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Importance of Minerals in Diet

Importance of Minerals in Diet The importance of minerals in diet cannot be undermined. Like vitamins, minerals are required in small quantities but are essential for a balanced diet and sound nutrition. Let us now look into the importance of minerals and know the essential minerals that we require for sound health.

Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in body as it is this element that aids in the development of bones and teeth. The intake of calcium rich milk is prescribed for young children because the importance of minerals is prime in the growth stage. The strength of skeleton system is largely related to the adequate consumption of food rich in calcium. Calcium deficiency can cause Osteoporosis in adults. Milk and milk products such as cheese and curd are the richest sources of calcium. Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, cabbage and lettuce also supply good quantities of this mineral.

Phosphorus is another essential element in bones and teeth. It also helps the body in utilising carbohydrates, fats, and plays an important role in protein synthesis. This mineral is also vital in energy storage and helps in the maintenance and repair of cells and tissues.

Manganese helps in processing carbohydrates and proteins in the body. It also has a role in bone formation.

While narrating the importance of minerals, we certainly cannot forget iron and magnesium. Iron is an essential part of various enzymes and proteins. It also helps the red blood cells to transport oxygen to all parts of the body. Regulating cell growth and cell differentiation is another function of iron. Magnesium is required in more than 200 bio chemical reactions in the body. It also helps in normal functioning of muscles and nerves. Regulation of heart beat, support to the immune system and providing strength to the bones are some lesser known but vital functions of magnesium. Certainly, these cannot be neglected while discussing the importance of minerals.

The importance of minerals in the form of Sodium lies in its ability to maintain the appropriate balance of fluids in the body.

The significance of zinc should also be understood while discussing the importance of minerals. It has a crucial role in building DNA and proteins in the body. Expecting mothers need to have a diet rich in minerals such as zinc for proper development of foetus. Zinc also has a role in the development of senses for taste and smell and helps in wound healing.

Now that we know the importance of minerals, let us also check the food sources that can fulfil our requirements of same. Including a variety of healthy foods from different food groups in your diet not only makes it more palatable but also increases your nutrition intake. Consumption of milk and milk products such as curd and cheese can ensure your intake of calcium, phosphorus and magnesium. If the importance of minerals in the form of iron means more to you, then beans, red meat and tuna fish are the sources of the same. Bananas, broccoli, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and legumes are excellent sources of potassium. Foods such as coconuts, pumpkins, cheese, eggs, and beet root contain sodium.

If you now appreciate the importance of minerals in diet, make sure your next meal does provide you some!
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