Minerals in the diet – are they important?

June 30, 2017 by Ann Rea, Phoenix Acupuncturist

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The answer is YES, but let’s start with some background info.  Some minerals are household names such as the macrominerals: Calcium, Magnesium, Sodium, Potassium, and Phosphorus.  There are also microminerals that are present in much smaller quantities in the body including: Iron, Copper, Manganese, Zinc, Chromium, Selenium, Boron, Iodine, and Molybdenum.

 

Where do nutritional minerals come from?  Well yes, you can find them in the supplement department in your local store, but let’s talk about where they are found in nature.

 

Minerals are naturally occurring elements found in rocks and stones.  As rocks break down over time, they release minerals into the soil.  Plants, then absorb the minerals from the soil, and are then eaten by animals.  Therefore, us humans get our minerals from eating plants, and animals that eat plants.

 

Here is the problem today:

  • With conventional farming practices, crops are planted over and over again in the same soil. Plants pull minerals from the soil, but there is never an opportunity to replenish minerals.  Therefore, the plants, and the animals that eat them are mineral deficient
  • Highly processed foods (those shelf stable foods found in convenience stores and in the center isles of grocery stores) are depleted of minerals.

 

Are minerals essential?  Every human cell depends on minerals for proper function including energy production, growth and healing.  Minerals are also essential for the proper utilization of vitamins and other nutrients.  Minerals are required to heal and maintain health.

 

So, what to do? 

  • Eat as many different plants (vegetables, fruits) that you can. Organic farming methods replenish soil minerals so eat as much organic as you can.
  • If appropriate for you, eat a well-rounded diet which includes organic vegetables, organic fruits, sustainably harvested seafood, and a variety of grass fed, grass finished and responsibly raised meats and poultry.
  • Take mineral supplements as recommended by your healthcare provider. Look for Whole Food sources rather than supplements that are synthesized in a chemical factory

 

Happy Health!!

Ann & Emily

 


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