Minerals: What They Do and Where To Find Them

Minerals are micronutrients that are not talked about too often, possibly because no one really understands what they do.  Hopefully this breakdown sheds some light their importance.

    Calcium: Calcium supports healthy bones and teeth, blood clotting, blood pressure, and enzyme regulation.
    Calcium is found in dairy products, chinese cabbage, kale, and broccoli.  Calcium supplements are readily available, however it is important to remember absorption is highest in doses no greater than 500 mg.

    Iron: Iron is essential for red blood cell health and production, helps carry oxygen through the body, supports metabolism, cellular function, synthesis of hormones and connective tissue.
    Iron is found in red meats, spinach, dried fruits, seafood, nuts, and beans.  

Magnesium: Magnesium is necessary for muscle and nerve function, energy production, bone structure, regulates calcium balance, cofactor in more than 300 enzyme systems that regulate biochemical reactions in the body, including protein synthesis, blood glucose control, and blood pressure regulation, is required for oxidative phosphorylation, and glycolysis, is required for the synthesis of DNA, RNA, plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes, a process that is important for normal heart rhythm.
Magnesium is found in green leafy vegetables, such as spinach and kale, legumes, oats, wheat germs, nuts, and seeds; basically any foods containing dietary fiber provide magnesium.

Sodium: Sodium in moderate amounts regulate fluid and ph balance, nerve and muscle function,  and controls blood pressure.
Sodium occurs naturally in most foods and drinking water.  High/dangerous amounts of sodium are found in processed foods which should be limited.

    Potassium: Potassium works with sodium to regulate fluid balance, maintain blood pressure, heartbeat, and nerve impulses, supports kidneys, digestion, and reproductive health.  Many athletes ensure they get potassium to aid in muscle recovery.
    Potassium is found in leafy greens such as kale and spinach, avocado, banana, mango, nuts, citrus, and milk.

Phosphorus: Phosphorus is essential to basic cell function, most fluid balances and ph balance throughout the body, bone support, energy support, and core genetic processes.
Phosphorus is found in meat, fish, dairy, nuts, seeds, legumes, and beans.
Zinc: Zinc improves immunity, healing, promotes healthy eyes, skin, nails, growth/development, 100+ enzyme activities, and protein and DNA synthesis, cell health and division, and development of sense of taste and smell.
Zinc is found in oysters, red meat, poultry, beans, nuts, certain types of seafood (such as crab and lobster), whole grains, fortified breakfast cereals, and dairy products.  The availability of zinc from grains and plant foods is lower than that from animal foods.

Copper: Copper is essential to brain function, red blood cells, and connective tissue synthesis.
Copper is found in seafood, especially oysters, nuts, sesame seeds, and fermented foods.
Iodine: Iodine is essential for energy production, thyroid function and protein synthesis.
Iodine is found in kelp and other seaweeds, seafood such as sea bass and cod, and dairy products.  Iodized salt is a very common source but again too much table salt is harmful to your overall health.

    Selenium: Selenium works with Vitamin K and is critical in reproduction, thyroid hormone metabolism, DNA synthesis, and protection from oxidative damage and infection.
    Selenium is found in seafood, organ meats, and eggs.

    Manganese: Manganese aids in the metabolism of food, promotes normal functioning of the nervous system, supports bone production, supports collagen production, controls blood sugar, works as an antioxidant to help prevent cancer and heart disease.
Manganese is found in legumes and many fruits and vegetables.