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  • HOME >> NUTRITION >> WHAT ARE MINERALS?

      Did you now that just about all the minerals found in nature are found in our bodies? Minerals are important as vitamins. It is important to make sure that we are getting enough minerals that our bodies require. Without minerals our bodies could not function healthy. Minerals are substances that the body cannot produce. They often work with vitamins to help vitamins get to where they are needed faster. Vitamins also do the same for minerals. So the two work together. Minerals are essential to life even though they make up a small percentage of the body's actual weight. They also help in keeping our bones, teeth, and skin healthy. Minerals also help with blood pressure, heart regualtion, wound healing, muscle function, proper fluid balance and much, much, more. Studies have shown that alcohol, smoking, the cooking of vegetables, meats, and processed foods, rob the body of minerals. So it is crucial that you make sure you are eating the right foods or taking mineral suppplements.


    BELOW IS A LIST OF MINERALS YOUR BODY NEEDS:

    CALCIUM
       Builds and maintains bones and teeth; regulates heart rhythm; helps insomnia; helps maintain proper nerve and muscle function; lowers blood pressure; important to normal kidney function; reduces the risk of colon cancer, and reduces blood cholesterol levels.
    DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in arm and leg muscles spasms, softening of bones, back and leg cramps, brittle bones, poor growth, osteoporosis ( a deterioration of the bones), tooth decay, depression.
    Best sources Dairy products, leafy greeen vegetables, broccoli, dried fruit.


    MAGNESIUM
      Regulates the activity of the heart; maintains normal heart rhythm; helps in proper calcium and Vitamin C metabolism; converts blood sugar into energy; Helps protect against heart disease and kidney stones.
    DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in calcium depletion, heart spasms, nervousness, muscular excitability, confusion; kidney stones.
    Best sources Whole grain foods, nuts, legumes, dark green vegetables, seafood, chocalate.


    IRON
      Its major function is to combine with protein and copper in making hemoglobin. Hemoglobin transports oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the tissues which need oxygen to maintain basic life functions. Helps with stress and disease. Iron also prevents fatigue and promotes good skin tone. It keeps our bodies healthy and boost our immune systems.
    DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in weakness, paleness of skin, constipation, anemia.
    Best sources Organ meats, red meat, fish, shellfish, poultry, enriched cereals, egg yolks, leafy green vegetables, dried fruits,


    IODINE
       Aids in the development and functioning of the thyroid gland; regulates the body's production of energy; helps burn excess fat by stimulating the rate of metabolism; Helps speech, the condition of the hair, skin, and teeth. DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in an enlarged thyroid gland, slow mental reaction, dry skin and hair, weight gain, loss of physical and mental strength.
    Best sources Iodized salt, seafood, seaweed, dairy, meast.


    COPPER
       Helps in the absorption and utilization of Iron; aids in the formation of red blood cells; helps proper bone formation and maintenance. Keeps your immune system strong.
    DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in general weakness, impaired respiration, skin sores and elevated cholesterol levels.
    Best sources Shellfish, whole grains, nuts, legumes, lean meat, fish, fruits, vegetables.


    ZINC
      Is an antioxidant nutrient; necessary for protein synthesis; wound healing; vital for the development of the reproductive organs, prostate functions and male hormone activity; maintains the body's alkaline balance; Helps maintain your sense of taste.
    DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in delayed sexual maturity, prolonged healing wounds, white spots on finger nails, retarded growth, stretch marks, fatigue, decreased alertness, susceptibility to infections.
    Best sources Oysters, lobster, crab, extra lean beef, dark turkey meat.


    MANGANESE
       Helps to nourish the body's nervous system, brain and regulates the muscles in the body. It stimulates enzymes that convert to portein, fats and carbohydrates into usable energy.
    DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in paralysis, convulsions, dizziness, ataxia, loss of hearing, digestive problems, blindness and deafness in infants.
    Best sources Whole grains, eggyolks, nuts, seeds, and green vegetables.


    CHROMIUM
       Stabilizes blood sugar levels; reduces Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels; helps transport amino acids to where the body needs them; helps control the appetite; medical research has shown that persons with low levels of Chromium in their bodies are more susceptible to having cancer and heart problems and becoming diabetic.
    DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in glucose intolerance in diabetics; atherosclerosis, heart disease, depressed growth, obesity, tiredness.
    Best sources Brewers yeast, meat , clams,whole grains, cheese, nuts.


    POTASSIUM
       Helps normalize heart rhythms; aids in clear thinking by sending oxygen to the brain; preserves proper alkalinity of body fluids; stimulates the kidneys to eliminate poisonous body wastes; assists in reducing high blood pressure; promotes healthy skin.
    DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in poor reflexes, nervous disorders, respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, muscle damage.
    Best sources Lean meat, fresh fruit and vegetables, dairy, nuts, legumes.


    SELENIUM
      Decreases the risk of cancer and disease of the heart and blood vessels. Increased selenium intake decreases the risk of breast, colon, lung and prostate cancer. Slows down the aging and hardening of tissues through oxidation; helps in the treatment and prevention of dandruff.
    DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: May result in premature aging, heart disease, dandruff, loose skin.
    Best sources Seafood, lean meats, whole grains, dairy.


    SODIUM
      Sodium is vital to normal body growth. It helps the nerves and muscles function properly.It main fucntion is to move fluids and nutrients in and out of the cell membranes.
    DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS: Include weakness and cramping
    Best sources Salt, celery, shellfish, beets, artichokes.




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