SOME IMPORTANT MINERALS OFTEN LACKING IN OUR DIETS
Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the body, almost all of which is found in the bones and teeth. A deficiency of calcium may lead to porous, fragile bones, retarded growth, tooth decay, lower back and joint pain, muscle cramps and spasms, insomnia, irritability or hypertension.
Due to their lower bone density, pregnancy, lactation and a tendency to engage in faddish diets, women are more prone to develop calcium deficient diseases later in life. Osteoporosis is one of these.
Phosphorus is mainly found in bones and teeth working alongside calcium to maintain strength and rigidity. It is responsible for controlling the amount of energy released from our systems. It is useful for healthy muscles, nerves and for mental and physical activity.
Phosphorus may assist in the treatment of nervous disorders, reduced sexual vigour and general weakness.
Magnesium is one of the main constituents of nerve fibres. It may be a valuable aid in the treatment of muscular spasms such as uncontrollable twitching and convulsive fits and also in relieving cramping associated with menstruation. It is thought to be helpful where stabbing, shooting pains characterise symptoms for example in cases of neuralgia, neuritis, angina, sciatica and some types of headaches.
Magnesium is essential to the health of the heart. It may assist in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and cardiovascular diseases. This mineral might also be useful for kidney stones, epilepsy, nausea and stress.
Potassium acts with sodium as an electrolyte to aid water balance and distribution throughout the body. It is also essential for proper heart functioning and normal heartbeat. It is essential for assisting the treatment of fluid retention, low blood pressure, high blood pressure and gastro-intestinal disorders. Potassium may also be of immense benefit where there is extreme tiredness, muscular weakness, irritability or depression.
Iron is of tremendous value to the human body. It is involved in the formation of red blood cells and is a transporter of oxygen to every cell, providing us with the necessary burst of energy we all need to help us through our daily tasks. Iron also assists the memory and the ability to concentrate and helps build resistance to infection, stress and disease. A deficiency in iron can lead to a general run-down feeling, anaemia, headaches, acute infections, colds, flu, dizziness and shortness of breath during periods of exertion such as exercise.
Those most prone to a deficiency in iron include menstruating, pregnant or lactating women, teenagers, athletes and where there is excessive bleeding due to wounds, surgery, etc.
Chromium is important in maintaining a glucose balance in the body. As a valuable aid in transferring glucose from the blood to the cells and the regulation of insulin activity, it may be of immense worth to those suffering adult onset diabetes or hypoglycaemia. The high fat, super sugary diets that have become so familiar to western civilisations can actually rob our bodies of much needed chromium. Chromium is also useful for reducing high blood levels of cholesterol and triglycerides and assisting where wounds are slow to heal.
Kelp is a natural source of iodine as is most seafood. Almost all the iodine we consume is used by the thyroid gland to produce thyroxine, an important hormone for growth and metabolism. An iodine deficiency may result in rough wrinkled skin, unhealthy hair, anaemia, fatigue, low blood pressure, lethargy or goitre.
Manganese is essential for proper coordination between brain and body. Too little manganese may result in abnormal muscular movements, bad balance or muscular twitching. It may be useful for the treatment of male and female sterility, impotence in men, digestive disorders, convulsions or seizures. Manganese may be of some value to expectant mothers, because of its association with the maternal instinct and its action in maintaining healthy glands, including the mammary glands.
Zinc has been referred to as the esuperstari of trace minerals because of its versatility of action throughout the body. It is found in all tissues and especially in the eye, kidney, brain, liver, muscle and reproductive organs. It aids the healing of burns, wounds and other minor skin disorders, is useful for bone development and maintaining a healthy resistance to disease and in the reduction of inflammation or body odour. Too little zinc can result in enlarged prostate, impaired sexual functions, dandruff, hair loss, poor sense of taste and smell, and stretch marks that commonly appear after extreme growth spurts such as in pregnancy and adolescence.
Silica is the ebeauty minerali responsible for the health of hair, skin and nails. It is a major constituent of collagen, the substance that joins cells together. It is important for the proper elasticity of skin and a deficiency may result in premature wrinkles, dull brittle hair or soft splitting nails.
Silica is also useful for breaking down calcium spurs and for assisting in the treatment of boils, abscesses and styes. It is necessary for strong bone formation and may assist the maintenance of healthy arteries.
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral and is found in all tissues of the body. It has a protective effect against oxidative damage to body cells, particularly the heart. The body only needs a small amount of Selenium but due to diminishing levels in soils and foods, deficiencies are increasingly common. Selenium deficiency has been linked to a range of serious conditions like cancer, cardiovascular disease, inflammatory diseases and other free radical related problems such as premature ageing.
Copper is an essential trace mineral and is found throughout the body in the skeleton, skin, muscles, liver and brain. It is mainly required in various enzymatic processes in the body and assists the absorption and utilisation of Iron. Copper is only required in very small amounts but deficiency can have a serious effect on several body systems
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