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Minerals: Some Facts About Minerals

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Last updated date: 05th Mar 2024
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Introduction to Minerals

Have you ever noticed how breakfast cereal commercials on TV usually emphasise vitamins and minerals? But eating isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think about minerals. Minerals, such as iron and quartz, aren't found on the earth? Yes, but some elements are found in low contents in meals, such as meat, which is a rich source of iron.


Minerals help your body grow and stay healthy. Minerals are used by the body for a variety of purposes, including bone formation and nerve impulse transmission. Some elements are even used to manufacture hormones or keep the heart beating normally. In this we are going to learn about different types of minerals and their properties with examples.


Minerals


Minerals


What is Mineral?

Minerals in food are the elements present in food that are required by our body to develop and function properly. We can draw from the given definition that minerals are inorganic compounds necessary for the human body to function properly. To produce healthy bones and muscles, the human body requires varied amounts of minerals on a regular basis. It also aids in the maintenance of many body functions. As a result, humans receive these nutrients through eating mineral-rich meals.


Certain nutritional deficiency disorders can develop when the body does not acquire adequate minerals. Mineral deficiency illnesses include goitre, osteoporosis, anaemia, hypomagnesaemia, and diarrhoea. In the below image we can see some of the minerals examples such as apple, orange, egg, carrot, tomato and many more.


Mineral riched foods


Mineral Riched Foods


Types of Minerals

There are two types of minerals. They are as follows:


Macrominerals

These are the minerals that must be consumed in relatively large quantities. As a result, they are also known as major minerals.


Sodium, calcium, chloride, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and sulphur are examples of macrominerals. These minerals are essential for the body's proper functioning and metabolism. Because our bodies cannot create these minerals, they must be received from a food source.


A lack of these minerals has serious consequences for one's health. Calcium insufficiency, for example, weakens the skeletal system, increasing the risk of fractures. Iodine shortage causes goitre and other hormonal abnormalities, while salt deficit causes hyponatremia.


Microminerals

These minerals, often known as trace minerals, are required in significant quantities. As a result, they are sometimes known as minor minerals. Iron, copper, iodine, zinc, manganese, fluoride, cobalt, and selenium are some examples of trace minerals.


Mineral poisoning is caused when these trace minerals are consumed in large quantities. Acute selenium toxicity, for example, is noticed when a person overdoses on nutritional supplements. It can induce nausea, discolouration or brittleness of the nails, hair loss, and diarrhoea.


Properties of Minerals

Following are some of the mineral properties with their function and food sources:


Minerals- Sources and Functions


Minerals

Food Sources

Functions

Potassium

Bananas, tomatoes, potatoes and sweet potatoes, with skins

green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli;

citrus fruits, like oranges;

milk and yoghurt;

legumes, such as beans, split peas, and lentils.

  • Controls nerve impulses and muscle contractions.

  • Helps in maintaining fluid balance in the body.

  • Maintains proper functioning of muscle and nervous system.

Calcium

Dairy products, green leafy vegetables, tofu, fish bones.

  • Helps blood clotting.

  • Helps muscle contraction and nerve function.

  • Essential for building strong and healthy bones.

Iron 

Cereals, legumes, meat, contamination from iron utensils and soil, and enriched products

  • Helps in transporting oxygen to all parts of the body.

  • Produces and stores the energy for further metabolisms.

Magnesium

Whole grains, nuts, legumes, green leafy, vegetables

  • Provides structure for healthy bones.

  • Produces energy from the food molecules.

  • Maintains proper functioning of muscle and nervous system.


Facts About Minerals in Food

Following are the facts about minerals in food:

  • According to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, iron, and dietary fibre are considered nutrients of public health concern because their low intakes are associated with negative health conditions.

  • About 99 per cent of the human body is made up of 6 elements: two of which include calcium and phosphorus!


Summary

The minerals in food are the elements present in food that are required by our body to develop and function properly. They include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, etc. There are two different types of minerals, i.e. macrominerals and microminerals. Microminerals include zinc, iron, copper, etc. While major minerals include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, etc. All minerals are required for excellent growth and development of the body. 

FAQs on Minerals: Some Facts About Minerals

1. Is salt a mineral?

Salt, also known as table salt or rock salt, is a crystalline mineral made mostly of the chemical composition sodium chloride (NaCl). Human consumption of salt comes in three varieties: unprocessed salt (such as sea salt), refined salt (table salt), and iodised salt.

2. Is water a mineral?

Water does not pass the test of being a solid, so it is not considered a mineral. Although ice, which is solid, is classified as a mineral as long as it is naturally occurring. Thus, ice in a snowbank is a mineral, but ice in an ice cube from a refrigerator is not.

3. What is the most abundant mineral?

Calcium is the most abundant mineral in the body, and greater than 99% of it is stored in bone tissue. Although only 1% of the calcium in the human body is found in the blood and soft tissues, it is here that it performs the most critical functions.