Milwaukee Edition

Mighty Minerals

What We Need to Stay Healthy

marilyn barbone/Shutterstock.com

Minerals—inorganic chemical elements or compounds that cannot be produced by the body, but occur in nature—play a key role in helping us function at our best.
 

According to the authors of Minerals: The Forgotten Nutrient - Your Secret Weapon for Getting and Staying Healthy, they are integral to our health. Joy Stephenson-Laws, the lead author and founder of the nonprofit Proactive Health Labs, in Santa Monica, California, suggests getting a full-spectrum mineral test through a healthcare provider to identify any deficiencies or imbalances.

Although the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gives a broad, general Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for minerals, it’s not the most up-do-date or the most specific information according to gender, age or stage in life. The more current Dietary Reference Intakes (DRI) are nutrient-reference values developed by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies—five private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis, located in Washington, D.C., Irvine, California, and Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Intended to serve as a guide for good nutrition by covering 40-plus nutrient substances and more demographically specific than the RDA, the DRI provides a scientific basis for the development of food guidelines in the U.S. and Canada.

This list of important minerals, based on the worldwide studies collected in the journal Minerals, is a good starting point. Another good reference is the extensive chart from the IOM of the National Academy of Sciences.

Our Body’s Periodic Table

Sodium with Chlorine

Why we need it: fluid balance, nerve transmission, muscle contraction

Food sources: sodium combines with chlorine in salt; Himalayan sea salt also contains 84 trace elements

Recommended Daily Intake: 1,500 milligrams (mg) of sodium

Potassium

Why we need it: fluid balance, nerve transmission, muscle contraction

Food sources: bananas, dried figs, nuts, avocadoes

Recommended Daily Intake: 4.7 grams (g)

Calcium

Why we need it: strong teeth and bones, muscle relaxation and contraction, blood clotting, blood pressure regulation, immune system health

Food sources: leafy green vegetables, fortified nut milk, dairy products, canned sardines/salmon, dried figs, oysters; plus mineral water brands labeled higher in calcium and lower in sodium, per integrative medicine pioneer Dr. Andrew Weil

Recommended Daily Intake: 1,000 to 1,200 mg

Sulfur

Why we need it: joint function  

Food sources: fish, beef, poultry, egg yolks, beans, coconuts, bananas, garlic

Recommended Daily Intake: 6 mg of sulfur-containing amino acids per pound of adult weight

Phosphorous

Why we need it: works with calcium to build strong bones, repair cells

Food sources: salmon, yogurt, turkey, lentils, almonds

Recommended Daily Intake: 700 mg

Magnesium

Why we need it: strong bones, energy, mental health

Food sources: leafy green vegetables, nuts, seeds and foods with fiber

Recommended Daily Intake: 310 to 320 mg for adult women, 410 to 420 mg for adult men

Iron

Why we need it: helps make blood hemoglobin

Food sources: breakfast cereals fortified with iron, white beans, dark chocolate, beef liver, spinach

Recommended Daily Intake: 18 mg for adult women, 8 mg for adult men

Manganese

Why we need it: healthy immune system

Food sources: nuts, seeds, green leafy vegetables

Recommended Daily Intake: 11 mg

Zinc

Why we need it: to ward off colds, aid sexual function

Food sources: oysters, shellfish, red meat, whole grains, nuts

Recommended Daily Intake: 9 mg for women, 11 mg for men

Copper

Why we need it: facilitates enzymes action

Food sources: organ meats, whole grains, shellfish, dark leafy greens

Recommended Daily Intake: 900 micrograms (mcg)

Iodine

Why we need it: thyroid function, healthy skin and nails

Food sources: seaweed, turkey, cranberries, navy beans, iodized table salt

Recommended Daily Intake: 150 mcg

Selenium

Why we need it: lowering cancer risk

Food sources: Brazil nuts, tuna, halibut, turkey

Recommended Daily Intake: 55 mcg

Molybdenum

Why we need it: facilitates production of natural enzymes

Food sources: lima beans, cauliflower, peas, soybeans

Recommended Daily Intake: 45 mcg

Chromium

Why we need it: reduces insulin resistance, helps lower cholesterol

Food sources: lean meats, whole grains, broccoli, green beans

Recommended Daily Intake: 25 mcg for adult females, 35 mcg for adult males

We require macrominerals—those we need in larger amounts—as well as microminerals—those necessary in trace amounts. For a good overview from the Harvard University Medical School, visit Tinyurl.com/HelpGuide2Minerals.


Judith Fertig writes award-winning cookbooks plus foodie fiction from Overland Park, KS.


This article appears in the August 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Raise a Glass for a Good Cause Through 12 Bars of Milwaukee Event

This holiday season, Milwaukee will join other cities including Denver and St. Louis in participating in the 12 Bars of Charity movement to raise money for selected local nonprofits, while supporting area bars and restaurants.

Wellness Professionals Unite to Offer Women’s Empowerment Circles

Aubrey Poglajen, of Ananda Healing Collective, along with registered yoga teacher Jozi Tatham and energy healer Ellie Badji, are collaborating to facilitate women’s empowerment circles starting January 10.

Natural Health Services is Now Thrive Holistic Medicine

Natural Health Services, on Farwell Avenue in Milwaukee, is now under new ownership and has a new name: Thrive Holistic Medicine.

Dr. John E. Whitcomb Now a Mold Qualified Doctor

John E. Whitcomb, M.D., director of Brookfield Longevity & Healthy Living Clinic, is now certified as a Mold Qualified Doctor.

Energy Worker a Goodwill Ambassador for Animals

Stacy Krafczyk combines her passion for animals with her energy healing abilities at All Spirit Healing, where she offers animal communication services, intuitive readings, reiki, after-life communication and coaching.

Understanding Clothing Insulation

Learning about clothing insulation—the different types, the advantages of each, and their sustainability and affect on animals—helps one consider the important factors before making a decision about what clothing to buy.

Letter from Publisher

As we wrap up another year, many of us find ourselves again asking, “Where did this year go?” Myriad articles have tried to explain why we often perceive time—and life—moving by too quickly, especially as we age.

Expecting Moms Need to Relax at Holidays

South Korean mothers-to-be whose first trimester occurred during the stressful New Year’s holiday delivered babies a third of an ounce lighter.

Meditation Soothes Anxiety and Improves Focus

A single mindfulness meditation session reduced anxiety levels for participants in a Michigan study, evident even a week later, and breath-based meditation enhanced mental clarity in an Irish study.

Blue Light Raises Cancer Risk

Spaniards exposed to the most blue light via white streetlight LEDs and screens on tablets and phones have up to twice the risk of prostate and breast cancer.

Rosemary Lowers the Blues, Aids Sleep and Memory

Iranian students taking rosemary for a month saw their anxiety and depression drop and their memory and sleep improve.

Dark Chocolate Proven Healthier than Ever

Chocolate with at last 70 percent cacao can reduce stress and inflammation and boost infection-fighting cells and creativity.

Add your comment: