The body does not make iodine, so it is an essential part of your diet. In addition, this mineral is needed for the production of thyroid hormones. As an integral part of thyroid hormones it regulates body temperature, metabolic rate, reproduction, growth, blood cell production, nerve and muscle function and more. By controlling the rate at which the cells use oxygen, these hormones influence the amount of energy released when the body is at total rest. Approximately 70 to 80% of the body’s iodine is found in the thyroid.
Feeling tired? No energy? Maybe you are not getting enough iron in your diet! Iron is essential for the formation of haemoglobin in red blood cells; haemoglobin binds oxygen and transports it around the body. Iron also serves as a cofactor to enzymes in oxidation/reduction reactions (i.e., accepts or donates electrons). These reactions are vital to cells’ energy metabolism. Iron requirements fluctuate throughout the life course. Iron needs increase during menstruation, pregnancy, and periods of rapid growth such as early childhood and adolescence.
That cut on your finger not healing? Maybe you are not getting enough zinc? Zinc plays a vital role in wound healing as it is required for the functioning of the immune system and in the structure and function of the skin. Almost all cells in our body contain zinc and it is a vital nutrient for growth and development. The highest concentrations are found in muscle and bone. The body tightly regulates zinc levels. For example, stress and infections cause plasma zinc levels to fall.
After iron and zinc, copper is the most abundant dietary trace mineral. It is a component of many enzymes and is needed to produce red and white blood cells. Copper-dependent enzymes transport iron and load it into hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen through the blood.
When we hear the word fluoride most of us think about its role in keeping our teeth healthy. It’s true that the main function of fluoride in the body is in the mineralisation of bones and teeth therefore, it is critical for healthy teeth and bones. This is why fluoride is now routinely added to most toothpastes. Fluoride is also present in soils, water supplies, plants and animals. Only a trace of fluoride is found in the body, but even at these tiny amounts, the crystalline deposits of fluoride result in larger and stronger bones and makes teeth more resistant to decay.
It is not an exaggeration to say that potassium literally keeps us alive! It is the body’s principal positively charged ion (cation) inside our cells and thus is essential for maintenance of normal fluid and electrolyte balance, enzyme reactions, cell integrity, and muscle contraction. Potassium and sodium are pumped across the cell membrane, a process that drives nerve impulse transmission.
Working together with calcium and magnesium, phosphorus is another important mineral related to bone health and is essential for the formation of healthy bones. In fact, about 85% of phosphorus in the body is combined with calcium in the bones and teeth. In all body cells, phosphorus is part of a major buffer system (phosphoric acid and its salts). Phosphorus is also a component of DNA and RNA, which are essential elements of all cells.
Did you know that it’s not only calcium that has a vital role in bone health…magnesium is also a key player! More than half the body’s magnesium is found in the bones, where it helps in the development and maintenance of bone. Much of the rest of the mineral is found in the muscles and soft tissues, with only 1% in the extracellular fluid. Bone magnesium serves as a reservoir for magnesium to ensure normal magnesium blood concentrations.