Debbie J., MS, RD contributed this article –
This set of micronutrients are vitamins’ counterparts. Like vitamins, minerals are needed in small amounts – micrograms or milligrams – but they are still essential. Minerals comprise the architecture of our bones, help deliver oxygen for energy production, stimulate muscles to contract, transmit nerve impulses, balance fluids and pH, regulate blood pressure, help clot blood and are part of our immune system.
Why it matters that you eat your minerals…
Even after the body is done growing during adolescence its cells are continuously regenerating and performing all of life’s processes. Minerals are an integral part of those processes.
The main dietary minerals to focus on are Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium, and Zinc. They are found in milk products, meats, egg yolk, legumes, leafy greens, nuts and seeds, fresh fruits and vegetables, and whole grains. With an adequate intake of these you’ll also get sufficient chloride, chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, sodium and sulfur.
In regards to weight control, there are certain minerals that have been found to participate in metabolism. For example, chromium plays a key role in improving tissues’ sensitivity to insulin. This means that cells can take up blood sugar better without the need for more of this storage-promoting hormone.