Minerals a very important factor of our diet!

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Although minerals may be required in small quantities, they are still vitally important to our general health and wellbeing.

1.Calcium
Calcium-FoodsCalcium is needed for so many different functions in the body, from bones, to blood clotting, your muscles etc. People often think of bones as a static piece of the body, where very little change occurs, but that is a totally incorrect perception. Bone is a dynamic part of the body and calcium is constantly flowing into, and out of it.Calcium is needed for the formation and maintenance of bones, the development of teeth and healthy gums. It is necessary for blood clotting, stabilizes many body functions and is thought to assist in preventing bowel cancer.It has a natural calming and tranquilizing effect and is necessary for maintaining a regular heartbeat and the transmission of nerve impulses.
Food sources of calcium
Milk, milk products, beans, nuts, molasses and fruit contain good amounts of calcium. Fish and seafood, as well as green leafy vegetables supply good amounts of calcium.

2.Chloride
tomato_chlorideChloride is formed when chlorine gas dissolves in water but is also a dietary mineral needed by the body for optimum health.Chloride in the diet works with potassium and sodium, the two electrolytes, to control the flow of fluid in blood vessels and tissues, as well as regulating acidity in the body, and also forms part of hydrochloric acid in the stomach.A deficiency of chloride is extremely rare and unlikely to occur but a deficiency of chlorine in the body may cause excessive loss of potassium in the urine, weakness and lowered blood pressure.
Food sources of chloride
Chloride is found in table salt as well as kelp, olives, tomatoes, celery etc.

3.Magnesium
fish_magnesiumMagnesium plays an important role in at least 300 fundamental enzymatic reactions and for that reason is of vital importance in our health.Magnesium helps with formation of bone and teeth and assists the absorption of calcium and potassium. Where calcium stimulates the muscles, magnesium is used to relax the muscles.Together with vitamin B 12, it may prevent calcium oxalate kidney stones. It helps prevent depression, dizziness, muscle twitching, and pre-menstrual syndrome. It can help prevent the calcification of soft tissue and may help prevent cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and certain forms of cancer, and it may reduce cholesterol levels.
Food sources of magnesium
Magnesium is found in dairy products, fish, meat and seafood, as well as in legumes, apples, apricots, avocados, bananas, whole grain cereals, nuts, dark green vegetables, and cocoa, while hard water and mineral water may also supply it in fair quantities.

4.Phosphorus
carrots_phosphorusPhosphorus is present in the body and can be found mainly in the bones and muscles – at a total body content of around 400 – 500 grams.It is very involved with bone and teeth formation as well as most metabolic actions in the body, including kidney functioning, cell growth and the contraction of the heart muscle.Calcium and phosphorus must be taken in balance or a deficiency might be formed.While it assists the body in vitamin use (especially some B group vitamins), it also is involved in converting food to energy.
Food sources of phosphorus
Meat, poultry and fish, as well as eggs, seeds, milk, carbonated soft drinks, broccoli, apples, carrots, asparagus, bran, brewer’s yeast and corn contain a good source of phosphorus.

5.Potassium
banana_potassiumPotassium is one of the electrolytes we all require to maintain health.It is needed for growth, building muscles, transmission of nerve impulses, heart activity etc.Potassium, together with sodium – potassium inside the cell and sodium in the fluid surrounding the cell, work together for the nervous system to transmit messages as well as regulating the contraction of muscles.Excessive potassium can be toxic and will affect your heart, but is mainly a problem when you suffer from a problem such as kidney failure.
Food sources of potassium
Potassium is found in fruit, vegetables as well as whole grains, citrus fruit, molasses, fish and unprocessed meats.

6.Sodium
salt_chlorideSodium is required by the body, but most people have a far too high intake of sodium (salt) in their diet.It is an electrolyte in the body and is required in the manufacture of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which protects the body from any infections that may be present in food.Although a low sodium diet should be strived for, it is wise to start reading food labels and to see the sodium level in these foods. People taking lithium for the control of bipolar depression should not be on a sodium restricted diet – but please discuss this with your medical practitioner.
Excessive long-term use of sodium may also cause a loss of calcium from your body.
Food sources of sodium
Sodium is found in table salt, anchovies, bacon etc.

7.Sulfur
eggs_sulfurSulfur, an acid-forming, non-metallic element is not treated as an essential mineral, since there are no specific deficiency symptoms. It is the hydrogen sulfate in onions that causes us to weep when cutting or peeling them.It is found in the hair, nails and skin, and as much sulfur as potassium is normally found in the body. Sulfur is used to detoxify the body, assist the immune system and fight the effects of aging, as well as age related illnesses such as arthritis.
Food sources of sulfur
Sulfur is normally found in protein foods, such as eggs, garlic, lettuce, cabbage and Brussels sprouts.

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