One of the main roles of food is to give you the energy to get through your day. Your body metabolizes complex food molecules into simpler forms to catalyze energy reactions. Through these reactions, you find the energy to get out of bed in the morning and be productive throughout your day.
However, not all food is created equal. While a meal heavy in carbohydrates will give you a big energy boost, there are more components to a healthy diet. Lethargy, pain, irritability, depression, immune deficiency, and more can all be attributed to a poor diet. A healthy diet prevents these ailments by providing essential minerals.
What Are Essential Minerals?
Essential minerals are minerals your body needs to function. According to eMedicineHealth.com, the medical community divides essential minerals into two categories: macrominerals and trace minerals. Greater amounts of macrominerals are required to keep your body healthy. Trace minerals are equally important, but smaller amounts will keep you going.
It can be difficult to get the minerals you need in your average diet. Busy people don’t have time to keep track of the minerals in each meal, or remember which minerals are the most important. Which minerals should you prioritize for your health? How can you get them?
Iron deficiency is a common ailment, particularly among women. The most common symptom of low iron is fatigue. Women in particular are at risk for low iron. Iron’s primary function in the body is to carry oxygen. Without the help of iron, your body has to work without proper oxygen levels. This makes moving and thinking straight difficult.
Iron can be brought into your diet in beef, chicken, and oysters. For vegetarians, some cereals are fortified with additional iron. Iron supplements are also available at most pharmacies over the counter.
For those with high blood pressure, potassium is one of the most important minerals. Too much sodium in your diet can cause hypertension, which increases risks of heart attacks and strokes. Potassium is one of the best ways to lower the sodium content in your blood, according to health and wellness experts, MyBeautyGym.
Particularly if you have high blood pressure, prioritize adding potassium to your diet. In food, you can find potassium in tomatoes, artichokes, bananas, and potatoes. Potassium supplements can also be taken with food.
Calcium is known primarily for its benefits to bone health, but has other health benefits as well. Women may benefit from upping their calcium intake because higher calcium levels may reduce PMS symptoms. The National Institute on Aging recommends calcium for older people, who are at higher risk for bone loss. What’s more, calcium also functions like potassium to reduce the sodium levels in your body. For older people who have a higher risk of hypertension, calcium can help.
Add calcium to your diet with dairy products, including milk. Dark, leafy greens such as kale are good sources of calcium.
Keeping your body healthy means understanding the little things it needs to work. Keep an eye on your calcium, potassium, and iron intake and you’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel.