Minerals play a responsible role in a wide range of bodily activities. From making hormones to regulating bone heath, these have an extensive role to play in the body. In fact, these are as important as vitamins and maintaining regular levels of minerals is a pro tip for promoting optimal health.

The key point is to ensure that normal levels of minerals are maintained in the body. There shouldn’t be an over-abundance or deficiency of these, as both the circumstances result in negative health consequences.

Mostly, you can get minerals from the meals you have, provided you follow a balanced diet. Other than that, there are mineral-enriched supplements that provide you an additional source of the mineral that is lacking in your body. Since you don’t want your mineral levels from shooting high, it is better to have mineral supplements only after consultation with your physician.

Here is a look at essential minerals that your body needs for maintaining good health:

  1. Phosphorus

Phosphorus is an essential mineral needed for good health. It plays a critical role in maintaining good bone health. The mineral combines with calcium to form calcium phosphate. This compound is essential for the formation of bones and contributes to the health of the bones.

Around 80% of phosphorus is stored in your bones and teeth. Phosphorus also pays a crucial role in maintaining cell membrane function. It works with B-complex vitamins for converting food into energy that helps perform daily activities.

Deficiency of phosphorus

A deficiency of this mineral is typically uncommon. It is mostly associated with medications such as antacids and calcium carbonate supplements. Malnutrition is one of the main culprits in most cases of phosphorus deficiency.

Excess phosphorus

An excess of phosphorus in the body multiplies the overall risk of death. Although rare but phosphorus toxicity is found in individuals with a severe kidney disease.

Sources of the mineral

Natural sources of this mineral are meats, seeds, legumes, and nuts. It is mostly present in foods that boast a high protein content.

  1. Calcium

Your body requires between 800mg – 1300mg of calcium daily. Of all the minerals needed by the body, calcium is the one that you might have heard the most about. It is an all-important mineral for your bones and is useful for maintaining heart health.

The mineral is required as a base for building muscles, bones, digestive system, and heart. It is also an important component for the formation of cell membranes. Calcium plays an important role for regulating cholesterol and blood pressure levels as well. This essential mineral is also needed for muscle function and blood clotting.

Calcium deficiency

A calcium deficiency results in weak bones. A lack of the mineral also means that your odds of preventing osteoporosis are low. It is easy to get calcium from a variety of sources. However, people with certain disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease may not be able to absorb the mineral. Likewise, people who or corticosteroids due to asthma or autoimmune conditions also show a dearth of calcium.

Excess of calcium

High pointers of calcium are not favorable. High levels of calcium lead to hypercalcaemia that translates into high blood calcium levels. These tend to culminate in painful kidney stones. Hypercalcaemia also contributes to fatigue, nausea, depression, bone pain, and excess urination, which is a common sign of calcium overdose.

Food sources of the mineral

Calcium is commonly found in diary items such as milk, yogurt, and cheese. It is also found in kale, sardine, salmon, dried figs, oysters, turnip greens, broccoli and green leafy vegetables.

  1. Potassium

Between 2500mg to 4700mg of potassium are needed daily by the body. It is an easily absorbable mineral that is among the most soluble minerals. Moreover, it is easily lost during the food cooking, processing, and canning process.

This mineral is primarily needed for maintaining blood pressure and regulating fluid balance. Potassium is also important for the breakdown and use of carbs, maintaining proper growth of the body, and building proteins and muscles.

Potassium plays a critical role in both the cellular and electrical functions of the body. Therefore, this important mineral is needed for normal nervous system functioning and muscle contraction.

Potassium deficiency

Inadequate amounts of potassium results in hypokalemia. This leads to muscle weakness, depression, hypertension, a slight rise in blood pressure, and abnormal heart beats.

Excess of potassium

An abundance of potassium is known as hyperkalemia that causes abnormal heart rhythm.

Sources

Foods that are rich sources of potassium are legumes, fruits, vegetables, meats, milk and nuts. Specific potassium-enriched food items include potatoes, bananas, tomatoes, avocados, citrus fruits, fatty fish, spinach, celery, and cantaloupes.

  1. Sodium

An average of 1500mg to 2500mg of sodium are required by the body in your regular diet. Sodium regulates the pH and water levels of the body and also plays a pivotal role in numerous body functions such as muscle contraction and nerve functioning.

Sodium is also critical for regulating blood pressure. It mostly works with chloride to maintain fluid balance outside the body cells.

Sodium deficiency

A lack of sodium in the body is rare. Nonetheless, reduced sodium leads to hyponatremia. It may be due to excess water amounts in the body that flush out sodium. Such a deficiency leads to muscle cramps, dehydration, fatigue, and headaches.

An excess of sodium

An increased consumption of sodium leads an increased blood pressure in some people. An overdose of sodium is denoted as hypernatremia, which causes irritation, and lethargy among other health issues.

Sources

Some natural sources of sodium are kelp, beets, coconuts, okra, carrots, unrefined organic sea salt, and dried fruits like figs, raisins, and apricots.

  1. Iron

Iron is known as the blood mineral and the body needs between 10 mg to 18mg of iron on a daily basis.

It is needed for the conversion of blood sugar into energy for performing daily activities. It is also an important mineral for the proper functioning of the immune or defense system of the body. It is required for the transportation of oxygen in the bloody.

Over and above that, the mineral plays a crucial role in pregnancy and childhood as it helps carry oxygen throughout the body.

Iron deficiency

A low intake of iron causes anemia. You can loss iron via sweating, urination, bleeding, and more. A lack of iron decreases the red blood cells (RBC) of the blood, which makes it difficult for the body to transport oxygen throughout the body. Such a deficiency is a blood disorder. Anemia makes you feel weak and culminates in poor concentration and fatigue.

Excess of iron

An over dosage of the mineral overloads the body with iron. This is a genetic disorder that may result in repeated blood transfusions.

Sources

Shellfish, lentils, lean meat, dried beans, chickpeas, seeds, iron fortified cereal, peas and nuts are some sources of iron. Additionally, you can get iron from molasses and organic apricots.

Key takeaway

These are essential minerals that your body need to maintain optimal performance. It is important to maintain the needed amount of these minerals as an over dosage or a deficiency can both lead to serious health concerns. Consequently, it is important to consult your physician before taking any mineral supplement.