So, what are minerals? Why do we need them? How can we get them? All this and more are answered right here!
What are Minerals?
Minerals are elements found on the earth or in foods that are essential for our bodies to develop properly and function normally throughout our lives. The minerals we need are:1
Why do we Need Minerals?
Minerals help our bodies to develop and function in multiple ways; they help us to build and maintain strong bones and teeth, control bodily fluids inside and outside of cells, and turn the food and drink we consume into energy.2
Where are Minerals Found?
Many food sources can provide the minerals we need for healthy function. Although some foods are naturally rich in minerals, many are fortified with minerals, which just means they are added to the food for an extra nutritional boost.
Meat, cereals, fish, milk and other dairy products, fruits, vegetables and nuts are all excellent natural sources of minerals.2
Magnesium and Health
The mineral magnesium helps to relax your muscles, which is vital to stop tension and strain.3 It also balances your blood sugar levels which help with brain health, energy levels and mood by stopping spikes and dips that leave the body in disarray.4
Magnesium can also stop your gut from becoming inflamed, which is vital to avoid digestive issues.3
Magnesium also helps the body to absorb other minerals - namely, calcium, potassium and zinc.5 It’s all well and good consuming minerals, but if your body isn’t able to absorb them, they are rendered practically useless.
Although a magnesium deficiency is rare, some health conditions can cause it. These include IBS, Crohn’s disease, coeliac disease, diabetes, kidney disease and stomach viruses, and overuse of alcohol or caffeine.5
Wholegrain, spinach, quinoa, nuts, and dark chocolate are among the best foods to naturally up your dose of magnesium in your diet.5
Zinc and Health
Zinc is crucial for the gut to function correctly. It is able to support the production of digestive enzymes which are needed to prevent leaky gut syndrome from occurring.6
Leaky gut is a condition in which toxins and food are able to pass through the damaged intestinal lining, enter your bloodstream and cause illness.
Meat, seafood and fish are the best sources of zinc, with oysters containing more zinc than any other food naturally. Beef actually accounts for the zinc in most peoples diets, as it is far more commonly eaten than oysters in a usual diet.7
Selenium and Health
Selenium protects the lining of your gut; also crucial for avoiding leaky gut syndrome. It also helps your gut to deal with inflammation better which reduces symptoms of inflammatory conditions.8
Pork, beef, turkey, chicken, fish, shellfish, and eggs contain high amounts of selenium. Some beans and nuts, especially Brazil nuts, contain selenium.
Meats and poultry such as pork, beef, turkey and chicken contain high levels of selenium along with shellfish, eggs and some beans and nuts.9
Brazil nuts are known to be particularly high in selenium, so it’s worth adding some of those to your diet providing you enjoy them!
Minerals are super important to maintain gut and overall health and are surprisingly easy to access within your diet. Everyday items you can buy at your local shop contain all the minerals you need to sustain your health!