Essential minerals (nutrients) are crucial for the function of the body. There are 17 essential minerals: Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, chromium, copper, fluoride, selenium, manganese, sulfur, cobalt, and Molybdenum.
What does Calcium in the Body?
Individuals under the age of 50 years, require about 1000 mg daily, while those over the age of 50 years require about 1500 mg daily .
Foods that are rich in calcium include dairy products (milk, yogurt, cottage cheese, mozzarella), Tofu, soymilk, sardines, salmon, soybeans, spinach, turnip greens, kale, and beans .
What does Phosphorus in the Body?
Phosphorus and specifically its non-organic form, phosphate, is essential for the synthesis of DNA and its messenger RNA, energy production (ATP: Adenosine Triphosphate), enzymatic reactions within the cells (e.g., phosphorylation) that are necessary for the function of cells, the synthesis of phospholipids that make the cells membranes, and for bones, teeth and enamel formation .
The daily requirement for individuals over the age of 19 years is about 700 mg .
Phosphorus Rich Food
Foods that are rich in phosphorus include dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese), salmon, scallops, chicken, beef, lentils, cashew nuts, potatoes, kidney beans, and brown rice .
What does Potassium in the Body?
Potassium has a very large role in the human body where it is involved in hormones secretion and function, blood pressure control, fluid, and electrolyte balance, vascular tone (dilation and constriction of vessels), glucose and insulin metabolism, gastro-intestinal mobility, the action of mineralocorticoids (e.g., aldosterone secreted by the adrenal gland), and renal concentrating ability (water conservation).
The daily requirement for individuals over the age of 19 years is about 3000 mg for men and 2600 mg for women .
Potassium Rich Food
Potassium is found in many food sources; however, foods that are rich in potassium include apricots, lentils, prunes, squash, raisins, potato, kidney beans, soybeans, banana, spinach, chicken, salmon, dairy products (milk and yogurt), tomato, turkey, soymilk, broccoli, and asparagus .
What does Sodium in the Body?
Sodium is essential for the regulation of the amount of fluid in the blood (blood volume) and in spaces around the cells. It also regulates the blood pressure in the body.
When there is a high level of circulating sodium in the body, sensors that are found in the blood vessels, heart, and kidneys will detect this increase and stimulate the kidneys to get rid of this excess through urine .
The daily requirement for adult individuals is no more than 2300 mg .
Sodium Rich Food
Foods that are rich in sodium include anchovies, olives, ham, cheese, bacon, salted fish, pickles, shrimps, salami, smoked meat and fish, soy sauce, yeast extracts, and salted nuts.
What does Chloride in the body?
Chloride is essential for the transmission of nerve impulses, and in maintaining an acid-base balance in the body. It is also a necessary component of gastric juice. Any unbalance in sodium can damage organs and leads to neurological defects .
The daily requirement for individuals over the age of 18 years is about 750 mg .
Chloride Rich Food
Foods that are rich in chloride include seaweed, tomatoes, rye, celery, lettuce, and olives .
What does Magnesium in the body?
Magnesium (Mg) is one of the most abundant cations in the body, where it is involved in more than 300 enzymatic reactions, including adenosine triphosphate (ATP) metabolism and protein synthesis. It is also involved in the regulation of blood glucose, muscle and nerve function, and blood pressure .
The daily requirement for individuals over the age of 19 years is about 400-420 mg for men and 310-320 mg for women .
Magnesium Rich Food
Foods that are rich in magnesium include green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, nuts, seeds (chia and pumpkin seeds), legumes, and whole grains .
What does Iron in the body?
Iron is the main component of hemoglobin which plays an essential role in oxygen transport by red blood cells, and therefore, the lack of a physiological amount of iron affects the oxygen-carrying capacity of the blood .
The daily requirement for Individuals between 19 years and 50 years is about 8 mg for men and 18 mg for women, while its 8 mg for individuals over the age of 50 years for both men and women .
Iron Rich Food
Foods that are rich in iron include dark-green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, meat, fish, tofu, eggs, brown rice, and dried fruit.
What does Zinc in the body?
The daily requirement for individuals over the age of 19 years is about 11 mg for men and 8 mg for women .
Zinc Rich Food
What does Iodine in the body?
Iodine is essential for the synthesis of the thyroid hormones thyroxine (T4), and triiodothyronine (T3), by the thyroid, and that are necessary for protein synthesis, metabolic enzymatic reaction, and growth and development .
The daily requirement for individuals over the age of 19 years is about 150 mcg .
Zinc Rich Food
Foods that are rich in iodine include seaweed, bread, cod, oysters, dairy products (milk, yogurt, and cheese), eggs, shrimps, and tuna .
What does Chromium in the body?
The daily requirement for Individuals between 19 years and 50 years is about 35 mcg for men and 25 mcg for women, while its 30 mcg for men and 20 mcg for women over the age of 50 years .
Chromium Rich Food
Foods that are rich in chromium include meats, fruits, vegetables, grain products, nuts, spices, beer, and wine.
What does Copper in the body?
Copper is a cofactor for several enzymes implicated in the production of energy (ATP), the activation of neuropeptides that are chemical messengers released by neurons, the synthesis of connective tissue, iron metabolism, and the synthesis of neurotransmitters .
The daily requirement for individuals over the age of 19 years is about 900 mcg .
Copper Rich Food
Foods that are rich in copper include shellfish, chocolate, seeds and nuts, wheat-bran cereals, whole-grain products, and organ meats.
What does Fluoride in the body?
Fluoride is naturally found in the body as calcium fluoride that is required for new bone formation and for preventing teeth decay .
The daily requirement for individuals over the age of 9 years is about 10 mg .
Fluoride Rich Food
Foods that are rich in fluoride include black tea, raisins, wine, fluoridated water, lamb, and carrots.
What does Selenium in the body?
The daily requirement for Individuals over the age of 9 years is about 55 mcg .
Selenium Rich Food
Foods that are rich in fluoride include Brazil nuts, organ meats, and seafood.
What does Manganese in the body?
Manganese is involved in the metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol, and carbohydrate metabolism through its coenzyme activity (work together with an enzyme). It is also an important factor in bone formation, immune response, reproduction, and blood clotting .
The daily requirement for individuals over the age of 19 years is about 2.3 mg for men and 1.8 mg for women .
Manganese Rich Food
Foods that are rich in manganese include clams, mussels, oysters, nuts, soybeans, whole grains, rice, and many spices, leafy vegetables, coffee, and tea.
What does Sulfur in the body?
Sulfur is a necessary component of the essential amino acids, methionine, and cysteine, that are part of the building blocks of many proteins, enzymes, and vitamins. It is also essential in producing keratin, collagen, and insulin .
The National Academies Food and Nutrition Board suggests an amount of 0.2 to 1.5 grams per day should be sufficient for our body needs .
Sulfur Rich Food
Foods that are rich in sulfur include eggs, seafood, beef, chicken, pork, nuts, milk and cheese, green leafy vegetables, onion, and garlic.
What does Sulfur in the body?
Cobalt is an essential mineral for the synthesis of vitamin B12 that acts as a coenzyme involved in fatty acids and protein metabolisms, DNA synthesis, red blood cells’ maturation, and myelin synthesis (a protein covering some neurons) .
The daily requirement for individuals has not been determined yet.
Cobalt Rich Food
Foods that are rich in cobalt include meat, green leafy vegetables, liver, milk, clams, and oysters.
What does Molybdenum in the body?
Molybdenum is an essential component of an enzyme known as xanthine oxidase that plays an important role in the catabolism of purines necessary for the synthesis of DNA and its messenger, RNA .
The daily requirement for individuals over the age of 19 years is about 2000 mcg .
Molybdenum Rich Food
Foods that are rich in molybdenum include Legumes, nuts, whole grains, and beef liver
Essential minerals are involved in critical physiological processes within the adult’s body and during embryonic growth and development, and childhood. A lack of sufficient amounts can lead to mineral deficiencies, while their excess within the body can lead to severe intoxications and diseases.