What are minerals?
Minerals are naturally occurring inorganic substances which are found in a solid state such as bones and teeth.
They could also be as a solution such as ionized or non-ionized form such as blood plasma.
The mineral which can not be produced by the human body and is obtained from the diet is called an essential mineral.
Why are Minerals important?
Minerals play vital roles in the body, including growth and development of bones
Also in the regulation of the heartbeat and normal functioning of the nervous system. Each mineral has a specific biochemical function in the body.
Sources of Minerals
Calcium: This is usually found in teeth and bones, is one of the most abundant minerals in the human body.
It is obtained from consuming green leafy vegetables, seeds, nuts, dates, oranges, and tofu.
Calcium helps in clotting of blood and controls the passage of fluids through the cell walls.
It also helps with heart action and muscle contraction.
Phosphorus: This can be found in bones, teeth, protoplasm, and nucleus of cells.
Some good sources of phosphorus are coconut, green leafy vegetables, apple, avocado, dates, carrots, rice, oats, fish, and legumes.
Phosphorus helps in maintaining healthy bones and teeth, along with calcium and supports metabolization of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.
It also helps in building nerve and brain cells.
Potassium: This can be obtained from sources like cereals, fruits, and vegetables, fish, pulses, nuts and seeds.
Potassium helps in the removal of toxins and the delivery of nutrients.
It also regulates the heartbeat, tissue elasticity, healing process, liver functioning and regulates nerve and muscle action.
Sodium This can be gotten from sources like seeds, strawberry, melon, fish, and natural extracted salts.
Sodium helps in maintaining water balance in the body.
It also aids the production of digestive juices.
Magnesium: This mineral can be gotten from nuts, cereals, spinach, and fish.
Magnesium helps in maintaining normal nerve and muscle function and supports the immune system.
Iron: This mineral can be gotten from dark green vegetables, legumes, dried fruits, whole grain cereals, spinach, and liver.
Iron is the major constituent of hemoglobin in red blood cells.
It helps in the transportation of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the body and supports the building of bones and muscle tissue.
Manganese: This can be obtained from beans, walnut, whole cereals, green vegetables, cabbage, and sweet potato.
Manganese helps with chemical reactions, carbohydrate metabolism, the formation of strong tissues and bone, and regulates blood sugar levels.
Copper: This is also found in sources like nuts and seeds, raisins, and shellfish.
Copper assists in the absorption and metabolism of iron.
Iodine: is present in nuts and seeds, raisins, green leafy vegetables, turnip, banana, watermelon, sea salt, fish, whole cereals and grains.
Iodine helps in synthesizing thyroxine, which regulates various metabolic functions, and the oxidation of fats and proteins.
Zinc: This can be obtained from nuts and seeds, shellfish, and cereal products.
Zinc helps in regulating blood sugar, the healing process, transfer of carbon dioxide from tissues to lungs.
Cobalt: Common sources of cobalt are fish, shellfish, nuts, legumes, spinach, turnip, and figs.
Cobalt helps in treating illnesses like anemia and helps in the absorption and processing of vitamin B12.
It also aids the formation of hemoglobin in red blood cells.
Molybdenum: This mineral nutrient is present in legumes, whole grains, and nuts.
Molybdenum promotes normal cell function, waste removal, and supports the production of red blood cells.
Selenium: This can be obtained from seeds, fish, and green vegetables.
Selenium supports the immune system and acts as a powerful antioxidant to fight free-radicals.