What Are Minerals?
Why We Need MineralsREAD MORE
As nutrients, minerals are the building blocks for the tissues that make up our organs, muscle, skin and bones. They are involved in transporting oxygen through the blood to every cell, and in delivering messages throughout the nervous system. Minerals are also critical in the body’s many biological balancing acts (homeostasis), including acid-base balance; the balance of electrolytes crucial for nerve and muscle activity; and hormonal balance. We need minerals for strengthening tough structures like teeth and bones, and for delicate jobs like stabilizing fluid levels in the brain. And though minerals don’t produce energy themselves, they help energy to be released from food during digestion. LESS
Vitamins and Minerals: What’s the Difference?READ MORE
A significant distinction between the two nutrient types is that vitamins are organic substances — that is, they contain carbon — while minerals are inorganic. As organic substances, vitamins are vulnerable to changes in temperature and light. The potency of some vitamins can be cooked away or diminished in processing, storing or with prolonged exposure to the air. Minerals are simpler in their makeup and also more stable. LESS
Maintaining Nutrient BalancesAccording to a 2009 study published in the Archives of Internal Medicine, three out of four Americans don’t get the recommended daily allowance of nutrients. If you’re not eating enough fresh fruit, fresh fish, nuts, beans, and whole grains, for example, your tank may be low on magnesium or phosphorus. These deficiencies can cause serious risks, including cardiovascular symptoms such as irregular heart rhythms. READ MORE
Healthy portions of healthy foods not only offset mineral deficiencies but prevent mineral excesses. In fact, most Americans are more likely to suffer from an overabundance of some minerals than a lack of them.
“In general, if you eat a healthy diet, you shouldn’t need to supplement it with extra nutrients,” says Carol Haggans, a consultant with the Office of Dietary Supplements at the National Institutes of Health. However, supplements in the form of capsules, powders, tablets, or drinks can play a part in maintaining health, and can even help treat some illnesses.
Dietary supplements today, especially “multi” pills, can contain far more than the extra bit of calcium or magnesium that you’re looking for, so be sure to read the Supplemental Facts label and follow your physician’s recommendations. Use only supplements that have been approved by the FDA. LESS