Minerals, like vitamins, are important in supporting your normal growth and development. Minerals are required to support vital functions of your body.
In short there are two kinds of minerals, trace minerals and macrominerals. Important macrominerals which are needed in large quantities in your body are calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, chlorine and sulfur. On the other hand, trace minerals are needed in small amounts. Iron, manganese, iodine, fluorine, cobalt, zinc are among the important ones.
One of the most important functions of minerals is to help body maintain electroneutrality and the osmotic pressure, affect the metabolic processes, and build bones and teeth.
The key problem of minerals is that the human body is not able to create them, so a person must obtain them through food.
Mineral deficiency is a serious issue. What are the most common symptoms of mineral deficiency?
The causes are very different. For example eating too much of certain foods can lead to surplus of one mineral, but lack of another one. The lack of individual minerals is often influenced by intensive sports activity, smoking, consumption of alcohol, use of birth control pills, antibiotics, high consumption of coffee and tea, antidepressants, additives in food, diuretics and stress.
Recognizing mineral deficiency
Read about the main symptoms of lack of key minerals below. Try not to overlook these symptoms when they occur.
Lack of copper (Cu)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: anemia, fatigue, gray hair growth, growth retardation, often cause an increase in harmful types of cholesterol (LDL) in the blood
Foods rich in copper: sardines, oysters, veal liver, sunflower seeds, crustaceans, peanuts, prunes, beans and mushrooms
Lack of zinc (Zn)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: white spots on the nails, rough skin, growth retardation, loss of appetite, taste and smell, slow wound healing, poor concentration and even male infertility
Foods rich in zinc: seafood, oysters, animal liver, pumpkin seeds, sardines, soybeans, lentils
Lack of fluorine (F)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: a fragile tooth enamel, brittle bones and tooth decay
Foods rich in fluorine: sea food, tea and water
Lack of phosphorus (P)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: fatigue, weakened bones, lack of energy, problems with diabetes
Foods rich in phosphorus: dairy products, milk, liver, crayfish, clams, fish, poultry, eggs, salmon
Lack of iodine (I)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: thyroid problems, cold hands and feet, fatigue, poor concentration, breast pain, memory dysfunction
Foods rich in iodine: seafood, iodised salt, tarragon
Lack of calcium (Ca)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: muscle pain, muscle twitching, osteoporosis, insomnia, rickets, irregular heartbeat
Foods rich in calcium: milk and dairy products, sardines, tofu, dried figs
Lack of potassium (K)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: depression, water retention, high blood pressure, heart failure
Foods rich in potassium: bananas, citrus fruits, spinach, peppers, tomatoes, dates and figs, peanuts, sunflower seeds, celery
Lack of magnesium (Mg)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: physical weakness, irregular heartbeat, loss of appetite, fatigue and tremors, muscle spasms
Foods rich in magnesium: cereals, figs, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts (almond)
Lack of sodium (Na)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: dizziness, low blood pressure, dehydration, headache, poor concentration
Foods rich in sodium: salt, meat, vegetables, mussels, beets, artichokes, oat biscuits, bread
Lack of selenium (Se)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: dandruff, fertility problems, premature aging, prostate problems
Foods rich in selenium: Brazil nuts, fresh tuna, sunflower seeds, walnuts
Lack of silicon (Si)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: split nails, white spots on nails, osteoporosis, thin and brittle hair and wrinkled skin
Foods rich in silicon: onion, rice, barley, oats, wheat, millet, beet
Lack of Iron (Fe)
Symptoms of lack of this mineral: fatigue, exhaustion, poor concentration, hair loss, brittle nails, brittle breath, paleness
Foods rich in iron: beef, venison, lamb, bran, sesame seeds, sardines, dried apricots, prunes, crabs, tuna, egg yolk
While you can do a lot on your own to correct mineral imbalance / deficiency in your body, sometimes the only way is to start using dietary supplements, as prescribed by your personal doctor. Always follow your doctor’s advice.