Minerals for health
Minerals are inorganic elements that exist as solids, with the human body requiring them for a wide variety of metabolic functions. The minerals are, by all standards, on a par in importance to your body as are all the other nutrients. The human body requires phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chlorine, sulphur, copper, iron, iodine, cobalt, manganese, zinc, and fluorine in daily amounts.
Calcium is extremely important for maintaining muscle tonus, where the strength of your muscular contraction is directly related to the adequate supply of this mineral. It helps to prevent fatigue and enables the body to recover from strenuous training more rapidly. Phosphorus is involved in keeping the chemical balance of your blood, the acid-base balance, the skeleton growth, tooth development, muscle metabolism, and is responsible for the intermediary metabolism of fats, protein, and carbohydrates.
Magnesium is very much like calcium in that it is involved with the nervous system. Just as calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus work hand-in-hand to keep the nervous system stable, sodium, potassium, and chlorine are critical for the control and regulation of glandular secretions and the composition of body fluids.
Copper is required for the synthesis of haemoglobin and the production of ribonucleic acid (RNA), the nucleus of every living cell. It also plays a role in bone formation and is a part of several respiratory enzymes. Zinc plays a role in the synthesis of protein so it should have a special place in every diet.
Cobalt is an essential element as it is a vital constituent of vitamin B12. Iron is critical for the structure of myoglobin, the haemoglobin of the skeleton and heart muscles. With iodine, the thyroid gland can produce adequate amounts of thyroxin, and the body can, therefore, function normally. Manganese is involved in activating several enzymes, one of which helps the body to properly utilise its fat stores. As can be seen, all minerals serve important roles in preserving health.
Benardot, Dan. Advanced Sports Nutrition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2006. 2. Campbell, Bill I., and Marie A. Spano. NSCA’s Guide to Sport and Exercise Nutrition. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2011. 3. Starr, Bill. The Strongest Shall Survive. New York: Bill Starr, 1999.
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