Minerals are inorganic substances which exist naturally in the earth. And they are critical to producing enzymes in the body, on which every cellular chemical reaction depends.
These minerals are essential to the growth and production of bones, teeth, hair, blood, nerves, skin. Not only that but they support almost all of our bodily functions by helping deliver other important nutrients.
Minerals essential to our body’s health include calcium, chromium, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium,iron, selenium, sodium and zinc, to name a few.
We need significant quantities of essential macro minerals (such as calcium), and they are usually measured in milligrams. They are named macro minerals because the RDA amount listed is greater than 200 mg/day.
We require very small quantities of essential trace minerals (such as selenium), usually measured in micrograms. Since their requirement falls under 200 mg RDA requirement, they are named trace or micro-minerals. Note that the RDA is a minimum quantity, in order to stay alive, not necessarily at the very peak of health.
These minerals are essential because they critical for the processing of vitamins, and the production of crucial enzymes which are catalysts to every function in the body, including the production of hormones in the body.
They are needed for proper blood circulation, fluid regulation, nerve transmission, muscle contraction, cellular integrity, and energy production.
Any deficiency or overabundance of any mineral can set up an imbalance causing any number of symptoms, setting up an environment prone to disease.
Essential minerals work synergistically with each other, as well as with other nutrients. Not surprising then, they are combined by nature in unrefined whole foods. This provides us with the opportunity for optimum digestion and bodily function.
However, we often eat too heavily in our portions of animal proteins, unhealthy fats, and carbohydrates, upsetting the delicate balance required for the best nutrient absorption.
What our bodies need to stay healthy is to feed it the foods it has taken a millennia to refine. And in part that means we eat the rich sources of macro and micro nutrients found in the vegetation on this planet. From seafood to seeds, nuts to beans, fruit to vegetables, we have a wonderful balance to the fats and protein we get from other sources.
Fresh vegetables are the best foods to eat because they support almost every function required for digestion, nutrient absorption and detoxifying, from the lymphatic system to the cardiovascular and muscular.
One way to supplement your intake of veggies is juicing your own fresh juices. By ADDING this to your already vegetable rich diet, you can benefit even more from the valuable life enzymes and phytonutrients in more concentrated form. (This assumes you get the fiber you need from your daily food intake, as juicing can remove much of it.)
Sources of Essential Minerals
Essential minerals, along with phytonutrients and protein, are found in fruits, vegetables, meats, nuts, beans and dairy products. Vegetables are some of the largest contributor of these vital minerals. Sadly though, most of the soil in which our produce is grown has long been depleted of a large percentage of what it used to hold in these nutritive minerals.
Commercial fertilizer is well known to contain only three primary minerals, yet there are so many more necessary for soil to provide plant life with the minerals we need for optimum health.
Therefore, amounts of essential minerals in our produce may vary widely, depending on local soil content and farming methods. It is widely believed that organic farming methods preserve and replenish the necessary soil nutrients for healthy levels of these minerals in agricultural produce.
Some minerals may be obtained from mineral salts and table salt. It is also in our water supply, but amounts there are also widely varied and often unknown.
The cooking and processing of food also compromises mineral availability and absorption, because the live enzymes, important to the delivery and utilization of those minerals, are destroyed beyond 118 degrees in normal cooking. Crushing, blending, freezing, and processing all destroy vital nutrients as well.
Mineral Absorption and Chelation
The process of absorbing these minerals occurs mostly in the digestive tract, where their electrons are neutralized in a process called chelation. Chelation is necessary for the minerals to pass into the blood, and be utilized in various tissues, bones and organs.
Proteins are necessary for an adequate chelation process, so should be consumed alongside vegetables. Amino acids are required as well as enzymes for all of the minerals to be chelated.
Aside from meat, poultry and fish, good sources of protein include cheeses, nuts, beans, legumes, and seeds. Vegetables also include substantial protein contributions such as peas, spinach, kale, seaweed, brussel sprouts, and asparagus.
A list of all essential macro and trace minerals is in this post, including how and where they are found in food and used in the body.
Moral of the Story
It is important to be sure that our diets are comprised mostly of the highest nutritional value quality foods. These minerals are crucial to maintaining a healthy pH balance.
While supplementation is common, care must be taken with these, even calcium. If you are in an acid state, calcium can build up in tissues causing disease.
It is much safer, and much easier than I anticipated making juice fresh veggies for getting all of these necessary minerals together. When delivered with the electrons and enzymes in fresh vegetables, they are the most easily absorbed by the body and provide critical support!