Minerals are naturally occurring elements found in the earth. They forms parts of rocks and stone that over time erode to become soil. Through the soil they are passed into plants and to the animals that eat them, and finally to humans through the food we consume.
Minerals are essential to the function of the human body. Some of these functions include transporting oxygen to the body; forming the building blocks of hormones, proteins, and amino acids; formation of blood, bone, teeth and the composition of bodily fluids; aiding in the assimilation of other other nutrients; maintenance of healthy nerve function; muscle contraction; and anti-oxidant activity.
Minerals are classified into two groups: Macro (bulk) minerals and Micro (trace) minerals. The difference being micro minerals are required is smaller quantities than macro minerals.
Just some of the main minerals required by the body are: Macro: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus Micro: zinc, iodine, iron, manganese, chromium, silica, copper, selenium.
A well balanced diet will help provide the essential minerals required for optimal function of the body. This is a diet high in fresh, high quality (and organic where possible) foods: vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs, grass-fed meat and whole grains. Unfortunately modern day farming has led to the depletion of minerals in soil, so even when a balanced diet is followed, you may not be receiving the mineral levels required by the body, or in the all important ratios needed and you may require supplementation.
A safe non-invasive way of measuring your mineral levels and ratios (as well as detecting heavy metal levels) is to have a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). A small sample of hair from the scalp is sent to a laboratory for testing for more than 35 nutrient and toxic minerals, and over 25 important mineral ratios.
Magnesium falls under the classification of a macro mineral, meaning it is required by the body in larger quantities than micro (trace) minerals. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body, with about 50% of magnesium being found in bones and the majority of the other half inside the cells of tissues and organs, including muscles, nerves, arteries, and kidneys. Read more…( link to Magnesium article).
Zinc is known as a micro mineral or trace mineral as it is required by the body in smaller quantities than macro minerals. But this does not mean it is any less important. In fact zinc is so important it is found in every tissue in the body, with the majority found in muscles and bones. It is a constituent of at least 25 enzymes that are involved in digestion and metabolism. Read more…( link to zinc article).
Potassium is a macro mineral and is the third most abundant mineral in the human body. It is essential to the health of the heart, kidneys, brain, muscle tissue, and other organs in the body. Read more…( link to potassium article).
Manganese is a trace (micro) mineral essential for the skeletal system. The majority of manganese in the body is found in the kidneys, pancreas, liver and bones. It is a component of a powerful antioxidant, which neutralises damaging free radicals. Read more…( link to manganese article).
Molybdenum is a trace (micro) mineral found an plants and animals, and only in very small amounts in the human body. Compared to many other minerals less is known about Molybdenum and there have been less studies conducted into the use and effects of it, although there is a consensus that it is essential to life. Read more…( link to molybdenum article).
Iron is an essential micro mineral required by the body for oxygen transportation through the blood. Haemoglobin represents about two thirds of the body’s iron and if you don’t have enough iron your body, your body will not be able to produce enough oxygen carrying red blood cells. Read more…( link to iron article).