We need minerals in every cell in out body to make it work. When the minerals are not in balance we become ill.
Minerals come from two different categories - Major minerals and trace minerals.
You have probably already worked out by the name of the groups that we need a lot more of the major minerals than we do of the trace minerals. We only need a little bit of the trace minerals.
Major minerals are sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and sulphur, also spelt sulfur.
Trace minerals are iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, fluoride, chromium and molybdenum.
Trace minerals needed in even smaller amounts are cobalt, vanadium, nickel and silicon.
Where do Minerals come from?
Minerals come from the soil. When plants grow they use the minerals to help them grow. When we eat vegetables or fruit we eat the minerals that are in that plant. Each plant uses different minerals so we need to eat different vegetables and fruit to gain a variety of minerals for out body.
When we eat meat we are also consuming minerals because the animal whose flesh we are eating ate plants to grow.
Calcium and Magnesium
We know that calcium is needed to make our bones strong. Calcium is also in every cell in our body and holds the cells together.
In our western diet we consume a lot of milk in the form of flavoured milks, yoghurt, cream and butter or ice cream. We don't have much magnesium. Soil is generally deficient in magnesium so plants can't use it as they grow. Therefore we become deficient in it.
Calcium has a relationship with Magnesium. They must have a certain ratio to each other to be in balance. The ratio can be 1:1, that is, 1 part calcium to one part magnesium, or 1:2, that is 1 part calcium to 2 parts magnesium.
Magnesium is the anti stress mineral. We get stressed when we don't get enough of it. It protects our arteries, nerves, muscles and bones and helps the circulation of our blood.
Foods that contain magnesium are green leafy vegetables, broccoli, nuts, especially almonds, seeds, especially pumpkin, sunflower and sesame seeds, and beans.
It is a good idea to take a supplement of magnesium as it is unlikely we will get enough of it in our diet. Take at least 400-800mg a day for an adult and 50-400mg for children and teens. It is recommended to take 8mg per kg (2lbs) of body weight.
Taking magnesium can help us relax, sleep better, be less anxious, and ease cramps or spasms in our body.
Other articles about minerals:
Major Supplements to Improve Your Health
Major benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium and Migraines
I am a trained Natural Therapist, Teacher, published Author and Artist who lives on the south eastern coast of Australia.
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The topics on this site are the opinion of the author and as such are only for research and educational purposes. Any products used or statements made are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
Always use your own best judgment and consult a medical professional when making important health care choices.