Like vitamins, minerals are nutrients which help to keep the body functioning correctly. They too are found in the foods we eat, or they can be taken in supplementary form.
Here, we’ll look at the different types of minerals, what they do and why we need them to stay healthy.
Understanding the Different Types of Minerals
There are two main types of minerals; trace and macro minerals. Both are required by the body to maintain general good health.
Trace minerals are also referred to as micro minerals and they are essential for our health. However, we only need them in small quantities. They include iron, copper, chromium, manganese, fluoride, zinc, iodine and selenium. You typically need from 0.2 to 15mg of trace minerals daily.
Macro minerals are required in larger quantities and they include calcium, phosphorus, chlorine, potassium, magnesium, sulfur and sodium.
Why Do We Need Them?
Our body needs healthy levels of both trace and macro minerals. They help with practically every function of the body. Some of the main benefits minerals provide include:
· They balance fluids in the body
· They aid in nerve transmission
· Healthy bone and teeth development
· They regulate blood pressure
· Assist in wound healing
· Help fight off disease
If you don’t get enough minerals within the diet, it can lead to a variety of health issues. So, it is important to ensure you’re eating a balanced diet to retain proper levels of nutrients throughout the body.
What Happens If You Are Mineral Deficient?
If the body doesn’t get enough minerals each day, it can lead to a deficiency. Calcium deficiencies are particularly common, though you can also suffer with iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc deficiencies.
A deficiency in any type of mineral can cause a number of health issues. These include:
· Irregular heartbeat
· Weak bones
· Stomach upset
· Muscle contractions
The severity of the deficiency will determine the symptoms experienced. Some types of deficiencies are more common than others too. For example, calcium and iron deficiencies are much more common than magnesium and copper deficiencies.
To avoid a deficiency, it’s important to ensure you’re getting enough minerals into the diet.