The Minerals You Need – Part 2

Sea food and salad - natural sources of iodine

We have established in the previous post that minerals are key ingredients of a healthy life along with vitamins, though both have no nutritional value, therefore demolish the urban myth saying that one person can get fat from taking such supplements. Yes, it is true that some vitamins and minerals take part in metabolic processes and can lead to fat gain, but only if there was a metabolic problem to start with. Also vitamins are very important in the absorption of minerals (e.g. vitamin B12 and HCl in the absorption of iron, vitamin D in the absorption of calcium and magnesium). Thus, we continue our list of minerals:

  1. Iodine – can be found in the human body in very small amounts, about 25mg out of which 30% can be found in the thyroid gland, where it is used for the synthesis of thyroid hormones, thus making iodine on the most important minerals for the human body. The lack of iodine will result in an over growth of the thyroid gland leading to the formation of goiter. Since thyroid hormones are extremely important for normal growth and neuronal differentiation, iodine becomes as important as the hormones themselves.Great sources of iodine are: marine animals, water, mushrooms.
  2. Magnesium – can be found in the human body in small amounts, about 20-25grams, but is very important both in the structure of bones and in the activity of other minerals and vitamins. Magnesium can be found in blood, free and bound to proteins but is mostly found in the nucleus of the cell and in the mitochondria. It plays an important role in the metabolism of fat, sugar and amino acids. Magnesium also helps in the utilization of several vitamins: B complex, C and E. The deficiency of magnesium can lead to calcifications in the arterial walls as well as heart problems. Rich sources of magnesium are: cereals, green vegetables, fruit, nuts, meat, fish and oysters.
  3. Selenium – can be found in the human body in very small amounts, less then 20mg in an adult. Selenium acts as a natural antioxidant, being a key component in the oxidation process of polyunsaturated fatty acids. Together with vitamin E it promotes growth and skin health. The deficiency of selenium can lead to premature aging and loss of skin elasticity.Can be found in: cereals, tomatoes, onions and nuts. The amount of selenium found in these sources depends on the amount of selenium that is in the soil.

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