Most people know that maintaining a healthy diet is an essential part of keeping fit and well. To make sure your diet is as healthy as possible you need to ensure that there is a good balance of vitamins and minerals. This is all good advice, but which minerals are necessary and in what quantity?

This is where most people have difficulty when planning a diet either for weight loss or as part of a fitness routine. Here we aim to clarify how minerals are used by your body and how you can use them in your diet.

What are Minerals?

Minerals are what’s known as inorganic nutrients. They can be found in rocks and metal ores in the ground and soil. To integrate them into our diets, we absorb them from plants that have taken up the minerals whilst growing. This is why we are always told by the experts to eat fruit and vegetables as part of a healthy diet.

Why Do We Need Minerals?

You can imagine that your body is a very complex machine that needs  materials to build structures and maintain itself. These building materials are essential for building bones, hair, finger nails and all manner of internal structures. When we fail to provide our bodies with the correct sort and quantity of minerals, the machine starts to fail. A common example of this is Rickets, caused by a severe deficiency in Vitamin D and Calcium.

Essential Minerals for Life

There is a group known as the major minerals, that are needed to sustain life. We need to ensure that we consume the correct amount of these essential minerals to ensure that we stay healthy. We need to take in over 100mg of these minerals to ensure we have enough. There are other types known as trace minerals.  We need less than 100mg of these to stay healthy.

The major group are as follows:

Calcium

Phosphorus

Magnesium

Sulfur

Sodium

Potassium

Chloride

We need much smaller amounts of the trace minerals. These are as follows:

Iron

Zinc

Iodine

Selenium

Copper

Manganese

Fluoride

Chromium

Molybdenum

So when you are planning a diet as part of a health and fitness regime, make sure you are including the essential vitamins and minerals that are vital to keep you healthy, fit and happy!

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