The essential minerals listed below are broken into two areas:
Macrominerals and Microminerals
This is a good guideline for food sources of these minerals and what function the essential minerals perform in the body.
To ensure that you are getting what you need, take a quality natural plant-sourced supplement.
Because these naturally occurring elements remain in the body, it's wise to take note of:
"Upper Intake Levels"=(UL);
and Recommended Dose per day for children=(RD) in Milligrams=(mg) or micrograms=(mcg).
Major dietary sources include: Milk, cheese, Yogurt, almonds, Tofu, collard greens, soybeans, dried figs, parsley, sunflower seeds and sesame seeds. Calcium is the most abundant essential minerals in the human body. It is a major ingredient of and essential for healthy human bone and teeth.
It is needed for other vital body functions - such as muscle contraction, regulating heartbeat, release of neuro-transmitters, and activation of enzyme systems.
It also necessary for cell division and for prothrombin activation (which helps convert fibrinogen to fibrin). Take with magnesium.
RD: 1-3 yr 500mg
4-8 yr 800mg
9-18 yr 1300mg
Primary source is common salt. It is also contained in vegetables, olives, tomatoes and celery. Chlorine is an important constituent of human digestive juices. It is needed to maintain the body's acid-base balance.
Along with Sodium, it helps generate the osmotic pressure of body fluids. It may also be helpful in allowing the liver to clear waste products.
Essential mineral found in almonds, avocados, legumes, broccoli, oats, seafood, and soybeans. Aids in red blood cell, bone, and collagen formation. Consider hidden sources, which could include copper pans or plumbing, to prevent high levels.
RD: 1-3 yr 340mcg (UL 1 mg)
4-8 yr 440 mcg (UL 3mg)
9-13 yr 700 mcg (UL 5mg)
14-18 yr 890 mcg (UL 8mg)
Found in eggs, fish, liver, meat, leafy vegetables, whole grains. Essential to blood cell reproduction, growth, immune health, and energy production. Not recommended for anyone with a serious infection.
RD: 1-3 yr 7 mg (UL 40)
4-8 yr 10 mg (UL 40)
9-13 yr 8 mg (UL 40) 14-18 males 11 mg
females 15 mg (UL 45)
Dark green vegetables are good sources of Magnesium along with most nuts, seeds, legumes, soy products, avocado, apricots, dairy, meat and seafood. Whole grains, particularly wheat, millet and brown rice are also good sources.
Magnesium is a natural tranquilizer - it relaxes skeletal muscles. Magnesium is considered one of the most important essential minerals in preventing coronary artery spasms, a significant cause of heart attacks. It is also believed to dilate blood vessels.
It is also an intracellular nutrient. It activates enzymes that are important for protein and carbohydrate metabolism. It is also needed in DNA functioning and for modulating the electrical potential across cell membranes (which allows nutrients to pass back and forth).
RD: 1-3 yr 80 mg
4-8 yr 130 mg
9-13 yr 240 mg
14-18 yr 410 mg
Found in avocados, nuts, seeds, sea vegetables, whole grains. Needed for fat and protein metabolism, energy production, healthy nerves and immune system.
RD: 1-3 yr 1.2 mg (UL 2)
4-8 yr 1.5 mg (UL 3)
9-13 yr 1.9 mg (UL 6)
14-18 yr 2.2 mg (UL 9)
Meats, fish, chicken, turkey, milk, cheese and eggs are all good sources of Phosphorus. Like calcium, phosphorus is found in all cells and is involved in some way in most biochemical reactions (including but not limited to utilization of carbohydrates and fats for energy production). Along with calcium, it is critical for bone and teeth formation.
Essential minerals like phosphorus, also play an important role in protein synthesis for the growth, maintenance, and repair of all tissues and cells.
Phosphorus also helps the kidney function and acts as a buffer for acid base balance in the body.
It aids muscle contraction, including the regularity of the heartbeat. It is also supportive of proper nerve conduction.
Leafy, green vegetables such as spinach, parsley, lettuce as well as broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes and potatoes (particularly the skin) are rich in potassium.
Other sources are fruits such as oranges, bananas, apples, raisins, apricots, nuts, whole grains, seeds, fish and meats also contain potassium.
Along with Sodium, Potassium regulates the water balance and the acid-base balance in blood and tissues. In nerve cells, sodium-potassium flux generates the electrical potential that aids the conduction of nerve tissues.
Potassium is one of the important essential minerals for cellular biochemical reactions and energy metabolism. It participates in the synthesis of protein from amino acids in the cell.
Potassium functions in carbohydrate metabolism and is active in glycogen and glucose metabolism. It is important for normal growth and for building muscle.
Selenium is one of the essential minerals in brazil nuts, brewer's and torula yeast, broccoli, brown rice, meat, seafood and whole grains. It is an anticancer antioxidant and works best with Vitamin E to protect heart and liver. Many soils in the U.S. are deficient in this mineral.
RD: 1-3 yr 20 mcg
4-8 yr 30 mcg
9-13 yr 40 mcg
14-18 yr 55 mcg
Sodium is found in beef, seafood, poultry, and many vegetables. Processed foods are typically rich in sodium.
Along with potassium, sodium helps regulate fluid and acid-base balance of the body. It enables muscles to contract and nerve impulses to be conducted.
Sodium is also important for hydrochloric acid production in the stomach and is used during the transport of amino acids from the gut into the blood.
It is naturally found in protein foods - meats, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, legumes. It is also found in onions, garlic, cabbage, brussels sprouts, nuts, lettuce, kale, raspberries, etc.
As part of four amino acids, sulfur performs a number of functions in enzyme reactions and protein synthesis. It is necessary for formation of collagen, the protein found in connective tissue in our bodies.
It is present in keratin, which is necessary for the maintenance of skin, hair, and nails. Sulfur, as cystine and methionine, is part of other important body chemicals such as insulin, which helps regulate carbohydrate metabolism and heparin, which is an anti-coagulant.
Sulfur is important for cellular respiration (in the oxidation-reduction reactions). This aids brain functions and all cell activity.
It is found in rich quantities in oats, rice, sugar beet, alfalfa, lettuce, cucumbers, strawberries, onions, and dark greens. The pectin in citrus fruits and alginic acid in kelp also contain small amounts of silicon.
Silicon promotes firmness and strength in body tissue. It is part of the arteries, tendons, skin, connective tissue and eyes.
Collagen, which helps hold the body together, contains silicon.
Silicon is also thought to radiate or transmit energy in its crystalline structure. It is also believed to help in the elimination of body toxins.
Get your daily zinc dose by eating: brewer's and torula yeast, egg yolks, legumes, soy, seafood, sea vegetables, and whole grains. Zinc is important in immune and reproductive health. A deficiency results in loss of sense of smell and taste and has been linked to eating disorders and retarded growth. Too much (Note UL's) can depress immune function.
RD: 1-3 yr 3 mg (UL 7)
4-8 yr 5 mg (UL 5)
9-13 yr 8 mg (UL 23)
14-18 yr males 11 mg females 9 mg (UL 34)
This essential minerals power is found in Brewer's yeast, beef, liver, whole wheat, rye, fresh chillies, oysters, potatoes, green peppers, eggs, chicken, apples, butter, bananas, spinach, black pepper, etc. and are all good sources of chromium.
Chromium enhances the effect of insulin in the body and is thus needed for carbohydrate metabolism.
Chromium recently has been shown to lower blood cholesterol while mildly raising HDL. This lowers the risk of coronary artery disease.
Meat, liver, kidney, clams, oysters and milk contain some cobalt. Land vegetables such as legumes, spinach, cabbage, lettuce, and figs contain small amounts of cobalt. As part of vitamin B12, cobalt is essential to red blood cell formation.
These essential minerals are vitally important for all the major functions of the body.
Return to Natural Health Page from Essential Minerals Page