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Did You Eat Your Rocks Today?

Did you know humans need to eat rocks to stay alive? It's true!  From A to Z, we need minerals to stay healthy! Where do these minerals come from? From foods produced from the earth, which is full of minerals!

We need major essential minerals or 'macro minerals' including: sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulphur. Check out the charts below to discover how your body uses essential minerals and more!

  A-Z

 

Major minerals (Macro or Essential minerals)

Mineral

Function

Sources

Sodium

Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction

Table salt, soy or soy-free cooking sauces (coconut sap), processed foods, small amounts in milk and fortified alternative milk products (almond milk, etc.), whole grain breads, vegetables, and unprocessed meats

Chloride

Needed for proper fluid balance, stomach acid

Table salt, soy or soy-free cooking sauces (coconut sap), large amounts in processed foods, small amounts in milk and fortified alternative milk products (almond milk, etc.), meats, whole grain breads, and vegetables

Potassium

Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction

Meats, milk and alternative milk products (almond milk, etc.), fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes

Calcium

Important for healthy bones and teeth; helps muscles relax and contract; important in nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure regulation, immune system health

Milk and milk products and fortified alternative milk products (almond milk, etc.), canned fish with bones (salmon, sardines), greens (broccoli, mustard greens), legumes

Phosphorus

Important for healthy bones and teeth; found in every cell; part of the system that maintains acid-base balance

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk and fortified alternative milk products (almond milk, etc.), processed foods (including carbonated drinks)

Magnesium

Found in bones; needed for making protein, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, immune system health

Nuts and seeds, legumes, leafy, green vegetables, seafood, dark chocolate, artichokes, natural mineralized drinking water

Sulfur

Found in protein molecules

Occurs in foods as part of protein: meats, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, legumes, nuts

 

 

Our bodies also require smaller amounts of 'trace' or micro minerals including iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, fluoride, chromium and molybdenum. Other trace nutrient minerals (and metals) the body may benefit from in very small amounts are nickel, silicon, vanadium, cobalt, and gold! Check out the chart to see how your body uses some of these trace minerals.

Mineral

Function

Sources

Iron

Part of a molecule (hemoglobin) found in red blood cells that carries oxygen in the body; needed for energy metabolism

Organ meats, red meats, fish, poultry, shellfish (especially clams), egg yolks, legumes, dried fruits, dark, leafy greens, iron-enriched breads and cereals, and fortified cereals

Zinc

Part of many enzymes; needed for making protein and genetic material; has a function in taste perception, wound healing, normal fetal development, immune system health

Meats, fish, poultry, leavened whole grains, vegetables

Iodine



Found in thyroid hormone which helps regulate growth, development, and metabolism

Seafood, foods grown in iodine-rich soil, iodized salt, bread, dairy products

Selenium

Antioxidant

Meats, seafood, grains

Copper

Part of many enzymes; needed for iron metabolism

Legumes, nuts and seeds, whole grains, organ meats, drinking water

Manganese

Part of many enzymes

Widespread in foods, especially plant foods

Fluoride

Involved in formation of bones and teeth; helps prevent tooth decay

Drinking water (either fluoridated or naturally containing fluoride), fish, and most teas

Chromium

Works closely with insulin to regulate blood sugar (glucose) levels

Unrefined foods, especially liver, brewer's yeast, whole grains, nuts, cheeses

Molybdenum

Part of some enzymes

Legumes, breads and grains, leafy greens, leafy, green vegetables, milk, liver

 

Mineral/food charts reference: emedicinehealth.com

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