It is easy to take our bodies for granted and forget that they are actually very complex, requiring just the right balance of vitamins and minerals to support all the different types of cells.
We often assume we are getting the right nutrients from our diets alone – especially when we feel like we are in good health.
But if our diet is lacking in a certain area, over time we can become deficient in vital minerals.
If left unchecked, this can negatively affect our general health and wellbeing, since minerals affect everything in our body, from our skin and bones to our nervous system.
What are minerals?
The minerals we have in our bodies are:
- a few other trace elements that are present in tiny amounts
While they are natural minerals, they are known as inorganic substances, as they are not alive.
Do we really need all those minerals?
The short answer is, yes! However, there are a few that we need much larger amounts of than others.
For example, we need far more calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium and chloride than fluoride, selenium or copper.
But the amount we need does not necessarily represent how important they are to our bodies and the way they function.
The amount of each mineral depends on our age, sex and stage of life.
For example, anyone who is menstruating or pregnant may require more iron.
Men, on the other hand, require slightly more zinc than women (9.5mg vs 7mg).
Benefits of minerals
The benefits of consuming the correct amount of minerals in our diets is that our bodies are supported to work as optimally as possible.
From normal hair and nails to maintaining the normal function of our immune system, the minerals we consume play a big part in our daily lives – usually without us even knowing it!
That is why many people choose to take mineral supplements to ensure they are getting enough of each mineral.
The benefits of some of the most popular mineral supplements are explored below.
There are hundreds of different available supplements for vitamins and minerals.
Perhaps you have been advised to take a specific mineral by a medical professional, or have identified yourself that your diet is lacking in a certain area.
Here are some of the most common mineral supplements and the benefits of taking them.
Of all the minerals in our bodies, calcium is the most plentiful: around one kilo of our body weight (mostly in our bones) is calcium!
Most people are aware of calcium’s major benefits, which include supporting normal bones and teeth, but the mineral also supports digestive enzymes, muscle function and blood clotting.
Adults need around 700mg of calcium per day, but kids and those who are breastfeeding need much more.
It is important to know that we need vitamin D to absorb calcium from our diet, which is why many calcium tablets pair the two nutrients together, such as Holland & Barrett Calcium plus Vitamin D Tablets.
Check out the first aid section next time you are at a pharmacy and you will notice lots of products containing zinc.
But that is not all it is good for. Zinc also helps us make new proteins, as well as helping us maintain normal vision.
Taking a zinc supplement might be particularly helpful if you are vegan and/or gluten intolerant, as the best sources of zinc in our diet is from meat, shellfish, dairy and bread and cereal products.
Magnesium has over 300 functions in the body and is vital for the functioning of many other minerals.
For examples, we need it to maintain normal bones and muscle function.
There are many different types of magnesium supplements, including magnesium tablets such as Holland & Barrett Magnesium Tablets, magnesium suspensions such as Floradix Magnesium Mineral Drink as well as many complimentary magnesium products, including Holland & Barrett Magnesium Oil Spray.
This trace element is vital for kick-starting and regulating our immune system.
It has also been found to contribute towards normal thyroid function. In men, selenium supports healthy sperm development.
Normally, women need 60 micrograms per day while men need 75 micrograms, but there are various strengths when it comes to selenium tablets.
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