The Importance of Minerals in Our Diet: A Handy Cheat Sheet
Minerals are essential to our health, just like vitamins. They are found naturally in foods, and our bodies need them to carry out important functions such as building strong bones, transmitting nerve signals, and maintaining a healthy immune system. Without the right balance of minerals in our body, we might experience symptoms ranging from fatigue to muscle weakness and even more serious conditions.
To help understand the importance of minerals in our diet, we have put together a handy cheat sheet. This chart outlines the different types of minerals, their function in the body, and the foods in which they are commonly found. Keep this cheat sheet handy in your kitchen or use it while you’re grocery shopping to make sure you’re getting the right balance of minerals in your diet.
Calcium is important for building strong bones and teeth, maintaining healthy blood pressure, and transmitting nerve signals. It is commonly found in dairy products like milk, yogurt, and cheese, but can also be found in leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens.
Iron is crucial for transporting oxygen throughout the body and helping to form red blood cells. Good sources of iron include red meat, poultry, fish, beans, and fortified cereals.
Magnesium helps to regulate muscle and nerve function, control blood sugar levels, and support a healthy immune system. Foods that are high in magnesium include almonds, spinach, avocado, and whole grains.
Potassium is important for maintaining healthy blood pressure, supporting muscle and nerve function, and regulating fluid balance. Good sources of potassium include bananas, potatoes, avocados, and leafy greens like spinach.
Sodium is important for regulating fluid balance and supporting nerve and muscle function. However, too much sodium can lead to high blood pressure and other health problems. Sodium is commonly found in processed foods, but can also be found in natural sources like celery and spinach.
Zinc is important for supporting a healthy immune system and promoting wound healing. Good sources of zinc include red meat, poultry, beans, and nuts like almonds and cashews.
Phosphorus is important for building strong bones and teeth, supporting healthy kidney function, and maintaining a healthy pH balance in the body. Good sources of phosphorus include dairy products, meat, fish, and whole grains.
Selenium is important for supporting a healthy immune system, maintaining a healthy thyroid function, and protecting the body from oxidative damage. Good sources of selenium include Brazil nuts, seafood, and whole grains.
Copper is important for supporting healthy iron absorption, promoting wound healing, and supporting a healthy immune system. Good sources of copper include organ meats like liver, seafood, nuts, and seeds.
Manganese is important for supporting healthy bone development, promoting wound healing, and supporting healthy brain function. Good sources of manganese include leafy greens like spinach, nuts, and whole grains.
In conclusion, minerals are essential for maintaining a healthy body. By incorporating a variety of foods that contain these essential minerals, we can help ensure that our bodies are getting the necessary nutrients to function properly. Use this cheat sheet as a reference to make sure you’re eating a balanced diet that includes a variety of nutrient-rich foods.