Minerals are a very important part of your diet and health. They are just as important to your body as vitamins. Minerals are responsible for a wide range of activities that range from building healthy bones, to making or activating enzymes and hormones. Equally as important, minerals help some vitamins perform their functions. There are at least 60 minerals that have been discovered in our bodies and 22 are important for our health. We will focus on the main groups of major minerals and trace minerals.
The main source of minerals for all living things is the soil. It’s absolutely essential that the foods we eat should be grown in soils that are rich in minerals. Soil that has been depleted by excessive farming, pollution or pesticides leeches minerals from the topsoil. Foods grown in soils like this can lack minerals and other healthy compounds, which increases your risk of getting diseases. Eating locally grown organic foods is a great way to get the best out of what you eat. These foods are more likely to have a greater amount of minerals, vitamins and other healthy compounds while being much less likely to contain pesticides.
Minerals we need in larger amounts, like calcium or potassium, are important because our body needs a fairly large amount in order to function properly. This is one of the reasons why a healthy diet is so important. When we don’t get enough vitamins or minerals in our diet, our bodies will not function at their best. For example, if you don’t get enough calcium in your diet, your body may begin to steal calcium from your bones, which can lead to conditions like osteoporosis later in life.
Trace minerals are another group of minerals that our body needs but in much smaller amounts than other minerals. We can fit all the trace minerals we need daily onto the tip of our pink finger. Even though we need them in small amounts, they are just as important as the minerals we need in larger amounts because our bodies will have trouble functioning at their best without them.