A balanced human diet must contain all the essential nutrients that a human body needs. A human body performs different complex functions and needs essential elements to fulfill the need. Minerals are among such essential nutrients that support body processes. These minerals can be obtained from the daily diet and food you consume. These foods can be plant or animal-based and contain everything important that you need. Although, there are only a few foods that contain all the essential minerals.
There are two types of minerals, i.e. Macro minerals, and micro minerals. Both types of minerals support a wide variety of bodily functions ranging from maintaining bones and teeth to retaining the proper functioning of muscles, brain, and heart. The following guide is all about minerals and their role in the human body.
Macro minerals are major minerals and are needed in greater amounts. These minerals constitute a major section of human body parts and thus contribute vitally to better human health. Here are some essential macro minerals along with their functions and sources.
Sodium plays a significant role in various bodily processes that are essential for a healthy life. It helps in retaining proper fluid balance across the body. Besides, it helps in the transmission of nerve signals and also supports healthy muscle contraction and relaxation.
The major sources of sodium are salt, soy sauce, processed foods, bread, vegetables, and unprocessed meats.
Another major mineral is often found to perform similar functions as that of sodium. Chloride also helps in maintaining proper fluid balance throughout the body. Besides, it is beneficial in regulating the normal levels of stomach acid.The major source of chloride is table salt as it is a combination of sodium and chloride. Other sources of chloride are soy sauce, processed foods, bread, vegetables, etc.
Sodium and Potassium have similar structures and thus their role in the human body is also similar to a great extent. Potassium is essential to help regulate fluid balance apart from being beneficial in nerve transmission throughout the body. It also helps in healthy muscle relaxation and contractions.The major sources of potassium are protein-rich foods like milk, meat, fruits, and vegetables. Besides, high phosphorus content can be found in whole grains and legumes.
Calcium plays a major role in keeping your bones and teeth healthy. The maximum composition of human bones is calcium. Besides, it helps muscles to contract and relax and also helps in the nerve functioning of the body. The other benefits include blood clotting, regulating blood pressure, and strengthening the immune system.The major sources of calcium are milk and milk products. Besides, fish like salmon and sardines are rich in calcium. Fortified tofu and soy, greens, and legumes are also good sources of calcium.
A great supporter of calcium and thus important for healthy bones, teeth, and nails. It is an essential constituent of body cells and performs different functions in each cell. Besides, it is essential in maintaining acid-base balance throughout the body.The rich sources of phosphorus are meat, fish, poultry, eggs, and processed foods.
Magnesium like calcium and potassium, is one of the contents of the bones. It helps in making protein and its synthesis. Besides, it has a major role in muscle contraction and relaxation. Also, it is beneficial in nerve signal transmission and strengthening the immune system.The major sources of magnesium are nuts and legumes. Besides, it is also found in leafy greens veggies, seafood, chocolate, artichokes, and “hard” drinking water.
Sulfur is an essential component of protein molecules and thus plays a vital role in human body functions. The deficiency of sulfur might lead to some major health issues which can’t be foreseen.The sulfur occurs in foods that are rich in protein, as a part of the protein. The main sources of sulfur are meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, nuts, legumes, and milk.
Yet another category of minerals that the human body needs, but the amount of these minerals is quite less when compared to macrominerals. And thus, these minerals are also popular as trace minerals. Besides, these minerals are as essential as macrominerals irrespective of their required amounts.
Iron although, belongs to the category of trace elements but is needed in more amounts than other trace elements. It is found in hemoglobin, which is an essential part of red blood cells. Hemoglobin is responsible for carrying oxygen throughout the body. Besides, iron is needed for energy metabolism.The main sources of iron are meat, seafood, poultry, leafy greens, egg yolks, iron-rich bread, and cereals, dry fruits, etc.
Zinc is an essential component of many enzymes that are needed for making protein and genetic material. It has a major role in function taste perception, wound healing, and healthy fetal development. Besides, it has a major role in sperm production, sexual maturation, and normal growth. Also, it helps strengthen the immune system.The major sources of zinc are meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, and vegetables.
It is a major component of thyroid hormone that helps regulate the growth and development of the body. Besides, it plays a significant role in metabolic activities.The major source of iodine is iodized salt. Besides, it can be gained from seafood, foods grown in iodine-rich soil, bread, and dairy products.
Selenium is an active antioxidant that has various roles to play in the human body. It helps reduce the oxidative cell damage of different cells and thus helps in keeping your body healthy.The main sources of selenium are meat, seafood, and grains.
Copper is a part of numerous metabolic processes that are essential for your body. Besides, it helps synthesize iron and metabolizes it to avoid any inconveniences in natural bodily functions.The major sources of copper are legumes, nuts, and seeds. Besides, it is also found in whole grains, organ meats, and drinking water.
Yet another mineral that is an intricate part of numerous enzymes. It helps in synthesizing the enzymes and thus benefits your body.The major source of manganese is plant-based foods. And thus, it is found in a wide range of foods.
An essential component required in the formation of bones and teeth. Besides, it helps in keeping them healthy and preventing their decaying.It is found in drinking water which is either fluoridated or naturally containing fluoride. Besides, it is also found in fish and teas.
It has a major role in regulating natural insulin to regulate the blood sugar levels in the body.
It is obtained from unrefined foods, liver, and brewer’s yeast. Also, it is found in whole grains, nuts, and cheese.
It is a part of some enzymes and thus essential for the human body.The traces of molybdenum are found in legumes, bread, and grains. Besides, it is also found in green and leafy green vegetables. Also, it is found in milk and liver.
All these wide ranges of minerals play a crucial role in regulating the health of the human body. Besides, other trace elements are not mentioned in the above list. These minerals are nickel, silicon, vanadium, and cobalt. These minerals also have similar functions to other trace minerals. Most of the minerals are obtained from different types of foods you consume. The amount of consumption of these minerals can’t be overseen as all these minerals play a crucial role in regulating the human body.
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