Dr. Martin's notes

Monday December 12, 2016

Minerals and trace products

Small amounts of some minerals are found in foods. For instance, red meat, such as beef, is a good source of iron. Just like vitamins, minerals help your body grow, develop, and stay healthy. The body uses minerals to perform many different functions - from building bones to transmitting nerve impulses. Some minerals are even used to make hormones or maintain a normal heartbeat.

Minerals are generally classified as:
* Major or Macro Minerals are often referred to as essential minerals required in amounts of 100 mg or more per day. These are: calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur.

* Micro or Trace Minerals are usually required in amounts less than 100 mg per day. These are: chromium, cobalt, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc.

* Ultra Trace Minerals are those that are probably essential but are required only in minute amounts (less than 1 mg per day) and usually can be adequately supplied in the diet without added supplementation. These include: arsenic, boron, bromine, cadmium, lead, lithium, nickel, silicon, tin, vanadium.

Macro means "large" in Greek (and your body needs larger amounts of macrominerals than trace minerals). The macromineral group is made up of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur.

A trace of something means that there is only a little of it. So even though your body needs trace minerals, it needs just a tiny bit of each one. Scientists aren't even sure how much of these minerals you need each day. Trace minerals includes iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium.

Calcium is the top macromineral when it comes to your bones. This mineral helps build strong bones, so you can do everything from standing up straight to scoring that winning goal. It also helps build strong, healthy teeth, for chomping on tasty food.
Foods rich in calcium
* dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt
* canned salmon and sardines with bones
* leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli
* calcium-fortified foods - from orange juice to cereals and crackers

The body needs iron to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body. Your entire body needs oxygen to stay healthy and alive. Iron helps because it's important in the formation of hemoglobin.
Foods rich in iron
* meat, especially red meat, such as beef
* tuna and salmon
* eggs
* beans
* baked potato with skins
* dried fruits, like raisins
* leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli
* whole and enriched grains, like wheat or oats

Potassium keeps your muscles and nervous system working properly. Potassium helps make sure the amount of water is just right.
Foods rich in potassium
* bananas
* broccoli
* tomatoes
* potatoes with skins
* leafy green vegetables, such as broccoli
* citrus fruits, like oranges
* dried fruits
* legumes, such as beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts

Zinc helps your immune system. It also helps with cell growth and helps heal wounds, such as cuts.
Foods rich in zinc
* beef
* pork
* lamb
* legumes, such as beans, peas, lentils, and peanuts
When people don't get enough of these important minerals, they can have health problems. For instance, too little calcium - especially when you're a kid - can lead to weaker bones. Some kids may take mineral supplements, but most kids don't need them if they eat a nutritious diet.