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From the Vitamin Diary

Guide to Minerals - Benefits, Deficiency, Rich Food Sources and other information

Minerals are inorganic substances like sodium, potassium, chlorine, phosphorus, magnesium, calcium, iodine, iron, cobalt, copper. Minerals are the most basic form into which organic matter can be broken. Minerals play an important role in the health of your body in terms of healthy bones, teeth, hair, nails, nerve and muscle activity and regulation of body fluids.

Benefits of Minerals
Minerals are essential for regulating and building the cells which make up the body. Minerals help to maintain the volume of water necessary for the life processes in the body. These are essential for the proper growth and assimilation of the organic substances, and development of every part of the body. Each of the essential food minerals does a specific job in the body, while some of them do extra work in teams to keep the body cells healthy. Even slight changes in the concentration of the important minerals in the blood may rapidly endanger life.

Sources of Minerals
Plants incorporate minerals from the soil into their own tissues. For this reason fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, nuts and seeds are often excellent sources of minerals. Minerals, as they occur in the earth in their natural form, are inorgainc or lifeless. In plants, however, most minerals are combined with organic molecules. This usually results in better mineral absorption. Green leafy vegetables are the best source of many minerals.

Minerals are classified into two categories: major and minor, on the basis of intake level.
Major Minerals : More than 100 mg is required per day.
Minor or trace Minerals : Less than 100 mg is required per day.
Total Mineral Content Required in the Body
In the above graph, minerals from calcium to magnesium are major minerals, and minerals after that are trace minerals.

Please see the following minerals chart for your reference:

Printer Friently Version - Requires MS Excel

Mineral

Benefits

Recommended Daily Allowance

Food Sources

Deficiency Symptoms

Calcium

Builds and maintains bone strength, which prevents stress fractures, Builds and maintains teeth, Helps regulate heart function, Assists in muscle growth and contraction.

Adults 1200 mg
Children 800 mg
Infants 500 mg
Pregnant & Lactating Women 1200 mg

Milk and milk products, Calcium fortified juices, Beans, Oranges , Broccoli

Spontaneous nerve discharge and tetany (cramps)

Chlorine

Maintains nerve impulses that control the muscles, Maintains water balance and distribution, Needed for the production of stomach acid.

Adults 750 mg
Children 600 mg

Table salt (sodium chloride)

Acid-based imbalance

Magnesium

Aids in the body's enery production, Combats stress, Assists in bone growth, Helps regulate body temperature.

Men 350 mg
Women 300 mg
Children 150-200 mg
Infants 40-60 mg

Bananas, Green vegetables, Corn, Apples, Whole wheat bread

Increased nervous system irritability, vasodilation, and arrhythmias

Phosphorus

Helps in almost every chemical reaction in the body, assists in the use of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins for energy, Stimulates heart and muscle contractions, Prevents tooth decay.

Adults 1200 mg
Children 800 mg

Meats, Fish, Chicken, Eggs, Whole grains, Chocolate!

Loss of energy and cellular function

Potassium

Aids in the conversion of glucose to glycogen, Nourishes the muscles, Stimulates the kidney to get rid of body wastes.

Adults 2000 mg
Children 1500 mg

Bananas, Green leafy vegetables, Oranges , Potatoes, Raisins, Dried beans

Muscle weakness, abnormal electrocardiogram, and alkaline urine

Sodium

With water, helps retain fluids that counteract dehydration, Helps our bodies produce a thirst sensation so we'll drink more fluids.

Adults 500 mg
Children 400 mg

Seafood, Poultry, Carrots, Beets

Nausea, vomiting, exhaustion, and dizziness

Iron

Along with protein, helps form hemoglobin, which carries oxygen from the lungs through the blood to the body tissues, which includes the muscles.

Men 10-12 mg
Women 15 mg
Children 10 mg
Pregnant Women 30 mg

Beef, Lamb, Pork, Leafy green vegetables, Iron fortified cereals, Breads

Anaemia, decreased oxygen transport, and energy loss

Selenium

Boosts your immune system and helps protect your body from cancer.

Men 70 mcg
Women 55 mcg
Children 20 - 30 mcg
Infants 10 - 15 mcg
Pregnant Women 65 mcg
Lactating Women 75 mcg

Seafood, liver, lean meats, grains

No specific symptoms

Zinc

Helps remove carbon dioxide from exercising muscles, Aids in healing, Boost the immune system, Protects against pollution.

Men 15 mg
Women 12 mg
Children 10 mg
Infants 5 mg

Lean meats, liver, eggs, seafood, whole grains, dairy products

May be cause of anaemia, retardation in growth, and delayed genital maturation