Don’t forget your minerals!

We hear a lot about vitamins and how we should be getting our 5 fruit and veg as it will bring these vitamins into our body, but many forget about the equally important minerals. Minerals are essential for overall good health, bone development and muscular contraction, if you are cutting out carbohydrates or fats you may miss out on some of the most important minerals. By controlling your diet you should be able to get in these essential minerals:

Calcium

The big daddy of minerals and probably the most well-known mineral of them all, the vitamin C of the mineral world. Calcium’s main function is to form bone and tissues, however it is also essential for proper and correct muscle contraction which is not only important for fitness fanatics but for everyone, low calcium leads to low bone density and a severe loss of muscle strength.

Where to get your calcium fix:

The majority of calcium is locate in dairy products so cheese, yogurt and milk are the best sources. If you are trying to keep away from dairy foods you can try broccoli, spinach, salmon, kale and sardines.

Don’t forget to get your VITAMIN D as this allows proper absorption of calcium into the body!

Did you know?

The metabolic disease Rickets is on the rise in the U.K. due to a lack of sun exposure as children remain at home playing video games, watching T.V etc.  Food supplementation of vitamin D has shown to be ineffective when compared with sun exposure for vitamin D metabolism and allowing proper calcium absorption.

Iodine

Iodine is another essential mineral for the body, it pays a vital role in the maintenance of healthy thyroid regulation and therefore our metabolic rate. As we know those who suffer from thyroid problems have serious physical symptoms.

Where to get your iodine fix:

Iodine is found in a variety of foods in our diet, it is highly unlikely that you will find yourself having too little iodine in the U.K. however other parts of the world such as parts of Africa have severe deficits in iodine with many countries sending over iodized salt to these countries in charity to help with the problem.

Did you know?

Iodine is the heaviest essential nutrient required for life for humans and nearly all other forms of life besides bacteria which use tungsten.

Iron

Iron is essential for both sexes but females do require more in general due to periodic blood loss, iron is essential in the transportation of oxygen around the body, those who exercise normally require extra oxygen to power the muscles.  Iron is generally an essential for homeostasis and a lack will lead to the very common ailment known as anaemia.

Where to get your iron fix:

Iron is found in abundance in soy beans, whilst many males choose to avoid soybeans they do remain an excellent source of both protein and iron. Other sources are lentils, tofu, beans, red meats and of course Popeye’s favourite spinach.

Did you know?

Popeye was used to help children and adults eat there green vegetables, most believe the cartoon is used to help increase the amount iron people were taking in but it was in fact used to help people increase their vitamin A content.

Magnesium

Magnesium is a key mineral for the function of muscle contraction and maintenance, magnesium is key in correct nerve impulses which regulates the heart beat and lifting ability. Magnesium is also key in the development of energy within the body and therefore key for those who exercise at any intensity.

Where to get your magnesium fix:

Magnesium is found in abundance in the fruit pineapple, half a medium sized pineapple will give you 80% of the RDA of magnesium, and the other magnesium powerhouses which can be included into your diet include the usual suspects of soybeans and spinach.

Did you know?

Pineapple is a real powerhouse for muscle builders, not only is it packed out with magnesium but the enzyme bromelain which helps the digestion of protein from food.

Zinc

Another one of those minerals loved by those into fitness and exercise, zinc is an essential mineral as it regulates the development of new cells within the body by reading the genetic blueprint which helps guide cell creation and development. As such zinc plays a major role in all aspect of the body and importantly for weight lifters and those involved in exercise the development of testosterone and the healing of tissues.

Where to get your Zinc fix:

Zinc is found in high quantities in oysters, in fact one oyster can have the entire RDA of Zinc, other main foods that will get you zinc are beef, crab, pork and nuts in particular cashews and almonds.

Did you know?

Zinc prevents many other nutrients from being absorbed such as copper, also it may interact with antibiotics and other medication. It is therefore best to take any medications with non-zinc rich foods or zinc supplements.

Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a mineral that should not be left out of your nutrition diary, a key mineral that is vital for the formation of bones, phosphorus repairs the cells and tissues of the body and is essential for healthy oral hygiene. In conjunction with the B vitamins phosphorus helps with energy outputting and muscle contractions, it is also important for kidney health.

Where to get your phosphorus fix:

Phosphorus is found in dairy products with un-pasteurized milk being the best source, it is found in most meats and located in many of the foods that contain calcium.

Did you know?

White phosphorous is used to make incendiary bombs, smoke bombs and tracer bullets.

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