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ABCs of Vitamins and minerals (Part 2)

The Essential Minerals


The minerals are classified into three parts: macro, trace, and ultra trace minerals. The essential minerals which we need to be healthy are calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, iron, zinc, and fluorine. The essential trace elements are copper, chromium, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and iodine.

The functions of the most important essential minerals:

1. Calcium - Plays an important role in bone and teeth formation and nervous system health.

* Deficiency - Leads to stunted growth, increased rate of bone fractures and nervous system problems.

* A natural source - milk.

2. Iron - Plays an important role in red blood cell formation.

* Deficiency - Leads to iron deficiency anemia which is characterized by fatigue, pallor, concave nails with white lines and an increased heart beat rate.

* Natural sources - eggs, meat, liver and fish.

3. Zinc - Essential for growth and development, enhances immune function and wound healing, increases fertility.

* Deficiency - Leads to skin inflammation, hair loss, sore throat, delayed growth and diarrhea.

* Natural sources - meat, vegetables with leaves, whole grains, milk and eggs.

The functions of the most important essential trace minerals:

1. Iodine - This is essential for growth and development because it is a component of thyroid hormones.

* Deficiency - goiter (a disease characterized by an enlarged thyroid gland and a decreased heart beat rate).

* Natural sources - milk, sea fish, and iodized salt.

2. Chromium - Assists in glucose utilization by enhancement of insulin action.

* Deficiency - weight loss and an inability to tolerate glucose.

* Natural sources - meat, whole grains and nuts.

You can use the best natural sources of vitamins and minerals in your daily routine, the most important components are: milk, eggs, vegetables, fish and whole grain cereals.
 
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