Did you know 1/3 of women in the US will be diagnosed with osteoporosis?
Did you know current trends indicate that 100% of Americans will have joint degeneration by age 40?
Minerals compose only 4% of our body, but they are essential for our physical and mental health. As we saw in Micronutrients for Health’s Sake!, micronutrient deficiency is becoming a major underlying driver of chronic disease.
We need minerals to:
- Regulate tissue growth
- Contracting and relaxing muscles
- Facilitate the transfer of nutrients across cell membranes
- Maintain proper nerve conduction
- Maintain the pH balance in the body
- Provide structural and functional support
The body is an amazing orchestra, because so very many players and processes occur for the absorption and use of these essential minerals. Let’s take calcium as an example; it is the most abundant mineral in the body. Most calcium is stored in our bones and teeth. Did you know calcium is also vital to heart and muscle function nerve conductivity and to initiate the clotting process?
For our body to be able to absorb and use calcium properly, we need adequate:
- hydration (water and electrolytes)
- hormonal function
- fatty acids
- proper digestion
- balance with other macrominerals and trace minerals like zinc and copper
- pH blood balance – our blood cannot be too acidic (this pulls calcium from our tissues) nor too alkaline (calcium will separate and deposit in inappropriate tissues)
Food sources of calcium include:
- Leafy greens: collard greens, turnip greens, spinach, dandelion greens
Let’s take another example. Why do we need zinc? It is:
- Essential for the production of stomach acid vital to digestion
- Critical for cell growth
- Essential for skin and bone integrity
- Required for optimal function of the immune system
Zinc is depleted by :
- Refined carbohydrates
- Coffee and caffeinated beverages
Food sources for zinc
- Swiss chard
- Lima beans
So what minerals are essential for health? (Macrominerals = needed in larger amounts; Microminerals = required only in minute amounts)
What to Do?
- #EatRealFood – Minerals are ingested in the foods we eat.
- Eat a variety of foods with lots of organic, local produce and grains to obtain the full spectrum of essential minerals
- Nourish the soil to get these basic elements (minerals) into and then back from the earth. Vegetables and fruits grown in rich, well-nourished soils have more essential minerals
- Avoid refined and processed foods that have poor mineral content
- Avoid high-sugar foods, caffeine and alcohol which can flush or deplete body minerals