MINERALS

MINERALS: THE ESSENTIALS FOR THE BODY

Minerals are basically the essentials of our life, the keystones to our health. Our body is composed of about 4% of minerals. The body needs many minerals and these are called essential minerals. These minerals are not produced within our body so we need to obtain them from our food. Essential minerals are sometimes divided up into major minerals (macro minerals) and trace minerals (micro minerals). These minerals groups are equally important but trace minerals are needed less than the major or macro minerals. The amount needed is not the indication of their importance.

The general functions of minerals include transmission of nerve impulses and muscles contraction.

Macro Minerals: The macro minerals are also referred to as major mineral. The macro minerals include: sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and sulphur. Sodium, chloride and potassium are needed for proper fluid balance. Nerve transmission and muscle contraction is done by sodium, potassium and magnesium. Calcium and phosphorus and fluoride are important for healthy bones and teeth.

Micro Minerals: These are also called as trace minerals. It includes iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, fluoride, chromium and molybdenum. Iron is the Part of a molecule (hemoglobin) found in red blood cells that carries oxygen in the body; needed for energy metabolism. Zinc and Copper, manganese are part of many enzymes. Zinc is needed for making protein and genetic material; has a function in taste perception, wound healing, immune system health etc. Iron is found in thyroid hormone which helps regulate growth, development and metabolism. Chromium works closely with insulin and helps control blood sugar.

Minerals serve as essential components of many enzymes, vitamins, hormones, and respiratory pigments, or as cofactors in metabolism, catalysts and enzyme activators and these minerals can be obtained through various foods. Various minerals supplements are also available in the market for eliminating the shortage of minerals in our body.

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