Minerals are the non-organic natural elements that represent between 4 and 5 percent of the body weight of the organism and that are classified in macrominerals and trace elements. The human being needs them to maintain the proper functioning of the body and to guarantee , among others, the formation of bones, the regulation of heart rate and the production of hormones .
Types of minerals
Minerals can be divided into macro minerals and trace elements.
In the normal diet, macro minerals are those that the body needs in larger quantities. Calcium , phosphorus, magnesium , potassium , sulfur, chlorine and sodium are included in this group .
The functions of each of the macro minerals are very broad and some are still unknown. However, they are necessary for the body’s functions to develop normally . Specialists point out that the best way to obtain them is through diet. Foods that contain macro minerals are many. We can find them in:
- The minerals that provide calcium, one of those responsible for the formation of teeth and bones, are mainly present in dairy products and milk derivatives. In addition, we can also find calcium in green leafy vegetables, such as cabbage, broccoli, kale, turnips or collards, salmon, sardines, nuts such as almonds or sunflower seeds and dried legumes , among other products.
- In the case of magnesium, one of the macroelements that participates in the activity of many enzymes, it can be found mainly in vegetables, fruits such as apricots or nuts, one of the food groups that contains the most magnesium. Also, legumes, cereals, or tofu are a great source of magnesium.
- The phosphorusis another macroelements involved in the formation of teeth and bones with calcium. It can be obtained mainly in protein products such as meat and milk . Other foods that contain it are cereals and whole wheat bread.
- The potassiumparticipates in communication between nerve and muscle. Mainly it can be obtained from vegetables such as spinach, from grapes or blackberries, from carrots, bananas, potatoes and oranges.
- The sulfurinvolved in the synthesis of collagen and is involved in lipid metabolism, among other functions. Cheese, legumes, onion, garlic, nuts, red meat and legumes are the foods that contain this macro mineral.
- The chlorinehelps maintain the balance of body fluids. The main source from which human beings obtain it is from cooking salt and vegetables such as seaweed or lettuce. Tomatoes, olives, rye, and celery are some of the foods that also contain high levels of celery.
- Like potassium, sodiumaids in nerve and muscle functions and, along with chlorine, in maintaining the balance of body fluids. The largest source of sodium is sodium chloride, better known as common salt.
Regarding trace elements, these are the minerals that the body only requires in small amounts . The main trace elements are: iron , manganese, copper, selenium, iodine, cobalt, zinc and fluorine. Both the lack of these minerals and their excess can have very serious consequences for health.
We can find the trace elements in:
- Among other functions, ironparticipates in the transport of oxygen and its deficiency can cause anemia. It is mainly found in red meat, legumes, salmon, tuna, dehydrated fruits, eggs, oysters or cereals, among other foods.
- The manganeseis essential for the proper functioning of the body. Nuts, tea, legumes, seeds, green leafy vegetables and whole grains are the main natural source of this trace element.
- The formation of red blood cells is linked to copper. This mineral can be obtained from shellfish, legumes, nuts, potatoes, green leafy vegetables and dehydrated fruits, among others.
- The seleniuminvolved in activities such as playing the regulation of thyroid hormone. Like other trace elements, it is available in meat, milk and its derivatives, bread and cereals, and seafood.
- The iodineis involved in the production of thyroid hormones and plays a key role during pregnancy. People can get it from fish like tuna or cod, seafood, dairy, cereals, common salt, and some fruits and vegetables.
- The cobaltacts to stimulate and achieve the proper functioning of red blood cells. It is mainly found in clams, fish, cheeses, red meat, in whole grains, in fruits such as pears, cherries, legumes and in nuts such as hazelnuts and walnuts, among others.
- The zincis one of the trace elements that helps the autoimmune system to function properly. It is mainly found in pork and lamb meat, in legumes, yeast and walnuts. Fruits and vegetables do not contain high rates of this mineral.
- Finally, fluorine isinvolved in the formation and strengthening of bones and teeth. It is found in fluoridated waters, tea, coffee, fish, shellfish, and in vegetables such as spinach or cabbage.