Nutrition Tip #5 – What Are Minerals?

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By: Stuart Carter, Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1,

C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Most of us know there are minerals in our foods and that they ‘do something'. But what do they actually do and how can they be beneficial to our health?

In this short guide, I will show you what each mineral does within your body, how much you need and which foods each of them is found in.

Let's get started…

What are minerals?

Minerals, like Vitamins, are a micronutrient and are necessary for the normal function of our metabolism, nervous system, and hormonal balance.

Minerals make up nearly 4% of our total body mass and are the vital component of our muscles, blood cells, and soft tissues.

What do minerals do?

Minerals enable our bodies to function correctly and to support the use of the energy that is supplied within our diets. Each mineral, like vitamins, has a certain job, which are shown below:

Calcium – As most people know, calcium is essential for strong teeth and bones. It is also used for clotting the blood, for muscle contractions, and to enable the proper performance of the heart and nervous system.

Iron – This mineral also makes sure our bones and teeth, as well as our muscles and other tissues, grow and stay strong. It is also essential in producing hemoglobin, and in the transportation of Oxygen in the blood.

Phosphorous – Another mineral that assists with the growth and strength of teeth and bones.

Magnesium – This mineral is very similar in usage as Phosphorous above. Other jobs this mineral have is to assist muscular activity and digestion.

Potassium – This mineral is found in every cell in the body and has many uses, including muscle contraction and relaxation, regulation of the heartbeat, and hormonal balance stimulation.

Sodium – This works with many other minerals that assist in the growth and continued strength of teeth and bones, by ensuring the correct balance of calcium is distributed throughout the body.

Iodine – An important mineral, especially when looking to maintain low levels of body-fat, as it regulates the functioning of the Thyroid gland and controls metabolism.

Copper – This helps to convert iron into hemoglobin and assists the body to use the vitamin C taken in through our diet

Zinc – A good mineral for muscle gainers as it is responsible for cell growth and protein synthesis. It also prolongs muscle contractions and assists in the use of vitamin A, and the B complex.

Fluoride – Fluoride is necessary to stimulate bone development and nourishes teeth. It inhibits, and can actually reverse the development of dental cavities.

Manganese – This mineral has a number of important uses within our body. It is responsible for the activation of enzymes, the production of sex hormones and skeletal development.

Selenium – Selenium protects our body tissues from oxidative damage from radiation, pollution and normal metabolic processing.

How much do I need?

minerals

Where do I get them?

  • Calcium – Milk, Brown rice, Cabbage, Wheat-germ.
  • Iron – Liver, Kidney, Prunes, Lentils
  • Phosphorous – Liver, Peanuts, Soya beans.
  • Magnesium – Nuts, Whole-wheat grain.
  • Potassium – Meat, Fish, Carrots, Beans.
  • Sodium – Cheese, Lamb, Cucumber, Watermelon.
  • Iodine – Citrus fruits, Sardines, Kelp.
  • Copper – Most Foods.
  • Zinc – Eggs, Whole-grain, Oysters.
  • Fluoride – Fluorinated water, teas, marine fish.
  • Manganese – Nuts, whole grains, fruit and vegetables.
  • Selenium – Seafood, lean meats, grains.

I hope you have found this short guide informative and you are able to add certain foods into your eating plan, should you feel you have a deficiency in any of these minerals.

If you would like further information on how to put together a healthy eating plan, you can download a free copy of our 1-day meal plan now by clicking the link box below.

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Until next time, I wish you success and happiness.

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Stuart Carter Dip. PT, Precision Nutrition 1

C.O.O., The Fit Father Project

Stuart gained his Diploma in Personal Training & Sports Medicine through Premier Global, back in 2001. In 2018, he completed his Level 1 Precision Nutrition qualification.

Throughout his career in Fitness, Stuart has trained hundreds of clients, worked in almost every position in the industry, and ran his own successful training studio.

After a hiatus away from the Fitness industry, working in Corporate Management and Finance, Stuart returned to what he loves… Fitness! This return led to a chance meeting with Dr. Balduzzi, and a place in the Fit Father Project team.

Brotherhood Nickname: The Fit Brit
Bragging Rights: 18 Years in the fitness industry, Author of ‘The Easy Fitness Guide', Father of 4 boys and Husband to a Venezuelan beauty.

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