Did you know that we can trace almost every health condition to a mineral deficiency? Not enough iron and the risk of anemia increases. Too little magnesium and we may feel tired, dizzy, nauseated, and anxious. But when we consume the right amount, we’re able to build strong bones and teeth, maintain muscle function, keep heart rhythm steady, and carry oxygen to tissues all over the body. So, not only are minerals incredibly important to prevent chronic ailments, but they are essential for a variety of bodily functions. Now we ask, which minerals do we need and how can we add them to our diets?
An essential mineral, copper is known for circulating blood cells, maintaining a healthy immune system, and aiding in brain development. What’s more is that copper plays an important role in collagen formation, the element that holds the whole body together. Without this mineral, our tissues will begin to break down. And since our bodies can’t really produce nutrients on their own, we must eat them. Copper is found in sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, walnuts, cashews, soybeans, lentils, mushrooms, and leafy greens like spinach and kale.
Responsible for regulating more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, magnesium is considered the go-to mineral that maintains overall nerve and muscle function. It also aids in the production of energy and protein, helps bones remain strong, and manages disorders like high blood pressure and diabetes. And you don’t have to search far to find magnesium! It’s found in nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, dark leafy greens, bananas, and dark chocolate.
Another mineral that we need to stay healthy is zinc, which plays a vital role in wound healing, cell growth, and the breakdown of carbohydrates. Did you know that we also need zinc to maintain our sense of smell and taste? That’s right. A zinc deficiency includes a loss of appetite, a loss of taste or smell, hair loss, and rashes on the skin. So, if you’re a meat eater, then we have no problems here. Zinc is located in beef, pork, and lamb, as well as oysters, nuts, whole grains, legumes, and yeast.
Iron provides oxygen to our organ systems through its role in healthy red blood cell production. Similarly, iron deficiency can lead to anemia, a condition that involves a lack of blood and reduced oxygen flow to organs. It’s one of the most common nutritional deficiencies to date, causing irregular heartbeats, exhaustion, and the loss of the rosy color from our skin. But don’t fret. We can pump up iron levels by consuming all red meat, chicken, oysters, nuts, chia seeds, dark chocolate, eggs, spirulina, spinach, and kale.
An underrated mineral if you ask us, chromium enhances the action of insulin, which is a hormone that helps store carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in the body. It also controls cravings, balances blood sugar, and maintains brain function and other body processes. Where shall we find chromium? In nuts, seeds, eggs, fish, lean poultry, broccoli, tomatoes, green beans, black pepper, and leafy green vegetables, that’s where!
Have you experienced what it’s like to have a mineral deficiency? If so, what steps did you take for better health and well-being? Tell the team at HealingRadius in the comment section below! Here’s to living a healthy (and nutrition-packed) lifestyle.
Allyson Miller is a bookworm, history nerd and outdoor enthusiast who loves writing creative and informational content for SBT in Rock Hill, SC. Depending on the day, you can find her with her nose in historical documents, shopping for trendy exercise outfits or trying new cooking recipes. Allyson dreams that one day, engineers will figure out a way to build roller coasters sans the incline, ridding her of coasterphobia.