Minerals

Minerals

Minerals

Minerals (and vitamins) are the raw materials your body uses to perform the thousands of daily physiological tasks necessary for good health. Minerals are micronutrients, meaning you need only tiny amounts of them for good health.

It’s useful to distinguish between major minerals and trace minerals. Minerals that you require in exceptionally small quantities are referred to as trace minerals. Trace minerals include: chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc. Trace minerals are every bit as important as the other minerals.

One of the most important functions of the major minerals is to maintain the correct balance of water in your body. Other major minerals are important for healthy bones, nails, skin and hair.

Trace minerals do vital jobs too. For example, one ferries oxygen around the body, another helps your blood to clot and another boosts your immune system.

Eating a healthy diet, rich in whole grains, fruit, vegetables and fibre as well as dried fruit, nuts and seeds, is still the best way to get the right amount of minerals you need for good health and wellbeing.

Mineral/Function

Sources

Calcium

Calcium is not only the most common mineral in your body, it’s also one of the most important. About 99% of the calcium in your body is in your bones and teeth and the remaining 1% is in your blood and soft tissue. 

Calcium’s many roles include:

  • Building strong bones and teeth.

  • Activating the series of events that stops bleeding through clot formation.

  • Sending and receiving nerve signals.

  • Contracting and relaxing muscles.
  • Releasing hormones (like insulin) and other chemicals.
  • Keeping a normal heartbeat.
  • Regulating blood pressure.

Growing children and teenagers need more calcium than young adults, and older women need plenty of calcium to help prevent osteoporosis.

Vitamin D is required for optimal calcium absorption.

 

Cereals

Granola, Porridge, Muesli, Oat Bars

Nuts

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Coconut, Hazelnuts, Macadamias, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Tiger Nuts, Walnuts

Dried Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Blueberries, Cherries, Cranberries, Dates, Figs, Goji Berries, Mulberries, Peaches, Prunes, Raisins, Sultanas

Seeds

Chia Seeds, Linseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds

Superfoods

Barley Grass Powder,Cacao Nibs, Chia Seeds, Goji Berries, Maca Powder, Wheat Grass Powder

Copper

Copper is found throughout your body.

Physiological functions that are copper-dependent include:

  • Production of energy in cells.
  • The formation of strong and flexible connective tissue (including maintaining the integrity of connective tissue in the heart and blood vessels).
  • The formation of bone.

Though you don’t need much copper, this mineral is important because it:

  • Helps with iron metabolism so that iron can be transported to the site of red blood cell formation.
  • Acts as an antioxidant, getting rid of free radicals that can damage cells and DNA.
  • Helps to make red blood cells.
  • Keeps nerve cells and your immune system healthy.

 

Cereals

Muesli, Porridge, Granola, Oat Bars

Nuts

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Hazelnuts, Macadamias, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Walnuts

Dried Fruits

Apples, Apricots,Blueberries, Cherries, Dates, Figs, Peaches, Pears, Prunes, Raisins,

Seeds

Chia seeds, Linseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds

Superfoods

Cacao Nibs, Chia Seeds, Maca Powder, Wheat Grass Powder

Iron

Iron is a key mineral in virtually all living organisms. It is required for human life.

Iron is found in red blood cells and carries oxygen from your lungs to every cell in your body. Iron is also involved in producing ATP (adenosine triphosphate), your body’s energy source.

Pregnant women, young women during their reproductive years, and children tend to be at the highest risk of iron deficiency. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) the number one nutritional disorder in the world is iron deficiency. Up to 80% of the world’s population may be iron deficient, and 30% may have iron deficiency anaemia.

Iron is also required for other vital functions, including growth, reproduction, tissue healing, and immune function.

 

Cereals

Muesli, Porridge, Granola, Oat Bars

Nuts

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Coconut, Hazelnuts, Macadamias, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Tiger Nuts, Walnuts

Dried Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Blueberries, Dates, Figs, Goji Berries, Mulberries, Peaches, Prunes, Raisins,

Seeds

Chia Seeds, Linseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds

Superfoods

Barley Grass Powder, Cacao Nibs, Chia Seeds, Goji Berries, Hemp Protein Powder, Maca Powder, Wheat Grass Powder

Magnesium

Your muscles, and all of your organs — especially your heart and kidneys — need magnesium.

Key tasks undertaken by magnesium in your body include:

  • Activating enzymes.
  • Contributing to energy production.
  • Enabling the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats.
  • Enabling the synthesis of your genetic material.
  • Helping to regulate calcium levels, as well as copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other important nutrients.
  • Helping with muscle contraction and normal heart rhythm.
  • Possibly helping with wound healing.


Magnesium also contributes to the makeup of teeth and bones.

 

Cereals

Muesli, Porridge, Granola, Oat Bars

Nuts

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Coconut, Hazelnuts, Macadamias, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Tiger Nuts, Walnuts

Dried Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Blueberries, Cherries, Cranberries, Dates, Figs, Peaches, Raisins, Sultanas

Seeds

Chia Seeds, Linseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds

Superfoods

Barley Grass Powder, Cacao Nibs, Chia Seeds, Wheat Grass Powder

Manganese

A trace mineral, manganese is present in tiny amounts in your body. It name is derived from the Greek word for ‘magic’. While manganese is nutritionally essential it is also potentially toxic. This is a concern with manganese supplements only, and there is currently no evidence that eating a manganese-rich plant-based diet results in manganese toxicity.

Manganese is a component of an antioxidant enzyme that can help neutralize free radicals and reduce or prevent some of the damage they cause in your cells.

Other important functions of manganese are to:

  • Help your body form sex hormones, blood clotting factors and connective tissue including cartilage and bone.
  • Activate a number of enzymes that play important roles in the metabolism of amino acids, carbohydrates and cholesterol.
  • Help with fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.

Manganese is also necessary for normal brain and nerve function and is required for good wound healing.

Cereals

Muesli, Porridge, Granola, Oat Bars

Nuts

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Coconut, Hazelnuts, Macadamias, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Walnuts

Dried Fruits

Apricots, Cherries, Cranberries, Dates, Figs, Peaches, Pears, Pineapple, Prunes, Raisins,

Seeds

Chia Seeds, Linseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds

Superfoods

Cacao Nibs, Chia Seeds, Wheat Grass Powder

Phosphorus

After calcium, phosphorous is the most plentiful mineral in your body. Working closely together, phosphorous and calcium build strong bones and teeth. Phosphorous plays many other important roles including:

  • Helping to filter out waste from your kidneys.
  • Ensuring the optimum storage and usage of energy by every cell in your body.
  • Helping to reduce muscle pain after a vigorous workout.
  • Ensuring the growth, maintenance, and repair of all tissues and cells.
  • Helping with the production of your genetic building blocks, DNA and RNA.
  • Helping with the use of other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D, iodine, magnesium, and zinc.

Phosphorous also plays a part in the delivery of oxygen to your tissues.

Cereals

Muesli, Porridge, Granola, Oat Bars

Nuts

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Coconut, Hazelnuts, Macadamias, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Tiger Nuts, Walnuts

Dried Fruit

Apples,Apricots, Blueberries, Cherries, Cranberries, Dates, Figs, Mulberries, Peaches, Prunes, Raisins, Sultanas

Seeds

Chia Seeds, Linseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds

Superfoods

Barley Grass Powder, Chia Seeds, Wheat Grass Powder

Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that is critical for the proper functioning of all cells, tissues and organs in your body. But potassium isn’t just a mineral, it’s an electrolyte too. This means that potassium is capable of conducting electricity, which enables it to play a critical role in nerve impulse transmission, muscle contraction and heart function.

Several large studies suggest that modestly increasing the amount of fruit and vegetables (very good sources of dietary potassium) you eat, especially if you have high blood pressure and/or have a relatively low potassium intake, could significantly reduce the risk of stroke. Similarly, studies have shown that eating fruit and vegetables that are high in potassium may improve bone mineral density and lower the risk of osteoporosis.

 

Cereals

Muesli, Porridge, Granola, Oat Bars

Nuts

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Coconut, Hazelnuts, Macadamias, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Walnuts

Dried Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Blueberries, Cherries, Cranberries, Dates, Figs, Mangoes, Mulberries, Peaches, Prunes, Raisins, Sultanas

Seeds

Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds

Superfoods

Barley Grass Powder, Cacao Nibs, Chia Seeds, Maca Powder, Wheat Grass Powder

Selenium

A number of enzymes in your body require selenium in order to function. These enzymes are known as selenium-dependent enzymes and many of them act as antioxidants and so reduce or prevent the potential damage done to your cells by free radicals. Selenium is thought to work especially well as an antioxidant when it is combined with vitamin E.

By helping enzymes to regulate thyroid hormones, selenium is an essential element for normal development, growth and metabolism. It is also thought to be involved in the immune response and boosts your body’s ability to fight infection.

Selenium is thought to play a role in the complex process of cell division that leads to the development of sperm.

There is some evidence to suggest that low levels of selenium may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases.

Cereals

Muesli, Porridge, Granola, Oat Bars

Nuts

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews. Coconut, Hazelnuts, Macadamias, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Walnuts

Dried Fruits

Apples, Apricots, Blueberries, Dates, Goji Berries, Pears

Seeds

Chia Seeds, Linseeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds

Superfoods

Chia seeds, Goji Berries, Wheat Grass Powder

Zinc

Zinc plays an important role in the immune response to infection, in the growth and development of cells (which has implications for a number of chronic diseases like cancer), in reproduction and in neurological function.

Zinc influences hormone release and nerve impulse transmission. Zinc, like so many other minerals (and vitamins) has antioxidant properties, which means that it helps to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals.

 

Cereals

Muesli, Porridge, Granola, Oat Bars

Nuts

Almonds, Brazil Nuts, Cashews, Coconut, Hazelnuts, Macadamias, Peanuts, Pecans, Pine Nuts, Pistachios, Walnuts

Dried Fruits

Apricots,Blueberries,Dates, Peaches, Prunes, Figs

Seeds

Chia Seeds, Pumpkin Seeds, Sesame Seeds, Sunflower Seeds

Superfoods

Cacao Nibs, Chia Seeds, Maca Powder, Wheat Grass Powder