary for the development of red blood cells to carry oxygen to the cells.

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Its deficiency can cause:

Anemia, fatigue, sadness, depression and hair loss.

Anemia, fatigue, sadness, depression and hair loss.

Its excess can cause:

Heart disease in men, production of free radicals and cancer.

Foods that contain:

Almonds, honey, coconut, beets, beet greens, kale, cauliflower, celery, dandelion, spinach, egg yolk, lettuce, heart, liver, all kinds of seafood, dates, prunes, raisins, watercress, oranges, poultry, black and red currants, raspberries and raspberry leaves, parsley, nettle, alfalfa, red clover blossoms, beans, beans, oatmeal, poppy, caraway, anise , rosemary, fennel, sage, calendula and pumpkin seeds.

Manganese

Rich Source of Manganese
Rich Source of Manganese

Function: 

Essential for growth and tissue respiration. Promotes muscle reflexes. Prevents fatigue.

Its deficiency can cause:

Bad cholesterol buildup in the arteries, rickets, infertility

Foods that contain:

Bananas, beans, beets, bran, spinach, peas, leaf vegetables of all kinds, whole grains and almonds.

Selenium

Rich Source of Selenium
Rich Source of Selenium

Function: 

Needed for hair, skin and healthy nails, and support for mucous membranes, blood, useful in case of exhaustion, impotence and mineral deficiencies.

Its deficiency can cause:

Neurological disorders in the scalp and nails, and gastrointestinal disorders.

Foods that contain:

Onions, oats, horsetail, barley, yeast, oats, wheat germ and sesame oil.

Iodine

Iodine Deficiency Disorders
Iodine Deficiency Disorders

Function: 

Necessary for the health and function of the thyroid gland. Necessary for normal metabolism.

Its deficiency can cause:

Goiter, thyroid dysfunction, fatigue, high cholesterol, weight gain, constipation.

Foods that contain:

All kinds of seafood, seaweed, bran, broccoli, butter, carrots, cherries, onions, garlic, figs, mushrooms, oats, almonds, asparagus, beans, cabbage, celery, chard,  egg yolk, lettuce, heart, liver, currants, prunes, dates, raisins, watercress, oranges and poultry.

Zinc

Symtoms of Zinc Deficiency-Hair Loss
Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency-Hair Loss

Function: 

It is important for the proper functioning of the prostate gland and other reproductive organs. It prevents acne and helps to regulate the sebaceous glands.

Its deficiency can cause:

The weakness of the nails and white spots on them, growth disturbances, fatigue, acne and delayed sexual maturation.

Its excess can cause:

It seems to be related to Alzheimer’s disease.

Foods that contain:

Oysters, beets, broccoli, wheat germ, wheat bran, milk, egg yolk, peas, beans, watercress, liver, dandelion, lentils, seeds, spinach, fish, red lettuce, apples, cabbage, and nuts.

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Recommendations

Consuming high amounts of minerals\mainly through dietary supplements can cause toxicity although this situation is not common since massive amounts of minerals would be required for very long periods to accumulate to toxic levels. However, caution is always recommended and their consumption through food is preferred.

Maintain a balance because after entering the body, minerals compete to be absorbed. For example, a very large amount of zinc may decrease the amount of copper in the body. Therefore, if consumed through food supplements, they should be balanced since otherwise they lose effectiveness or may be harmful.

Do not use fiber supplements and minerals at the same time as the fiber decreases the body’s ability to absorb minerals.

Hazardous minerals

There are minerals that the body does not need, but that it collects through industrial air pollutants, water and certain harmful habits like smoking (cigarette smoke contains not only nicotine but a toxic substance produced by the combustion of paper, preservatives, and flavorings) and represent a health hazard.

Some of these minerals are dangerous:

Cadmium

Severely impairs the kidneys and promotes osteoporosis. It is found in some seafood (oysters) and organ meats (liver). Smokers inhale in large quantities.

Lead

Usually comes from car exhaust and is absorbed through the lungs. Lead pipes for the conveyance of water and lead solder in food cans are also highly polluting. It causes headaches, dizziness, insomnia, irritability, weakness and anemia.

Mercury

It is generated from the use of fossil fuels, the manufacture of paints, processes in the mines and the preparation of paper pulp. Similarly, the compounds of this mineral, such as ethyl mercury, arrive via fungicides or fertilizers for cereals and through fish. Their accumulation in the body affects the nervous system.

The best protection against these dangerous minerals is to eat organically grown food or the least amount of preservatives and dyes.

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