Minerals fail to attract the spotlight that vitamins often do. The lack of attention leads many to believe minerals aren't as important as vitamins. In fact, minerals are essential partners to vitamins and can be found in many of the same foods. Although no one food can provide all the minerals you need, eating a combination of foods can ensure you get the daily amount of minerals your body needs.
Most of the body's calcium can be found in the bones and teeth. Increased calcium not strengthens bones and teeth, and can help with weight loss because calcium helps decrease the body's production of fat. Good sources of calcium include collard greens, orange juice, milk, salmon, cheese, broccoli, bread, cottage cheese, sour cream, kale, ice cream, soy drinks, spinach, tofu, turnip greens, yoghurt and other dairy products.
Chromium works with insulin to produce the glucose the body needs to use as energy. Good sources of chromium include potatoes, broccoli, green beans, apples, bananas, tomatoes, orange juice, grape juice, red wine, basil, beef cubes, wheat germ, beef, pork, turkey and English muffins.
Copper is an essential mineral to many of the body's functions. It helps produce pigment for the skin, hair and eyes; develops healthy teeth and bones; helps the nervous system function properly; forms red blood cells; and helps in the production of iron. Foods rich in copper include crab, lobster, oysters, almonds, pistachios, barley, liver, and sesame seed.
All cells in the body need iron. It's part of the process of carrying oxygen through the body and helps in the process of releasing energy from glucose. Rich sources of iron include spinach, fish, chicken, pork, liver, veal, kidneys, spinach, soy, kidney beans, lima beans, chickpeas, egg yolks, tuna, sardines, pumpkin seeds, turmeric, and thyme.
Magnesium strengthens bones and teeth. It helps the body absorb calcium and potassium, and process fat and protein. Foods rich in magnesium include okra, spinach, soybeans, legumes, turnip greens, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, peanuts, salmon, halibut, lamb kidneys, red meat, whole grains, artichokes, and tofu.
Phosphorus is found in enzymes, DNA, lipids, proteins, and carbohydrates. It's also an essential component of healthy teeth and bones. Good sources of phosphorus include pork, turkey, chicken, tuna, lobster, cheese, cottage cheese, grains, bran flakes, almonds, peanuts, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, peas, green leafy vegetables, corn, broccoli, whole wheat bread, and yoghurt.
Zinc supports the body in producing insulin, activating white blood cells, and eliminating toxins from the body. It's also essential for healthy hair, skin and nails. Foods rich in zinc include beef tenderloin, venison, liver, lamb loin, crab, lobster, poultry, eggs, dairy products, oat bran, soybeans, navy beans, sesame seeds and pumpkin seeds.