Just like vitamins, minerals are also needed in small amounts by the body for normal processes. There are 16 essential minerals required for good health. Mineral sources are best found in natural foods rather than supplements. They are categorized as macro minerals which are needed in fairly larger quantities and micro minerals which are needed in small amounts.
Calcium: is needed for strong teeth and bones, normal blood clotting, and nerve function.
Sources: Dairy products such as milk, yogurt and cheese, broccoli, almonds, fish, green leafy vegetables, ragi, sprouts and sesame seeds.
Magnesium: is required for healthy bones, converting blood sugar to energy, insulin secretion and function and for normal heart rhythms.
Sources: whole grains, green leafy vegetables, nuts, legumes, banana etc
Phosphorus: is necessary along with calcium for bones and teeth development and to supply energy to the body.
Sources: whole grains, milk, cheese, nuts, fish, eggs, meat, chicken etc
Sodium: helps to maintain blood pressure and fluid balance in the body.
Sources: salt, fish, butter, processed foods etc
Potassium: along with sodium, works to regulate fluid in the body. Potassium also helps to maintain a regular heartbeat and low blood pressure and enables glucose in the body to be converted to glycogen, a form of energy that can be stored.
Sources: fresh fruits and vegetables, coconut water, bananas, soups, tomatoes, dals and pulses etc
Chloride: helps in regulating fluid balance in the cells long with sodium and potassium.
Sources: table salt
Sulphur: is essential to form proteins in the body and helps in eliminating toxins from the body.
Sources: meat, fish, chicken, beans and pulses.
Iron: is required for the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin, the component of blood cells that transports oxygen around the body. Iron can prevent fatigue, protect against illness and disease and helps in absorption of vitamin C.
Sources: meat, liver, kidney, chicken, beans, peas, green leafy vegetables, garden cress seeds etc.
Manganese: is required for a healthy immune system. Also helps in normal metabolism and digestion.
Sources: whole grains, pulses, nuts etc.
Copper: Copper helps to form collagen, which is essential for healthy bones and connective tissue, production of red blood cells and is needed to absorb iron more easily, to prevent heart disease and high blood pressure and that it protects against damage from free radicals and the development of cancer.
Sources: fish, shellfish, whole grains, nuts, potatoes, garlic, bananas, mushrooms, tomatoes, prunes and soya products.
Iodine: is essential for the manufacture of certain hormones by the thyroid gland, that are responsible for regulating metabolism, converting fats into energy and stabilizing blood cholesterol levels.
Sources: table salt, salt water fish.
Zinc: is needed by every cell in the body, healthy hair, nails and skin, also for maintaining healthy immune system and reproduction system and promote growth.
Sources: red meat, poultry, eggs, shellfish, cheese, nuts, sunflower seeds, beans and wheat germ.
Chromium: it improves insulin sensitivity and helps in controlling blood sugar levels. It also helps to breakdown fat and lower bad cholesterol.
Sources: Shellfish, red meat, liver, egg yolks, cheese, mushrooms and whole wheat bread.
Fluoride: is important for healthy bones and teeth and protects teeth against tooth decay.
Sources: drinking water, toothpaste
Molybdenum: is required for DNA production and acts as an antioxidant.
Sources: Liver, whole grains, yeast, pulses, leafy green vegetables.