Have you ever wondered whether you’re getting enough trace minerals in your diet? When it comes to nutrition, trace minerals are so named precisely because you require only trace amounts of them. Make no mistake in thinking that because you require trace amounts, they are less important – this is simply not true! Trace minerals are very important for your body to function optimally and a variety of biochemical reactions rely on these trace minerals from your diet.
Nutrition experts have two groups into which dietary minerals fall under, one is composed of six major minerals and the other are nine trace minerals. The nine trace minerals to be interested in are manganese, copper, chromium, iron, molybdenum, iodine, fluoride, zinc and selenium. Here are the primary sources of each of the nine trace minerals, so that you can be sure you’re getting enough of them in your diet.
This is an essential mineral required to maintain a healthy metabolism of sugar and starch and storage of these compounds in the body. Chromium enhances the effects of the hormone insulin, regulating the glucose in the blood. Chromium is also important for metabolizing fats and proteins. Dietary chromium is abundant in several foods, like broccoli, potatoes, basil, garlic, bananas, whole grains, and apples.
When it comes to nutrition, copper is often overlooked. While you may think of your home plumbing when you think of copper, you should also be thinking of foods like shellfish, organ meats, cocoa, seeds, and whole-grain foods. Copper deficiency is a possibility if you happen to consume large amounts of zinc in your diet. Copper is essential for healthy blood vessels and strong bones, and for the metabolism of iron.
Fluoride is no stranger to the general population, thanks to it being in our toothpaste and in our drinking water. This mineral is vital for strong bones and teeth, and it promotes the remineralization of tissues. Seafood and some teas also boast high fluoride content.
Iodine is necessary for proper thyroid hormone production so as to have a healthy and properly functioning thyroid gland. Iodine supports immune health as well. It is found in vegetables grown in iodine-rich soils, and in seafood. In the 20th century, table salt was iodized to remedy widespread iodine deficiency.
Without enough iron, your body would not receive proper nutrition and oxygen. Iron is essential for the production of myoglobin and hemoglobin proteins, which transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body’s organs and tissues. Ion also supports immune system function as well as cell growth. Foods high in iron are organ meats, legumes, leafy greens, and red meat, poultry and fish.
Manganese sounds like something that doesn’t even belong in the body, yet it is a vital mineral that is important for bone formation and for proper wound healing. Manganese is also essential for enzyme production and the metabolism of cholesterol, protein, and carbohydrates. This mineral is available from nuts, pineapple, legumes, sweet potatoes, and whole grains and seeds.
This mineral is utilized by the body in the breaking down of amino acids and for metabolizing toxins and drugs. This is a compound found in a very wide selection of plant-based foods, most highly in legumes and in nuts. The content of the foods relies on how much molybdenum is present in the soil the food is grown in.
Selenium is a vital mineral that is used in antioxidant reactions in the body. Selenium is used to protect the cells of the body from damage and it is also essential for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. Selenium is also crucial for DNA synthesis and reproduction. It is found most highly in brazil nuts, then in whole grains, seeds, nuts, and legumes.
This mineral is given quite a bit of attention when it comes to nutrition. Zinc deficiency is unlikely if you maintain a diet high in meat protein. Oysters are the king zinc source. Zinc is a mineral used in many chemical reactions that take place in the body. It is a major immune system component and it is also interestingly very necessary in order to be able to smell and taste well.
Maintaining a balanced diet will ensure that you receive all nine trace minerals and that your body functions in tip-top order. A handful of nuts and dried fruit, a healthy breakfast, plenty of water and a light lunch and supper are all you need to make sure you’re getting you’re A to Z. Have a salad with every meal and maybe throw in a good smoothie a day and you’re sorted!