The human body requires a host of minerals in order to perform various metabolic functions. The minerals that must be consumed through the diet are commonly called essential minerals as the body cannot manufacture them. This includes calcium, sodium, phosphorus, magnesium and zinc mineral among several others.
The Two Types of Minerals
The essential minerals required by the body are divided into two kinds- macrominerals and microminerals. Macrominerals are required in higher quantities by the body while the quantity of microminerals or trace minerals needed daily is lower. However, the use of zinc and other microminerals is just as important as the former.
Here is a list of the minerals needed by the body, their functions and best sources.
Macrominerals: Uses and Sources
To get the daily required intake of macrominerals and microminerals, choosing multivitamins with zinc like Healthkart Vitals Zinc Complex is recommended. You must also include the natural sources mentioned below for a healthy and balanced diet:
- Sodium: It is required for optimum fluid balance, muscle contraction and nerve transmission. The best sources include table salt, soy sauce and recommended multivitamins fortified with micro minerals like zinc mineral.
- Chloride: This mineral is necessary to produce stomach acid and balance fluids in the body. It can be found in soy sauce, some meats and vegetables, milk and table salt.
- Potassium: Potassium ensures proper muscle contraction and nerve transmission. It is found in fresh fruits like bananas, vegetables, milk, meat, whole grains, and legumes.
- Calcium: One of the most important minerals for healthy bones and teeth, calcium also regulates blood pressure, builds immune health, and improves nerve function. It is found in dairy products, broccoli, dark leafy greens, fortified foods, salmon, sardines, and legumes along with multivitamins with zinc.
- Phosphorus: It helps maintain bone and teeth health and ensures proper acid-base balance in the cells. It is found mostly in eggs, poultry, dairy products, and meat.
- Magnesium: This mineral improves protein production, nerve function, muscle contractions and has a positive effect on immune health. Foods like legumes, green, leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, chocolate and artichokes are rich sources of this mineral.
- Sulfur: It is important in the formation of protein molecules in the body. The richest food sources for sulfur are fish, poultry, meats, nuts and legumes.
Microminerals or Trace Minerals: Uses and Sources
Although these minerals are required in smaller amounts, it is important to note that iron is required by the body in larger quantities in comparison to other trace minerals like zinc minerals. Here is a list of these trace minerals, their uses and sources.
- Iron: This is an important component of the haemoglobin molecule which is responsible for oxygen transportation in the human body. It is also necessary for the generation of energy in the body. The best food sources of iron include organ meats, shellfish, egg yolks, poultry, dried fruits, legumes, and dark green leafy vegetables.
- Zinc: The use of zinc in the body includes protein and enzyme production. It is also useful in taste perception, better fetal development, wound healing, sperm production, and repair and recovery of the cells in the immune system. Food sources rich in zinc include vegetables, whole grains, fish, meat, and poultry.
- Iodine: It is an important component of the thyroid hormone which regulates growth, metabolism, and development. Seafood, iodized salt, dairy products, and bread are the best sources of iodine.
- Selenium: This is one of the best natural antioxidants. It keeps the body free from any toxin damage. You can find selenium in meat, grains, seafood, and multivitamins with zinc.
- Copper: Copper is required for the proper metabolism of iron. It is also an important component of many enzymes. The best food sources of copper include nuts and seeds, legumes, organ meats, drinking water, and whole grains.
- Manganese: This mineral is a vital part of many enzymes. It can be found in most plant-based foods.
- Fluoride: The formation of healthy teeth and bones requires adequate fluoride consumption. This mineral helps prevent tooth decay. It is found in abundance in most types of teas, fish, and drinking water.
- Chromium: Chromium is required for insulin to function optimally in the body. Therefore, it helps maintain healthy blood sugar levels. It is most commonly found in unrefined foods, whole grains, cheese, brewer’s yeast, and nuts.
- Molybdenum: This mineral is important for enzyme production. It can be included in the diet with breads and grains, legumes, leafy greens, milk, green vegetables and liver.
The body also requires other trace minerals in very small quantities. This includes silicon, nickel, cobalt and vanadium. To make sure that you do not have any gaps in your nutrition when it comes to minerals, it is best to include a multivitamin like HealthKart Multivitamin with Multimineral, Amino Acids, Taurine & Ginseng Extract in your diet. They contain the right amount of each mineral required by the body on a daily basis.