Trace Minerals and Your Health
Learn about 7 trace minerals that are essential for health
The human body simply cannot function without minerals. Most people are familiar with the macro minerals—such as sodium, potassium, magnesium, and calcium—that are needed in large quantities. But when it comes to trace minerals, many people are unaware of what these minerals are and why they are so important for health.
Trace minerals may only be needed in relatively minute quantities, but a deficiency—or an excess—can have huge consequences in the body. Here are some of the essential functions of trace minerals:
- Providing the building blocks for hundreds of enzymes
- Facilitating countless biochemical reactions
- Ensuring normal growth and development
- Protecting against oxidative stress
- Promoting healthy neurological functions
- Supporting the endocrine system
Because trace minerals function at such a fundamental level in the body, not getting the right amount of these critical nutrients can increase your risk of problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, cancer, depression, chronic pain, digestive issues, and more.
Seven Essential Trace Minerals
Iron: This mineral is crucial for the formation of red blood cells and lean muscle. Red meat, poultry, and seafood are all excellent sources of iron, as are some dark leafy greens.
Chromium: Chromium is important for insulin functions and glucose metabolism. Typically, a well-balanced diet including all the food groups will supply sufficient chromium.
Copper: Many of the enzymes involved in critical bodily functions use copper. The best dietary sources of copper include shellfish, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.
Zinc: This mineral plays a vital role in immune function, brain health, and reproduction. Many foods are rich in zinc, such as beef, pork, dark meat poultry, milk, yogurt, cheese, chickpeas, almonds, and peanuts.
Iodine: For proper thyroid function—which controls metabolism among other things—you need iodine. Eggs, dairy, poultry, and grains supply iodine.
Manganese: Manganese supports the formation and functioning of many enzymes with antioxidant benefits. This includes enzymes related to metabolism, bone development, and wound healing. Whole grains, nuts, leafy vegetables, and tea are all good sources of manganese.
Selenium: This mineral is used to create amino acid proteins that play crucial roles in reproduction, thyroid function, and DNA synthesis. Selenium is also important for protecting against oxidative damage. Foods high in selenium include seafood, organ and muscle meats, dairy, and grains.
Tips for Supplementing Minerals
In theory, eating a healthy, balanced diet should supply you with all the macro minerals and trace minerals that you need. However, where your food comes from can make a difference. Because different regions have different soils, their produce will contain different amounts of minerals. In regions that have been farmed extensively using high yield techniques, the soil can actually become depleted to the point where produce will contain lower levels of trace minerals.
One simple way to ensure you are getting enough minerals is to use supplements. A multi-vitamin will contain many of the trace minerals you need. However, to ensure you get the most nutrition from your supplements, follow these tips:
Eat Something Acidic: Because acidity enhances mineral absorption, it’s best to take your supplement with something acidic such as citrus or vinegar.
Watch Out For Fiber: Fiber binds with nutrients and pushes them through the digestive system so that absorption is impaired. If you supplement fiber, take your fiber at a different time than your minerals.
Choose Chelated When Possible: When you get your minerals from food, they are bound to other compounds. You can create a similar effect by choosing supplements with chelated minerals, which are bound to amino acids. Some studies suggest chelated minerals are absorbed better.
Try Our Multi-Vitamin
At Renew Youth, we offer a high-quality multi-vitamin supplement specifically formulated to help you meet your changing nutritional requirements as you age. All of our supplements are third-party tested for purity and potency so you can trust them to deliver the vitamins and minerals you need. Contact us today to learn more.