Subscribe to our Newsletter:
Healthy Diet Plans >>  Minerals >>  Minerals


Minerals are an important food group required by the human body. In the case of many minerals, the actual quantity required by the body is miniscule when compared to the total amount of food being consumed. It is, however, foolish to ignore the importance of minerals in the diet of humans. By using a list of minerals, one can quickly see how useful these substances are for the health of an individual. Some minerals are needed in larger quantities and these are mentioned higher up in the list of minerals needed by the human body.

Often these minerals are referred to as macro minerals because their quantity is relatively large when compared to micro minerals that are needed in small quantities. A look at the list of minerals and their uses will immediately make an individual understand how vital these nutrients are to the human body. 

Calcium is one of the most important minerals of the human body. The skeletal system is made up of calcium based tissue. A lack of calcium in the system will lead to bone density problems and may also cause brittle bones. Vitamin D is used to help absorb and maintain the level of calcium in the blood. Spinach is one of the primary sources of calcium although it is not the only source of calcium in the diet. Calcium may also be found in oranges, green beans, cabbage and leafy green vegetables.

Chloride is another important mineral for the human body. It is found in salt which is chemically known as sodium chloride.  Sodium is another mineral used for the body which is found in pork products, milk, butter and green beans.

 Other minerals that are required by the body in relatively large quantities include magnesium, sulfur and phosphorous. Phosphorous is found in milk products and red meat. Magnesium can be found in green vegetables, nuts and whole grains. Sulfur is available from cabbage, red meat, fish, garlic, onions and cauliflower. 

The rest of the minerals required by the human body are needed in small quantities. These minerals are known as micro minerals or trace minerals. Iron is one of the most commonly known minerals used in the human body. This mineral is found in red meat, kidney beans, spinach and soybeans. Iron plays an important role in the function of oxygen transport within the blood. Iron deficiency anemia is a very common condition that affects people all across the world. Such individuals will experience fatigue and general lack of power when they are suffering from anemia. The consumption of the above mentioned foods will help to avoid this irritating and often debilitating condition. 

Other important minerals for the human body include zinc, copper, manganese,  iodine, chromium, selenium and molybdenum. It is important to note that the list of food sources for the above mentioned minerals is not exhaustive. There are other foods that may also contain minerals and provide the body with a portion of the required minerals. 

Vitamins and minerals are an often neglected aspect of nutrition. These nutrients are needed in very small quantities when compared to other nutrition groups such as vitamins and minerals. However, it is important to note that both vitamins and minerals cannot be ignored in a healthy diet. Some of the vital processes of the body are performed by these vitamins and minerals. A good example of the use of minerals in the body can be made when one looks at minerals such as calcium or iron. The entire skeletal structure of the body is made up of calcium and other components. The skeleton is literally the chassis for the body on which the organs and tissues can be mounted. The bones of the human body are extremely strong and are thus capable of helping the individual lift great weights. Often, the bones are also used as levers to help develop more power when trying to lift objects. 

Iron helps with an important function of oxygen transport. It should be noted that excess iron in the blood is dangerous and can lead to the development of iron poisoning which can damage various important organs of the human body. A lack of iron is also bad for health and causes iron deficiency anemia. The quantity of iron required in a meal is usually a few milligrams. Therefore, the diet should contain some foods that have this mineral present. These foods are likely to have other important vitamins and minerals in them as well. This means that the body will receive a balanced supply of the various vitamins and minerals necessary for good health. 

It is important that parents ensure that they are feeding the right quantities of minerals for kids. The development of the body depends on the presence of the right amounts of vitamins and minerals in the system. Children who do not have sufficient vitamins and minerals in their systems are likely to be stunted in some way. This may not present in the form of physical growth stunt, but may present in other aspect of the child’s life such as immunity and general health. Minerals are used by the bodies of adults to help grow and regenerate cells and tissues. The same applies to minerals for kids. The major difference between adults and kids is that a deficiency of minerals in kids is likely to lead to development problems. In an adult, it may lead to problems that can be rectified by increasing the supply of the relevant nutrients to the body. This is why the nutrition of a child is absolutely essential. 

The presence of vitamins and minerals in vegetables poses somewhat of a challenge to parents. Most kids do not enjoy consuming their greens and often resist eating these foods. However, the presence of vitamins and minerals in vegetables means that the child must consume these for its own sake. Therefore, parents may need to use techniques to get the children to agree to consuming these vegetables as this will ensure that they have a continuous and natural source of important vitamins and minerals. 

Submitted on February 2, 2011