What is Trace Minerals?
There are two types of minerals in our body: macro minerals and trace minerals. Macro minerals are needed in larger quantities to ensure the proper functioning of the body. Some examples of macro minerals are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, etc.
Trace minerals are essential for overall healthy functioning of the body but unlike macro minerals they are required in very small quantities daily. Some of them are selenium, chromium, iron, zinc, sulfur, iodine, molybdenum, boron. Though these trace minerals are needed in a very small amount, they are essential for maintaining the optimal metabolic functioning of the body.
Let's look at some examples of trace minerals and their functions in our body:
-an important mineral that helps protect the body from diseases and health problems. It helps control the free radical cell damage and strengthens the natural immune system by boosting the production of immune bodies and preventing the formation of dangerous blood clots in the body. Some of the natural food sources of selenium are garlic, Brazil nuts, grains and fish.
- regulates the levels of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus thus plays a vital role in strengthening the bones. It improves the memory and other brain functions. It is also involved in the regulation of male and female hormones, the prevention of arthritis and the maintenance of the strength of cell walls. Some food sources of boron are tomatoes, apples, pears, prunes, and raisins.
- helps prevent and lower high blood pressure. It also works with insulin in the metabolism of blood sugar. It is directly involved in carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism and is required for the glucose tolerance factor. Deficiencies may include hypoglycemia and diabetes. Some food sources of chromium are broccoli, brewer's yeast, whole grains, grape juice and orange juice.
- ensures the oxygen supply necessary for optimum brain functioning as well as fights off bacterial infections. It is important for maintaining healthy hair, skin and nails. It is needed to build the collagen that helps hold the parts of the body together. It also keeps our energy levels stable. Sulfur is a building block of important amino acids such as cysteine, cystine, taurine, and methionine. Some food sources include eggs, fish, garlic, onions and cabbage.
- Copper is required for body's normal growth and overall health. It plays an important role in promoting proper nerve function, bone growth, and helping body to utilize stored sugar. Many different enzymes use copper to function optimally in the body. It is an essential nutrient that plays a pivotal role in the production of myelin, hemoglobin, melanin and collagen. Some food sources of copper are nuts, beans, whole grains and seafood.
The imbalances of trace minerals can be determined through the Hair Mineral Analysis.
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