Essential minerals our salt of the earth
The seven Essential minerals are :
- Sodium. (principal electrolyte)
- Potassium. (principal electrolyte)
- Chloride. (principal electrolyte)
Trace elements or micro minerals that are needed in smaller amounts include:
While you may be familiar with the essential minerals iron and zinc, perhaps calcium and potassium, most of us may not know that much about iodine, selenium, sulphur and the other essential minerals that our body needs to function correctly. These minerals help build bones, make hormones, maintain fluid balance and keep our body moving like a well oiled machine. Here is a quick ready to read list of these essential minerals for those readers that might wish to skip the more in depth analysis that follows in our eBook “Nibbling on the Mild side”.
Magnesium assists protein and fat formation
Magnesium is found in bones and muscles and assists with the formation of proteins and fatty acids and serves as a co-factor of more than 300 enzymes. Cashews, salmon and baby spinach are some of the ingredients from our lists that will satisfy your magnesium needs.
Iron and oxygen
Your bodies bloodstream needs Iron to assist in transporting oxygen to your bodies organs, muscles and tissues and is essential in the formation of haemoglobin, the core ingredient of the red blood cells this that carries the oxygen to your heart and your brain. Lean red meat, parsley, leafy greens, figs, fish, beans and eggs are great sources of iron.
Copper assists Iron
Copper although only needed small amounts is essential for the oxidation of iron in order for it to efficiently transport the oxygen thru your bloodstream. Cashews, sunflower seeds and most nuts and legumes such as lentils and peas can help you meet your copper needs.
Potassium and fluid balance
Potassium is essential for the flow of nutrients that feed your braincells and it helps to maintain the correct fluid balance throughout your body and is important for muscular and brain co-ordination growth. Bananas, citrus fruits and potatoes supply potassium.
Muscles require sufficient sodium, but?
Sodium is required for muscle contraction and nuero-muscular activity and is essential for the bodies correct fluid balance. However too much salt in a diet will increase blood pressure, hardening of the arteries and increase the risk of heart disease. Salt should never be added to cooking as the sodium requirement of a hard working man out sweating in the sun is vastly different to that of a mum doing office or house management and kids doing schooling. Put the salt and pepper on the dinner table and use salt as it was intended. Sparingly.
Chloride and sodium
Chloride assists sodium to balance bodily fluids and maintain a regular pH balance in the body. Iodised sea salt or even vegie salt can usually supply the bodies Iodine needs.
Sulphur supports healthy skin and hair
Sulphur is an essential mineral that is every protein in your body, but is found in greater concentrations in the keratin of fingernails and skin and is the essential ingredient of lustrous healthy hair. Seafoods, chicken, greens and broccoli are good sources of sulphur.
Iodine metabolises hormones
Iodine is essential for the formation of thyroid hormones which in turn controls the bodies metabolism. Saltwater fish, chilean saltpetre and Iodized salt are the best source of iodine.
Cobalt builds blood cells
Cobalt which is a trace mineral actually forms part of vitamin B-12 and they work together to help form red blood cells. Animal meats are the main sources of Cobalt and so strict vegetarians who avoid meat products may need to supplement their diets to meet their needs for cobalt.
Selenium protects cells and supports DNA
Selenium although only required in small amounts is essential for life and necessary in the reproduction and the synthesising of DNA. It is a powerful antioxidant found in high concentrations in cherry tomatoes and tomato juices and purees which has been proven to help cardiovascular health and the colon and urinary tract. It is claimed that it may protect against some cancers, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements; but this claim is unproven. The best source by far is the Brazil nut followed by tuna, oily fish and parmesan and cottage cheese.
Manganese enables carbohydrates
Manganese enhances enzyme reactions, tissue formation, cellular growth, reproduction and the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. Whole grains, nuts, brown rice, wholemeal pastas, red beans and green and black teas are your best sources of manganese.
Zinc the essential healer
Oysters provide the highest concentrations of the essential Zinc and it is needed in adequate amounts to fight infection and support a healthy immune system. Zinc assists in the healing of wounds and cuts and after surgery healing. Best sources are oysters then beef, chicken, some seafood, nuts, beans and legumes.