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The Importance of Trace Minerals

Trace minerals are an essential component of a balanced diet. Find out what they do and how to get more of them. Learn more at eVitamins Schweiz.

What minerals can you name? If you said calcium or magnesium, you're right. What about trace minerals? Not everyone is familiar with the distinction between major, or macrominerals and trace minerals and why they're so important for daily consumption.

Trace minerals have unique properties and benefits that make them crucial to keep the body's many systems running smoothly.

Why We Need Minerals
Minerals have a very important place in the daily diet. They may not be the main component you think of like protein or vitamins, but they're just as important for health. Minerals are found in different metals and rocks. They can be sourced from those places but they also enter the soil plants grow in, causing them to be rich in minerals. Those plants are then eaten by animals, which then also become more mineral dense. The main minerals we need on a daily basis are calcium, magnesium, chloride, potassium, phosphorus, sodium and sulfur.

Minerals support a number of systems and actions within the body. For example, calcium and magnesium keep the bones and teeth strong to prevent density loss. Magnesium also supports nerve health. Potassium and sodium have a very different purpose -- they're important electrolytes that keep the fluids of the body in balance. Potassium also supports the central nervous system and heart.

What Are Trace Minerals?
We need different quantities of minerals in a daily basis to maintain proper function of the body. The amount you need daily depends on age, life stage (pre-puberty, menstruation, pregnancy, etc.) and gender. They help you feel energized and remain active. In the case of trace minerals, we need very little of them on a daily basis. However, with trace minerals, we have to get them through food. These are the main trace minerals the body needs and their functions within the body:

  • Copper -- The body requires copper for energy production, blood formation, bone and cartilage health and enzyme production. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for copper for an adult is between 1.5 and 3 mg.
  • Chromium -- This  travel mineral helps your body properly absorb glucose to keep blood sugar levels stable. The RDA for chromium is between 50 and 200 mcg.
  • Fluoride -- The main function of fluoride is to prevent tooth decay for a strong, healthy smile. The RDA for fluoride is between 1.5 and 4 mg.
  • Iodine -- Keeping your thyroid gland on track is the main benefit of iodine. The thyroid produces multiple hormones that control metabolism and body temperature, among other things. The RDA for iodine is 150 mcg.
  • Manganese -- The bones, joints and connective tissues need manganese to grow and remain strong. This mineral also supports healthy blood sugar and the sex hormones. The RDA for manganese is between 2 and 5 mg.
  • Zinc -- In order for the body to grow and develop properly, zinc is needed. It also supports the immune system. The RDA for zinc is between 12 and 15 mg.
  • Selenium -- This trace mineral functions as an antioxidant within the body, protecting the cells from damage caused by free radicals. The RDA for selenium is 40 and 75 mcg.
  • Iron -- You need iron for proper blood formulation and circulatory health, which helps carry oxygen throughout the body. The RDA for iron is between 10 and 30 mg.

How to Get More of Them
Eating mineral-rich foods is a great place to start. Here are some examples of food sources for the trace minerals mentioned above:

  • Copper -- Beef, legumes, whole grains and nuts
  • Chromium -- Broccoli, apples, spinach and brewer's yeast
  • Fluoride -- Water that contains fluoride, tea and whole fish
  • Iodine -- Kelp and other sea vegetables, table salt and fish
  • Manganese -- Green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes and seeds
  • Zinc -- Meats, poultry, eggs and pumpkin seeds
  • Selenium -- Brazil nuts, fish, shrimp and whole grains
  • Iron -- Whole grains, meats, legumes and poultry

However, it can be difficult to get all the trace minerals through diet or you may have a deficiency for another reason. These trace minerals are available in supplement form as single nutrients and in blends as well to help you cover all your bases. Blood tests can help you determine what, if any, trace minerals you're not getting enough of. This can help you determine the best dose and for how long to take the supplement. If you're pregnant, breastfeeding or being treated with a medical condition with prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) medication, it's especially important to speak with your physician first.

You can find a wide selection of trace mineral supplements at eVitamins to suit your needs. Check them out today and let us know if you're a fan of trace minerals!


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