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Minerals - Mastering the Basic Principles

Although there are many subjects within the field of nutritional science that warrant discourse and examination, the study of minerals is particularly important. This is the case for several reasons, including the fact that the acquisition and consumption of minerals plays a profound role in determining how healthy an individual will be. By learning more about minerals, people can make prudent food choices that enable them to attain and maintain optimal wellness.

Minerals -The Basics

In defining minerals, geologists note that they are naturally occurring, inorganic, solid elements with a definite chemical composition and ordered internal structure. There are various types of minerals in the earth, and understanding what they are can provide you with profound insights regarding the nature and scope of the natural world. Without the right mineral ratio, we cannot ensure that important enzymes, vitamins, and amino acids function within our bodies.


Macrominerals are minerals that are required in the diet in relatively copious amounts. The seven macrominerals needed by the body are calcium, magnesium, chloride, phosphorous, sulphur, potassium, and sodium.

Trace Minerals

Trace minerals are minerals that are required for good health, but that the human body only needs them in small amounts. They play a critical role in energy, immune system function, antioxidant protection, and metabolism. The trace minerals are:

  1. Chromium
    Chromium is found in a plethora of different foods and is required for normal metabolism. It is also required for the storage of starch and sugar.
  2. Copper
    Copper is a mineral required for blood vessels and the maintenance of strong bones. Additionally, copper plays a role in various antioxidant reactions. It can be found in foods such as whole grains, organ meats, and seafood.
  3. Fluoride
    Fluoride is required to keep our teeth and bones strong. It can found in fluoridated drinking water, seafood, and tea.
  4. Iodine
    Iodine is a mineral required for the healthy development of thyroid hormone. This means iodine plays a critical role in normal thyroid gland. This mineral can be found in iodized salt as well as plant-based foods that are grown in iodine-rich soil.
  5. Iron
    Iron is a mineral that helps transport oxygen to the cells within the body. Additionally, iron plays a role in normal cell growth and normal immune system function. Some of the iron-rich foods include spinach and legumes.
  6. Manganese
    Manganese is the mineral required for the healthy function of the nervous system as well as antioxidant reactions. It can be found in legumes, seeds, nuts, and whole grains.
  7. Molybdenum
    Molybdenum is a mineral used for breaking down amino acids, toxins, and drugs. It can be found in a broad spectrum of foods, including nuts and legumes.
  8. Selenium
    Selenium is a mineral that is utilized in antioxidant reactions which help protect cells in the body. Selenium is also important for the normal function of the thyroid. This mineral can be found in plant-based foods like nuts, seeds, and legumes.


Electrolytes are a type of mineral that resides in the blood which have an electric charge. They affect pH levels, the amount of water contained within the body, muscle function, and various other important processes. Some common types of electrolytes include chloride, phosphorous, calcium, magnesium, sodium, and potassium.


In recognizing the integral role that mineral consumption plays in the proper functioning of the body, individuals who want to attain great health should make dietary modifications to ensure that they get a broad spectrum of required minerals. Doing so will help optimize wellness and thereby facilitate a life marked by productivity and happiness.

Nutritional Science