Thursday, September 18, 2014

MINERALS - Why we need them.

We LOVE this Infographic from EBIX.
Here is what they have to say about the benefit of these minerals for your body. 

The important nutrients to be included in our diet are:
Calcium - It is one of the most abundant minerals found in our bodies. Apart from giving strength to our bones and teeth, calcium is also required for normal nerve transmission and muscle function. To get the daily dose of calcium through diet, one needs to include plenty of calcium rich food like  nonfat yogurt, low fat milk, soy beverages, tofu, sardine, salmon, collard greens and blackstrap molasses.
Sodium - We need a daily dose of sodium to maintain the fluid balance of the body. It provides channels for nerve impulses, helps in muscle contraction and relaxation and regulates blood pressure. Deficiency of sodium is rare as it is practically found in all foods. Food with high sodium content includes common salt, salad dressings, cured meat, pickled vegetables, nuts roasted with salt and preserved, as well as fast food.
Potassium - It is required to maintain the normal electrical activity of the heart and hence a normal pulse rate. It is vital in maintaining the electrolyte balance, blood pH and normal growth. Food like beans, dark leafy vegetables, baked potato, dried apricot, salmon, mushroom, banana, sweet potato, brussels sprouts, zucchini, asparagus etc., are rich in potassium.
Phosphorus - It is the second most abundant and versatile mineral in our body. Its major tasks being the regulation of cell function and energy production. It also helps calcium to maintain strong bones and teeth. Food that provide phosphorus in daily diet are romano cheese, pumpkin seeds, nuts, shellfish, pork, lean beef, lentils, low fat dairy and soy.
Magnesium - Magnesium is not as popular as other minerals, but in reality, nearly 300 biochemical reactions depend on it for their completion. It also supports muscle and nerve function, improves immunity and helps in strengthening bones and teeth. It's found in beans, whole grains, green vegetables, nuts, seeds, fish, soy, banana and dark chocolate.
Chloride -   It maintains the balance between the different body fluids and is the key mineral for synthesis of digestive juices. A liberal intake of a variety of vegetables, sea salt, seaweed, rye, celery, tomato based sauces, processed meats etc., is required.
There are a few minerals that our body requires in comparatively smaller amounts and are therefore called Trace Minerals. These are as important as the major minerals.
The most important trace minerals are:
Iron - We all know that iron is essential for red blood cell production. To get the right dosage of this mineral, consider including red meat, egg yolk, dried fruits, dark green leafy vegetables, chicken giblets, beans, dried peaches, lentil, soybean and pumpkin seeds in your daily diet.
Iodine - Iodine is important for normal functioning of the thyroid gland. Iodized common salt is the most popular and easiest source of Iodine. Other food with significant iodine content are baked potato, dried seaweed, himalayan crystal salt, dried prunes, baked turkey breast, lobsters and enriched tuna.
Manganese - It is essential to regulate blood sugar and production of connective tissues and bones. It also plays a significant role in enzyme activity, nutrient absorption and wound healing. The best sources are firm tofu, whole grains, cooked spinach, black tea, fish and kale.
Chromium - Almost all foods contain this mineral in small but varying amounts. A balanced diet which includes all food groups ensures its supply. Chromium functions as an insulin performance enhancer and therefore helps in managing blood sugar levels. It also stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis that further help in normal brain function.
Fluoride  It is important for healthy bone density, fighting infections and tooth decay. It also improves the absorption of calcium. Asparagus, cabbage, cucumber, cauliflower, garlic, green leafy vegetables and lemon grass contain enough to cover your requirements of this trace mineral.

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