Saturday, November 24, 2007

Daily Essential Minerals: Your Body-Maids Keeping Things In Order

The might of minerals

We like the following analogy: if you thought of your body as a house, then vitamins are the housemaids keeping things in order. They go around turning on lights, closing doors and windows to keep the heat in. The minerals are the strong lads, they are the bricks and mortar that give the house its stability and strength and help maintain the electrical current to keep the lights working.

Like vitamins, minerals are required in small amounts, and they are just as important for overall mental and physical well-being. All tissues and internal fluids contain varying amounts of minerals. They are essential components that make up bones, teeth, muscle, blood and nerve cells. Minerals are important factors in maintaining all processes within the body. They help strengthen bones, support a healthy heart and the functioning of the brain as well as muscle, immune and nervous systems. They are catalysts for many of the body's functions and are very important in the production of hormones.

Diet StartMinerals co-exist with vitamins and their roles are very closely related. For example, Vitamin C helps increase the absorption of iron, and calcium absorption is improved in the presence of Vitamin D. Some of the complex B vitamins are absorbed only when combined with phosphorus, and zinc helps the liver release Vitamin A.

Minerals also help maintain the delicate water balance essential for mental and physical functions. They assist the body to keep all fluids from becoming too acid or alkaline, and aid in the creation of antibodies. All the minerals needed by the body (that are known) must be obtained from the foods we eat.

Minerals are classified into two groups. The first group, macro or major minerals, are present in relatively high amounts in body tissues compared to the second group, known as trace minerals. They are present in the body in minute amounts, but the smaller proportions in no way diminish their vital importance. Again, we describe some of their important functions (by no means all), and where these minerals can be found.

... andjoyohoxing