2.24.2014

Living Healthy and Happy: Minerals


You are probably thinking what is exciting about minerals and why is she spending time talking about them?  Minerals are another layer in the foundation to good health and the next thing to understand when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. 

What are minerals?

min·er·al
ˈmin(ə)rəl/
noun
plural noun: minerals
  1. 1.
    a solid inorganic substance of natural occurrence that is needed by the human body for good health.

What do minerals do for our bodies?  Minerals are essential (meaning we need to eat them from our food) and are involved in many chemical processes in our body. One of the largest occurring mineral in our body is calcium because of our bones and teeth. In the vitamin post, I discussed how Vitamin D is important for energy levels. Without calcium. Vitamin D gets very lonely. Many minerals need vitamins to work efficiently. Iron, which is the mineral that keeps our blood cells full of energy, needs Vitamin C to be fully absorbed into all those tiny little blood cells. If your body is low in iron, you can become anemic, your immune system becomes more compromised and you are more at risk for getting sick.  Potassium is a mineral to maintain water balance in the cells of your nerves and muscles. Without this mineral, nerves cannnot generate an impulse to signal your body to move, and the muscles in your heart, organs and body would not be able to function. 

What minerals do I need?  Again, eating your minerals is the best way to absorb them and eating balanced will give you the right amount of minerals. Calcium is such a large mineral, eating it actually improves it's absorption and dairy is one of the easiest ways to get what you need each day. Here is a little trick, to determine the amount of calcium in a good, add a zero to what is listed on the label and that is the amount of milligrams in a serving. Iron is important for women and is found in green leafy vegetables as well as legumes and meat. Magnesium is a fatigue-fighting mineral that many of us tend to be deficient in because it is not in large quantities in most foods, it is found in quinoa, legumes and rice. 

If you need a mineral make-over or have not given minerals much thought, eating balanced is the most important. If you might need a supplement, don't resist are to call!  

For more information on how to start living YOUR healthy life and an individualized plan for you, call or email me at 515.285.7266 | acundiff@hy-vee.com