Minerals - The Precious Elements of Your Body
Total Wellness Guide
Minerals For Your Children: Minor Yet Important
Nuts & Seeds - Nature's Perfect Whole Foods
Minerals are the inorganic substance that occurs naturally in rocks and in the ground and has its own characteristic appearance and chemical composition. The three main functions of minerals are as constituents of the skeleton, as soluble salts which help control the composition of the body fluids, and as essential adjuncts to the action of many enzymes and other proteins. There are many different types of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc, and chromium picolinate.
Calcium is a major mineral essential for healthy and strong bones and teeth. It is also ensures the proper functioning of muscles and nerves and even helps your blood clot. It is of very much importance for the growing children.
The sources of calcium are milk, cheese, eggs, dairy products, fruits, green vegetables, almonds, seaweeds (such as kelp, wakame and hijiki), nuts, beans and pulses, breads and fish.
The deficiency of calcium can affect bone and teeth formation,
while its excess can lead to kidney stones.
Magnesium is an important mineral that helps the body to maintain muscles, nerves, and bones. It is also used in heart rhythm, energy metabolism and protein synthesis.
The major sources of magnesium are spinach, nuts, seeds, whole grains, water, fruits and vegetables.
The deficiency of magnesium can cause sensitiveness to noise,
nervousness, irritability, mental depression, confusion, twitching,
trembling, apprehension, insomnia, muscle weakness
and cramps in the toes, feet, legs, or fingers.
Potassium is a mineral that serves as an electrolyte and is involved in the balance of fluid within the body. It is important in controlling the activity of the heart, muscles, nervous system and just about every cell in the body. It regulates the water balance and acid-base balance in the blood and tissues. Our bodies contain more than twice as much potassium as sodium (typically nine ounces versus four ounces).
The major sources of potassium are bananas and orange juice. Some other sources include breads, cereals and other grain products.
The deficiency of potassium can cause your muscles
not to work properly and you will feel weak.
The excess of potassium can cause an irregular heartbeat.
Selenium is an essential mineral that functions largely in the form of proteins, called seleno-proteins, which act as enzymes and help prevent damage to cells in the body by oxidants in the environment or those produced by normal metabolism.
The sources of selenium are seafood, some meats (such as kidney and liver), and some grains and seeds.
The deficiency of selenium causes “Keshan” disease,
a fatal form of cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease).
While its excess can cause reversible balding and brittle nails,
give a garlic odour to the breath, and cause intestinal distress,
weakness and slowed mental functioning.
Zinc is an essential mineral essential which is involved in the manufacture of protein and in cell division. It is also a constituent of insulin and is concerned with the sense of smell.
The sources of zinc are eggs, cereal grains, meat, liver, seafood and nuts.
The deficiency of zinc can cause short stature, anaemia,
increased pigmentation of skin, enlarged liver and
spleen (hepatosplenomegaly), impaired gonadal function,
impaired wound healing, and immune deficiency.
The excess of zinc can cause gastrointestinal
irritation (upset stomach) and cause copper deficiency.
Chromium picolinate is an essential mineral which plays a vital role in processing carbohydrates and fats. It also works with insulin (a hormone, produced in the pancreas) in assisting cells to take in glucose and release energy; that makes blood sugar available to the cells as our basic fuel.
The sources of chromium are meats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, fats and vegetable oils.
The deficiency of chromium can cause anxiety, fatigue,
glucose intolerance (particularly in people with diabetes),
inadequate metabolism of amino acids,
and an increased risk of arteriosclerosis.
Further towards the Intro to Minerals>>
The Precious Elements of Your Body
When you think of precious minerals, you probably think of silver and gold. But where your health is concerned, others - like calcium and iron - are far more precious. Each of these dietary minerals is unique and carries out its own life-giving task.
Scientists have divided these nutrients into two groups - major and trace minerals - depending on how much of the mineral is in your body.
7 minerals you can't do without
The major minerals stand out from others simply because there are more of them in your body. If you could remove all your body's minerals and place them on a scale, they would weigh about 5 pounds. Almost 4 pounds of that would be calcium and phosphorus, the two most common major minerals. The five other major minerals would make up most of the remaining pound.
By far the most abundant mineral in your body, calcium makes your bones and teeth strong and hard. Without it, they would be as floppy as your ears. Imagine trying to get around then.
Calcium doesn't just stay trapped in your skeleton, though. Small amounts of it travel into your blood. There, it's essential for steadying your blood pressure and helping your muscles contract. One rather important muscle - your heart - needs calcium to keep pumping.
Calcium is critical during childhood if you want to have strong bones as an adult. But no matter how old you are, it's never too late to get more of this important mineral.
The second-most plentiful mineral in your body works hand-in-hand with calcium to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Phosphorus is a crucial ingredient in DNA and cell membranes and helps make healthy new cells all over your body. To top it off, phosphorus helps turn your food into energy.
Your stomach would be useless without this element. Chloride is a main ingredient in your digestive stomach acids. It also helps to assure that all of your body's cells get their fair share of nutrients - no small job at all.
This is the least common major mineral in your body, but that doesn't hold magnesium back. First, it helps keep your bones and teeth healthy, then it makes sure calcium, potassium, vitamin D, and proteins do their jobs. When you flex your muscles, you need magnesium to help them relax again.
Recently, experts even found a connection between magnesium and heart health.
A deficiency of the mineral could increase your risk of
heart attack and high blood pressure.
Keeping your blood pressure steady, maintaining your heartbeat, balancing water in your cells, and assuring your muscles and nerves work properly are a few of potassium's many important jobs.
this mineral might be essential for heart health.
This mineral usually gets a bad rap because it's the main element in salt. But your body needs sodium to maintain its balance of fluids. Nowadays, most people try to limit their salt, or sodium, intake for health reasons. Those who are "salt-sensitive" are especially at risk for heart disease.
But it would benefit everyone to lower their daily sodium
intake to 2,400 milligrams or less.
This mineral is a number one supporting actor. It doesn't do much on its own, but it's part of other star nutrients like thiamine and protein. Sulphur is especially important in proteins because it gives them shape and durability. Your body's toughest proteins - in your hair, nails, and skin - have the highest amounts of sulphur.
Trace Minerals –
Small But Powerful Protectors
By definition, each trace mineral makes up only a tiny percentage of your total body weight - less than one-twentieth of a percent, to be exact. But their small amounts only make them more valuable. They carry out enormous tasks that are as important as the jobs of any of the more common nutrients.
Your thyroid gland uses this nutrient to make its hormones. These compounds control your body temperature, regulating the metabolism of every major organ.
A lack of iodine can wreak havoc with your body
and cause a condition called goiter.
Without a teaspoon of this mineral in your body, you couldn't breathe. Iron makes up haemoglobin and myoglobin, two compounds that carry oxygen throughout your blood and your muscles.
No wonder you feel weak and listless when you are iron deficient.
Now famous for preventing cancer, selenium also carries out important daily tasks in your body. It helps your thyroid use iodine, for instance, and it's important for a healthy immune system.
A deficiency in selenium can cause heart and thyroid disease.
This mineral has many jobs. Cleaning up free radicals, building new cells, and producing energy from other nutrients are just three.
A zinc deficiency can be dangerous,
leading to digestion problems and
deficiencies in other nutrients.
The mighty five. Chromium, copper, fluoride, manganese, and molybdenum are five trace minerals you'll find in common foods and drinks. They are responsible for everything from strong teeth (fluoride) to your blood-sugar level (chromium). They are so important that nutritionists have set daily requirements for each of them to make sure you get enough.
Experts are also investigating a handful of other minerals to see how essential they are to your body. Boron is one that seems promising as an important ingredient in bone and joint health.
Back with Minerals For Your Children shortly >>
Minor Yet Important
As one of the essential nutrients, minerals have an influence on your children's growth and development as well as their health.
Even though the body needs only a little amount of minerals, compared to carbohydrates for example, they have an important role in our body. Without minerals, carbohydrates, proteins, and the other nutrients can hardly carry out their functions. Let's find out where the minerals come from.
Just as vitamins, the body needs minerals to run the process of children's growth & development. They are also needed to take care of health, including shaping strong bones, producing hormones and maintaining heart pulses.
There are some kinds of minerals required in more than 100 mg per day like calcium. Though, the body only needs a little amount of zinc (less than 100 mg per day), for example.
The body needs the minerals every day. Among so many important minerals for children, let's see some of them and how they give benefits to our children.
- Calcium (Ca)
- good for teeth and bones development
- avoids children from osteoporosis in the future
- controls blood coagulation and muscle contraction
Milk and its processed products, like cheese, butter, yoghurt, and ice cream. Calcium is also available in soy bean and salmon.
- Iron (Fe)
- helps forming haemoglobin (the colour substance in red blood which functions in transferring oxygen from the lung to the whole body)
- important for energy forming and enhancing body immune system
Beef, egg yolk, fruits, bread
- Magnesium (Mg)
- has an important role in the process of energy metabolism
- controls the vital function of the body, like heart pulse, muscle relaxation, and avoids blood coagulation
- forms bones and teeth together with calcium
Nuts, avocado, meat, milk, chocolate
- Potassium/Kalium (K)
- produces energy
- controls heart pulse
Banana, avocado, vegetables, cereals
- Phosphor (P)
- with calcium, phosphor avoids bones and teeth calcification
- controls energy transfer in metabolism
Beef, fish and poultry, egg, cheese, milk, and nuts
Our body, just the same as our children's, needs a sufficient amount of minerals every day. It requires a different quantity from every mineral.
For instance, your toddler has to consume at least 500 mg calcium per day, while he or she just needs about 75-100 mg of magnesium per day.
You don't need to file and calculate each mineral when you feed your children. How to tell if the children get the sufficient amount of the minerals then?
No need to be confused. The key is in the feeding pattern. Arrange your children's menu so that they get various kinds of food, which are rich in numerous important nutrients, by giving them alternately.
There's no food that contains complete nutrients. However, one kind of food can contain more than one essential substance. For example, cheese is a great source of calcium and phosphor, besides protein and fat. Though, it doesn't contain potassium/kalium.
Therefore, as long as your children obtain a great variety of nutritional food in a balanced quantity, just believe that the minerals needed by their body are accomplished.
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