There’s no doubt that minerals are an important part of our diet. But do we really know what kinds of minerals are required for proper functioning of our body? While we are content with knowledge of sodium, calcium or iron, there are many more minerals that are equally necessary. Listed below are 10 essential minerals that need to be included in your diet.
Calcium is essential for strengthening our teeth and bones, and calcium deficiency can pose a greater risk of osteoporosis. Food products like milk, cheese, yogurt, spinach, figs, soybeans, chickpeas and corn flakes are some of the calcium rich foods.
Potassium, which is also known to be an electrolyte, helps in building proteins, breaks down the carbohydrates and manages proper functioning of our heart. Potatoes (with skin), tomatoes, broccoli, red meat, chicken, bananas, kidney beans, apricots, nuts and oranges are good sources of potassium.
Iron is an important part of hemoglobin that is responsible for transferring oxygen in our blood from the lungs. In fact, deficiency of iron can even cause anaemia or blood loss. Foods like chickpeas, pumpkin seeds (you can eat is as a salad topping or roast them and eat it), raisins, lentils and sesame seeds are high in iron among others.
Zinc plays a crucial role in fighting against cold, infection, and boosts our immunity. In fact, zinc is essential for fertility too and zinc deficiency can pose great risk for the sperm quality. A man should consume more than 10 mg (approx.) zinc in their diet. Cashews, chickpeas, yogurt, oatmeal, chicken breast, green peas, almonds and kidney beans; all these are good sources of zinc.
Another essential mineral for our body is magnesium. Magnesium plays a key role in glucose metabolism and heart health. Magnesium deficiency pose risks like hypertension and can even affect our body’s insulin sensitivity. Flaxseeds, cashews, almonds, fish like tuna and mackerel, bananas, avocado, dark chocolate and whole grains are good sources of magnesium.
Sodium is another key mineral that ensures proper blood pressure level and balances fluids in our body. However, excess intake of sodium is harmful. For instance, a person with high blood pressure is advised to cut down on the salt intake, salt is a primary source of sodium. Other sources are pickles, roasted and salted nuts, buttermilk, eggplant, watermelon and pineapples among others.
Iodine deficiency can pose problems like fatigue, depression, high cholesterol levels and swelling of thyroid glands. Including foods like shrimp, dried prunes, boiled eggs, strawberries, cheddar cheese, green beans, bananas, yogurt or milk, in your diet would fulfill the iodine intake.
Phosphorus helps in good digestion, hormonal balance and is the second best mineral after calcium in maintaining bone’s health. Beans, lentils, tofu, broccoli, corn, peanut butter, Chia seeds, watermelon seeds, tuna and mackerel fish, etc. are excellent sources of phosphorus.
Cobalt is an essential element of Vitamin B12 and is also called as cobalamin. Though in smaller amounts, but cobalt is essential for proper functioning of our body. Foods like, eggs, milk, meat, fish, nuts, broccoli, spinach, oats, etc are excellent sources of cobalt.
Copper helps in collagen formation that plays a key role in tissue’s health. In fact copper is essential for proper growth of body and regulated heart rhythm. Foods like mushrooms, cashews, avocados, dried prunes, sesame seeds, eggs, litchi, kidney beans and lemons are good sources.