We have explored the world of vitamins and minerals and studied the key nutrients on a weekly basis.
Today, we are summarising some of the minerals that are not generally supplied separately in supplement form. You may find them within various supplement formulas so we thought it might be useful to tell you a bit about them.
There are many minerals that we haven’t included these are trace minerals that are required in minute amounts by the body. Our knowledge of nutrition constantly evolves and maybe some of these lesser known minerals will assume more importance in the future – watch this space!
Iodine is important because it is involved in thyroid hormone production, energy creation, brain and nervous system support plus growth and development.
Deficiency can be related to low salt/no salt diets, not eating fish or drinking milk. A lack of iodine can cause hypothyroidism – under active thyroid, poor mental development and poor growth. In addition, lacking iodine creates an imbalanced endocrine system. Our endocrine system controls the glands that produce our hormones.
Kelp and sea vegetables are great sources of iodine.
This mineral is vital to our bodies because it helps to maintain the correct water balance, regular readers will know the importance we place on good levels of hydration. Our bodies are made up of approximately 60- 70% water. We sweat it out; breathe it out, use it to cleanse our bodies and then it has all its other functions to perform. A poorly hydrated body will not function well so having the correct water balance means better health.
Deficiency is unlikely to occur because there is plenty of sodium in our diet. However it can develop when we eat lots of processed foods and don’t drink plenty of water. The symptoms are not pleasant and range from low blood pressure, loss of appetite, headaches, cramps and dizziness.
Potassium is a mineral that addresses elimination within our body. One of its actions is to support the gut to encourage removal of waste. In addition, it helps waste to be taken from our cells. It is also involved in maintaining the correct fluid balance within our bodies.
Potassium also supports our energy levels through stimulating our metabolic processes and helping to control our blood sugar levels.
Good food sources are parsley, watercress, cauliflower, mushrooms and pumpkin.
Deficiency can occur if you use diuretics, use excessive levels of salt, drink too much alcohol or eat too much sugar.
This mineral is involved in a number of enzyme actions within our bodies. Primary functions of manganese relate to healthy bones and reproductive systems.
This is a mineral available to everyone as its main sources are fruit and vegetables. The most abundant sources are pineapple, blackberries, raspberries and lima beans.
Deficiency of manganese would be identified through dizziness, a poor sense of balance, muscle twitches and growing or joint pains.
You can deplete your body supplies through the use of refined foods, alcohol and antibiotics.
This mineral partners Calcium in being vital for healthy bones and teeth. In addition, it supports our metabolism. When our body is metabolising food efficiently we have a good supply of energy. We also need phosphorus to maintain the right balance of our acid and alkaline levels.
Phosphorus is available in virtually all food sources so this is why you do not see it sold as a supplement in its own right.
The best food sources are:
High protein foods – milk, eggs, poultry, fish and meat
For vegetarians and vegans nuts, seeds, dry beans and grains are able to supply an acceptable level.
Deficiency is shown through softening of bones, poor appetite, bone pain and general muscle weakness. Excessive use of antacids is one of the few reasons you may become deficient in phosphorus. We do remind you that you are not likely to be deficient of phosphorus because of its ready availability in food.
Sadly, we will repeat this statement throughout this series of blogs. The nutrients in our modern diet do not compare to those of our ancestors. In previous times, our ancestors ate approximately 20 times more nutrients than we do today.
The ancestral diet was comprised berries, fruits and other vegetables. Today, we eat processed ready meals that lack the nutrient content our bodies need. In addition, the intensive farming of our land means that nutrients are vastly depleted from the soil. It is going to take a long time to recover this situation. The processing of our food removes even more nutrients.
This means we are exposed to a nutrient deficiency. We simply do not get the nutrients we need to thrive in this modern world. It is our aim for our customers that they do not just survive but achieve optimal health. In our opinion, it is extremely difficult to achieve this without the help of supplements.