Our body does not produce all the nutrients that it needs in order to function properly. So we have to get them from our food. There are two types of nutrients, macronutrients and micro nutrients. Macronutrients contain carbohydrates, proteins and fats, while micronutrients contain vitamins and minerals. Although both minerals and vitamins are micronutrients, they are completely different from each other. Vitamins are organic and are broken down by heat, air, or acid, while minerals are in-organic and maintain their chemical structure.
The minerals that we require in large quantities are called macro minerals. They are also called Major nutrients. Macro- minerals include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium and phosphorus.
The minerals that our body requires only in small amount are called micro minerals or trace elements. Iron, manganese, copper, iodine, fluoride, cobalt and selenium are considered micro minerals.
What is The Role of Minerals?
We need minerals for performing various body functions. Minerals are essential for keeping bones, teeth, skin, hair, muscles healthy and strong, and for normal functioning of blood and nerves. The food we consume converts into energy through metabolic processes. Minerals are very important for the development of the body and its proper functioning.
If our body lacks essential minerals then it will neither be able to keep the skin, muscles, tissues and red blood cells healthy nor body will be capable enough to send oxygen to different parts of the body. The exchange of messages between the brain and various organs is also possible due to the balance of minerals in the body. Our body does not manufacture minerals. Therefore it has to be replenished through food. In this article I will tell you about 12 most wanted minerals which is extremely significant for our body.
12 Most Wanted Minerals
Calcium is considered to be the most important element for mental health. Calcium is the only element that sends information from the brain to all parts of the body. Excess calcium deficiency in the body can damage the brain. Calcium is also needed to shrink and dilate the blood vessels. Adequate quantity of calcium is necessary for strengthening teeth and bones in the body. Having sufficient amount of calcium in the body relaxes muscle contraction and also strengthens the immune system. For calcium, milk and milk products and fish should be consumed. According to research, it is necessary to have 1,000 mg daily for women and 1,200 mg daily for men through their food.
If magnesium is such an essential mineral, it breaks down B-class vitamins and makes the brain useable. That is, no vitamin can be effective without magnesium. Therefore, magnesium is very important to keep the mind healthy. Magnesium contributes to energy production, stimulates enzymes and maintains the equilibrium in the level of calcium levels. Found in whole grains, walnuts, cashews, almonds and leafy vegetables. Research has shown that both women and men should take 10-12 ml of magnesium daily.
Sodium is much more needed for nerve transmission, fluid balance and muscle contraction in the body. Soy sauce, table salt and certain types of vegetables are required to get sodium into the body. Sodium plays an important role in maintaining blood pressure and its volume. It is necessary for the functioning of muscles and nerves. Salt is considered to be its most important source. It is also found in small amounts in milk and turnips. Daily intake for women should be 1300 mg per day and men should consume 1500 mg of sodium every day to keep themselves healthy.
Potassium is an electrolyte and is immediately absorbed into the bloodstream. Potassium also plays an important role in keeping the heart healthy and in the functioning of the digestive system. Potassium is necessary for the nerves or muscles to function properly. Banana, tomato, potato, sweet potato, green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, citrus fruits like oranges, low fat milk and curd and beans are good source of potassium. Quantity of potassium rich food to be consumed daily is 2,000 ml.
The proper amount of phosphorus gives strength to bones and teeth and maintains strength in the body. For this, adequate intake of poultry products, meat and milk is necessary. The intake of phosphorus helps to reduce muscle weakness, improve bone health, enhance brain functioning, reduce sexual weaknesses, aid in dentistry, and maintain body metabolism.
Iron is an important element for the formation of hemoglobin, metabolism, muscle activity, anemia, brain function, immune system, insomnia, restless leg syndrome and to regulate body temperature. Iron is a very important element for the formation of red blood cells in the body which conducts blood and oxygen in various organ systems of the body. Iron-rich foods include eggs, legumes, green leafy vegetables and dry fruits. Daily intake of iron for women is 12 mg and for men it is 8 mg. Dry fruits, seafood, green leafy vegetables, etc., are rich in iron.
It is very necessary to have sufficient amount of magnesium in the body. This helps to keep the enzyme active. Manganese plays an important role in the management of metabolism, osteoporosis and brain functioning in the body. It provides relief from fatigue, fertility, sprains, swelling and epilepsy. If there is not enough magnesium in the body, joint pain occurs, bones also become weak. Due to lack of magnesium in the body, body gets easily tired. It also maintain the blood sugar level and reduce the blood flow during menstrual cycle.
Copper intake improves brain functioning, reduces arthritis pain, helps care for the skin, eliminates throat infections, reduces red blood cell loss, cardiovascular diseases Inhibits and enhances immunity. It helps in absorbing iron in the body and maintaining the functioning of iron in the blood system.
Consuming iodine prevents goitre, fibrocystic breast disease, skin problems and cancer, along with this iodine helps in saving pregnancy, hair care and improving the body's metabolism. Iodine is very important to produce thyroxine (T4), due to its deficiency the metabolic rate decreases and cholesterol level increases in the body. Seafood, salt, milk products, etc. contain iodine.
Selenium is a rare mineral but its function is important. This powerful mineral is an antioxidant mineral. Selenium helps in reducing free radicals as well as bone growth along with calcium, copper and zinc. It is also helpful in preventing the effects of excessive sun exposure, smoking and pollution. It also delays the formation of fine lines and wrinkles. The best sources of selenium are brown rice, walnuts, nuts, poultry, sea food, tomatoes, broccoli and cucumbers.
A pregnant woman's body most required mineral is zinc. Zinc helps in driving the sexual desire, semen production and overall development of the body. Vegetables, grains, poultry products etc., are sources of zinc. Zinc is very useful for skin and can keep us safe from disease such as eczema, acne and sores. It plays a vital role in treating prostate disorders, cold, weight loss, pregnancy, fertility, and hair care, loss of appetite, eye care and night blindness. Lack of zinc makes a person prone to diseases like Alzheimer's. Zinc is found in significant amount in pumpkin seeds and beef.
Chromium is important for absorbing glucose in the body, so it is an especially essential mineral for people suffering from diabetes. It increases the process of absorbing glucose in the cells which stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis. So, both of these are necessary in small quantities for operating all the functions in the body.
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