Today we will talk about minerals. Just like vitamins they do not have to be present in large amounts but they are essential in the proper functioning of the body. They function mainly as structural components of the teeth, muscles, blood cells and bones.
They are essential to muscle contraction, blood clotting, protein synthesis and cell membrane permeability. There are about twenty one minerals seen as critical to human health and they are grouped into macro minerals and trace minerals.
The body needs macro minerals like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, Sulphur, sodium, chlorine and magnesium in large amounts, while minerals like iron, manganese, copper, iodine, cobalt, zinc and fluorine are needed in small amounts (trace minerals).
Minerals like sodium, calcium, potassium and chlorine are able to maintain the balance of fluids in the body and control acid-base balance in these fluids and play an important role in transmitting nerve impulses and contracting muscles especially the heart.
We must pay attention to our consumption of sodium (through table salt) because although it is a very important mineral, the body only needs a little amount of it. If the excess is not excreted through urine it can result in an increase in blood pressure.
Food sources of minerals include dairy products, leafy vegetables, table salt, beans, beets, spinach, yeast, kidneys, liver, fish, cheese, eggs, etc.