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Complementary Therapists > Dietary Therapy > Minerals

Dietary Minerals

What are Minerals ?

Dietary minerals are vital for our nutrition and the healthy functioning of the human body. Minerals in our diet are necessary chemical elements that are divided into two types - macrominerals and trace minerals.

What are Macrominerals ?

The human body needs macrominerals in large quantities - as opposed to trace minerals. They include calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), phosphorus (P), potassium (K), sulfur (S), chlorine (CI) and sodium. Calcium is the most plentiful macromineral found in the body and it is in our bones that 99% of the calcium resides.

What are Trace Minerals ?

As the term trace suggests these minerals are required in the body in very small quantities. Trace minerals include the following; iron, copper, iodine, zinc, manganese, cobalt, fluoride, and selenium. Experts do not fully agree on the precise levels of these minerals that are required, and indeed are healthy, for the body.

Minerals cannot be produced in the body so they must be ingested through our diet or via dietary supplements. Some modern farming methods and food production methods lead to mineral depletion in the food produced which consequently may lead to mineral deficiency in people. To avoid this, dietary therapists recommend a balanced diet of fresh foods and preferably foods that have been produced organically. Nutritional therapists will recommend mineral supplements to enhance the usual diet.

Mineral Chart

The following is a list of minerals that are required by the human body. It includes the name of each mineral, the health benefits for the body, good sources of the mineral and the recommended daily allowance (RDA).

Minerals Health Benefits Mineral Source Recommended Daily Allowance
Calcium Vital for healthy bones and teeth. Aids blood clotting, and regulates blood pressure and enzyme production. Dairy, Tofu, Fortified Soy Milk, Sardines Men: 800 - 1000 mg
Women: 800 - 1000 mg
Kids: 500 mg (1 - 3 yr) 1300 mg (9 - 13 yr)
Iron Essential element of haemoglobin that kelps red blood cells to transport oxygen through the body. Fortified Cereals, Spinach and other Brassicas, Red Meat, Dried Fruits Men: 6 mg
Women: 6 mg
Kids: 7 mg - 15mg
Magnesium Collaborates with sodium and phosphorus to aid healthy muscle and nerve function. Controls calcium levels in the body, and helps it to maintain skeletal structure. Yoghurt, Eggs, Artichoke, Dates, Rolled Oats, Wheat Germ, Nuts, Seeds, Wheat Bran, meat, fish, poultry, green vegetables, legumes Men: 2.0 - 5.0 mg
Women: 2.0 - 5.0 mg
Kids: 1.0 - 3.0 mg
Potassium Combines with sodium, to control fluid levels in the body, blood pressure, heartbeat and nerve impulses. Spinach, Potato, Grapes, Banana, Watermelon, Dates, Grapefruit, Bamboo Shoots, Meats, milks, grains, vegetables, legumes Men: 2000 mg
Women: 2000 mg
Kids: 3000 mg (1 - 3 yr) 4500 mg (9 - 13 yr)
Sodium Combines with Potassium, controls fluid and alkali levels. Also encourages healthy nerve and muscle functioning. Table Salt, Seafood, Cheese, Eggs, Beetroot, Artichokes, Beef, Yoghurt, Soy Milk Men: 500 mg
Women: 500 mg
Kids/Infants: 120 mg
Phosphorus Aids in teeth and bone creation and maintenance. Promotes healthy muscle and nerve function, and permits energy release. Milk, grains, lean meats, yogurt, cheese, ice Cream, lentils, seeds, beans, nuts, chocolate, peanut butter, bran, food additives. Men: 1200 mg
Women: 800 - 1200 mg
Zinc Boosts immunity and supports the healing process. Contributes to healthy skin, nails, eyes, growth and sexual development, DNA and protein synthesis, and enzyme activity. Avocado, Dates, Meat, seafood, and liver, eggs, milk, whole-grain products Men: 15 mg
Women: 12 mg
Kids: 10 - 15 mg
Copper Vital for healthy performance of red blood cells and brain. Promotes connective tissue synthesis. Seafood, nuts, legumes, green leafy vegetables, dried fruits (such as prunes and cocoa), yeast, organ meats, nuts, potatoes, grains, beans Men:1.5 - 3.0 mg
Women: 1.5 - 3.0 mg
Kids: 0.5 - 1.0 mg
Iodine Important for thyroid hormone regulation. Promotes growth and protein synthesis. Seafood, Iodised Salt Men: 150 mcg
Women: 150 mcg
Kids: 70 - 150 mcg

Dietary Therapy - Nutritional Therapy - Vitamins - Minerals


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