Some essential minerals to good health are chloride, copper, iodine, magnesium, and zinc. Chloride, a macro mineral, is an important component of the gastric juice used in digestion.
Chloride is also necessary for proper absorption of vitamin B12 and iron. Likely sodium, chloride is easily lost through excessive sweating. But chloride is just as easily replaced, since it is a major component of table salt, which most people consume in generous quantities. Although normal salt intake provides all the chloride the body needs, the mineral is also found in milk, meat, and eggs.
Copper is a micro mineral, the exact functions of which are still not precisely understood. Scientists are sure, however, that copper helps prevent anemia and aids in the development and maintenance of bone, nerves, and connective tissues. Copper concentrations are highest in the brain, liver, heart, kidneys, and bones. The RDA of copper for adults is about 2 to 3 milligrams, an amount easily obtainable from foods, the richest sources being she fish, liver, kidneys, nuts, and raisins.
Iodine, another micro mineral, is essential to the body because it affects the workings of the thyroid gland, the gland that produces an important hormone that regulates metabolism. About one third of the iodine consumed by the average person goes into the production of the thyroid hormone. The rest of iodine is excreted in the urine. The two best dietary sources of the mineral are seafood, including clams, oysters, lobsters, sardines, and many fish, and table salt that has been iodized, or had iodine added to it. Because only about half of the salt used in Canada us iodized, many health official worry that some people, especially those who eat little or not seafood, may not be getting enough iodine in tier diets. Therefore, it may be important for consumers to make sure they buy iodized salt.
The macro mineral magnesium exist in the body in the form of magnesium salt. About 60% of the body’s magnesium is found in the bones, 26% in the muscles, and the remainder in the soft tissues and fluids. Magnesium helps various bodily chemical reactions take place. The mineral slow aids in the regulations of body temperature and the synthesis of protein in tissues.
ZInc, a micro mineral, is an important component of at least 70 of the enzymes used in metabolism. Zinc is also found in red blood cells and helps promote normal growth, prevent anemia, and repair wounds. The RDA of zinc is about 15 milligrams daily, although pregnant and lactating women should add another 5 to 10 milligrams more per day. Rich sources of zinc include meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, whole wheat or rye breads, wheat germ, and nuts.
Some other minerals utilized in varying amounts by the body include sulfur, manganese, selenium, molybdenum, chromium, cobalt, and fluorine. While the roles played by some of these in maintaining life and health are fairly well understood, others are still being studied to determine exactly how they function. As this kind of research continues, scientists are constantly shedding new light on both vitamins and minerals complex ways act and interact in the human body.