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Minerals

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Carbohydrates  | Minerals Dietary Fibre  |  Nutritional Requirements

 

As with vitamins, the intake of sufficient minerals is necessary in order for our bodies to function properly, in particular with regard to the building of bones and soft tissues, and the regulation of processes such as heartbeat, blood clotting, nerve response, and oxygen transport.

Although dietary minerals are generally categorised into two groups i.e. major minerals and trace minerals, the difference between them is merely the daily amounts: at least 100mg of major minerals and less than 100mg of trace minerals. It should be noted that they are all essential to the well being of the body so care should be taken to intake all of them.

Below is a list of required minerals and their uses.


CALCIUM (Major Mineral)

Essential for strong, healthy bones and teeth in adults as well as children.
Good food sources:    Milk, dairy products, fish with edible bones (e.g. sardines), white bread, green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans


COPPER  (Trace Mineral)

Necessary for the formation of hemoglobin together with iron and helps keep bones, blood vessels, and nerves healthy.
Good food sources:   Dried beans, nuts, offal, meat, shellfish.


IODINE (Trace Mineral)

Controls metabolism, growth and development.
Good food sources:    Dairy products, eggs and seafood
 

IRON (Trace Mineral)

Needed for red blood cells,  for the formation of haemoglobin and maintenance of the immune system.
Good food sources:    Liver, kidney, lean red meat, oily fish
 

MAGNESIUM  (Major Mineral)

Regulates heart rhythm and aids blood clotting.  Also needed for strong bones and teeth, energy, nerve function and muscle relaxation.
Good food sources:    Wholegrain cereals, wholemeal bread, green vegetables, nuts, seeds, seafood
 

PHOSPHORUS  (Major Mineral)

Needed for blood clotting, bone and teeth formation, cell growth,  heart rhythm, and kidney function.
Good food sources:    Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, dairy products plus nuts, seeds and wholegrains
 

POTASSIUM  (Major Mineral)

Works with sodium to control the balance of fluids. Conducts nerve impulses, initiate muscle contractions and regulates heartbeat and blood pressure.
Good food sources:    Fruit, vegetables, milk, tea, coffee, meat, fish, nuts, seeds


SELENIUM (Trace Mineral)

An antioxidant that protects against harmful free radicals, helps maintain the immune system and produces thyroid hormones which control metabolism .
Good food sources:    Meat, fish, poultry, nuts, seeds


SODIUM   (Major Mineral)

Works with potassium to regulate the balance of fluids, activates enzymes and conduct nerve impulses.
Good food sources:    Salt and foods containing salt
 


ZINC  (Trace mineral)

Essential for growth, enzyme function, wound repair, fertility and  the immune system.
Good food sources:    Red meat, poultry, seafood, eggs, cheese, nuts, seeds

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