Minerals are naturally occurring chemical components that may be found in soil and food. Minerals are essential for many bodily processes, including those that keep the heart and brain working and that generate hormones and enzymes (1).
The human body has two distinct mineral demands, which lead to a categorization of minerals into two groups. Calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, phosphorus, and magnesium are examples of macrominerals (2Trusted Source).
Trace minerals, such as iron, copper, fluoride, selenium, zinc, chromium, molybdenum, iodine, and manganese, are required in lower concentrations but are nevertheless essential (2Trusted Source).
Minerals are present in many meals, although some are more concentrated than others.
1. Seeds and nuts
Magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, and phosphorus are especially abundant in nut and seed sources (3Trusted Source).
As far as mineral richness goes, several nuts and seeds stand out as exceptional. When it comes to selenium, one Brazil nut gives 174% of the daily recommended intake, whereas a quarter cup (28 grams) portion of pumpkin seeds provides 40% of the recommended intake (4Trusted Source, 5Trusted Source).
Nuts and seeds in their whole form make for a healthy, portable snack, while nut and seed butters may be added to things like oatmeal and smoothies, or eaten alone or with other foods.Crustaceans
Oysters, clams, and mussels, among other shellfish, are densely packed with the minerals selenium, zinc, copper, and iron (6Trusted Source).
Six medium-sized oysters (84 grams) supply 30% of your daily selenium and 22% of your iron requirements, as well as covering your zinc and copper needs for the day (7Trusted Source).
Zinc is a necessary mineral for proper immune system function, DNA synthesis, cell division, and protein synthesis (6Trusted Source).
Zinc deficiency is associated with impaired immune response, slowed growth and development, and an increased risk of infection in pregnant and nursing women, persons with gastrointestinal disorders, those using certain drugs, teenagers, and the elderly (8Trusted Source).
Those who may be at risk for a zinc deficiency would do well to increase their consumption of shellfish, since they offer a concentrated dose of this essential vitamin.
3. Vegetables with a cruciform shape
Consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, Swiss chard, and cauliflower, has been linked to a variety of health advantages, including a decreased risk of developing chronic diseases (9Trusted Source).
The high mineral content of these vegetables is directly linked to their beneficial effects on health.
Sulfur, a mineral essential for cellular activity, DNA synthesis, detoxification, and the creation of glutathione, a potent antioxidant your body produces, is notably concentrated in cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, kale, cabbage, and watercress (10Trusted Source, 11, 12Trusted Source).
Cruciferous plants, like broccoli and cauliflower, are rich in sulfur as well as many other minerals including magnesium, potassium, manganese, and calcium (13Trusted Source).
4. Internal organs
Organ meats are among the most mineral-dense meals you can eat, although they are not as often consumed as other types of meat.
An 85-gram serving of beef liver, for instance, supplies all of the copper you need for the day in addition to 41% of your zinc, 31% of your iron, and 33% of your phosphorus intake (14Trusted Source).
Protein and vitamins, such as vitamin B12, vitamin A, and folate, may be found in abundance in organ meats (14Trusted Source).
That eggs are touted as “nature’s multivitamin” is not without merit. Many essential elements may be found in whole eggs.
They have a lot of vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants, and proteins, and they also have a lot of iron, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium (15Trusted Source).
Eat the entire egg, not just the white, since the yolks contain virtually all of the vitamins, minerals, and other important substances yet many people avoid eating them because of their cholesterol concentration (16Trusted Source, 17Trusted Source)
Beans are a great source of fiber and protein, but they also include a plethora of other nutrients, such as calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, copper, and zinc (18Trusted Source).
Nonetheless, phytates and other antinutrients found in beans might reduce their nutritional value. Although, studies suggest that the bioavailability of minerals in beans may be improved via adequate preparation (such as sprouting or soaking and boiling).
You may enhance your mineral intake in a tasty manner by adding cocoa to smoothies, snacking on a piece of dark chocolate, or sprinkling your yogurt with cacao nibs.
Products made from cocoa are very mineral-rich, despite their reputation for being unhealthy. Particularly high in magnesium and copper, cocoa and cocoa products are a healthful addition to any diet (22Trusted Source).
Magnesium is crucial for many bodily processes, including those involved in producing energy, controlling blood pressure, maintaining healthy nerves and muscles, and maintaining healthy blood sugar levels (22Trusted Source).
Copper is essential for a wide variety of physiological functions, including growth and development, glucose metabolism, iron absorption, and red blood cell synthesis.
Avocados are delicious, luscious fruits that are also quite nutritious. Minerals like as magnesium, potassium, manganese, and copper may be found in abundance in them (23Trusted Source).
The mineral potassium plays a crucial role in controlling blood pressure and maintaining heart function. Consuming plenty of potassium-rich foods like avocados has been linked in several studies to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke.
The risk of stroke was lowered by 24% and the risk of heart disease was reduced by variables including high blood pressure, according to a meta-analysis of 33 studies involving 128,644 participants (24Trusted Source).
Strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, to name a few, are not only tasty but also a great way to get certain essential minerals.
In particular, berries are rich in the minerals potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Manganese is a mineral necessary for proper energy metabolism, immune system function, and nerve transmission (25Trusted Source).
Bone and connective tissue development, as well as the production of antioxidants that defend cells from free radical damage, need this mineral.
10.Yogurt and cheese
Many people get the calcium they need from dairy products like cheese and yogurt. Calcium is required for proper nerve and heart function and bone maintenance (27Trusted Source).
It has been shown via scientific inquiry that many individuals, particularly adults, do not get enough calcium from their diets (28Trusted Source).
You may improve your dietary calcium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium consumption by eating more high-quality dairy products like yogurt and cheese (29Trusted Source).
The problem is that many individuals cannot tolerate dairy. Beans, almonds, and leafy greens are some alternatives to dairy that nevertheless provide calcium.
Finally the bottom line
Maintaining healthy mineral levels is crucial for overall health and well-being. Even yet, many people’s diets are deficient in minerals.
Fortunately, increasing your mineral intake is simple since many meals, including the healthy ones mentioned above, are rich in minerals.
Increase your mineral intake, lower your illness risk, and enhance the quality of your diet by include some, or all, of the items on this list in your daily routine.