Minerals are essential for life, without them many systems are compromised and vitality is lost. There are 14 minerals found in the soil our foods grow in which are absorbed in to the fruits, grains, vegetables and legumes we consume in our diets. Minerals are required for health due to their roles of maintaining growth, production of bones, teeth, hair, blood, nerves, skin and vitamins, enzymes and hormones. Minerals also act as catalysts for many enzyme reactions in the body.
The essential minerals are Zinc, Calcium, Mangesium, Iron, Iodine, Silica, Potassium, Phosphorus, Chloride, Manganese, Copper, Selenium, Chromium and Molybdenum. Mineral deficiencies are common problems in many countries due to over farming practices where the minerals have become depleted in the soil due to land being constantly used for growing vegetables with no rest to regenerate, no composting or enriching of nutrients used up in the growing process.
Absorption of minerals
Some minerals do interfere with each other for absorption, particularly Iron, Calcium and Zinc. Often people are mineral deficient due to the digestive systems ability to absorb minerals into the blood. If there are absorption problems present, inflammatory digestive or small intestine complaints, decreased hydrochloric acid production or leaky gut these may result in mineral deficiencies. The absorption of minerals is depended on the body’s needs, diet and pH levels. Many minerals require co-factors to help their absorption for example, Iron and Vitamin C or Magnesium and B Vitamins.
Food sources of minerals
Using food as medicine is a healthy way to help build vitality, increasing the amount of fruits and vegetables in your diet which naturally mean that you are consuming more minerals and over time your nutritional status will improve. The following is a list of the minerals and which foods contain them:
- Potassium – legumes, potatoes, tomatoes, bananas, all vegetables, apricots, avocado, citrus fruits, dates, milk, nuts, raisins, sardines and sunflower seeds
- Chloride – sea vegetables, Himalayan salt, sea salt, salty foods
- Sodium – sea vegetables, milk, spinach, celery, cheese, peas, tuna and sardines
- Calcium – dairy foods, seafoods, green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, almonds, egg yolks, molasses, sardines and soy beans
- Phosphorus – almonds, cashews, chicken, chick peas, eggs, garlic, salmon, sardines, grains, sesame and tuna
- Magnesium – nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables, soy beans, almonds, brewers yeast, cashews, cocoa, molasses, parsnips, soy beans and wholegrain cereals
- Zinc – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, red meat, ginger, milk, wholegrains and yeasts
- Iron – red meat, green leafy vegetables, fish, eggs, dried fruits, beans, whole grains, apricots, oysters, pine nuts, soybeans, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ and yeasts
- Manganese – almonds, beans, coconuts, corn, kelp, liver, olives, pecans, pineapple juice, sunflower seeds, walnuts and wholegrains
- Copper – almonds, beans, crab, lamb, mushrooms, oysters, pecans, perch, pork, prunes, sunflower seeds and wholegrains
- Selenium – alfalfa, brazil nuts, cashews, crab, eggs, fish, garlic, kidneys, liver, mackeral, oysters, peanuts, tuna, wholegrain cereals and yeasts
- Iodine – sea vegetables, seafood, dairy foods, lima beans, mushrooms, kelp and sunflower seeds
- Molybdenum - beans, butter, kidney, lamb, legumes, lentils, lima beans, liver, oats, peas, pork, soy beans, sunflower seeds, sweet peas and wheat germ
- Chromium - asparagus, cheese, egg yolk, apple juice, liver, lobster, molasses, mushrooms, nuts, oysters, peanuts, prunes, raisins, shrimp, wheat and yeasts