Sunday, August 29, 2010

3 Essential Minerals and What Happens If You Don’t Get Them

There are three essential minerals that you need to make sure to get into your diet if you want to increase your health. Those minerals are calcium, iron and iodine. Failure to get these three minerals can result in serious consequences such as anemia or problems with your bone development. Luckily, these minerals are easyto find in foods that you are probably already consuming. In fact, these minerals are each found in different foods so the most important thing will be that you are eating a well rounded diet.

Let’s take a closer look at these three important minerals and what happens to your body when you don’t get enough of them:

1. Calcium

Most people know that it is very important to eat enough calcium. This mineralis what makes your bones strong. If you don’t get enough calcium during your developing years then you can have problems with bone growth and you may even develop a serious condition called rickets. If you don’t get enough calcium inyour adult years then you can experience bone loss and will be more prone tobroken bones as you age. Women who have already gone through menopause areparticularly susceptible to this problem. Calcium is an important mineral for other reasons as well. Calcium helps to control muscle contractions, initiate DNA synthesis, signal biochemical processes atthe cellular level, improve your metabolism and even properly clot the blood. Failure to get enough calcium into your diet can affect all of these differentthings going on in the body and can have significant effects on your long-term health.

2. Iron.

Another very important mineral that we need to get enough of is iron. Many people know that a lack of iron can result in anemia which is a blood problem. This is due to the fact that iron serves the purpose of helping to produce blood cells inthe human body. Iron helps to carry oxygen throughout the body and also aids in digestion. If you don’t get enough iron then you can suffer from a number of different health problems, the most common of which is chronic fatigue. You may simply feel too tired to do anything. Additionally, you may find that your food doesn’t digest properly, your immune system is weakened and therefore you get sick more often and your memory or brain function is slowed down a bit. You can also get a condition called glossitis with is an uncomfortable swelling of the tongue. At its most severe, this condition can actually block your airway and make it difficult for you to breathe.

3. Iodine.

Most people are aware of the fact that they need calcium and iron but they may not be aware of the fact that they need a third important mineral in their diet: iodine. Iodine works in the thyroid which affects your hormone levels.This can alter everything from your mood to your metabolic rate. Failure to get enough iodine in your diet can result in a feeling of fatigue or lethargy. It can also cause weight gain, dry skin and the growth of a goiter in the neck. Children who don’t get enough iodine in their bodies may have problems with mental development although this is rare in developed nations.

How to Get These 3 Important Minerals

It is clear that calcium, iron and iodine are important minerals for your total health and wellbeing. Failure to get enough of these minerals can result in problems ranging from feeling tired to developing uncomfortable abnormalities like a goiter or swelled tongue. It can also lead to serious problems with childhood development or with issues related to aging. So you need to get this minerals in proper doses.

How should you do that?

The best way to get the right minerals into your body is to consume them as a part of your natural diet. These three minerals all come from different sources so a well-rounded, balanced diet is your best choice forgetting all three minerals. Here are some of the sources for these individual minerals:

1. Sources of calcium.

The best way to get calcium into your body is to consume milk and diary products. Low-fat milk, low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt are all really great, healthy sources of calcium. However, it is possible to get calcium from other sources as well. Spinach, oranges, baked beans and almonds all have calcium in them.

2. Sources of iron.

Many people believe that you need to eat meat to get enough iron into your body. It’s true that meat is a great source of iron (with lean cutsof beef and poultry being the best choices). However, iron is found in many

different foods. Non-meat sources ofiron include dried fruit (apricots, raisin and prunes), dried beans,iron-fortified cereals, whole grains and green vegetables (spinach, kale,broccoli).

3. Sources of iodine.

Iodine is a mineral that is found in interesting places. It is added to table salt so any food that contains salt is going to add to your iodine intake. It is alsofound in sea vegetables. Additionally, some dairy products including milk andeggs have iodine and them. Interestingly, so do strawberries.

Indian Board of Alternative Medicine
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