Minerals can’t be produced by our body but are vitally important for the maintenance of health. Your body uses minerals for many different jobs, most importantly building strong bones and teeth, controlling body fluids moving inside and outside cells and turning the food we eat into energy. Minerals are also important for making enzymes and hormones.
There are two kinds of dietary minerals: macro-minerals and trace minerals. Your body needs macro-minerals, or essential minerals, for critical functions and therefore they are required in larger amounts. These include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulphur. Trace minerals are required in much smaller quantities yet are equally as important. These include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium.
Most people get the amount of minerals they need by eating a wide variety of foods, particularly meat, fish, milk and dairy foods, cereals, vegetables and nuts. In some cases, your doctor may recommend a mineral supplement. People who have certain health problems or take some medicines may need to get less of one of the minerals. For example, people with chronic kidney disease need to limit foods that are high in potassium.
Some minerals have been vilified by the mainstream too – salt in particular – as being “bad” for your health. But what is the truth behind this?
Is it possible that the mainstream’s recommendation of a low salt intake can actually be detrimental to your health? Are all magnesium supplements equal? Does folic acid protect your mind and memory? What is folate? Can chromium help ward off diabetes? What’s the correct way to supplement with minerals?
The Daily Health looks at these questions and many more in order for you to make sense of where to gain these minerals from your diet in the appropriate quantities and how to reap the most benefit from their health-boosting qualities.
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