There are a lot of minerals your body needs on a daily basis to keep it healthy and strong, now and as you age. Minerals are found in a wide variety of foods so the good news is that it’s easy to get enough by eating a well balanced diet. Eating healthy foods is also a great way to ensure that you’re getting adequate amounts of vitamins and other nutrients that you need for good overall health. Check out this list of minerals your body needs and you’ll look and feel healthier in no time.
Calcium is one of the most important minerals your body needs. It promotes strong and healthy bones and teeth and is absolutely vital for preventing osteoporosis and other bone disorders when you get older. Dairy foods, such as milk, yogurt and cheese are the best sources of calcium, but you can also get it from leafy green vegetables. Talk to your doctor about a supplement if you still worry that you aren’t getting enough.
Iron plays a role in oxygenating your blood and preventing anemia. It’s especially important for women to get enough iron since they lose blood each month during menstruation. Adequate iron is also imperative during pregnancy. Iron can be found in a variety of dried fruits, red meat, fish, pork, beans and fortified cereals. Iron is available in most daily multivitamins, so a deficiency can be easily remedied.
You can get all the potassium you need by eating lots of fruits and vegetables. Bananas and potatoes are especially good choices. You need potassium to help regulate a healthy blood pressure. Too little can result in heartbeat irregularities and muscle cramps.
Folate, also known as folic acid, is another of those minerals that women have to take special care to get enough of. It’s responsible for many bodily functions, but it plays a huge role in the prevention of neural tube birth defects, so women of childbearing age should be taking a supplement each day since a pregnancy isn’t always recognized right away. Eat lots of spinach, fortified cereal, rice, vegetables, crab and eggs to make sure you’re getting enough every day.
Magnesium is important for bone and muscle function. Not only can a deficiency interfere with both, but it can also cause headaches. While a deficiency isn’t all that common, it pays to evaluate your intake so you can be sure you’re getting an adequate amount each day. Magnesium is abundant in apricots, soy beans, nuts, whole grains, leafy green vegetables and bananas. In other words, eat healthy foods to get the magnesium you need every day.
It’s responsible for immunity, enzyme production, DNA production, wound healing, cell division, growth and development, so zinc isn’t a mineral you want to be low in. Fortunately, a deficiency is not that common, but it’s still a good idea to monitor your intake for good health. You can get all the zinc you need by eating plenty of oysters, crab, beef, nuts, beans, lobster, fortified cereal, yogurt and cheese. Easy, right?
Most people don’t worry about selenium when they consider mineral intake. It’s not a concern for most people, but it still pays to understand this mineral and make sure you’re getting enough of the foods that contain it. Selenium protects your cells from damage, which can keep you from developing several health conditions. The best sources of selenium are Brazil nuts, tuna, halibut, ham, shrimp and pasta. Eggs, rice, cottage cheese and bread are other food sources.
Do you take a daily multivitamin? It’s a really easy way to be sure you’re getting enough of the minerals needed for good health.