Overview of Minerals- An Essential Component of Healthy Living

Minerals: what are they, what do they do, and where can we find them in plant-based sources?


Minerals are elements that play an important part in many different areas of our health. Aiding in metabolism function as well as DNA creation, and helping with bone and heart health are amongst the many roles minerals can play in our bodies.


The intention behind this list is to offer you an overview of major and trace minerals that are found in our bodies, what they are needed for, and where we can find them in plant-based options.


I hope this list provides you with a bit more clarity and understanding of an important topic, and as always please consult with your doctor if you are interested in checking your mineral levels and making changes accordingly.



Major Minerals-


Calcium


Needed for:

  • Strong and healthy bones

  • Proper heart, muscle, and nerve function

Found in:

  • Kale

  • Tofu

  • Collard greens

  • Broccoli


Chloride


Needed for:

  • Balancing fluid levels

  • Healthy blood pressure and fluid pH

Found in:

  • Salt

  • Olives


Magnesium


Needed for:

  • Metabolism function

  • DNA creation

  • Healthy muscle and nerve function

Found in:

  • Almonds

  • Spinach

  • Tofu

  • Cashews

  • Swiss chards

  • Flaxseeds

  • Kidney beans


Phosphorus


Needed for:

  • Energy creation

  • pH balance

  • Healthy bones

Found in:

  • Spinach

  • Swiss chards

  • Kale

  • Lettuce

  • Broccoli

  • Cabbage

  • Blueberries

  • Figs

  • Vegetable oils


Potassium


Needed for:

  • Healthy kidney functioning

  • Heart health

Found in:

  • Bananas

  • Apricots

  • Raisins

  • Potatoes

  • Spinach

  • Lentils

  • Soybeans


Sodium


Needed for:

  • Healthy nerve and muscle functioning

  • Keeping fluids and electrolytes balanced in body

Found in:

  • Salt

  • Celery


Sulfur


Needed for:

  • Cell protection

  • Skin health

  • Tendon and ligament health

Found in:

  • Garlic

  • Onion

  • Broccoli

  • Almonds

  • Oats


Trace Minerals-


Chromium


Needed for:

  • Breakdown of fats, carbohydrates, and glucose

Found in:

  • Broccoli

  • Potatoes

  • Garlic


Copper


Needed for:

  • Red blood cell production

  • Immune system support

Found in:

  • Cashews

  • Sesame seeds

  • Unsweetened baking chocolate

  • Mushrooms


Fluoride


Needed for:

  • Healthy teeth

  • Healthy bones

Found in:

  • Beverages that fluoride has been added to

  • Some teas (usually green and black teas)


Iodine


Needed for:

  • A healthy thyroid

Found in:

  • Iodized salt

  • Navy beans

  • Potatoes

  • Seaweed


Iron


Needed for:

  • Production of hemoglobin (a protein in red blood cells)

  • Healthy growth

Found in:

  • White beans

  • Spinach

  • Tofu

  • Lentils

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Peas

Manganese


Needed for:

  • Cell protection

  • Energy production

  • Healthy immune system

  • Bone strength

Found in:

  • Brown rice

  • Spinach

  • Pineapple

  • Pinto beans

  • Almonds

Selenium


Needed for:

  • DNA creation

  • Healthy thyroid gland

Found in:

  • Couscous

  • Brazil nuts

  • Chia seeds

  • Tofu

  • Mushrooms

Zinc


Needed for:

  • Wound healing

  • Helping the immune system

  • Protein and DNA creation

  • Healthy growth

Found in:

  • Cashews

  • Cocoa

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Chickpeas


Source and for more information on minerals: https://ods.od.nih.gov/


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