Minerals are an essential part of our diet. Did you know that minerals cannot be made by the body? That’s right, they have to be ingested. Today’s walk through Mother Earth’s Medicine Cabinet will take us down the long road of minerals we need, and what foods we can get them from.
Trace minerals, also known as trace elements or micro-minerals, are minerals we only require in very low doses, whereas our body requires more of the major minerals. Minerals basically serve three functions for our body.
- They provide structure in forming our bones, teeth, skin, hair, and even nerves.
- Minerals help to maintain a normal heart rhythm, muscle contractility, and neural conductivity, and they supply an acid-based balance.
- Minor and major minerals help regulate cellular activity, as well as turning food into energy.
Since our body does not create minerals on its own, the best way to get them is by eating them. You can also take mineral supplements – but if you can get them naturally through food, wouldn’t you rather? So what can you eat to obtain the minerals necessary for a healthy body?
Minerals & The Food That Contains Them
- Calcium: Calcium is necessary for healthy teeth and healthy bones. It also helps nerves send messages to the muscles, as well as helping the blood clot. Eat things like: dairy, leafy greens, broccoli, okra, cabbage, soybeans, tofu, soya drinks, breads, nuts, and anything containing fortified flours.
- Iodine: Our body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones that help to control our metabolism. Foods to eat are: fish from the sea, shellfish, cereals, and grains.
- Iron: Iron is important for healthy blood functions. It is an important part of our hemoglobin, which is the substance found in our red blood cells that carries oxygen from our lungs to our whole body. Eat foods like: liver, meat, beans, nuts, dried fruits, dark leafy greens, and whole grains.
- Beta-Carotene: This mineral is responsible for healthy eyes, a strong immune system, and healthy skin. For beta-carotene, eat foods such as: yellow and green leafy vegetables, carrots, red peppers, and yellow fruit.
- Boron: This mineral plays an important role in how our body takes in other minerals. It also has a positive effect on women dealing with post-menopausal issues. You can find boron in: fruits, nuts, and green veggies.
- Chromium: Chromium helps control our blood sugar and seems to curb carb cravings. If you’re looking for chromium filled food you’ll find it in meat, oats, lentils, spices, and whole grains.
- Cobalt: Cobalt is another mineral that is good for our hemoglobin, as well as protecting our nerve cells. You’ll find cobalt in: cereals, leafy greens, fish, and nuts.
- Copper: Copper is important for our blood; it helps make red blood cells. Copper also helps keep our nerve cells and immune system healthy. Copper can be found in: offal, nuts, and shellfish.
- Magnesium: This well-known mineral is responsible for making DNA, bones, and muscle, as well as regulating blood sugar, nerve function and muscles. It can be found in: spinach, nuts, fish, bread, rice, poultry, and oats.
- Manganese: This mineral helps our body form blood clotting factors, sex hormones, and connective tissues. It is found in tea, nuts, breads, green veggies, and cereals.
- Phosphorus: Phosphorus is vital for strong bones and teeth. You’ll find it in foods like: dairy, red meat, poultry, rice, fish, bread, and oats.
- Potassium: Potassium is considered to be an electrolyte and helps regulate the fluids in our body. This mineral can be found in: bananas, vegetables, fruits, pulses, nuts, seeds, fish, milk, shellfish, beef, poultry, and breads.
- Selenium: Selenium is important for many functions including reproduction, DNA production, thyroid health, and protecting the body from damage caused by nasty free-radicals. It is found in: Brazil nuts, breads, meats, eggs, and fish.
- Sodium Chloride: Sodium chloride, also known as salt, is an important mineral. It is responsible for muscles contracting, regulating fluids, and sending nerve impulses throughout our body. It can be found in: ready meals, cereals, meat products, cheese, canned vegetables, and breads.
- Zinc: This mineral helps fight off bacteria and viruses. It also makes protein and DNA. It is found in meat, milk, shellfish, bread, dairy food, and cereal products.
Minerals play just as an important of a role to our diet as vitamins do. Since we don’t make them on our own, I find it best to find them in the foods I love to consume. This list is a short version of all of the available goodness that Mother Earth provides us with. Mother Earth’s Medicine Cabinet is full of things that aid us in healing and overcoming illness but most importantly she is full of foods that help prevent us from becoming sick. As always, I hope this day finds you well. Happy Healing!
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