MINERALS WE NEED FROM FOOD
Minerals are inorganic compounds that we don’t make on our own. We must consume foods that contain them. And if you are eating a diet high in ultra-processed foods, you are more than likely not getting the minerals you need. Today I will cover the basics of Essential Minerals and the nutrient-dense foods you should eat that contain them.
Remember, I am covering the basics, and I won’t list every minute detail.
Most of us know we need calcium to form bones and teeth. But Calcium also aids in muscle contraction, nerve signaling, and blood clotting. You can get calcium from dairy, almond milk, beans, sardines, salmon, sesame seeds, spinach, kale, and broccoli.
This is a fairly common one that I hear is at low levels with people who eat a lot of packaged foods. Iron is essential because it helps with keeping you alert and maintaining energy levels. It is an essential component of red blood cells as well. Foods rich in iron are beef, chicken, turkey, shellfish, tuna, pumpkin seeds, edamame, lentils, kidney beans, black beans, chickpeas, sunflower seeds, and spinach.
Most people hear of using Magnesium for sleep or constipation, but Magnesium is also essential for strengthening bones, heart rhythm regulation, and promoting muscle and nerve function. So, while it is often needed as a supplement to aid in sleep and digestion you should also be consuming these foods that contain a fair amount of it: pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts, flaxseed, halibut, salmon, and spinach, to name a few.
Do you think of eating foods that contain Phosphorus? Well, phosphorus is a part of our bones and teeth. It’s also essential for our growth and generating energy. Foods rich in phosphorus are fish, dairy, mushrooms, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. So, eat more of these foods!
Everyone always thinks of bananas as the sole food for providing this essential mineral. Do you know why you need it though? Potassium helps regulate blood pressure, maintain fluid balance and regulate heart rhythm. But you can get potassium in a lot of other foods besides bananas. A few are pinto beans, lentils, kidney beans, sweet potato, Swiss chard, and avocado.
Selenium? This is one that flies under the radar, but it super important for our energy systems and metabolism. Selenium helps to regulate our thyroid hormone and is a powerful antioxidant. You can get selenium from Brazil nuts, oysters, tuna, salmon, pork, turkey, and sunflower seeds.
People hear sodium and think it’s bad! But Sodium is so important! Sodium regulates fluid balance in our bodies and also supports muscle contraction and nerves. This is not sodium from Lays potato Chips or Campbell’s Chicken Soup. The majority of your sodium should be from REAL salt, not processed foods high in sodium. You should stick to kosher salt, sea salt, or other natural well-sourced salts.
Lastly, Zinc! You’ve probably heard of taking Zinc when you have a cold or are coming down with something viral. It supports your body’s immune system and nerve function. This mineral also speeds up wound healing and is important for reproduction function in males. Zinc-containing foods are shellfish, beef, lamb, turkey, pork, yogurt, pumpkin seeds, and lentils. You should be eating a variety of these foods all the time, not just when you are feeling sick!
I hope this 2-Blog sheds light on WHY you should be eating more nutrient-dense foods and less processed foods that lack nutritional value. Your body NEEDS REAL FOOD!
If you need help incorporating more Real Food into your diet and you want to learn more, book a Free Virtual Call to hear about my Nutrition Coaching Program! Eat Well Nutrition coaching in Noblesville is accepting applications for new clients!
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