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Essential minerals: must have in your diet

Essential minerals: must have in your diet
September 09
10:57 2014

Human body needs a certain amount of minerals for healthy functioning. Here we will discuss about some essential minerals needed for human body.  Minerals like magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphorous and calcium are known to be major minerals.  Whereas, manganese, iron, zinc etc. are considered to be trace minerals. Daily along with vitamins, sufficient amount of minerals are a must in your diet. If you ensure to have these minerals in your balanced diet chart, then you can stay fit and healthy.

Necessary minerals needed for human body:

Calcium
  1. Requirement: Daily on an average our body needs 800mg-1300mg of calcium. Out of this, about 99% of calcium is stored in our bones and teeth.
  2. Importance: Calcium plays a significant role in our body as it needs some base for building bones, muscles, digestive system, and heart. It is also important for the formation of cell membranes. Calcium phosphate is also essential as it is responsible to give bones’ strength, structure, and density.
  3. Lack of calcium: If your diet lacks calcium, then body starts consuming calcium from bones to carry out the vital functions. This causes deterioration of our teeth and bones. Sustained calcium deficiency can also lead to various health problems. The lack of calcium is dangerous for menopausal women as the chances of developing osteoporosis increases.
  4. Over consumption: Excess calcium can cause hypercalcaemia, which means increased calcium levels in blood. This causes the creation of calcium in blood cells and also results in poor kidney function. Hypercalcaemia can also cause depression, bone pain, fatigue, lethargy and nausea. Another symptom of overdose of calcium is excess urination.
  5. Sources of Calcium: In order to provide a sufficient amount of calcium, including foods that are rich source of calcium in diet is essential. Milk and milk products are rich source of calcium. Other rich sources of calcium include leafy green vegetables, nuts like seeds, and almonds, green peas, soya, beetroot etc. will assist in improving the calcium levels in body.
Phosphorous
  1. Requirement: Phosphorous is one of the vital minerals needed for human body to be fit. Consuming 800 mg of phosphorous on daily basis is essential.
  2. Importance: Phosphorus mixes with calcium and makes calcium phosphate, which is very essential for the formation of bones and their strength. In bones and teeth, 80% of phosphorous is stored.
  3. Lack of phosphorus: If phosphorus is insufficient, then it can lead to stiff joints and makes the bones brittle. As a result, bones can break very easily. The lack of phosphate is also termed as hypophosphatemia. Decrease of phosphate levels in blood in related with the increase in phosphate levels in urine. The symptoms of this deficiency are weakness, muscle dysfunction and change in mental status.
  4. Over consumption: If the phosphorous consumption is very high, then it leads to hyperphosphatemia. Taking oral sodium phosphate solutions can also cause increased levels of phosphate. High precipitation of phosphate will decrease the calcium levels in body.
  5. Sources of Phosphorous: Phosphorous rich foods are milk and its products, eggs, fish, seeds, leafy vegetable, oats, bread, dry fruits, soya, carrots, fresh fruits etc.
Potassium
  1. Requirement: Around 2500 mg to 4700 mg of potassium must be available in your diet, everyday.
  2. Importance: Potassium assists to build proteins and muscles. It also maintains proper body growth and use carbs. It is also vital to perform both cellular and electrical functions.
  3. Lack of potassium: Insufficient amount of potassium in blood leads to hypokalemia. The lack of potassium also makes muscles weak, causes depression, hypertension and increases the blood pressure slightly. Also leads to irregular heartbeats.
  4. Over consumption: Dangerous contractions of the heart.
  5. Sources of potassium: Potassium is present in vegetables and fruits like potatoes, papayas, dry beans, spinach, turmeric, cabbage etc. Radish and garlic are also rich in potassium.
Sodium
  1. Requirement: Sodium or common salt, is one of the most important minerals needed by human body. Everyday diet must include around 1500mg to 2500mg of sodium.
  2. Importance: Sodium regulates the total amount of water and pH level in our body. It is also essential for muscle contractions and nerve functioning.
  3. Lack of Sodium: Lack of sodium causes hyponatremia. The lack of sodium also causes muscle cramps, headaches, dehydration and fatigue.
  4. Over consumption: Increased dosage of sodium leads to hypernatremia. This causes, lethargy, irritation and number of other health problems like hypertension and high blood pressure.
  5. Sources of sodium: Salt is rich in sodium. Other sources which are rich in sodium are radish, carrots, beetroot, eggs, milk, pickles, bread, cereals etc.
Iron
  1. Requirement: Everyday our body requires approximately 10 mg to 18 mg of iron. 70% of iron is stored in hemoglobin and 26% of it is stored in liver, bones and spleen.
  2. Importance: Blood sugar conversion into energy is carried by iron. It is also vital for proper functioning of immune system. It is also essential during pregnancy and childhood. This nutrient assists to carry oxygen in the entire body.
  3. Lack of iron: Lack of iron leads to anemia. This lack of iron will decrease the number of RBCs present in blood and also transport of oxygen throughout the body is affected. Anemia can lead to weakness and fatigue.
  4. Over consumption: Iron overload can result in repetitive and excess transfusion of blood.
    Iron rich foods: Iron is available in foods like eggs, grains, beans, dry fruits, green leafy veggies, red meat. Tomatoes, olives, asparagus etc.
  5. So, make sure that your diet is rich in all these minerals and you consume moderate amount of these every day to ensure well-being and proper functioning of body.

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