Include these seven minerals in your food to ensure a balanced diet
Though we need them in smaller amounts, these micro-minerals are essential for good health.
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Iron, calcium, potassium, and now increasingly magnesium, manganese and zinc too, are the only minerals that hog our mind space. We focus on just these and scout for foods (or supplements) that deliver these. All thanks to their media scrutiny. The bad news is that these are not the only minerals our body needs to work efficiently and stay disease-free. Many of these ignored minerals are micro-minerals, which we need in smaller amounts (that is why they are called trace minerals).
Below is a list of seven essential trace minerals we must get acquainted with asap.
It helps in the metabolism of minerals that are involved in bone development such as calcium, magnesium and copper. Also affects various hormones, including estrogen and testosterone, which again are related to the overall health of the bones.
Get it from: Apples, carrots, grapes, nuts, pears, whole grains
Chloride works with sodium to balance fluids and help maintain pH balance in the body. Also needed for making hydrochloric acid, a powerful digestive enzyme that is responsible for the breakdown of proteins, and absorption of other metallic minerals in the stomach.
Get it from: Most of the chloride in our diet comes from sodium chloride, also known as salt. Healthier sources of chloride include kelp (seaweed), olives, rye, tomatoes, lettuce, and celery.
It helps insulin transport glucose into cells, where it can be used for energy thus helps regulate blood sugar levels in the body. It also helps in the metabolism of carbohydrate, fat, and protein, and most importantly it helps curb carb cravings and fights body fat.
Get it from: Broccoli, potatoes, oranges, fish, eggs and nuts.
It helps the body make red blood cells and keeps nerve cells and immune system healthy. Plus it facilitates wound healing, boosts the immune and nervous system, provides antioxidant protection and is essential for strong bones and tissues. Copper-deficient diets are also associated with increase in blood cholesterol levels.
Get it from: Sesame seeds, cashews, spinach, asparagus, soybeans and shrimps.
Molybdenum activates multiple enzymes in the body, some of which have antioxidant roles in blood and others that speed up the breakdown of stored nutrients into energy. The mineral also helps metabolise toxins and leftover byproducts of digestion, thus is essential for waste removal.
Get it from: Almonds, peanuts, barley, beets, liver, salmon, leafy greens and radish
Second most abundant mineral in the body after calcium. It is important for healthy bones and teeth (like calcium, a large majority of it in our body is found in our teeth and bones). In fact it is found in every cell, is part of the system that maintains acid-base balance and is needed to make DNA.
Get it from: Almonds, milk, eggs, oats, tofu and fish
You only need it in small amounts, but it is essential for life as it is necessary for reproduction and the synthesis of DNA. Plus it is an antioxidant and provides protection from cancer too.
Get it from: Fish, whole wheat bread, brown rice, mushrooms and seeds — sunflower, sesame and chia.