Minerals

Minerals found in the soil and the earth also exist in you and all living things. We get these minerals from the water we drink and the food we eat. Minerals are stable to light, heat and air, and are stored in sufficient quantities in healthy individuals. They function in cells, tissues, organs, and your body as a whole.

Why Minerals are Important: Your body’s depends on minerals to perform everyday functions as well as to maintain your bones, muscles and red blood cells. They are responsible for everything from blinking an eye to constructing a thought. Deficiencies can lead to acute and chronic health problems.

Minerals come in two forms:

Mineral Type
Macro-Minerals: Macro-minerals are required in larger quantities and are specifically involved in structural functions (bones and cells) as well as metabolic ones.
Trace-Minerals: Trace-minerals are required in smaller quantities and have subtle but vitally important effects on the metabolism.
Mineral Found in Benefit / Function
Boron

DRI:

Women and Men: <20 mg

  • Beans
  • Dates
  • Grapes
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Honey
  • Nuts
  • Pears
  • Prunes
  • Raisins
Function:

  • Enhances body’s ability to use calcium, magnesium and vitamin D
  • Assists brain function and recognition

Prevention:

  • May decrease menstrual pain and arthritis symptoms
Calcium

DRI:

Women and Men: 1000 mg / 1200 mg*

*Women and Men 19 – 50 / Women and Men 51 – 70+

  • Beans
  • Fish
  • Fruits
  • Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Milk products
  • Molasses
  • Nuts
  • Seafood
Function:

  • Needed for formation and maintenance of bones, the development of teeth and healthy gums
  • Necessary for blood clotting, stabilization of many body functions, maintenance of regular heartbeat and transmission of nerve impulses
  • Helps with protein structuring in DNA and RNA
  • Provides energy, breaks down fats, maintains proper cell membrane permeability, aids in neuromuscular activity and keeps skin healthy

Prevention:

  • Helps to lower cholesterol, grow muscle and prevent muscle cramps
  • Stops absorption of lead into bone
Chlorine

(Chloride)

DRI:
Women and Men: 2.3 g / 2.0 g / 1.8 g*

*Women and Men 19 – 50 / Women and Men 51 – 70 / Women and Men 71+

  • Celery
  • Kelp
  • Olives
  • Table salt
  • Tomatoes
Function:

  • Works with potassium and sodium (electrolytes) to control flow of fluid in blood vessels and tissues
  • Regulates acidity in the body
  • Forms part of hydrochloric acid in the stomach
Chromium

DRI:
Women: 25 mcg / 20 mcg*

Men: 35 mcg / 30 mcg**

*Women 19 – 50 / Women 51+
**Men 19 – 50 / Men 51+

  • Beef
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Eggs
  • Molasses
  • Whole grains
Function:

  • Needed for energy and stabilizes blood sugar levels
  • Controls insulin and certain enzymes
  • Regulates blood cholesterol
  • Synthesis of fats, proteins and carbohydrates
Copper

DRI:

Women and Men: 900 mcg

  • Shellfish
  • Liver
  • Molasses
  • Nuts
  • Whole grains
  • Water carried in copper pipes
  • Cooking with copper cooking utensils
Function:

  • Collagen and elastin synthesis
  • Formation of hemoglobin, red blood cells and bones
  • Manufactures pigmentation of your hair

Prevention:

  • May fight wrinkles and graying of hair
Fluoride

DRI:

Women: 3 mg

Men: 4 mg

  • Black tea
  • Gelatin
  • Food grown in areas where fluorine is present in soil and water
  • Seafood
  • Water
  • Most toothpastes
Function:

  • Bone and tooth formation
Iodine

DRI:

Women and Men: 150 mcg

  • Eggs
  • Fish (Sea based)
  • Milk
  • Sea food
  • Sea vegetables (Kelp, asparagus etc.)
Function:

  • Production of hormones (such as thyroxine, thyroxin) by the thyroid gland
  • Regulates conversion of fat to energy, stabilizes body weight and controls cholesterol levels
  • Formation of bones

Prevention:

  • Keeps skin, nails, hair and teeth in healthy condition
  • May help prevent breast and uterine cancer
Iron

DRI:

Women: 18 mg / 8 mg*
Men: 8 mg

*Women 19 – 50 / Women 51+

Heme Types:

  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Poultry

Non-Heme types:

  • Beans
  • Cereals
  • Fruits
  • Grains
  • Vegetables
Function:

  • Production of hemoglobin and myoglobin (the form of hemoglobin found in muscle tissue)
  • Oxygenation of red blood cells
  • Maintains healthy immune system
  • Needed for energy production
Magnesium

DRI:

Women: 310 mg / 320 mg*
Men: 400 mg / 420 mg**

*Women 19 – 30 / Women 31 – 70+
**Men 19 – 30 / Men 31 – 70+

  • Apples
  • Apricots
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Cocoa
  • Dairy products
  • Dark Green Vegetables
  • Fish
  • Legumes
  • Meat
  • Nuts
  • Seafood
  • Whole grain cereals
  • Water (hard water and mineral water)

Note: Processing of milk and cheese may lead to destruction of the vitamin

Function:

  • Formation of bone and teeth
  • Absorption of calcium and potassium
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Cellular metabolism and production of energy
  • Used for muscle tone of heart and controls blood pressure
  • Together with vitamin B 12, may prevent kidney stones
  • Aids process of vitamin D

Prevention:

  • Prevents depression, dizziness, muscle twitching, and pre-menstrual syndrome
  • Prevents cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and certain forms of cancer
  • May reduce cholesterol levels
Manganese
(Ascorbic acid)

DRI:

Women: 1.8 mg

Men: 2.3 mg

  • Avocados
  • Brown Rice
  • Coffee
  • Eggs
  • Leafy Greens
  • Nuts
  • Spices
  • Tea
  • Whole grains
Function:

  • Enables body to utilize vitamin C, B1, biotin and choline
  • Manufacture of fat, sex hormones and breast milk
  • Neutralizes free radicals
  • Normal nerve and brain function
  • Growth of connective tissue

Prevention:

  • Aids in prevention of diabetes
Molybdenum

DRI:

Women and Men: 45 mcg

  • Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
  • Grain
  • Lima Beans
  • Liver
  • Milk
  • Peas
  • Spinach
Function:

  • Normal cell function and nitrogen metabolism
  • Breakdown of sulfite toxin build-ups in the body. Sulfites are found in protein food and chemical preservatives in certain foods and drugs. If you can’t break them down, a toxic build-up may occur, resulting in an allergic reaction

Prevention:

  • Cavity prevention
  • Fighting nitrosamines associated with cancer
  • Anemia prevention
Phosphorus

DRI:

Women and Men: 700 mg

  • Apples
  • Asparagus
  • Bran
  • Brewer’s Yeast
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Corn
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Milk
  • Poultry
Function:

  • Formation of bone and teeth formation
  • Metabolic actions in the body, including kidney functioning, cell growth and contraction of the heart
  • Conversion of food to energy

Prevention:

  • Aids body in vitamin use (especially some B group vitamins)
Selenium

DRI:

Women and Men: 55 mcg

  • Brazil nuts
  • Brown rice
  • Chicken breast
  • Eggs
  • Shellfish
  • Tuna
  • Turkey
  • Whole grains
Function:

  • Rids body of harmful free radicals that contribute to skin cancer and aging process
  • Tissue elasticity
  • Promotes more energy in the body
  • Tissue elasticity and pancreatic function

Prevention:

  • Protects against skin cancer
  • Has anti-aging properties and can rid body of free radicals, and toxic minerals such as mercury, lead and cadmium
  • Fighting infections, cold sores and shingles
Potassium

DRI:

Women and Men: 4.7 g

  • Fish
  • Fruit
  • Molasses
  • Unprocessed meats
  • Vegetables
  • Whole grains
Function:

  • Growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity
  • In conjunction with sodium works together for nervous system function and regulating the contraction of muscles
Sodium

DRI:

1.5 g / 1.3 g / 1.2 g*

*Women 19 – 50 / Women 51 – 70 / Women 71+

  • Anchovies
  • Bacon
  • Table Salt
Function:

  • Required to manufacture hydrochloric acid in stomach, which protects body from infections present in food
Zinc

DRI:

8 mg

  • Brewer’s yeast
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Grains
  • Muscle Meat
  • Nuts
  • Poultry
  • Seafood
  • Seeds
  • Protein rich foods
Function:

  • Collagen synthesis for healthy skin and protection against wrinkles
  • Necessary for healthy immune system
  • Cell division
  • Protein synthesis
  • Growth and maintenance of muscles
  • Children, for normal growth and sexual development
  • Controls oil glands
Source: National Academy of Sciences. Institute of Medicine. Food and Nutrition Board and National Institute of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements.

Note: Information contained on this website is for general information purposes only and must not be used to treat or diagnose medical conditions, and all health problems must be referred to a health care professional.

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