Micronutrients? Macronutrients? Vitamins? Minerals? It can all get a little confusing, so today we answer the question, “what minerals does the body need?”
You need to eat a balanced diet, filled with all types of essential minerals the body needs. Failure of having a specific mineral in your body leads to deficiency, which becomes a cause of various diseases.
Let’s check out the minerals needed by the body:
Your body only requires a tiny bit of micronutrients, in order to function correctly. These elements are copper, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium and zinc.
Functionality Of Micronutrients
These micronutrients, or trace minerals, are responsible for carrying out complex tasks. Iron is known for transporting oxygen inside the body while fluoride helps in the prevention of tooth decay.
Zinc helps in blood clotting and copper is an important element in several reactions, related with enzymes.
Improper balance of micronutrients consumed could lead to illness or disease.
The watery portion of the food contains water soluble vitamins. As the food breaks down during the phase of digestion, food is absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
A few water-soluble minerals are biotin, folic acid, niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, and vitamin C.
These water-soluble nutrients release energy from eaten food, help produce energy during digestion, and are responsible for the building of proteins and cells.
Liver and fat tissue inside the body are responsible for handling fat-soluble nutrients.
Fat-soluble nutrients are needed in small quantities and the body automatically expels the excess through urine.
Vitamin A, D, E and K fall under this category. They help in the keep your bones healthy and strong, protect your eyesight, and protect the body – behaving as antioxidants.
Macronutrients are needed by the body in larger quantities.
One misconception is that these are more important than micronutrients, however, this is not the case. Both types of minerals are equally important in terms of good health.
Calcium, sulfur, sodium, phosphorus, potassium, chloride and magnesium fall under the category of macronutrients.
Each mineral travels through the body by different means. Meaning there really isn’t a pattern of their movement.
For example, potassium acts as a water-soluble vitamin, quickly getting absorbed into the bloodstream, participating in free circulation until it gets excreted by kidneys. Calcium, on the other hand, behaves like a fat-soluble vitamin. It needs a carrier for its transportation as well as for its absorption.
Functionality Of Macronutrients
Macronutrients are needed in large quantities to provide the energy needed to maintain body functions and carry out the activities of daily life.
They are essential for growth, energy provision, and other body functions.
Imbalance Of Nutrients
Don’t assume that excess of minerals in your body will be beneficial because the harsh truth is that undersupply of a particular mineral is as dangerous as an oversupply of a particular mineral.
Let’s discuss two examples of overloading of nutrients:
Salt Overloading – By eating too much table salt, you could create a deficiency of Calcium because Calcium binds with excess Sodium inside the body. This means that your body will get rid of excessive Sodium while creating a deficiency of Calcium mineral.
Excess Phosphorus – Similarly, too much Phosphorus in your body makes it difficult for your body to absorb Magnesium.
Be sure to do your own research on undersupply and oversupply of vitamins and minerals.