• “ Minerals in food are the elements present in food that are required by our body
to develop and function properly. ” we can deduce that minerals are inorganic
substances required by the human body to function correctly. The human body
requires varying amounts of minerals daily in order to build strong bones and
muscles. It also helps to maintain various bodily functions. Therefore
• , which is why minerals can appear as crystals, we obtain these nutrients from
eating foods rich in minerals.mineral has the following characteristics:
• -Found in nature but not made by humans
• -Has never been alive
• -Solid and not liquid like water or gaseous like air
• -Has a definite chemical composition, as each type is made of a particular mix of
• -Has an ordered atomic arrangement
TYPES OF MINERALS IN FOOD
• Our body requires minerals in specific quantities. Some of them are required in
large doses, while others may be required only in traces. Hence, based on the
requirement of the body, minerals in food are classified into two types:
• Macrominerals are those minerals which are required in relatively large doses.
Therefore, they are also called major minerals.
• Macrominerals include sodium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium,
phosphorus, and sulfur. These minerals are vital for the proper functioning and
metabolism of the body. Our body cannot produce these minerals; hence, they
need to be obtained from a food source.
• The deficiency of these minerals results in severe ramifications for health.
• Also called trace minerals, these are minerals which are required in small amounts.
Therefore, they are also called minor minerals. Trace minerals include iron, copper,
iodine, zinc, manganese, fluoride, cobalt and selenium.
• If these trace minerals are taken in excessive quantities, mineral toxicity is
induced. For instance, acute selenium toxicity is observed if an individual
overdoses on dietary supplements. It can cause nausea, nail discolouration or
brittleness, hair loss, and diarrhoea.
13 MAIN MINERALS
• Essential minerals that the body requires include:
• Other types of minerals that benefit the body and work in conjunction with other
nutrients include chromium, molybdenum and fluoride.
FUNCTIONS OF MINERALS IN FOOD
• The following are some of the common minerals in food and their functions in
• Helps blood clotting.
• Helps muscle contraction and nerve function.
• Essential for building strong and healthy bones.
• Maintains proper blood volume, blood pressure, and pH of our body fluids.
• Formation of red blood cells.
• Helps with the functioning of the nervous system.
• Promotes the normal functioning of the thyroid gland.
• Helps in the proper functioning of brain functions.
• Promotes normal growth and development of cells.
• Helps in transporting oxygen to all parts of the body.
• Produces and stores the energy for further metabolisms.
• Provides structure for healthy bones.
• Produces energy from the food molecules.
• Maintains proper functioning of muscle and nervous system.
• Helps maintain water balance.
• Controls nerve impulse transmissions.
• Maintains cellular osmotic pressure.
• Helps in maintaining blood volume and blood pressure and fluid balance in the
• Involved in protein synthesis.
• Protects your cells from damage.
• Helps in promoting the loosening and shedding of Skin.
• Helps the body store and use energy.
• Works with calcium in the formation of strong, healthy bones and teeth.
• Controls nerve impulses and muscle contractions.
• Helps in maintaining fluid balance in the body.
• Maintains proper functioning of muscle and nervous system.
• Aids in wound healing.
• Supports the immune system.
• Helps in the formation of strong bones.
• Controls the functioning of the sense organs in the nervous system.
• Important and essential process of cell division and reproduction. acid-base balance
SOURCE OF MINERALS
• Calcium: Almonds, Carrots, Milk, Broccoli, Canned Fish, Papaya, Garlic, and
• Chloride: Table Salt, Soy Sauce, liver Unprocessed Meat, Milk and Peanuts
• Copper: Crab, Lobster, Mussels, Oysters, Nuts, Wholegrains and Yeast extract
Iodine: Seafood, Seaweed and Iodised salt
Iron: Meat, Eggs, Beans, Baked Potato, Dried Fruits, Green Leafy Vegetables, Whole
and Enriched Grains
Magnesium: Honey, Almonds, Seafood, Tuna, Chocolates, Pineapple, Pecans,
Artichokes, and Green Leafy Vegetables
Manganese: Cereals, Nuts, Oils, Vegetables and Wholegrains
Zinc: Beef, Pork, Dark Meat, Chicken, Cashews, Almonds, Peanuts, Beans, Split Peas, and
Which minerals do we need but our body cannot produce?
• There have been some pretty good answers here. When your body needs a mineral,
for example the element Selenium, it is because there is a (protein) enzyme which
needs that in order to function. Going out and buying pills to provide certain minerals
can be a bad idea because it is easy to overdose on several of them, and for example
high amounts of Selenium can be quite toxic.
HOW MUCH TOTAL MINERAL CONTENT IS REQUIRED IN
THE BODY EVERY DAY?
• The 72 nutrient minerals are needed in varying amounts, with calcium and
magnesium requiring more and others much less. Eating generous amounts of
vegetables and some fruits are good sources. Sea vegetables are good. Additional
supplementation is wise. Precise amounts needed can be found online.
MINERAL DEFICIENCY DISEASE
• A mineral deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t obtain or
• absorb the required amount of a mineral. The cause may be a poor diet, impaired
uptake of the minerals that are consumed, or a dysfunction in the organism's use
of the mineral after it is absorbed.
• There are five main categories of mineral deficiency: calcium, iron, magnesium,
potassium, and zinc.
• Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth. Hypocalcemia, also known as
calcium deficiency disease, occurs when the blood has low levels of calcium. A
long-term calcium deficiency can lead to dental changes, cataracts, alterations in
the brain, and osteoporosis, which causes the bones to become brittle.
• Some symptoms include.
• -painful muscle spasms and cramps.
• -twitching of muscles.
• -numbness or tingling in feet and hands.
• -numbness or tingling around the mouth.
• More than half of the iron in your body is in red blood cells. Iron deficiency
develops slowly and can cause anemia.
• The symptoms of iron-deficiency anemia include feeling weak and tired.
• -Magnesium deficiency
• The body needs magnesium for hundreds of chemical reactions
• Early signs of magnesium deficiency include: fatigue
• weakness, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting
• The most common cause of potassium deficiency is excessive fluid loss. Examples
can include extended vomiting, kidney disease, or the use of certain medications
such as diuretics.
• Symptoms of potassium deficiency include muscle cramping and weakness. Other
symptoms show up as constipation, bloating, or abdominal pain caused by
paralysis of the intestines.
• -Zinc deficiency
• Zinc plays a role in many aspects of the body’s metabolism. It’s also important for
proper growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence.
• Zinc deficiency can cause loss of appetite, taste, or smell. Decreased function of
the immune system and slowed growth are other symptoms.
HOW IS MINERAL DEFICIENCY TREATED?
• The treatment for a mineral deficiency depends upon the type and the severity of
the deficiency. Underlying conditions are also a factor.
• Your doctor may order further tests to identify the amount of damage before
deciding on a treatment plan such as:
• -A change in eating habits may help if you have a minor mineral deficiency.
• People with anaemia due to a lack of iron in the diet, may be asked to eat
• more meat, poultry, eggs, and ironfortified cereals.
• You may be referred to a registered dietitian if your deficiency is more severe. They’ll help you
modify your eating habits. This will include guidelines on how to eat a well-balanced diet rich in
fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
• -The dietitian may also ask you to keep a food diary to track what foods you’re eating and your
• -Certain mineral deficiencies cannot be treated with diet alone. You may be
• required to take a multivitamin or mineral supplement.
• -These may be taken alone or with other supplements that help the body absorb or
use the mineral. Vitamin D, for
example, is usually taken along with calcium.
• take supplements. It’s important to follow your provider’s instructions because
excessive intake of certain supplements can be harmful.