Friday, April 10, 2009

Minerals - A Part of A Healthy Diet Plan

If you thought there were a lot of different vitamins, wait till you see how many minerals are needed for good health. There are seven minerals that might be called macro minerals because we need larger amounts of them. The number of trace minerals is much larger. There are at least 30 that are known to be essential to life. So a healthy diet will require lots of mineral rich foods.

The way our body absorbs minerals and disperses them to do their jobs in the body is quite complicated. The simple story is that minerals are usually absorbed in ionic form. If they are not in that form when eaten then they are ionized in the gut.

Macro Minerals

Calcium is necessary for:
  • Strong bones and teeth
  • Heart and nervous system
  • Muscle growth
  • Keeps blood acid-alkaline balance right
  • Dairy products
  • Bone broth
Other Factors
  • Sufficient Vitamin D is needed for calcium absorption
  • Sugar and stress pull calcium from the bones
  • Phytic acid in the bran of grains bind with calcium and other minerals making the minerals less available. - Solution - soaking, fermenting, sprouting or naturally leavening will get rid of the phytic acid and make the grains more digestible.
  • Distributed widely in the body in balance with sodium and potassium.
  • Regulates correct acid-alkaline balance in the blood
  • Needed in production of hydrochloric acid
  • Essential for proper growth and functioning of the brain
  • Activates production of enzymes needed for carbohydrate digestion
  • Salt
  • Lacto-fermented beverages
  • Bone broths
  • Celery
  • Coconut
Essential for at least 300 functions some of which are:
  • Enzyme activity
  • Calcium and potassium uptake
  • Nerve transmission
  • Bone formation
  • Metabolism of carbohydrates and minerals
  • Helps regulate acid-alkaline balance in the body
  • Dairy products
  • Nuts
  • Vegetables
  • Fish and sea foods
  • Meat
  • Beef, chicken or fish broth gives good usable magnesium
Even though it is found in many foods deficiencies are quite common. Some problems associated with magnesium deficiency include:
  • Coronary heart disease
  • Chronic weight loss
  • Obesity
  • Fatigue
  • Epilepsy
  • Impaired brain function
  • Bone growth
  • Kidney function
  • Cell growth
  • Helps maintain acid-alkaline balance
It must be in balance with magnesium and calcium in the blood for it to be properly utilised.
  • Animal products
  • Whole grains
  • Legumes
  • Nuts
  • Works with sodium
  • Important for many chemical reaction within the cells
  • Helpful in treating high blood pressure
  • Wide variety of nuts, grains and vegetables
Inadequate amount of fruit and vegetables can lead to a potassium deficiency

  • Needed for many biochemical processes
  • Water balance regulation
  • Fluid distribution
  • Muscle contraction and expansion
  • Nerve stimulation
  • Acid-alkaline balance
  • Proper functioning of adrenal glands
  • Proper balance between sodium and potassium essential
  • Meat broths
  • Zucchini
  • Is part of the chemical structure of several amino acids
  • Aids in many biochemical processes
  • Helps protect the body from infection
  • Blocks harmful effects of radiation and pollution
  • Slows the aging process
  • Sulphur containing proteins are the building blocks of cell membranes
  • Cruciferous vegetables (cabbage family)
  • Eggs
  • Milk
  • Animal products
Trace Minerals

Only minute amounts of trace minerals are needed but they are essential for many biochemical processes. Here are a few examples of some trace minerals.

  • Needed for healthy bones
  • Found in fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains
  • Essential for glucose metabolism
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Synthesis of cholesterol, fats and protein
  • Found in animal products, molasses, nuts, eggs, vegetables
  • Works with copper to promote assimilation of iron.
  • Best sources - animal products
  • Needed for Bone formation
  • Hemoglobin and red blood cells
  • Collagen formation
  • Promotes healthy nerves
  • Healthy immune system
  • Memory and brain function
  • Found in nuts, molasses, oats and liver
Some other trace minerals are:
  • Germanium
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Selenium
  • Silicon
  • Vanadium
  • Zinc
This brief overview of minerals shows how important they are to our health and therefore to our healthy diet plan. Because minerals are absorbed in an ionic form, broth, stock or soups made from bones and vegetables are a very good, inexpensive source of absorbable minerals. With the knowledge of what our body needs for good health we are in a much better position to make a plan to truly have a healthy diet.

Be in good health


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