Human body is made of various minerals. Each minerals have different roles to play in overall function of your body and therefore it is utmost important to know the minerals that makes up your body. Once you know them & their role, you will be able to take good care of your body.
Minerals make upto 5% of human body. There are 2 types of minerals – macro nutrient mineral and trace minerals. Minerals are essential to act as co-factors of enzymes, which mean enzymes would not exist or function without minerals. Enzymes participates in bio-chemicals reaction, through which we live, grow. Repair & renew our body. If there is no minerals, enzymes, biochemical reaction, we will not exist. Among all the minerals the following 10 are most crucial.
It is most abundant & important mineral in human body. The bones contain 98% of calcium in our body. Calcium is responsible for development and maintenance of bones and teeth throughout life especially in childhood. Ionised calcium helps in muscle contraction regulating the heartbeat, nerve transmission & cell division. Deficiency in calcium causes osteoporosis, menstrual problem, and irregular heartbeat. Calcium absorption is sensitive & complex, which causes 30-80 % excretion. It is available in milk, mutton, rohu fish, soya bean, methi, and almond. Calcium absorption is best with magnesium.
Iron is an essential mineral which is necessary for red blood cell (RBC) formation and functions. The amount needed is higher in women of child bearing age. The primary function of iron is the formation of hemoglobin, which carries the oxygen molecules throughout the body. RBC picks up oxygen from the lungs and distributes it to the rest of the tissues.
Poor absorption is a major reason of iron deficiency. Iron absorption is a slow process, usually taking between two & four hour. Iron absorbed into the blood is usually bound to proteins. It goes to the bone marrow, where it is used to make RBC. Source of iron are meat/liver, millet, parsley, Dal, molasses, seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower).
Average iron absorption is about 8 to 10% of intake. All vegetable contain the non-heme form of iron which is poorly absorbed and utilized. ‘Heme ‘ iron a special formulation of iron found only in flesh blood with beef & liver being the best source. Between 10 to 30% of heme iron is absorbed. Combining heme food with non-heme food improve the absorption of iron from non-heme foods.
It is an essential component of a key anti-oxidant enzymes. Its daily requirement is small. It is necessary for normal growth & development and to assist iodine in thyroid function. As an anti-oxidant, selenium in the form of selenocysteine prevent or slows the biochemical aging process or tissue degeneration and hardening that is loss of youthful elasticity.
Vitamine E enhance protection of the tissues and cell membrane. The anti-oxidant effect may also benefit the cardiovascular system to protect against cancer. Selenium is available in brewer’s yeast, whole grain, liver, butter, seafood, lamb/chicken, egg yolk, nuts, molasses, vegetable like broccoli, cucumber, mushroom, onion etc.
Zinc is an essential mineral part of more that 100 enzymes involved with digestion, metabolism, reproduction and wound healing. Zinc is essential for the synthesis of protein, DNA & RNA. It is required for growth in all stages of life. Animal foods, oyster, red meat, egg yolk, milk products etc contain zinc.
It is very significant body mineral. It is one of the main blood mineral called electrolytes. Along with Sodium it regulates water balance and the acid base balance in the blood & tissues. It participates in the synthesis of protein from Amino acids in the cell. Potassium also functions in carbohydrate metabolism which converts glucose to glycogen that can be stored in the liver for future energy. Potassium is also important for normal growth and for building muscle. It is crucial to cardiovascular & nerve function. Its daily supply therefore should be adequate. Source of potassium is leafy vegetables, fruits, whole grain, wheat germ, seeds, nuts etc.
It helps to regulate the fluid balance of the body both within & outside the cells.
Like sugar, sodium occurs naturally in foods. The foods with the highest amount of naturally occurring Sodium are – Natural cheese, sea fish, shellfish, all processed food.
In is a very important/essential macro mineral even though it is in less quantity in our body. It is an anti-stress mineral and it is a natural tranquilizer. It functions to relax skeletal muscles as well as smoother muscles of blood vessels & the GI tract. Magnesium activates enzymes that are important for protein & carbohydrate metabolism. It is needed in DNA production & function. About 65% of Magnesium is found in bones & teeth & balance in blood, fluid & other tissues. Magnesium found in significant amount in heart & it contributes to the cardiovascular function.
Almost all of our Magnesium supplies come from the vegetable group, though seafood has fairly high amount.
It is important for the strength of our bones and teeth. It helps in transmitting the genetic code from one cell to another when cell divide & reproduce. Phosphorus also helps in maintaining pH balance of blood, metabolizing carbohydrates, synthesizing protein & carrying fatty acids among tissues & organs.
It is an ultra-trace mineral since it is needed in such a small quantities to perform essential functions. It is necessary for the maintenance of normal blood sugar level. Chromium works with insulin in assisting cells to take in glucose & release energy.
Whole grains, meat, chicken, wheat germ, bran, potato skin etc contain chromium.
Copper is an essential trace mineral. It is involved in iron metabolism, nervous system function, bone health, synthesis of protein, production of RBC, defense against free radicals, pigmentation of skin, hair & eye. Oyster, nuts, meat, seeds, whole grain, dried fruits, dark leafy vegetable etc contain chromium.
As we could see each of the minerals have a unique role to play in our body. We there should ensure that our body gets adequate amount of these minerals through diet. If needed we should supplement too. You can read details about need of supplement in post http://healthywealthywise.in/avoiding-food-supplement-is-a-mistake-you-can-correct-it-now/.