The body requires many minerals known as essential minerals. These minerals are sometimes divided into two major groups knows as macrominerals and microminerals. Both of these groups are important. There is another group of minerals known as trace minerals. They are needed in small amounts. A balanced diet usually provides all of the essential minerals the body requires. The major minerals are sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and sulfur. Sodium is needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmissions and muscle contraction.
Sodium is found in soy sauce, table salt, large amounts of processed foods, milk, breads, vegetables, and unprocessed meats. Chloride is needed for proper fluid balance and stomach acid. It can be found in the same places as sodium. Potassium is needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle contractions. It can be found it meats, milk, fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Calcium is important for healthy bones, teeth, helps muscles to relax and contract.
It is important is the nerve functioning; blood clotting, blood pressure regulation and immune system health. Calcium can be found in milk, milk products, and canned fish with bones, fortified tofu, fortified soy milk, greens and legumes. Phosphorus is important for healthy bones, teeth, part of the system that maintains acid base balance and found in every cell. It comes from meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, and processed foods. Magnesium is good for bones, needed to make protein, muscle contractions, nerve transmission, and immune system health.
Magnesium comes from nuts, seeds, legumes, leafy green vegetables, seafood, chocolate, artichokes and hard drinking water. Sulfur is found in protein molecules. It comes from meats, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, legumes and nuts. Trace minerals are only needed in small amounts. Trace minerals are iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, cooper, manganese, fluoride, chromium and molybdenum. Iron is part of a molecule found in red blood cells that carries oxygen in the body and is needed for energy metabolism.
It comes from organ meats, red meats, fish, poultry, shellfish, egg yolks, legumes, dried fruits, leafy greens; iron enriches breads and cereals; and fortified cereals. Zinc is part of many enzymes, needed for making protein and genetic material, has a function in taste perception, wound healing, normal fetal development, production of sperm, normal growth and sexual maturation; and immune system health. It comes from meats, fish, poultry, leaved whole grains and vegetables. Iodine is found in the thyroid hormones, helps regulate growth, development and metabolism.
It comes from seafood, food grown in iodine rich soil, iodized salt, bread and dairy products. Selenium functions with antioxidants. It comes from meats, seafood, and grains. Cooper is part of many enzymes and is needed for iron metabolism. It comes from legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, organ meats and drinking water. Manganese is also part of many enzymes and comes from a widespread of foods. Fluoride is involved in formation of teeth and bones; helps prevent tooth decay. It can be found in drinking water, fish and most teas.
Chromiun works closely with insulin to regulate blood sugar levels. It comes from unrefined foods, yeast, whole grains, nuts and cheeses. Molybdenum is also part of some enzymes. It can be found in legumes, breads, grains, leafy green vegetables, milk and liver. Water in the body is used to moisten tissues such as the mouth, eyes and nose. It is used to regulate body temperature, lubricate joints, helps prevent constipation, and carries nutrients and oxygen to cells. Water helps dissolve minerals and other nutrients to make them accessible to the body.
Water is also used to protect the body’s organs and tissues. Without proper amounts of water in the body our body will go through what is called dehydration. Dehydration at its worse can be fatal. Most people suffer from dehydration at some point and often times ignore it. Some of the effects on the body are fatigue, muscle weakness, poor concentration, headaches, dizziness or lightheadedness, and decreased metabolism. At least eight 8 oz glasses of water should be consumed daily to maintain a healthy level of hydration.