If we look at another aspect of nutrition that is important for regulation and function of the body we can see the importance of Minerals in the body. Minerals are inorganic compounds that come from the earth, from the soil and water, they form part of the building blocks for many aspects in the body like teeth, bones and our blood, below are 8 vital minerals for a healthy body and how they function. Minerals are not broken down as easy when cooked, unlike vitamins that can be pull apart when they are cooked, with some not being available as they are extracted by the cooking process. They are absorbed by our small intestine into our systems for use.
Classification of Minerals
There are two types of minerals that we need:
The minerals that we need in higher amounts
The minerals that we need in smaller/ trace amounts
Minerals form several functions in the body from creation of new bone tissue, regulations systems in the body such as muscle contraction and relaxing, hormone production and transmitting nerve impulses.
How does mineral deficiency occur?
Mineral deficiencies can occur by simply not eating a good balanced diet, but can also occur through excessive fluid loss, bowl movements and vomiting, but also with some medications. All the minerals that we require are present in all good whole foods like fruits, vegetables and grains etc. If there is any mineral imbalances, when there is too much of one particular mineral.
Mineral Imbalances can include:
Too much Potassium can cause the heart to race too fast
Lack of Potassium can cause weakness and muscle cramping, constipation and bloating
Too much Calcium and not enough Magnesium can cause muscle cramps.
Lack of Calcium can cause weak bones, muscle cramps, fatigue, poor appetite and irregular heart beat
Lack of Magnesium can cause fatigue, weakness, nausea and vomiting
Lack of Iron will decrease the hemoglobin in your blood, this reduce the amount of oxygen that gets to your tissues. A deficiency in iron takes time to occur and can develop into anemia.