A primer on the role of minerals in our body

Minerals play an important role in the effective functioning of the body. While there a number of minerals that may be present in the food we consume to keep our self energetic and healthy, around 20 minerals are considered to be very vital for the body requirements.

Why do we need the minerals?

It is the minerals that enable the muscles in our body to contract as well as relax and also transmits the impulses through the nerves. Most of the minerals are found in the form of soluble salts, and these minerals helps in regulating the composition of fluids in the body. Minerals enable chemical reactions to take place in the body such as breaking down the components of the food and effective utilization of the same.

Where do we get the minerals from?

The major source for minerals is none other than the plants which absorb these from the soil. It has been found that a wholesome food comprising fresh fruits, vegetables, and nuts contains the essential minerals that are needed for the body.

What are those essential minerals?

The following are the most essential or vital elements that every person needs for a healthy life.

Calcium: This is one of the essential minerals that is required for the functioning of the muscles, maintenance of the cell membranes, and also for nerve functions.

Any deficiency in this vital mineral at any stage of the life might lead to the risk of developing osteoporosis.

Chlorine: This minerals plays an important role removing the excess sodium in the body and as such, is deemed to be very effective in preventing high blood pressure. It also plays an important part in helping digest the proteins.

Magnesium: This mineral plays a vital role in metabolizing calcium and potassium. Magnesium is required to ensure correct and effective functioning of the nervous system and also in regulating the temperature of the body.

Phosphorus: This mineral is essential for the bones and the teeth, and working in tandem with calcium, helps in the release of energy.

Potassium: This mineral is required for healthy functioning of the cells. Also this mineral, in association with sodium, helps in regulating the body fluids.

Sodium: This mineral, working in association with potassium, helps in ensuring a constant balance of bodily fluids.

Iron: Iron is an essential mineral that helps in the formation of haemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood. The deficiency of this important mineral leads to aneamia.

Manganese: As a component of the enzyme system, this mineral plays an important role in reproduction.

Molybdenum: Molybdenum is a mineral that helps in ensuring the effective functioning of iron in the body.

Selenium: This mineral acts as an antioxidant, working in tandem with Vitamin E, and helps in preserving the structure as well as functioning of the membranes.

Zinc: Zinc is an essential mineral that is required for the growth as well as synthesis of proteins. Zinc also plays an important part in healing the wounds and also in the development of reproductive organs.

Apart from these essential minerals, some amount of Chromium, copper and iodine are also needed for the effective maintenance of the body. These three minerals are referred to as Trace Minerals.

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