Minerals can be found all around us—from the foods we eat and the water we drink to the ground we walk on. Minerals are essential nutrients for our bodies to stay strong and healthy, and they support many body functions and systems. Minerals play a big part in supporting healthy bones, joints, heart, immune and brain function, as well as hormone and enzyme production.
There are many minerals on earth, but the must-haves for our bodies’ wellbeing are deemed essential minerals. Essential minerals can be divided into two categories: macro minerals and trace minerals.
Macro minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur. If you glance at a mineral supplement ingredient list, you might see a very large difference in the servings of macro minerals to trace minerals. Macro minerals, or sometimes referred to as major minerals, are needed in a large quantity for our bodies because they’re necessary for multiple body functions like immune health, nerve functioning, blood flow support, fluid balance, joint health, supporting strong, healthy bones and more.
Small but mighty, trace minerals are needed in very small amounts for specific body functions like immune system function, blood health, hormone support, enzyme activity and much more. Trace minerals, also called micro minerals, include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium.
Healthy Bones and Muscles
We may not always think about our bones that make up our bodies or all the muscles and joints that play a part in our movements, but they are in constant use throughout most of our days. That’s why it’s so important to get the minerals and nutrients you need to help support these functions of your body.
Calcium, a mineral you may be familiar with, is a macro mineral that plays a vital role in strong bones and helps muscles relax and contract. Calcium is well-known for being in dairy products, but it can also be found in many other foods like salmon or greens like broccoli. If you’re not a big fan of dairy products or fish, you can also find calcium in other sources such as fortified tofu or soy milk.
Having a healthy immune system is always important, especially with our busy schedules. That’s why getting enough minerals, particularly trace minerals, is key to our wellbeing.
Iron may be the trace mineral people are most familiar with. Iron is needed by a molecule called hemoglobin to help carry oxygen throughout the body. Having enough oxygen in our blood and getting to all the parts of our body encourages healthy immune system function and overall wellness. Sources of iron include leafy greens like spinach, potatoes, a variety of mushrooms, oats and quinoa. It can also be found in red meats, fish, poultry, shellfish and egg yolks. Iron supplements are another popular option and come in many formulations and potencies.
Zinc is another important trace mineral for immune health. A small dose of zinc packs a huge punch for your body. While we can usually obtain sufficient amounts through a varied diet, many turn to zinc supplements for added support of immune and metabolic help. Zinc can typically be found in meats, fish, poultry, whole grains and vegetables.
What Mineral Rich Foods Should We Eat For A Well-Balanced, Healthy Diet?
Adding a quality mixture of good foods, especially vegetables and fruits, will help supply many of the essential nutrients, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and more that we need for optimum health. That’s why it’s always great to add a variety of delicious, clean food to your daily palette.
Try recipes that are rich with leafy greens, meats like red meat or chicken and dairy products. Fish, shellfish, beans and bean-based products like tofu are also great to add in your diet. Nuts and seeds are also a nutritious way to get those crucial minerals and vitamins. If leafy greens aren’t your favorite, other vegetables to look out for include cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower or starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes or squash.
Fruits and berries, whole grains, and even cocoa are also sources of important minerals and can add color, flavor and texture to a well-balanced diet.
What are Mineral Supplements?
Mineral supplements are an excellent way to get most of your essential nutrients for the day, especially if intake can’t be achieved through food alone. Researching what minerals are included in a healthy diet is a positive first step. Thankfully, there are many options to choose from and many forms these supplements can come in, including capsules and tablets and even liquid mineral supplements.
What Mineral Supplements are Right for You?
Do you need to add just one or two mineral supplements to round out your diet? Try targeted products like zinc or iron. Looking for a broad-spectrum option to amp up your overall mineral intake? Try a mineral complex. And as with any new dietary aid, it’s important to consult your healthcare professional before taking a mineral supplement. Healthcare providers will take into account your dietary lifestyle and existing medications to determine what best fits your needs.
Which Format Fits Your Lifestyle Best?
Considering the number of supplement forms out there, there are plenty of options to match your lifestyle. If you’re someone on the move daily, there are excellent “go anywhere” tablet and capsule options to choose from. If you don’t like swallowing pills, try easy-mixing powders or even liquid or gummy mineral supplements.