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Know Your Minerals


Minerals are inorganic substances essential for good health. Like vitamins, they can be found in a variety of foods and a good way to meet your needs is to eat a well balanced diet. The table below charts the diseases caused by the deficiency of minerals, their therapeutic benefits and top food sources to get them.

Minerals

Lack of this Mineral can cause:

Benefits of this Mineral

Top food sources of this Mineral

Calcium

Muscle aches and pains, muscle twitching, muscle cramps and spasms, osteoporosis

Helps maximize bone density in teenagers, reduces risk of osteoporosis, may improve PMS, relieves leg cramps

Sesame seeds, steamed tofu, whole milk, green beans, cheddar cheese, fruit yoghurt

Chromium

Need for frequent meals, excessive thirst, raised blood fats, craving for sweet foods, poor blood sugar control

Improves blood sugar control, aids weight loss by reducing sweet cravings and hunger, lowers cholesterol levels, reduces risk of Glaucoma

Meat, nuts, wholegrains, mung beans, adzuki beans, peas, peanuts

Copper

Iron-deficiency anemia, tiredness, changes to skin pigmentation and hair color, failure of babies to feed and grow

Can help to lower cholesterol, reduces pain of arthritis, lowers risk of osteoporosis, reduces the risk of infection

Oyster, lobster, peanuts, mushrooms, crab, sunflower seeds, calves liver

Iron

Fatigue, tiredness, shortage of breath, poor concentration, loss of appetite, repeated infections, headaches, hair loss

Improves concentration, provides relief from painful period, restores skin tone, reduces tiredness

Sesame seeds, roast venison, beef, lamb, canned crab, dried apricot, branflakes, tuna in oil

Iodine

Breast pain, poor concentration, enlarged thyroid gland in neck, muscle weakness, failing memory, tiredness, cold hands and feet

May relieve painful breasts, may reduce risk of breast cancer, reduces swollen thyroid gland

Haddock, mussels, cod, smoked mackerel, herring, milk, shrimps

Potassium

Irritability, confusion, muscle weakness, depression

Relieves muscle cramps, reduces the risk of stroke, lowers high blood pressure, lowers the risk of kidney stones

Bananas, spinach, radish, papaya, red pepper, red wine, watercress, parsnip, peach

Magnesium

Muscle cramps, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, anorexia, weakness, irregular heartbeat, fatigue, insomnia

Lowers risk of heat disease, reduces complications with diabetes, relieves pre-menstrual headaches, lowers period pain

Sunflower seeds, peanut butter, mixed nuts, pumpkin seeds, cocoa powder, shredded wheat

Phosphorus

Weakened bones, failure to grow, tiredness, anorexia, muscle spasms in the hands, face and feet, low bone density

Reduce tiredness in people with diabetes, improves fracture healing, reduces alcohol cravings, lower the risk of kidney stone, develops strong bones and teeth

Liver, shrimps, crabs, mussels, lobsters, steak, turkey, smoked salmon, cheese

Zinc

Poor concentration, slow growth of hair and nails, diarrhea, frequent infections, eczema, delayed puberty, dry skin, poor healing of wounds

Helps improve acne, improves wound healing, reduces the symptoms of a large prostate gland, improves eczema

Oyster, calve's liver, roast beef, lean roast lamb, wheat germ, canned crab, pork loin

See Also : Know Your Vitamins

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Last Modified: 11/28/11.