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Mineral supplements are important in our daily metabolic processes. They help the body produce energy, help it grow, reproduce and maintain healthy cells. Because minerals often work synergistically with other minerals and vitamins, a deficiency in any of them may cause serious health problems. For example, zinc is necessary for the body to convert Vitamin A into its active form.
Some minerals also function as antioxidants which destroy free radicals. Free radicals are reactive chemical substances in our bodies that are responsible for premature aging and diseases such as cancer and heart disease. The mineral selenium is able to neutralize free radicals before the damage to cells occurs.
Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the human body and plays many important roles such as building strong bones and teeth, controlling muscle contractions, generation and transmission of nerve impulses, activation of various enzymes and release of some hormones that regulate digestion and metabolism. 99% of the body’s Calcium is found in the skeletal system and 1% is found in the blood. Calcium is essential for a healthy functioning body, and needs Vitamin D to be absorbed into the body.
Dairy products like milk, yogurt, or cheese, ice cream, cottage cheese. Fortified orange juice, salmon, sardines, collard greens, rocket, broccoli, almonds, spinach, tofu, dried beans, and lima beans.
A calcium supplement must be taken with food for best absorption. A calcium / magnesium supplement taken at night time will help relax your muscles and help you fall asleep. It is considered safe to take up to between 1000 - 2000mg per day, but the side effects of too much Calcium may prevent the body’s absorption of zinc, iron and magnesium. High doses could lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Symptoms of toxicity may include loss of appetite, muscle weakness, inability to speak, poor balance, and possibly depression and irritability.
Chromium is a trace mineral that is found in very small amounts in the body. Scientists believe that it helps insulin bring glucose into the cells for energy, aiding the body’s metabolism. Because of this, many researchers believe that chromium is helpful in reducing blood sugar in cases of Type 2 diabetes. Chromium also may play a part in lowering cholesterol in the blood and reducing high blood pressure. Chromium also assists in the conversion of fat, proteins and carbohydrates into energy. It also helps promote muscle tone. Because chromium activates several enzymes, it is also important for healthy brain function and a number of chemical processes in the body.
Chromium can be found in cereals, black pepper, thyme, mushrooms, coffee, teas, broccoli and brewer’s yeast. The body doesn’t absorb chromium very well and so can be taken in the form of supplements, such as chromium picolinate.
Chromium deficiency has been associated with low glucose tolerance and may affect the ability of insulin to regulate sugar balance. Low chromium levels may also cause high cholesterol levels and increase the risk of heart disease.
Chromium toxicity may reduce the effectiveness of insulin and causes stomach irritation.
Copper helps transport oxygen around the body, helps maintain hair colour and is used in the production of hormones.
Copper is beneficial for proper growth, better utilization of sugar in the body, improved absorption of iron from the intestinal tract, improved energy production, red blood cell formation, accelerated wound healing and much more. Copper cannot be produced within the body and needs to be sourced from the diet. Copper has anti-inflammatory properties and is helpful in reducing the symptoms of arthritis.
Almonds, Avocados, Beans, Beetroot, Broccoli, Buckwheat, Carrot, Garlic, Green leafy vegetables, Legumes, Lentils, Liver, Meat, Mushrooms, Oysters
Some symptoms of copper deficiency are low white blood cell count, anaemia, lethargy, low resistance to infections and thyroid disorders.
In the blood, iron combines with a protein to form a substance called haemoglobin. When we inhale, oxygen in our lungs is attracted to the iron in the haemoglobin and combines with it to form oxyhaemoglobin. This is transported around the body by the blood cells, and oxygen is released wherever it is needed to allow the conversion of carbohydrates (sugars) into energy.
Clams, cereal, oysters, soy beans, red meat, spinach, white beans and blackstrap molasses are excellent sources of iron.
Iron deficiency causes lack of energy and tiredness.
Magnesium is an important mineral for building bones, protein, and teeth. It also helps in muscle contraction and nerve function. Magnesium helps keep the heart rhythm steady and supports the immune system. It also helps regulate blood sugar levels, promotes normal blood pressure and is involved in energy metabolism.
Sources of magnesium include nuts, whole grains, and dark green vegetables such as spinach, legumes, seafood, and cocoa. Magnesium is also available in supplements. The best time to take a magnesium supplement is with your calcium before going to bed. These two work together to help your body relax.
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. As deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, muscle contractions and cramps, personality changes and abnormal heart rhythms can occur. Many of these symptoms can result from a variety of other medical conditions besides magnesium deficiency, so it is important to see a doctor if these problems occur.
Zinc is a very important mineral, assisting in manufacturing DNA, healing wounds, strengthening your immune system, helping prevent or fight colds and other infections. It is important for reproduction, helping sperm develop and ovulation take place, as well as assisting with fertilization. Zinc has beneficial effects on sex and thyroid hormones making it important for reproduction, helping sperm develop and ovulation to take place and assisting with fertilization.
Zinc is necessary for the body to convert vitamin A to its active form.
Sources of magnesium include nuts, whole grains, dark green vegetables such as spinach, legumes, seafood, liver, beef, crab, lamb, pork, chicken, oysters, dried beans, split peas, wheat germ, brown rice, oatmeal, bran flakes, pecan nuts, cashew nuts, sunflower seeds, peanut butter.
Zinc deficiency can cause poor healing of wounds, high susceptibility to colds and flu, a poor sense of smell and taste, skin problems like acne, eczema, and psoriasis, low sperm count, inadequate blood sugar tolerance, slow growth and sexual maturation, and a poor appetite.
Long term use of dosages over 100 mg may cause your HDL (good cholesterol) to lower and your LDL (bad cholesterol) to rise. Other toxicity symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Excessive zinc may also interfere with copper absorption.
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