There are some marvelous and essential micro minerals that you need every day that you can find in the foods you eat. There are 16 minerals that scientists have identified as being essential for the body to function properly. Macro minerals, such as calcium, magnesium and potassium, are required in relatively large amounts. Micro minerals are required in smaller amounts. The body needs a wide range of minerals in order to function effectively and they help vitamins to do their work and vice versa. For example, Vitamin C helps the body absorb iron, particularly the iron which is found in plant foods. A varied diet therefore, will contribute to the body's ability to maintain a mineral balance. And whilst the debate continues about the efficacy of vitamins and supplements, which a multi-billion dollar industry convinces us we need, here are some essential micro minerals and the wonderful foods you can find them in.
Chromium is important for regulating blood sugar and cholesterol levels. It is therefore one of the essential micro minerals which are an important part of the diabetic's diet. You can get your chromium supply from red meat and liver, seafood, egg yolks, whole grain cereals and cheese.
Copper is needed for bone growth and helps the body to absorb iron from food. It also helps with connective tissue formation and protects the body against free radical damage. Copper helps in the formation of melanin, which is the pigment which colours the skin and the hair. Get your copper quota from shellfish, nuts, seeds, cocoa and mushrooms.
We all know how important iron is for the blood. It's an essential component of haemoglobin and is vital for energy metabolism. Iron deficiency can lead to anaemia, fatigue and can also reduce the body's resistance to infection. Iron rich foods such as lean meat, dark green leafy vegetables and sardines should be a part of your diet.
Manganese is vital for energy production and helps to form connective tissues and healthy bone. It also helps protect the body against free-radical damage. Get your marvelous manganese from pulses and wholegrain bread, nuts and brown rice.
The antioxidant mineral selenium protects our cells against free radical damage. Without selenium, the liver would not be able to function properly. It helps maintain healthy hair and skin as well as helping to maintain normal and healthy eyesight. Brazil nuts are rich in selenium, as are avocados, lentils, citrus fruits, dairy foods, meat and fish.
We need zinc for normal growth and development. It plays an essential role in sexual development and is needed for your immune system to function effectively. The elderly and those who are particularly prone to infections, will certainly need an adequate amount of zinc in their diet. Foods such as sunflower seeds, meat, poultry, eggs, peanuts and oysters, are all rich in zinc.
We all know that a lack of fluoride can lead to tooth decay in children but too much can also be harmful. This can lead to fluorosis, which can affect the bones and give the teeth an unpleasant mottled appearance. Fluoride isn't strictly essential for life but it does play a significant role in working with calcium to strengthen bones.
These are vital minerals which perform a whole range of functions in the body, such as strengthening bones and teeth and helping vitamins do their work. Which is your favourite micro mineral-rich food?