Do you know the most common minerals in an adult human body and how to supplement them? Read more about their functions, intakes and uses.
What are minerals?
Minerals are important to overall health, and each serves a purpose within the body. Here is the low down on five important minerals and how to make them work for you.
We all know that calcium is beneficial for supporting our bones, but it also has added benefits for the body. Calcium helps to support normal muscle function and supports normal blood clotting1. Vitamin D helps us to absorb the calcium we get from the foods we eat. We get the majority of vitamin D we need by going out in the sun.
Between April and September, going outside daily for short periods with their forearms, hands or lower legs uncovered without sunscreen should provide most of us with all the vitamin D we need. Still, Public Health England recommends eating foods rich in vitamin D during the autumn and winter months and topping up your diet with a 10 µg vitamin D supplement.
Another mineral that helps support normal blood pressure is potassium, which is present in most foods, so it is easy to maintain the recommended levels of 2,000 mg a day2.
Daily sources of potassium include:
nuts and seeds
chicken and beef2
For a mineral-rich meal, try a classic chicken pad Thai for a tasty way to incorporate potassium-rich peanuts and chicken into your diet.
Iron is an essential mineral that contributes to the formation of red blood cells, which are necessary to carry oxygen around the body3.
There are plenty of changes you can make to boost your iron intake; even minor adjustments to your diet can make a stark difference.
For instance, try switching to brown pasta and rice to incorporate more iron into your diet or snack on sunflower seeds or nuts throughout the day.
Sodium, or salt, is believed to be bad for us, particularly for those who suffer from high blood pressure.
While it is important to have it, you mustn't exceed 6g of salt (one teaspoon) per day. This can be difficult as it is in many foods, such as bread, breakfast cereals, and ready meals.
To cut down on your salt intake, avoid certain foods which are always high in mineral. Cutting back on bacon, cheese, stock cubes, and olives will reduce your salt intake.
Zinc is an important mineral for processing nutrients from the foods we eat. It also has a role in cell division. It is recommended that people have 10 mg of zinc a day.
Daily sources of zinc include:
bread and cereals
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