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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Minerals >>  Minerals In Food

Minerals In Food

All food, as you know, contains the basic nutrients needed to sustain life. These include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, roughage, and minerals. Minerals are the chemical part of food, and they aid different processes in the body. When we say ‘minerals’, we actually refer to the same minerals that are mined from the earth, but they are not found in the same form. The word ‘minerals’ brings to mind bits of rock that come from a mine, but minerals in food are actually trace elements.

Food minerals are found in all sorts of food. If you’re getting a healthy, balanced diet, you can rest assured that you’re getting enough vitamins and minerals in food. However, if your lifestyle stops you from getting a balanced diet, or if you have a problem with prevents your body from absorbing a particular mineral from food, you may need to take mineral supplements. Remember to consult your doctor before you take any supplements, as too much of any mineral can also be bad for you.

Types of minerals in food

There are two main types of minerals in food. The first is known as ‘macrominerals’ and include minerals like calcium, phosphorous, chloride, potassium, sulfur and sodium. The second kind of mineral is known as ‘trace minerals’ and includes elements like zinc, copper, iron, manganese, iodine, cobalt, copper, and fluoride. Please keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list of minerals in food. These are just examples of the minerals in food; there are many more. The best way to get them all is a balanced diet; this fact cannot be stressed enough. All these minerals can be found in different types of food. The only exception to this is iodine, which is found only in salt. Mineral supplements are also available over the counter.

Sources of minerals in food

Most foods have some kind of minerals in them. Here are some sources of food that contain the major minerals needed for good health. Of course, it is important to note that the minor minerals are not less important than major ones; all of them are needed to be healthy.

• Iron, one of the most important minerals, is found in large quantities in meat. It is also found in vegetables and fruits like apricots, figs, raisins, prunes, beans, broccoli, peas, spinach, eggs, nuts and whole grain.
• Magnesium is found in many foods, but the most significant ones are bananas, apricots, raisins, prunes, whole grains like brown rice, bread and lentils, pasta, milk products, okra, corn, and green leafy veggies.
• Zinc, an important antioxidant that has been shown to help with the common cold, is found in meat, water, and cereal. It is also found in brown rice, wholegrain bread, seafood, cheese, lean meats, duck, turkey, and venison.
• Selenium, another antioxidant needed for your liver, is found in cashew nuts and Brazil nuts, milk products, lean meat and chicken, onion, garlic, green vegetables, seafood, and sunflower seeds.
• Potassium is found in many foods, but can get destroyed if the food is overcooked. So it is a good idea to eat a lot of raw fruits and vegetables. 
Submitted on January 16, 2014