About Minerals

Together with vitamins minerals are essential components in enzymes and co-enzymes. If an enzyme is lacking an essential mineral it cannot function properly regardless of the availability of the correct vitamins.

For example, zinc is necessary for the enzyme that activates Vitamin A in the visual process. Without zinc Vitamin A cannot be converted into its active form.

This deficiency could result in a condition known as night blindness.

Minerals are divided into 2 groups:

  • major minerals and
  • trace or the minor minerals.
MAJOR MINERALSUSESFOOD SOURCES
CalciumCalcium is the most abundant mineral in the body. Its major function is building and maintaining bones and teeth. In addition to this it is important for the contraction of muscles, release of neurotransmitters, regulation of heartbeat and blood clotting.milk, yoghurt, cheese, orange juice fortified with calcium malate, canned sardines and salmon (eaten with the soft bones), green leafy vegetables, broccoli, sesame seeds and almonds.
ChlorideIs needed by the body for metabolism (the process of turning food into energy). It also helps keep the bodyÕs acid-base balance.Products such as table salt (NaCl) which dissolves into sodium and chloride ions.
MagnesiumOne of the most versatile minerals, magnesium is involved in energy production, nerve function, muscle relaxation and bone and tooth formation.whole grains, nuts, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, dried figs and shellfish.
Phosphorusone of phosphorusÕs most important functions is to team up with Calcium to build bones and aid in maintaining a strong, healthy skeleton. This combination is also crucial for strengthening the teeth and helping keep them strong. There is hardly a biological or cellular process that does not, directly or indirectly, involve phosphorus.high protein foods such as meat, fish, poultry and dairy products. It is also used as an additive in many processed foods
PotassiumPotassium is an extremely important electrolyte for the maintenance of many body functions. It plays a key role in the regulation of water balance and distribution, acidÐbase balance and the function of the heart, kidneys and adrenal glands.fresh fruits and vegetables such as bananas, oranges and orange juice, potatoes as well as meats, poultry, milk and yoghurt.
SodiumSodium is necessary for the regulation of blood and body fluids, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity and certain metabolic functions.table salt, baking soda, pickled products and biltong.
SulphurSulphur is an important element for all cells and body tissues and is an especially important nutrient for joint tissue where it functions in the stabilization of the connective tissue matrix of cartilage, tendons and ligaments.MSM(methylsulfonylmethane)
supplement.
TRACE MINERALSUSESFOOD SOURCES
BoronAids in building strong bones, teeth and nails.fruit and vegetables such as nuts, leafy green vegetables, broccoli, apples and raisins.
ChroniumWorks closely with insulin in facilitating the uptake of glucose into cells. Without chromium, insulinÕs action is blocked and blood sugar levels elevated. Also aids the body as it breaks down protein and fat.whole grains, whole-grain breads and cereals, potatoes, prunes, peanut butter, nuts, seafood and brewerÕs yeast.
CobaltCobalt in small amounts is essential to many living organisms including humans.A central component of cobalamin or vitamin B12.
CopperRequired for proper iron absorption and utilization and for the proper function of an enzyme (lysyl oxidase) that is required in the cross linking of collagen and elastin to give connective tissue its integrity.oysters, lobsters, liver, legumes, whole grains such as rye and wheat, nuts and seeds, peas, artichokes, avocado garlic, mushrooms, tomatoes, prunes and soya products.
FluorineFluoride aids in building strong bones, teeth and nails. Helps prevent cavitiestap water due to the fluoridation of water.
IodineIs a trace element required in the manufacture of thyroid hormone that regulates metabolism in body cells.iodized table salt, kelp and saltwater fish.
IronNeeded throughout the body, iron is an essential part of haemoglobin the oxygen carrying component of red blood cells.liver, beef, lamb, egg yolks, sardines, oysters, mussels, beans, peas, leafy green vegetables, dried fruits such as apricots, raisins, seeds such as pumpkin, sunflower.
ManganeseIn addition to strengthening bones, manganese is part of the enzyme superoxide dismutase, a potent antioxidant that plays a role in protecting cells throughout the body.whole grains, pineapple, nuts and leafy green vegetables.
MolybdenumHelps the body use iron and assists in the burning of fat for energy.available commercially as sodium molybdate in supplements.
SeleniumFunctions primarily as a component of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase, which works with Vitamin E in preventing free radical damage to cell membranes.brazil nuts, seafood, poultry and meats, grains particularly oats and brown rice.
SiliconAids in the building of strong bones, teeth, nails and hair.whole grains, turnips, beetroot and soya products.
VanadiumMay aid people with diabetes.whole grains, turnips, beetroot and soya products.
ZincZinc plays a critical role in many body processes such as cell growth, sexual maturation, immunity and the development of taste and smell.drinking water, beef, pork, poultry (especially dark meat), eggs and seafood. Cheese, beans, nuts and wheat germ are other good sources but the zinc is less easily absorbed than the zinc in meat.