Nutrition is fundamental to have a healthy life . In order for our body to carry out its functions, it needs different kinds of nutrients. When you have these, you achieve balance. All nutrients such as vitamins, proteins, amino acids, carbohydrates, sugars, among others, need essential minerals for proper cell function.
All bodily processes depend on the action and the presence of essential minerals . These are essential for oxygen transport in the blood, nerve function, fluid balance, bone formation and regulation of muscle tone. Next, everything you need to know about minerals and the ten most important ones for our organism.
What are minerals?
They are natural, not organic elements. Constitute between 4% and 5% of the weight of our body. Humans require , hormone production and regulation of heart rate.
Types of minerals
Minerals by their characteristics and functions are classified as:
They are the minerals that the organism requires in a greater quantity . In this group are phosphorus, calcium, potassium, magnesium, chlorine, sulfur and sodium. These essential minerals are crucial for our body to develop its functions normally.
2. Trace elements
Are the minerals that the body needs in small quantities, such as copper, iron, selenium, manganese, cobalt, iodine, fluorine and zinc. The excess or lack of these minerals can have important consequences for the organism .
Importance of essential minerals
Essential minerals are inorganic elements that are part of an organ of the body, such as blood or bones. They are indispensable for our body to carry out its chemical and electrical processes . Therefore, we must always consume them in balanced concentrations, and a mismatch in their levels of concentration can lead to diseases.
Properties of essential minerals
- They regulate the balance of body fluids.
- They favor the digestive process.
- They intervene in cell growth and enzymatic reactions.
- They protect bones, membranes and organs.
- They maintain the energy balance of
- Increase oxygen transport.
Essential minerals for the organism
Essential minerals are indispensable for bones, balance, digest food, think and have energy.
This mineral is found mostly in the bone tissue, as well as in the extracellular fluid and in the cell . It acts on the cardiac contraction and the integrity of the nerves and muscles. In addition, it is an excellent mediator between enzymes and hormones. We find it mainly in milk and its derivatives.
, the main components of the blood. Without red blood cells, we can develop anemia, a highly debilitating condition. Iron can be found in red meat, beef liver, beans, vegetables, dried fruits and certain vegetables.
It is the second mineral in concentration in the organism. It acts in the metabolization of calcium, but its main function is related to the proper functioning of the parathyroid gland . Also, it helps the growth proteins and stores energy. Phosphorus is found in foods such as meat, liver, fish, milk, wholemeal bread, oats, soybeans and cereals.
It is found in bones and intracellular fluids. It intervenes in the activity of many enzymes, in the synthesis of proteins, in muscle contraction and in the transmission of nervous influx . Magnesium is found in fish, whole grains, dried fruits and green leafy vegetables.
Manganese, after calcium, is the most important mineral for the solid conformation of the skeleton.
It is an essential mineral for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland . We find it in foods such as fish, seaweed, shellfish, dairy products, cereals, common salt and in some fruits and vegetables.
Zinc is an effective antioxidant. It helps the immune system to function properly. We can find it in fish, pork and lamb, dried fruits, legumes and nuts.
Sodium regulates the amount of fluid in the body. It maintains the permeability of the walls of the cells and facilitates the muscular and nervous impulses . In addition, it is excellent for fighting infections and necessary for the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, which helps proper digestion.
Sodium is found in foods such as meats, cheese, seafood, sausages, tuna and bread.
. It also acts on the central nervous system so that it works normally. Potassium is found in a variety of foods such as bananas and vegetables, as well as in red meats and fish, such as sardines and tuna.
Sodium and potassium are related to the balance of body fluids . Potassium is found inside cells and sodium outside them. Both maintain an exchange, allowing the body to function well.
This mineral intervenes in the metabolism of nutrients. It is fundamental for thinking and muscle coordination . Boron is a little known mineral, but essential to have a lucid brain. We can find it in asparagus, nuts, apples, honey and tomatoes.
10. Sodium chloride
Sodium chloride (table salt) plays a major role in the functioning of the central nervous system and muscles . Only a pinch of salt is enough to meet the daily need for sodium chloride. Excessive salt intake raises blood pressure.
Other minerals important to the body
- Copper: helps the formation of hemoglobin and red blood cells.
- Molybdenum: acts as a cofactor of enzymatic systems.
- Selenium: works in conjunction with vitamin E. It is a natural antioxidant.
- Chromium: acts as a glucose tolerance factor.
- Sulfur: provides essential amino acids that the body does not produce.
- Cobalt: is an essential component of vitamin B12. It is essential for the formation of red blood cells and stimulates the production of enzymes.
- Manganese: after calcium, it is the most important mineral for the solid conformation of our skeleton.
Although we may not know these minerals, they keep our bodies healthy and, therefore, our bodies in balance. They are essential elements to keep us in good health. The lack of minerals causes diseases , which usually disappear when included in the diet.
Normally we talk about vitamins, proteins and carbohydrates, diminishing importance to the function that minerals exert, without which our organism could not function properly.