Minerals are found in the earth and cannot be produced by living organisms. They are chemical elements that are required by organisms as an essential nutrient. Other essential nutrients include vitamins, amino acids, and fatty acids.
Calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, and magnesium are the five major minerals in the human body. All of the other minerals are known as trace elements and include iron, sulfur, chlorine, cobalt, manganese, iodine, copper, zinc, and molybdenum.
These trace elements have a specific biochemical function in the human body. The human body needs different amounts of each mineral in order to stay healthy and function properly.
We obtain all of the minerals from food, water, and mineral supplements. There are cases, however, when the body has difficulty absorbing the minerals from the food, or when a person eats a diet low in minerals and vitamins. In such cases, mineral deficiency happens. Mineral deficiency can be a cause for a wide range of diseases, weak bones and decreased immune system function.
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Signs of calcium deficiency include irregular heart rhythm, muscle cramps, confusion or memory loss, numbness in the hands, tingling in the face and feet, brittle nails, easy bone fracturing.
Great source of calcium is dark leafy greens, cheese, milk, yogurt, kale, and broccoli.
When the body lacks the mineral potassium, we are feeling tired and weak, sometimes with severe cramping in arm or leg muscles. Constipation, heart palpitations, nausea and vomiting, abdominal cramping and bloating are also symptoms that potassium is missing from our diet.
Good source of potassium is winter squash, sweet potato, white beans, and bananas.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include tremors, muscle twitches, and cramps, as well as mental disorders, osteoporosis, irregular heartbeat, fatigue and overall weakness. Asthma and high blood pressure are some of the severe signs of magnesium deficiency.
Foods rich in magnesium are all the dark leafy greens, almonds, quinoa, black beans, peanuts, whole wheat foods and cashews.
Signs of phosphorus deficiency include anxiety, loss of appetite, bone pain, difficulty breathing, numbness, stiff joints, and fragile bones.
Great source of phosphorus can be obtained from dairy products, beans, lentils, meat, and seeds.
Signs and symptoms of sodium deficiency include frequent headaches, weakness, low energy, muscle cramps and spasms, irritability, and nausea with vomiting.
Perfect sources of sodium are sardines, salted nuts, aw celeriac, artichokes, beets, carrots, seaweed, turnips, beet greens, celery, and chard.