Minerals are essential nutrients your body needs in small amounts to work properly. Plant based foods are rich sources of all the essential minerals required by our bodies, without any of the harmful saturated fats, acidic proteins, cholesterol, lactose and other contaminants present in meat and dairy products.
Minerals are necessary for 3 main reasons:
- building strong bonds & teeth
- controlling body fluids inside and outside cells
- turning the food you eat into energy.
There are two kinds of minerals: macrominerals and trace minerals. Macrominerals are minerals your body needs in larger amounts. They include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride and sulfur. Your body needs just small amounts of trace minerals. These include iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, fluoride and selenium.
Health benefits: vision, bone growth, reproduction, cell functions, immune system. The body turns beta carotene into Vitamin A, so it essentially performs the same functions as Vitamin A.
Sources: yellow and green leafy vegetables, yellow fruits (mango, melon, apricots)
Health benefits: strong bonds and teeth, muscle contraction, blood clotting
Sources: Diary products, leafy greens, nuts and seeds.
Health benefits: Chloride is needed to keep the proper balance of body fluids. It is an essential part of digestive (stomach) juices.
Sources: Salt, vegetables. Foods with high amount of chloride include seaweed, rye, tomatoes, lettuce, celery and olives.
Health benefits: Chromium is important in the metabolism of fats and carbohydrates. Chromium stimulates fatty acid and cholesterol synthesis, which are important for brain function and other body processes. Chromium is also important in the breakdown (metabolism) of insulin.
Sources: Yeast, meat products, green peppers, apples, bananas, spinach, whole grains, lentils, broccoli, spices
Health benefits: red and white blood cells, immune system, muscle function
Sources: meat products, leafy greens, nuts and wholegrains
Health benefits: contraction & relaxation of muscles, function of certain enzymes in the body, production & transport or energy, production of protein
Sources: Leafy greens, fruits (bananas, apricots, avocadods), nuts (almonds, cashews), beans, seeds, soy products, whole grains, meat and dairy.
Health benefits: formation of bones and teeth. It plays an important role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues
Sources: Meat, dairy, rice, bread, oats.
Health benefits: contols the balance of fluids in the body and helps control bood pressure.
Sources: Fruits, vegeatables, pulses, nuts and seeds, meat and dairy products.
Health benefits: Zinc is found in cells throughout the body. It is needed for the body's defensive (immune) system to properly work. It plays a role in cell division, cell growth, wound healing, and the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Sources: Meat products, nuts, whole grains, legumes and yeast.