Minerals are as Important as Vitamins by Stacy Millett, PhD – It’s no secret how important it is to take vitamins. Even if we eat a local, organic, seasonal, whole foods diet, most soil today is depleted of essential minerals. Minerals are just as important to our health as vitamins. Our bodies can’t receive or assimilate vitamins without minerals. Although vitamin and mineral supplementation will never replace a healthy diet, minerals are essential, and especially when you consider that the body does not produce them. Minerals must be ingested.
Human digestion breaks minerals down into macro and trace minerals. We need large amounts of macro minerals to properly function. These include calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, chloride, and sulfur. We only need a small amount of trace minerals such as iron, zinc, fluoride, iodine, copper, selenium, molybdenum, chromium, and manganese. Many chronic diseases are partly the result of mineral deficiency over a long period of time. The long-term consequence of mineral deficiency can include chronic diseases and premature death. How’s that for a big dose of motivation?
Minerals help regulate and manage different organs, muscles and tissues. They are catalysts that speed up chemical reactions throughout the body. This underscores why it’s so important to get the right foods and enough water as part of good nutrition.
Water has four important minerals called electrolytes. Sodium, fluoride, potassium, and calcium act as electricity conductors to enhance the regulation of nerve and muscle function, while hydrating the body, balancing blood acidity, maintaining blood pressure, and rebuilding damaged tissue.
Calcium is regarded as the most important mineral. It’s the key to many essential functions: building and maintaining strong bones and teeth; regulating the heart, nerve and muscle functions; lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, and the risk of colon cancer; alleviating insomnia, and so much more. Calcium and magnesium balance each other out and should be supplemented on a 1:1 ratio. Magnesium is also vital. It does many of the same functions, but magnesium is necessary for metabolizing calcium and vitamin C. Magnesium calms the muscles and helps decrease pain and inflammation.
Proper nutrition is essential for the human body to perform at its optimal level. A good mix of needed minerals is a key variable in enhancing our health and wellness. A deficiency of key minerals can undermine our body organs and systems resulting in diminished performance and longevity.
Enjoy a healthy diet full of lots of different fruits and vegetables, grass fed meat, and healthy fats, but don’t forget to include high-quality supplements including various vitamins and minerals.
Stacy Millett owns Integrative Health of South Florida (IHSF) in Englewood. Visit IHealthSF.com or call 561-529-0919.