Brain Foods

Brain Foods

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Guide to Minerals

Guide to Minerals



Daily Intake: 1.7-7.0 mg. (RDI not established)

Dietary Source: Fruits, vegetables, nuts, wine, cider, beer

Deficiency Symptoms: Depressed growth, osteporosis

Importance: Proper mineral absorption

Inhibits Absorption: Triglycerides

Enhances Absorption: Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, vitamin D


Daily Intake: 0.8 mg., 1.0 g.,1.3 g.

Dietary Source: Leafy green vegetables, milk, cheese, yogurt, shellfish, bone meal, dolomite, almonds, liver

Deficiency Symptoms: Back and leg pains, heart palpitations, tetany, brittle bones, insomnia, tooth decay, muscle pains

Importance: Necessary for development of healthy, strong bones and teeth; assists blood clotting, nerve transmission and tranquilization, heart rhythm

Inhibits Absorption: Lack of hydrchloric acid, exercise, magnesium, D, stress

Enhances Absorption: Magnesium, hydrochloric acid, A, D, C, F, iron



Daily Intake: 0.1-17.5 mcg. (based on urinary elimination)

Dietary Source: Foods grown in mineral-rich soil

Deficiency Symptoms: Not determined

Importance: Energy, brain function, cancer prevention

Inhibits Absorption: Unknown

Enhances Absorption: Unknown


Daily Intake: 130 mcg.

Dietary Source: Whole grain cereals, clams, corn oil, brewer's yeast

Deficiency Symptoms: Depressed growth rate, atherosclerosis, intolerance in diabetics

Importance: Increases effectiveness of insulin; stimulates enzymes in metabolism of energy; healthy blood circulatory system; synthesis of fatty acids, cholesterol and protein

Inhibits Absorption: Unknown

Enhances Absorption: Unknown


Daily Intake: 15-32 mcg.

Dietary Source: Meats, leafy green vegetables, fruits, poultry, milk, clams, organ meats

Deficiency Symptoms: Retarded growth rate, pernicious anemia

Importance: Maintains red blood cells; functions as part of B-12; activates some enzymes in body

Inhibits Absorption: Unknown

Enhances Absorption: Copper, iron, zinc


Daily Intake: 1 mg., 2 mg., 2 mg.

Dietary Source: Soybeans, raisins, nuts, bone meal, organ meats, fish, legumes, molasses

Deficiency Symptoms: Skin sores, impaired respiration, general weakness

Importance: Part of many enzymes; works with vitamin C to form elastin; formation of red blood cells; color of hair and skin; good for bone formation

Inhibits Absorption: High intakes of zinc

Enhances Absorption: Zinc, cobalt, iron


Daily Intake: 70 mcg.,150 mcg., 150 mcg.

Dietary Source: Mushrooms, iodized salt, fish, kelp tablets

Deficiency Symptoms: Obesity, irritability, dry hair, nervousness, cold hands and feet

Importance: Regulates energy production and rate of metabolism; enhances thyroid function; needed for prevention of goiter; good for healthy hair, skin, nails, teeth

Inhibits Absorption: Unknown

Enhances Absorption: Unknown


Daily Intake: 10 mg., 18 mg.,18 mg.

Dietary Source: Cherry juice, liver, eggs, fish, wheat germ, leafy green vegetables, shredded wheat, dried fruits, poultry

Deficiency Symptoms: Weakness, difficulty in breathing, anemia, constipation, brittle nails

Importance: Needed for formation of hemoglobin and myoglobin; promotes protein metabolism; stress and disease resistance; promotes growth; good for healthy teeth, skin, nails, bones

Inhibits Absorption: Excessive zinc, coffee, excessive phosphorus

Enhances Absorption: Copper, C, folic acid, B-12, calcium


Daily Intake: 730 mcg. mean U.S. intake

Dietary Source: Foods grown in mineral-rich soil

Deficiency Symptoms: Depressed growth, reduced fertility, reduced longetivity, depression

Importance: Proper endocrine regulation, brain function, promoter of actin filament assembly (Actin is an integral component of striated muscle cells.)
Inhibits Absorption: Vanadium, cobalt, aluminum

Enhances Absorption: Cobalt, B-12


Daily Intake: 200 mg, 400 mg., 450 mg.

Dietary Source: Molasses, whole grains, honey, nuts, kelp tablets, tuna, bran, green vegetables, bone meal, fish

Deficiency Symptoms: Muscular excitability, confusion, nervousness, tremors

Importance: Catalyst in the utilization of carbohydrate-fat-protein, phosphorus, calcium, possible potassium; good for energy; healthy maintenance of bones, arteries, heart, nerves, teeth

Inhibits Absorption: Unknown

Enhances Absorption: B-6, protein, calcium, C, D


Daily Intake: 3.5 mg.

Dietary Source: Whole grains, nuts, legumes, leafy green vegetables, bananas, celery, pineapple, liver, egg yolks

Deficiency Symptoms: Hearing loss, ataxia, dizziness

Importance: Enzyme activation, maintains sex hormone production; helps carbohydrate and fat production, tissue respiration; utilizes vitamin E; needed for normal skeletal development

Inhibits Absorption: Excessive intake of phosphorus and calcium

Enhances Absorption: Phosphorus, calcium, B-1, E



Daily Intake: 160 mcg.

Dietary Source: Milk, dairy products, legumes, organ meats, grains

Deficiency Symptoms: Depressed growth, low appetite, impaired reproduction and fertility

Importance: Proper mental function, proper amino acid metabolism

Inhibits Absorption: Unknown

Enhances Absorption: Sulfur-amino acids



Daily Intake: 35-700 mcg./d.

Dietary Source: Chocolate, nuts, dried beans, grains

Deficiency Symptoms: Depressed growth, dermatitis

Importance: Optimal growth, healthy skin, bone structure, enhances alkaline phosphate

Inhibits Absorption: Iron, copper

Enhances Absorption: Unknown


Daily Intake: 0.8 mg.,1.0 g.,1.3 g.

Dietary Source: Legumes, milk & milk products, bone meal, nuts, yellow cheese, eggs, fish, grains, poultry

Deficiency Symptoms: Pyorrhea, weight loss, appetite loss, irregular breathing, fatigue, nervousness, overweight

Importance: Works with calcium to form bones, teeth; cell growth and repair; utilizes carbohydrate-fat-protein; heart muscle contraction; nerve activity

Inhibits Absorption: Excessive intake of magnesium, white sugar, iron

Enhances Absorption: Protein, manganese, iron, calcium, A, F, D


Daily Intake: 3500 mg.

Dietary Source: Meats, whole grains, legumes, dried fruits, dates, figs, peaches, nuts, seafood, bananas, apricots

Deficiency Symptoms: Respiratory failure, cardiac arrest, poor reflexes, dry skin, nervousness, irregular heartbeat (slow), insomnia

Importance: Controls activity of heart muscles, nervous system, kidneys; rapid growth; muscle contractions; nerve tranquilization

Inhibits Absorption: Coffee, diuretics, sugar, stress, alcohol, cortisone, laxatives

Enhances Absorption: B-6, sodium



Daily Intake: 70 mcg.

Dietary Source: Broccoli, onions, tuna, herring, bran and wheat germ, brewer's yeast, whole grain

Deficiency Symptoms: Premature aging

Importance: Works with vitamin E, preserves tissue elasticity; protein utilization

Inhibits Absorption: Unknown

Enhances Absorption: Vitamin E


Daily Intake: 21-46 mg. (RDI not established)

Dietary Source: Unrefined high-fiber grains, cereal products, root vegetables

Deficiency Symptoms: Impaired formation of bone and cartilage (low collagen content)

Importance: Essential for the repair, maintenance and formation of healthy connective tissue

Inhibits Absorption: Unknown

Enhances Absorption: Calcium


Daily Intake: 12.4-30 mcg. (RDI not established)

Dietary Source: Shellfish, mushrooms, parsley, dill seed, black pepper

Deficiency Symptoms: Impaired perinatal survival, depressed growth, enhanced hematocrit, plasma cholesterol, lipids and phospholipids

Importance: Regulation of energy production, inhibition of cholesterol synthesis, enhances bone and tooth formation

Inhibits Absorption: Unknown

Enhances Absorption: Zinc, copper, iron


Daily Intake: 8 mg., 15 mg., 15 mg.

Dietary Source: Organ meats, brewer's yeast, fish, soybeans, liver, spinach, mushrooms, sunflower seeds

Deficiency Symptoms: Sterility, delayed sexual maturity, loss of taste, poor appetite, fatigue, retarded growth

Importance: Aids in digestion and metabolism of phosphorus and protein; component of insulin and male reproductive fluid; burn and wound healing process; prostate, carbohydrate digestion

Inhibits Absorption: High intake of calcium, alcohol

Enhances Absorption: Phosphorus, copper, calcium, A

Description of USRDI listing: With more than one listing: The first entry represents the RDA for children twelve months to four years old; the second entry represents the RDA for persons four years and older; the third entry represents the RDI for pregnant and lactating women. All listings are RDIs unless otherwise noted

Note: The symptoms referred to on this page can occur only when the daily intake of the minerals mentioned has been less than the USRDA over a prolonged period of time. These non-specific symptoms do not alone prove nutritional deficiency, but may be caused by any number of conditions or may have functional causes. If these symptoms persist, they may indicate a condition other than a vitamin or mineral deficiency.

The Mineral Guide is from the Nature's Plus Natural Vitamin Handbook and is reprinted with permission.

The statements on this page have not been evaluated by the FDA. These products are not meant to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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