Minerals, like vitamins, operate in our bodies as co-enzymes. Minerals help balance and facilitate the functions of our body chemistry. We need minerals for healthy bones, to maintain the health of our blood and other body fluids and to support our nerve system and metabolic process. Minerals are vital in helping our bodies produce energy, growth, and are vital for the reproduction and health of our cells. Mineral interact with vitamins to make vitamins effective and beneficial e.g. zinc changes vitamin A into it's active form so it can be used by our bodies. Some minerals act as potent antioxidants i.e. destroy free radicals. Free radicals cause premature aging and disease such as cancer, heart disease and other cellular damage.
Zinc, iodine, selenium, iron, copper, chromium and manganese are considered trace minerals. Calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sodium are considered bulk minerals because our bodies need them in larger amounts. It is nearly impossible to take too many minerals because they are stored mostly in bone and muscles tissue. We would have put a great deal of conscious effort into taking absurd amounts of minerals over a long time in order to accumulate toxic amounts.
There are many different minerals. A description of just a few of them will give us a good idea of their vital importance for our lives.
Boron is a trace mineral that has been shown to significantly reduce the affect of calcium loss in post menopausal women and increase the blood level of the most active form of estrogen. Boron also helps protect against the demineralization of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in our bones.
Calcium is vital for healthy teeth and bones. Calcium helps maintain a regular heartbeat it is vital in nerve transmission. Calcium also aids muscles growth, helps in muscle contraction and prevention of muscles cramps especially during menses cycle. Calcium may help prevent colon cancer and lower blood pressure as well as preventing osteoporosis.
Chromium is a trace mineral needed for energy and the metabolism of glucose, cholesterol, fats, and proteins. Chromium helps to maintain blood sugar levels in hypoglycemia and diabetes by improving the efficiency of insulin. Chromium can also play a role in weight loss by helping us maintain muscles tissue while losing fat
Copper is an essential trace mineral involved in enzyme process. Copper is found in large amounts in our liver and brain. Copper is important in the production of red blood cells, hemoglobin, and bone. Copper works synergistically with vitamin C and zinc. Copper also has a part in our ability to taste and in our hair and skin color. Copper promotes strong, flexible connective tissue.
Iodine is a trace mineral used by our thyroid to produce thyroxin which is a hormone that regulates energy production, body temperature, breathing, muscle tone and the health of tissues. Iodine supports skin, nerves, reproductive process and prevents goiter.
Iron is vital for the production of hemoglobin, formation of red blood cells and the oxygenation of red blood cells. Iron increases the quality of blood and therefore, the body's resistance to disease and stress. Iron improves circulation, digestion, elimination and respiration. Iron even helps improve our emotional state in improving optimism, vitality, courage and will, memory and reasoning ability. Iron also helps resistance to cold virus. Some say that iron helps us better relate to the magnetic dynamics of the Earth and improves our own physical electrical system.
Manganese, a Greek word for magic, is required to produce enzymes which are essential for metabolism of protein, fat and glucose. Manganese promotes healthy bones, nerves, immune function and blood sugar levels.
Potassium plays a large role in supporting our nervous system and natural heart rhythm. Potassium stabilizes our blood pressure and helps in electrochemical transmissions. Potassium helps our cells absorb nutrients. Potassium maintains a healthy pH and muscles contraction. Potassium has been shown to prevent strokes and works with sodium to maintain a proper water balance in our bodies.
Selenium is an essential mineral and acts as an antioxidant preventing free radical damage. Selenium is essential for normal pancreatic function. Selenium and Vitamin E combined have a synergistic quality that improves the effectiveness of both compounds. Selenium helps maintain the health our heart muscle and promotes our immune system.
Zinc is found throughout our entire body. When zinc is used with Vitamin A, it facilitates healthy prostate function. Zinc promotes a healthy immune system, taste, smell, joint and connective tissue, cell division, repair and growth and helps insulin function. Using lozenges composed of zinc gluconate helps shorten the duration of a cold. Zinc helps with digestion and the metabolism of phosphorus and protein. Zinc plays an important role in the healing of burns and wounds. Zinc promotes and supports our reproductive system by helping sperm development and facilitating ovulation and fertilization.
We can gather from the descriptions of just a few of the minerals available to us, just how important minerals are to our lives and health. In a way, it could be said that we are minerals. Obtaining the minerals we need from plants, animals, and water may not be an efficient, complete or balanced way of gaining minerals due to the fact that the kind and amount of minerals found in plants, animals and water varies a great deal from one geographical region to another each with it's own soil type and mineral content. The most efficient way for us to supply ourselves with the minerals we need is through supplements. For most of us, it is most beneficial to use natural multivitamin and mineral formulas rather than to try to take individual mineral supplements. This is because minerals and vitamins are synergistic in their combinations, proportions, interactions, and beneficial effects. Supplementing our diets with formulas composed of natural vitamins and minerals prepared by those of us who have devoted our education and effort in full time work and experience with the interaction of vitamins with minerals, and minerals with minerals may be the best way for us to obtain a proper combination of these compounds vital for our health.