Minerals contained in food and diet are essential to life and are crucial in enhancing body functions such as heart and brain functioning, as well as the production of hormones and enzymes.
Depending on your body needs, minerals are classified as micro minerals and trace minerals. Macro-minerals such as calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, phosphorus, and magnesium are needed in larger amounts; while trace minerals including iron, copper, fluoride, selenium, zinc, chromium, molybdenum, iodine, and manganese are needed in smaller amounts.
Minerals can be found in a variety of foods, but some foods are known to contain these important nutrients and vitamins in larger quantities. Some of these foods include:
Nuts and seeds
Nuts and seeds contain an array of minerals but are particularly rich in magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, and phosphorus. Brazil nut and pumpkin seeds are popularly known for their high mineral content.
Shellfish such oysters, clams, and mussels, are concentrated sources of minerals and packed with selenium, zinc, copper, and iron. Shellfish provide a concentrated source of zinc and make a smart choice for those at risk of developing a deficiency in this vital nutrient. Zinc is a nutrient that’s essential for immune function, DNA production, cellular division, and the production of proteins.
Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, kale, cabbage, and watercress, are especially rich in sulfur, a mineral that’s necessary for cellular function, DNA production, detoxification, and the synthesis of glutathione, a powerful antioxidant produced by your body. In addition to sulfur, cruciferous vegetables are a good source of many other minerals, including magnesium, potassium, manganese, and calcium.
Although they are not usually associated with being nutrient-dense, cocoa products are loaded with minerals. Cocoa and cocoa products are particularly rich in magnesium and copper. Magnesium is needed for energy production, blood pressure regulation, nerve function, blood sugar control, and more. In addition to many other important bodily processes, copper is required for proper growth and development, carbohydrate metabolism, iron absorption, and red blood cell formation.
Avocados are rich in healthy fats, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. They’re especially rich in magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper. Potassium is a mineral that’s essential for blood pressure regulation and heart health. Diets high in potassium-rich foods like avocados may help reduce your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, are not only tasty but also an excellent source of important minerals. Berries are a good source of potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Manganese is highly essential for a number of metabolic functions involved in energy metabolism, as well as immune and nervous system function. It is also necessary for the growth and maintenance of healthy bones and connective tissues, as well as the creation of antioxidants that help protect cells against oxidative damage.
Eggs are a rich source of multivitamin; as whole eggs are rich in vitamins, nutrients and provide many important minerals. They’re high in iron, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium, as well as many vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants, and proteins..
Yogurt and cheese
Most dairy products such as yogurt and cheese are very good sources of calcium in the diet. Calcium is needed to maintain a healthy skeletal system and essential for your nervous system and heart health. Adding high quality dairy like yogurt and cheese to your diet is a good way to increase your intake of calcium, as well as other minerals like potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
Starchy vegetables include sweet potatoes, potatoes, butternut squash, and parsnips which are all excellent alternatives to refined carbs like white rice and pasta. Starchy vegetables are highly nutritious and packed with fiber, as well as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Starchy veggies provide an important source of nutrients, including minerals like potassium, magnesium, manganese, calcium, iron, and copper.
Tropical fruits include bananas, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, guava, and jackfruit. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, fiber, and vitamins, many tropical fruits are excellent sources of minerals, such as potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium. Bananas in particular are packed with a variety of minerals, including potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Adding some frozen tropical fruit to your smoothies or oatmeal, yogurt, or salads is a good way to increase your mineral intake, as well your intake of vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants.
Leafy greens, including spinach, kale, beet greens, arugula, endive, collard greens, watercress, and lettuces, are amongst the healthiest foods you can eat. They contain minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, and copper. Consumption of leafy greens has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and death from all causes.
Minerals play a crucial role in maintaining good health. Try adding some, or all, of the foods on this list into your diet to increase your mineral intake, decrease your disease risk, and improve the overall quality of your diet.
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