We all understand we must get proper nutrition. The basic nutrients are carbohydrates, fat and protein. After that are the other essentials, such as water, vitamins and minerals. Of all of these essential foods, however, minerals are often overlooked or undervalued. We're going to take a bit of time to look at the minerals you really must give attention to, and how to ensure you're getting them in your diet.
To keep things as simple as possible, minerals are "inorganic" nutrients. They can be found in metal and rocks, and they're pulled up into the plants we eat from the soils that surround them. So, when we say spinach is high in iron, we can understand this is the case because spinach plants tend to pull the iron from the soil around them.
Before you believe minerals and vitamins can be lumped together under a single heading, it's important to note they're very distinct and separate entities. To use a good analogy: minerals are the framework of the house and the current that keeps things running smoothly while vitamins are the housekeepers darting all over and making sure everything is operating as it should.
The minerals we use are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and sulfur.
We also have to have trace minerals, too. This is why the minerals are actually divided up into what are known as macro-minerals, principle electrolytes and trace minerals. The body keeps small stores of them on hand, but it's through diet we must replenish them each day. These trace minerals are copper, chromium, fluoride, iodine, manganese and zinc.
It's a challenge to give an authoritative answer about the amount of any minerals needed. Instead, the common answer is to indicate the body retains only about 1/6 an ounce of any mineral at any time. This means it's up to the individual to consume around 100 mg of the macro-minerals each day, but it isn't necessary to always consume more than that amount in trace minerals.
This leaves the last question of how to get them. While some people want to keep it easy and pop a supplement, the best way is to consume them in food sources. The top sources include dairy, leafy green vegetables, fish, nuts, beans, whole grains, fresh fruits, table salt, onions, garlic and fish.
One of the best ways to know about your actual health is to consult with a nutritionist who can review your diet and guide you toward optimal choices. If you do want to keep the body running at peak condition, you have to eat the best diet available. Often this is done by following a complete diet, and that includes plenty amounts of vitamins, nutrients and minerals.
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