Minerals play vital role in our body’s metabolism. Let us study some of them here. Phosphorus is an important mineral whose characteristics are that it acts in conjunction with calcium to build bones and teeth. It is essential for smooth muscular activity. It acts to stimulate brain and nerve cells. Foods rich in phosphorus are pulses,cereals,milk,egg and fruit juices.
Sodium has the tendency to increase blood pressure and so useful in treating low blood pressure but harmful to high blood pressure patients. Sodium is a constituent of saliva,gastric juices and intestinal fluids and helps in the digestive process. Foods rich in sodium are milk,yogurt,cheese,whole grains and spinach. Sodium deficiency may impair hearing. Excess sodium consumption may lead to high blood pressure and may cause body water retention hence moderation is the key.
Foods rich in chlorine are egg yolk,coconut,milk products,green leafy vegetables,radish,lentils and rice. Chlorine is vital to the digestive process since it is a constituent of hydrochloric acid in the stomach that digests the food. Chlorine helps in body fluid balance.
Zinc is essential for body growth as it is part of enzymes that control major metabolic activities. Foods rich in zinc are whole grains,milk,meat,eggs,sea food,liver,cereals and nuts. It is an essential mineral helps in male virility. Zinc is vital for healthy hair and skin. It plays a role in healing wounds.
Magnesium deficiency symptoms are appetite loss and vomiting. Magnesium is vital for transmission of nerve impulses. Foods rich in magnesium are green leafy vegetables,whole grains and nuts.
Both low and excess amounts of potassium is harmful affecting cardiovascular functions and may prove fatal hence supplements should not be taken without doctor’s advice. Potassium helps in transmission of nerve impulses. It helps water retention in cells. It ensures proper working of all muscles including heart.
Iodine is important for the production of hormone thyroxin by the thyroid gland for regulating rate of metabolism that controls all physical and mental functions. It prevents wrinkles in skin. It helps the thyroid gland function. Foods rich in iodine are all sea foods,egg yolk,pineapple,citrus fruits,turnip and garlic. Iodine deficiency causes the swelling of thyroid gland and this condition is called goiter. This can be prevented by using iodized table salt.
Sulfur is present in almost all cells of the body. It is a constituent of amino acid scystine and methionine. Not much is known about this mineral as the information on this mineral is limited except that it is important for the body functions.
The mineral selenium fights chemically induced cancer and only a trace amount is necessary.
Fluorine plays a vital role in the formation strong teeth and it is available in ground water. Fluorine is toxic in large quantities
The mineral chromium is needed for the metabolism of blood sugar. Foods rich in chromium are whole grains,eggs,cheese,meats and yeast.
The mineral vanadium is useful in maintaining blood sugar levels healthy. Foods rich in vanadium are lobster,cereals,whole grains,vegetable oils,radishes,potatoes and green leafy vegetables. It is advisable to consume many different foods so that we can have adequate quantities from a variety of sources.