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Minerals : Essential Minerals In The Diet

Essential minerals in the diet

Minerals : Minerals are needed for all the processes in the body to run smoothly. Metals are essential in the formation of bones and teeth, in the essential fluids of the body, in the tissues, as well as in the proper functioning of many tissues and nerves, to keep the blood vessels stable. Their needs and proportions vary with age. The body needs more ores ; E.g., Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium. Crystals that are needed by the body in small quantities but are equally important are called trace metals; E.g., iron, zinc, iodine, fluoride, selenium, copper. Metalsfrom food are well absorbed by the body. Since the function of each mineral is different, its proportion in the body is different. Its proportions vary according to the age, sex and physiological condition of the person. It also depends on the health condition of the person. Metalsdo not produce energy.

Dietary Minerals : Minerals are needed for all the processes in the body to run smoothly. Minerals are essential in the formation of bones and teeth,
Dietary Minerals : Essential Minerals In The Diet


Biological availability and exploitation of minerals: The biological availability of metalsdepends on various factors. It depends on the chemical composition of the mineral, other substances in the diet, and how many metals each person already has in their body. The body stores the amount of metals it needs. As the content of one mineral increases, the absorption of the other decreases. For example, the higher the iron, the lower the absorption of zinc. Metals do not decompose even after processing or storage.


The following table  information about the minerals required by the body, their functions, sources and the disorders caused by their deficiency or excess.


Name of the mineral. Deficiency / excess in the working source

Calcium (Ca)

Functions : 

Needed for bones, teeth, cell signals, muscles, nerves as well as heart and digestive system functions.

Sources : 

Milk, cheese, broccoli, soybeans, edible fish (sardines, salmon), green leafy vegetables, peanuts, seeds, eggs, shelled fruits (almonds, walnuts, etc.)

Deficiency / Excess: 

Osteoporosis due to deficiency, blood does not clot properly when calcium ion is low.

** It is advisable to take extra calcium during pregnancy. Children, the elderly and women need more.


Phosphorus (P)

Function:

 Attached to calcium in bones. Essential for ATP, bone, DNA, RNA, phospholipids.

Sources: 

Bread, rice, oats, dairy products, red meat, eggs, etc. 

Deficiency / Excess: 

Decreased levels of phosphate in the blood cause symptoms such as weakness, loss of appetite, difficulty in breathing, etc.


Magnesium (Mg)

Functions: 

Interaction with minerals like Calcium, Potassium, Sodium, required for activation of cells, for ATP processing.

Sources: 

In plant and animal cells as well as in chlorophyll. Contains green leafy vegetables, meat, fish and dairy products, cereals, nuts, seeds, avocados, etc.

Deficiency / Excess: 

Deficiency causes symptoms like tremors, loss of appetite, bloating etc.

Excessive symptoms include weakness, dizziness, shortness of breath, and low blood pressure.


Sodium (Na)

Functions: 

Water body control, electrolyte balance. The nerve controls impulses. Essential for regulation between ATP and potassium. 

Source:

Mainly obtained from dietary salt.

Deficiency / Excess: 

Excess sodium is excreted in the urine. Exhales with sweat. Excessive intake increases blood pressure and obesity.


Potassium (K)

Functions: 

Essential for water and electrolyte balance in the body, control of cell and nerve function, regulation of ATP and sodium.

Sources: 

Bananas, oranges, tomatoes, potatoes, yams, seeds, cereals, carrots, dairy products, fish, crustaceans, crabs, shrimps, etc.

Deficiency / Excess: 

Symptoms of deficiency include fatigue, weakness, low blood pressure, constipation, leg cramps, etc. Acute deficiency as well as acute overeating causes heart problems.


Chloride (Cl)

Function:

Regulates extracellular chloride fluid in the blood or tissues. 

Source: 

Available in the form of NaCl, KCl

Deficiency / Excess:

Excess changes the blood pressure.


Sulfur (S)

Functions: 

Needed for protein production, DNA repair, smooth metabolism.

Sources:

Eggs, Cabbage, Soybeans, Ghewda etc.

Deficiency / Excess: 

Usually does not accumulate in the body.


Iron

Function:

Essential for hemoglobin production, for protein and various disorders.

Sources: 

Colored fruits, jaggery, molasses, cereals, shelled fruits (almonds, walnuts, etc.), nuts, spinach, dates, meat, dark chocolate, seafood (fish, fish liver, etc.).

Deficiency / Excess: 

Deficiency reduces the number of red blood cells. Causes anemia.


Copper (Cu)

Functions: 

Component of many disorders, for the formation of red and white blood cells, brain development, immunity,

Sources: 

Seafood (crabs, shrimps, shevands, etc.), shelled fruits, seeds, water kept in copper pots.

Deficiency / Excess:

Usually there is no shortage.

Excess causes toxins in the body.


Zn (Zn)

Function: 

A component in the function of vicars, these vicars are involved in metabolism. Cell growth and division are essential in this process.

Sources:

Red meat, eggs, dairy products, crabs, shrimps, shevands, shelled fruits (almonds, walnuts, etc.), all kinds of grains.

Deficiency / Excess: 

Over-consumption reduces the absorption of copper and iron.


Selenium (Se)

Function: 

Anti-oxidant. Essential for protection, immunity and reproduction from free radicals.

Sources:

Brazil nuts, cereals, eggs, meat, seafood, dairy products grown in soils containing selenium. 

Deficiency / Excess: 

Excess causes hair and nails to become brittle.


Iodine (I)

Function: 

Essential for the production of thyroxine in the adrenal glands. Thyroxine is essential in metabolism.

Source:

In India, iodine is added to food salt. Mineral salt does not contain iodine. Seaweed is a natural resource, eggs, grains.

Deficiency / Excess:

Deficiency causes goiter. Babies become retarded if there is not enough iodine available during pregnancy.

Excess causes hyperthyroidism.


Chromium (Cr)

Function: 

Essential for carbohydrate and fat metabolism, insulin helps control blood sugar.

Sources: 

Meat, Broccoli, Black Grapes, Cereals, Yeast, Dung Deficiency 

Deficiency / Excess: 

Blood sugar is out of control. Chromium supplements are required. Excess can have a toxic effect on a cell or an organ.


Fluoride (F)

Function: 

Protection against tooth decay

Sources: 

Available in tea, fish and drinking water

Deficiency / Excess: 

Excess causes fluorosis disorders, joint and bone disorders.


Manganese (Mn)

Functions: 

For bone formation, metabolism, resistant to free radicals

Sources: 

Tea, coffee, shelled fruits (almonds, walnuts, etc.), cereals, pulses, leafy vegetables, seeds.

Deficiency / Excess: 

Excess causes toxicity in the body.


Boron (B), Nickel (Ni), Molybdenum (Mo), Lithium (Li), Lead (Pb), Antimony (Sb), Aluminum (Al)

Function: 

The body needs microscopic amounts.

Source: 

Adequate availability from diet

Deficiency / excess: 

Deficiency / excess rarely

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