Vitamins and minerals are as essential for living as air and water. Not only do they keep your body healthy and functional, but they also protect you from a variety of diseases.
Vitamins and minerals get thrown together, but they are quite different. Vitamins are organic substances produced by plants or animals. They often are called “essential” because they are not synthesized in the body except for vitamin D and therefore must come from food.
Minerals are inorganic elements that originate from rocks, soil, or water. However, you can absorb them indirectly from the environment or an animal that has eaten a particular plant.
Why are Minerals important for the body?
Minerals are considered important to us because they help maintain bone, muscle, heart, and brain health. Apart from this, minerals also play an important role in the process of making enzymes and hormones in our bodies. Not only this, research published on the website of NCBI National Center for Biotechnology Information also believes that minerals work to control blood coagulation in the body. In addition, it is also considered necessary for the operation of oxygen. Looking at these facts, it would not be wrong to say that minerals play an important role in keeping our body healthy from proper development.
Minerals in the Food
|Mineral||Food Sources||Body Function|
|Boron (B)||Prunes, dates, raisins and honey, nuts, fresh fruit, green leafy vegetable||enhances brain function, promotes alertness, and plays a role in how the body utilizes energy from fats and sugars.|
|Calcium (Ca)||Milk, dairy products, green leafy vegetables, tofu, sardines and salmon with bones.||Forms and maintains bones and teeth; needed to help muscles contract and nerves to function, aids blood clotting.|
|Chromium (Cr)||Whole grain cereals and bran, brewer’s yeast, calf lever.||Along with insulin, helps the body metabolize sugar.|
|Copper (Cu)||Shellfish, nuts, seeds, pulses, liver, and whole grains.||Helps form skin and tissues; essential for heart function; used in the production of energy and formation of red blood cells.|
|Chloride (Cl)||Table salt as well as kelp, olives, tomatoes, celery||essential for the proper distribution of carbon dioxide and the maintenance of osmotic pressure in the tissues.|
|Cobalt (Co)||Chocolate, dried fruits and nuts, offal, B12 rich foods||Cobalt is a central component of the vitamin cobalamin, or vitamin B12.|
|Iodine (I)||Salt, fish, sea weed.||Aids function of thyroid glands.|
|Iron (Fe)||Meat, cereals, poultry, fruits, fish, green leafy vegetables, whole grains.||Helps to take oxygen around the blood stream and to form red blood cells; helps to resist stress and disease.|
|Magnesium (Mg)||Nuts, whole grain, green vegetables, bananas.||Aids metabolism of fruit and communication between cells; helps maintain heart rhythm.|
|Manganese (Mn)||Avocados, nuts and seeds, seaweed, and whole grains||essential for proper coordination between brain and body; helps in treatment of male and female sterility, impotence in men, digestive disorders, convulsions or seizures.|
|Molybdenum (Mo)||Nuts, tinned vegetables, and cereals, leafy vegetables||involved in the metabolism of sulfur amino acids; involved in the oxidation of purines and pyrimidines and the production of uric acid.|
|Potassium (K)||Dried fruits, vegetables, pulses, red meat.||Needed by nervous system and for muscles to contract; helps regulate blood pressure and keeps skin healthy.|
|Phosphorus (P)||Milk, meat, poultry, fish, cereals, pulses, fruits.||Helps keep bone and teeth strong; helps body release energy; aids kidney function.|
|Selenium (Se)||Sea food, kidneys, liver, cereals, grains.||Helps stop cells from being damaged; keeps heart muscles healthy.|
|Silicon (Si)||Unrefined grains of high fiber content and cereal products||important for the proper elasticity of skin and a deficiency may result in premature wrinkles, dull brittle hair or soft splitting nails|
|Zinc (Zn)||Red meat, poultry, oysters, eggs, nuts, milk, yogurt, whole grain cereals.||Needed for sperm production; growth and production of energy; aids immune system, healing and blood clotting.|
|Sodium (Na)||Table salt, vegetables, many prepared foods.||Maintaines, bodies fluid balance; helps control heart rhythm; some bottled water helps nreves transmit messages and muscles contract.|
|Sulfur (S)||Red gram, green gram, and leafy vegetables||Healing build-up of toxic substances in the body; promotes healthy skin, nails & hair.|
Two groups of essential minerals for the body
Minerals are mainly divided into two parts, about which we are going to elaborate in this part of the article.
Macrominerals include such minerals, which our body needs more. It contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chloride. Let us tell you, the body requires more than mg of macro minerals in a day.
Micro minerals are also called trace minerals. These minerals are needed by our body in small amounts. Iron, zinc, iodine, and selenium come under micro minerals. The body needs these minerals in less than milligrams per day. These minerals are mainly present in the tissues of the body. These work to speed up the body’s enzyme system and chemical processes taking place in the body. On the contrary, their quantity in the body can also cause poisoning.
Diseases caused by deficiency of minerals
Due to not including healthy food in the diet, the body does not get the necessary nutrients. As a result, there can be a deficiency of many minerals in the body, due to which the body can be vulnerable to many diseases. Some of these diseases caused due to deficiency of minerals are as follows:
If the body does not have enough calcium, problems like muscle cramps, osteoporosis weakening of bones, heart disease, high blood pressure and cancer can occur.
Lack of potassium in the body can cause muscle weakness, abnormal heartbeat, high blood pressure.
Magnesium deficiency :
Magnesium deficiency can cause problems such as excessive excitement, muscle weakness, feeling sleepy all the time, and seizures.
If iron is not supplied in the proper amount, it can lead to anemia disease lack of red blood cells and erythropoiesis iron deficiency .
Health benefits of 18 Essential Minerals
In this part of the article, we are explaining in detail the benefits of all the minerals necessary for the body. Also here we will give information about the food sources of each mineral.
Calcium works to build bones and teeth and strengthen them. It also helps in connecting and expanding the muscles and blood vessels of the body. Apart from this, it is also helpful in maintaining the functionality of the nervous system. Not only this, the use of calcium is also considered necessary for the process of making hormones and enzymes in the body.
Food sources – Calcium is found in milk, yogurt, cheese, kale, broccoli, spinach, chia seeds, white bread, orange juice, etc.
Phosphorus is one of the important minerals for the body. It is present in every cell of the body. Like calcium, phosphorus can also be helpful in keeping bones and teeth healthy. It is also helpful in increasing the functionality of blood vessels and muscles. Not only this, the proper amount of phosphorus in the body can also be helpful in reducing the risks associated with chronic kidney disease and heart disease.
Food sources- Dairy products milk, curd, cheese, meat, fish, eggs, legumes, kidney beans, oat bran oatmeal, etc. are sources of phosphorus.
Boron is a trace mineral that may help support bone health, and brain function, and strengthen the immune system. Apart from this, it may also be effective in reducing the risk of breast cancer, uterine cancer and ovarian cancer. On this basis, it can be said that boron also plays an important role in the functioning of health.
4. Food sources
Coffee, milk, apples, dried and cooked beans, potatoes, avocados, raisins, grapes, pears and spinach can be consumed to meet the deficiency of boron in the body.
The amount of sodium is mainly found in salty foods. It helps in controlling blood volume and blood pressure in the body. Apart from this, the body also needs sodium to keep the muscles and nerves of the body properly active.
Food sources – sodium can be replenished in the body through common salt table salt, milk, celery, and drinking water.
Potassium is primarily considered essential for maintaining the functionality of the body’s cells, nerves and muscles. It helps to control blood pressure, heartbeat, and the amount of water in the cells. Apart from this, potassium is also considered helpful in digestion.
Food sources – Consuming dried apricots, lentils, raisins, potatoes, kidney beans, soybeans, bananas, milk, curd, spinach, and broccoli can meet the potassium requirement in the body.
Like other minerals, the benefits of magnesium for the body are many. It can help keep the immune system strong by stimulating nerve and muscle function. At the same time, it is considered important for the strength of bones. Apart from this, it can also be helpful in keeping the heartbeat normal.
Food sources – Bananas, avocados, almonds, cashews, peas, beans, soy products, brown rice, etc. are rich in magnesium.
Manganese is beneficial for the body in many ways. It is needed for the body to function properly. People also take it as medicine. It can prove to be helpful in the problem of osteoarthritis and osteoporosis.
Food sources – Manganese can be replenished in the body by consuming nuts, legumes, seeds, tea, whole grains and leafy green vegetables.
Sulfur plays an important role in the body. It plays an important role in maintaining the status of amino acids present in the body. Apart from this, it is also considered helpful in hardening the cells found in hair, nails and skin. At the same time, it is also considered useful in the treatment of dermatitis inflammation of the skin. This is the reason why it is recommended to apply sulfur-containing shampoos to relieve seborrheic dermatitis scaly dandruff on the scalp.
Food sources – Sulfur can be replenished in the body by consuming milk and its products as well as eggs, fish and other seafood.
Chloride is also one of the essential minerals to keep the body healthy. It plays an important role in maintaining the balance of fluids in the body as well as in the formation of digestive juices.
Food sources : Table salt and sea salt contain sodium chloride. Chloride is also present in rye, tomatoes and olives.
Like other minerals, iron is also very important for the body. Actually, iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, which works to carry oxygen from the lungs to the tissues. Apart from this, the risk of anemia may be higher due to lack of iron in the body.
Food sources- Iron-rich foods include tuna fish, whole grains, salmon fish, dark red meat, eggs, dry fruits, etc.
Iodine is also one of the essential minerals for the body. The body needs iodine to make thyroid hormones. At the same time, thyroid hormone controls the metabolic process of the whole body along with many other important functions. Apart from this, thyroid hormone is also considered necessary for the development of bones and brain during pregnancy. In this way iodine may be considered essential for better physical and mental health.
Food sources- Tuna fish, milk, yogurt, cheese, etc. can be consumed for iodine.
Fluoride is also a useful mineral for the body. It is considered beneficial to prevent tooth decay. Along with strengthening the teeth, it can also be considered helpful in preventing cavities that accumulate on the teeth.
Food sources – Fluoride can be obtained from fluoridated water, tea, coffee, soybeans, salmon fish, and mackerel fish.
Zinc is an essential mineral for healthy living. It is found in every cell of the body. Along with strengthening the immune system, it can help heal wounds and increase body tissue. It is also considered helpful in repairing tissue damage. The body also needs zinc for taste and smell.
Food sources – Zinc is present in beans, nuts, whole grains, etc..
Copper is an essential mineral for the body. It helps in bone health, immune function, cholesterol control as well as reducing the risk of heart disease. Therefore, it is advised to take a certain and balanced amount for every person according to the age.
Food sources – Whole grains, beans, nuts, potatoes, green leafy vegetables, black pepper, etc. contain copper.
The body needs it only in small amounts, but it is one of the important minerals. It makes special proteins in the body, which help prevent damage to cells. At the same time, some research also makes it clear that along with preventing cancer, it is also helpful in protecting the body from the effects of heavy metals and other harmful substances. However, it is important to note that cancer is a component and life-threatening disease, the treatment of which depends only on medical advice.
Food sources- Fish, red meat, eggs, chicken, garlic etc. contain selenium.
Like other minerals, the body also needs chromium. The body does not make it. It plays an important role in distributing carbohydrates and fats throughout the body. Apart from this, it stimulates the process of absorption of fatty acids and cholesterol in the body. At the same time, along with making the brain healthy, it is also considered important for other body processes.
Food sources – Eggs, chicken, wheat germ, broccoli, etc. can be included in the diet for chromium.
Molybdenum is also very important and essential for the body. It helps to break down harmful sulfites by activating enzymes in the body. Along with this, it can prevent toxins from building up in the body. There can be many side effects if the amount of molybdenum in the body is too high or low. Although this is rarely seen.
Food sources: Legumes are the biggest source of molybdenum. Apart from this, whole grains and nuts can also be consumed to replenish molybdenum.
Important mineral elements for the body also include cobalt. Cobalt is a key element of vitamin B, which can prevent anemia and protect against many other health conditions. Let us tell you, due to the lack of vitamin-B in the body, many neurological problems such as: – Weakness, fatigue, memory loss, irritability, confusion and depression can occur.
Food Source: Cobalt is found in Vitamin B. For this, tuna fish, cheese, yogurt, egg, oats etc. can be consumed.
How much minerals do humans need?
minerals are very important to keep the body healthy. However, their excessive amount in the body can invite many problems. So here we are telling about the daily requirement of minerals through some points:
Generally men, women and the elderly should take at least 1000 to 1200 mg of calcium daily. At the same time, young children need 200 mg per day and children 700 mg per day. At the same time, taking calcium in excess for a long time may increase the risk of kidney stones in some people.
Adults need about 700 mg of phosphorus per day. The recommended intake of phosphorus per day is 100 mg in young children and 1250 mg per day in children 9 to 18 years old. Phosphorus is one of the essential elements for improving kidney function, but its excess can cause kidney related problems in the body.
There is no fixed amount of daily intake of boron. However, the maximum dose for adults is 17 mg daily. At the same time, the maximum amount of boron is stated to be 11 mg for children 9 to 13 years old and 3 mg for younger children.
120 mg for children up to 6 months of age, 1000 to 1500 mg for children 1 to 18 years and up to 2,300 mg for adults is safe. Its excess in the body can cause high blood pressure, heart failure, liver cirrhosis and kidney disease.
The daily dosage of potassium for infants is 400 mg. At the same time, 2500 mg for boys of 9 to 13 years and 2300 mg for girls. Talking about adults, it is necessary to take 2600 mg of potassium per day for women and 3400 mg for men. At the same time, an excess of potassium is called hyperkalemia. This can cause abnormal and dangerous changes in heart rhythm. Also it can cause kidney disorder.
Infants aged 7 to 12 months need 11 mg, children aged 4 to 8 years need 10 mg, men aged 19 to 50 years need 8 mg and women 18 mg. At the same time, its need is different during pregnancy and breastfeeding. Talking about the excess of iron, it is seen in very few people. It is often caused by excessive intake of iron supplements in children. Its symptoms are fatigue, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, headache, weight loss, difficulty in breathing, etc.
The daily dietary intake of iodine is 110 micrograms in infants less than 6 months, 130 micrograms in infants 7-12 months old, 120 micrograms in 9-13 year olds and 150 micrograms in 14-18 year olds. It is recommended for adults to take 150 micrograms of iodine daily. Iodine needs may be different for pregnant and lactating women. Very rarely there is an excess amount of iodine in the body. An excess of iodine can affect the function of the thyroid gland.
3 mg per day for children aged seven months to three years, 5 mg for children 4-8 years old, 8 mg for children 9-13 years, 11 mg for boys 14 to 18 years and 9 mg for girls is needed. At the same time, men over the age of 19 should have a daily dose of 11 mg and women 8 mg of zinc. If you are taking supplements to overcome zinc deficiency, then definitely consult a doctor. Taking zinc supplements in excess can cause diarrhea, abdominal pain and vomiting.
Adults over the age of 14 generally need 890-900 micrograms of copper. The recommended daily intake of copper is 340 micrograms for children 1-3 years old, 440 micrograms for children 4-8 years old, and 700 micrograms per day for children 9 to 13 years old. Let us tell you, taking excessive amounts of copper can increase the risk of hepatitis, kidney related problems, brain disorders and many other problems.
Adults need 55 micrograms of selenium daily. At the same time, 20-40 micrograms have been prescribed to meet the need of selenium in children. Pregnant and lactating women are asked to take 60 micrograms of selenium. Excess of selenium in the body can cause selenosis. Its symptoms are hair fall, breaking of nails, vomiting, irritability, fatigue etc.
Normally our body needs 20 to 35 micrograms of chromium daily. This quantity may be different for everyone. Its need depends on each person’s age, health and gender.
Talking about the daily amount of molybdenum, 43 micrograms are needed for people 14 to 18 years old and 45 micrograms for people over 19 years old. 17 micrograms of molybdenum is recommended for children 1-3 years old and 34 micrograms for children 9-13 years old.
The daily intake of magnesium in a typical woman is 310-320 mg per day. The recommended daily intake of magnesium is 400–420 mg for males and 30 mg for infants up to 6 months of age. Infants 6 to 12 months old need 75 mg and children 9 to 13 years old need 240 mg.
Generally, 2.3 mg of manganese is recommended for men and 1.8 mg for women. At the same time, 2.0 mg of manganese is required in pregnant women and 2.6 mg in lactating women.
2.3 grams per day for men and women aged 14 to 50 years is needed. At the same time, it is recommended to take 2 grams for men and women of 51 to 70 years. Its daily dosage for pregnant women has been prescribed as 2.3 grams daily. Its excess in the body can cause heart failure, cirrhosis and kidney disease along with increasing blood pressure.
14 -18 year old boys need about 3 mg of fluoride per day. Whereas men need 4 milligrams and women 3 milligrams of fluoride. The recommended intake of fluoride daily is 0.5 mg in young children and 2 mg per day in children 9 to 13 years old.
There is no fixed amount of Sulfur to be taken. However, it is recommended to take sulfur-containing amino acids daily.
Cobalt is one of the essential elements for the body. The amount to be consumed daily is not fixed. An excess of cobalt in the body can affect the thyroid and bone marrow, leading to erythrocytes (red blood cells), lung fibrosis, and asthma.
frequently asked Questions :
What are the three most important minerals?
All minerals are necessary for our body. In the article above, the problems caused by the deficiency of each mineral have been explained in detail. In such a situation, it would not be right to call any mineral very important.
Which Minerals Help Build Muscles?
Calcium, potassium, phosphorus, sodium, magnesium, iron, selenium and zinc can be helpful in building muscle.
How do we eat minerals?
In general, the supply of minerals in the body is accomplished through foods.
What if I consume too much of a mineral?
Taking certain minerals in excess can disturb the homeostatic balance (the balance of water and minerals in the body) in the body, which can lead to many side effects. For example, an excess of sodium can cause high blood pressure. At the same time, taking iron in excess can cause liver damage. Let us tell you, the excess of minerals in the diet is rarely seen. In general, there is a risk of mineral overdose only if the supplement is taken in excess.