Minerals

Minerals are vital for the body to perform its necessary functions. Our bodies use minerals for various operations, including keeping bones, muscles, heart, and brain working properly. Minerals are also important for making enzymes and hormones.

There are two main varieties of minerals: macro-minerals and trace minerals. Us humans require to intake larger volumes of macrominerals. These include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur. In comparison, you only need a small amounts of trace minerals such as iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium. Most people intake the necessary amount of minerals by consuming a variety of foods. In some circumstances, your GP may advise to take mineral food supplements. Those that have specific  health conditions or are on medications may need to get less of one or more minerals. For example, people with chronic kidney disease are advised to reduce consumption of foods that are high in potassium.

  • Beta-Carotene
  • Calcium
  • Chromium
  • Cobalt
  • Copper
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Selenium
  • Sodium Chloride (Salt)
  • Zinc

  • Beta-Carotene 

    Beta-Carotene PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Beta-carotene gives yellow and orange fruit and vegetables their colour. It's turned into vitamin A in the body, so it can perform the same jobs in the body as vitamin A. The main sources of beta-carotene are: yellow and green (leafy) vegetables – such as spinach, carrots and red peppers yellow fruit – such as mango, papaya and apricots You should be able to get the amount of beta-carotene you need from your daily diet.


    Calcium

    Calcium PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Calcium has several important functions. These include, helping build strong bones and teeth, regulating muscle contractions, including heartbeat, making sure blood clots normally. milk, cheese and other dairy foods, green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli, cabbage and okra, but not spinach, soya beans, tofu, soya drinks with added calcium, nuts, bread and anything made with fortified flour, fish where you eat the bones – such as sardines and pilchards Adults (19-64 years) need 700mg of calcium a day. You should be able to get all the calcium you need from your daily diet.


    Chromium

    Chromium PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Chromium is thought to influence how the hormone insulin behaves in the body. This means chromium may affect the amount of energy we get from food. Good sources of chromium include meat, wholegrains – such as wholemeal bread and whole oats, lentils, broccoli, potatoes, spices Around 25mcg of chromium a day should be enough for adults. You should be able to get all the chromium you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.


    Cobalt

    Cobalt PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Cobalt makes up part of vitamin B12. Good sources of cobalt include: fish, nuts, green leafy vegetables – such as broccoli and spinach, cereals – such as oats You should be able to get all the cobalt you need from your daily diet. Cobalt is a major part of vitamin B12. So if you get enough vitamin B12, you'll also get enough cobalt. Adults need approximately 1.5mcg of vitamin B12 a day.


    Copper

    Copper PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Copper helps: produce red and white blood cells trigger the release of iron to form haemoglobin, the substance that carries oxygen around the body. It's also thought to be important for infant growth, brain development, the immune system and strong bones. Good sources of copper include: nuts, shellfish, offal Adults (19-64 years) need 1.2mg of copper a day. You should be able to get all the copper you need from your daily diet.


    Iodine

    Iodine PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Iodine helps make thyroid hormones, which help keep cells and the metabolic rate – the speed at which chemical reactions take place in the body – healthy. sea fish, shellfish, Iodine can also be found in plant foods, such as cereals and grains, but the levels vary depending on the amount of iodine in the soil where the plants are grown. Adults need 0.14mg of iodine a day. Most people should be able to get all the iodine they need by eating a varied and balanced diet.


    Iron

    Iron PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Iron is important for making red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body. liver, meat, beans, nuts, dried fruit such as dried apricots, wholegrains such as brown rice, fortified breakfast cereals, soy bean flour, most dark-green leafy vegetables such as watercress and curly cale 8.7mg daily for men over the age of 18, 14.8mg daily for women aged 19-50 years, 8.7mg for women over the age of 50


    Magnesium

    Magnesium PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Magnesium is a mineral that helps: turn the food we eat into energy, make sure the parathyroid glands which produce hormones important for bone health work normally. Magnesium is found in a wide variety of foods, including: green leafy vegetables – such as spinach, nuts, brown rice, bread (especially wholegrain), fish, meat, dairy foods 300mg daily for men (19-64 years) and 270mg daily for women (19-64 years).


    Manganese

    Manganese PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Manganese helps make and activate some of the enzymes in the body. Enzymes are proteins that help the body carry out chemical reactions, such as breaking down food. Manganese is found in a variety of foods, including: tea – probably the biggest source of manganese for many people bread nuts cereals green vegetables – such as peas and runner beans You should be able to get all the manganese you need from your daily diet.


    Molybdenum

    Molybdenum PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Molybdenum helps make and activate some of the proteins involved in chemical reactions (enzymes) that help with repairing and making genetic material. Molybdenum is found in a wide variety of foods. Foods that grow above ground tend to be higher in molybdenum than foods that grow below the ground, such as potatoes or carrots. Good sources of molybdenum include: nuts, tinned vegetables, cereals – such as oats, peas, leafy vegetables – including broccoli and spinach, cauliflower You should be able to get all the molybdenum you need from your daily diet.


    Phosphorus

    Phosphorus PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Phosphorus is a mineral that helps build strong bones and teeth, and helps release energy from food. Phosphorus is found in many foods. Good sources include: red meat, dairy foods, fish, poultry, bread, brown rice, oats Adults need 550mg of phosphorus a day.


    Potassium

    Potassium PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Potassium is a mineral that helps control the balance of fluids in the body, and also helps the heart muscle to work properly. fruit such as bananas, some vegetables such as broccoli, parsnips and brussel sprouts, pulses, nuts and seeds, fish, shellfish, beef, chicken, turkey Adults aged 19-64 years need 3,500 potassium daily as part of their daily diet.


    Selenium

    Selenium PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Selenium helps the immune system work properly, as well as in reproduction. It also helps prevent damage to cells and tissues. Good sources of selenium include: brazil nuts, fish, meat, eggs The amount of selenium you need is: 0.075mg a day for men (19-64 years) and 0.06mg a day for women (19-64 years) If you eat meat, fish or nuts, you should be able to get all the selenium you need from your daily diet.


    Sodium Chloride (Salt)

    Sodium Chloride PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Sodium chloride is commonly known as salt. Sodium and chloride are minerals needed by the body in small amounts to help keep the level of fluids in the body balanced. Chloride also helps the body digest food. Salt is found naturally at low levels in all foods, but some salt is added to many processed foods, such as: ready meals, meat products – such as bacon, some breakfast cereals, cheese, some tinned vegetables, some bread, savoury snacks You should have no more than 6g of salt (2.4g of sodium) a day.


    Zinc

    Zinc PurposeGood Food SourcesRecommended Intake
    Zinc helps with: making new cells and enzymes, processing carbohydrate, fat and protein in food wound healing Good sources of zinc include: meat, shellfish, dairy foods – such as cheese, bread, cereal products – such as wheatgerm 9.5mg a day for men (aged 19-64 years) and 7mg a day for women