Minerals in diet

Role of minerals in human body

Minerals are also needed in small quantities but more compared with vitamins.

   Boron: It promotes healthy bones, teeth and metabolism of other minerals. It is found in Turkey. Studies show it is beneficial in treatment of arthritis. Boron is widely distributed in fruits, vegetables, nuts and legumes. Dried fruits such as raisins, prunes and nuts are the richest source of this mineral

   Calcium: It plays an important role in blood clotting, intracellular signalling, muscle contraction. Calcium helps form and maintain healthy teeth and bones. It is also needed for a normal heartbeat. Good sources of calcium are milk and milk products, shellfish, almonds, Brazil nuts, and dried beans.

   Chromium: Chromium plays in important role in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.Chromium stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, which are important for brain function and other body processes. It is an activator of several enzymes, which are needed to drive numerous chemical reactions necessary to life. Chromium is also important in insulin metabolism.The best source of chromium is brewer's yeast. Other good sources are liver, eggs, chickens, oysters, green peppers, apples, bananas and spinach.

   Cobalt: It is contained in vitamin B12.

   Copper: It plays a role (along with iron) in formation of hemoglobin; absorption and use of iron; skin, hair pigmentation. It also helps in keeping the blood vessels, nerves, immune system, and bones healthy. It is found in oysters and other shellfish, whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, and organ meats (kidneys, liver). Dark leafy greens, dried fruits such as prunes, cocoa, black pepper, and yeast are also good sources of copper in the diet.

   Fluoride: It prevents tooth decay and helps maintain crystalline structure of bones and teeth.Low doses of fluoride salts are used to treat faster-than-normal bone loss. Food cooked in fluoride containing water is a good source. Tea and gelatin also contain fluoride.

   Iodine: It is contained in hormones thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3) and thus, is required for normal functioning of thyroid. Iodized salt, kelp, Cod, sea bass, haddock, and perch are good sources of iodine.

Iron: It is contained in cytochromes , myoglobin(muscles), hemoglobin). Iron also makes up part of many proteins in the body. Good sources are dried beans, dried fruits, egg yolk, liver, oyster, read meat, salmon, tuna and whole grains.

   Magnesium: Mostly present in the bones. Magnesium aids in production and transport of energy. it is also required for muscle movements. Magnesium assists in functioning of certain enzymes in body and is also involved in synthesis of many proteins. Good sources are dark green, leafy vegetables. Soy products, legumes, seeds, nuts, banana, avocado and whole grains are also rich in Magnesium.

   Phosphorus: It is contained in bones, teeth. Phosphorus plays a role in energy metabolism, assists in contraction of muscles, functioning of kidneys and to maintain a regular heart beat and nerve conduction.Whole grain, meat and milk are rich sources of phosphorus.

   Potassium: It is a mineral involved in electrical and cellular body functions. In human body, potassium is primarily present as an electrolyte. It regulates the acid-base balance, assists in protein synthesis, carbohydrate metabolism and for muscle and body growth. Meat, fish and soy are good sources of potassium. In vegetables, broccoli, peas, potato skin are a rich source. Dried apricots, milk, yogurt and nuts are contain a lot of potassium.

   Selenium: It helps make antioxidant enzymes which prevent cell damage. Due to its antioxidant properties helps protect the body from poisonous effects of heavy metals. Selenium has been shown to improve production of sperm and sperm movement.Fish, shellfish, red meat, grains, eggs, chicken, liver, and garlic are all good sources of selenium. Meats produced from animals that ate grains or plants found in selenium-rich soil have higher levels of selenium. Brewer's yeast, wheat germ, and enriched breads are also good sources of selenium

   Sodium: Body uses sodium to regulate blood pressure and blood volume. It is also critical for proper functioning of muscles and nerves. Table salt, Milk, beets, and celery are rich in sodium. Fast foods are generally high in sodium, that is why people with high blood pressure are advised to reduce fast food consumption.

   Sulphur: It plays an important role in energy metabolism, enzyme function, and detoxification. Sulphur is used in product of keratin which promotes healthy skin and hair. It is necessary for proper bone structure , formation of cartilage, and tendons. Sulphur also plays an active role in production insulin. Eggs, beans and peas, garlic, onions, pulses such as lentils, and red and white meat are rich in sulphur. It has shown improvement when given to people with Arthritis.

   Zinc: It is essential for proper functioning of immune system. Zinc also plays an important role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing and senses of smell and taste. Meat, fish, peanuts and legumes are rich in Zinc.