Minerals

Your body needs certain minerals to build strong bones and teeth and help turn food into energy. As with vitamins, a healthy diet should provide all the minerals required to help your body function. Some of the most essential minerals include calcium, magnesium and zinc.

Calcium

1. Description: Calcium is a mineral that is found in your body and is important for bone and heart health.

2. Benefits: Calcium can maintain strong bones and teeth, as well as prevent bone loss and minimize fractures. It can also help with keeping your heart beating regularly, as it is needed for electrical conduction in the firing synapses of your heart. It is also needed for iron absorption. Calcium can also aid in your nervous system, especially in impulse transmission. Finally, it can help with weight management.

3. Fun Fact: Calcium can help reduce chronic back pain, as well as menstrual cramps.


Magnesium

1. Description: Magnesium is a mineral that is important for calcium and Vitamin C metabolism, as well as phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. It is also needed for nerve and muscle functioning, as well as for converting blood sugar into energy.

2. Benefits: Magnesium can help burn fat and produce energy. It is also known as a de-stress mineral, in that it can help in fighting depression and anxiety. Magnesium works on your heart to ensure a healthier cardiovascular system, thus preventing heart attacks. Magnesium can work as a natural laxative in higher quantities, and by itself.

3. Fun Fact: If your daily workouts are exhausting or painful, you probably need more magnesium.


Selenium

1. Description: Selenium is a mineral that acts as an antioxidant in our bodies, and slows down aging and hardening of tissues through oxidation. Selenium is critical for the production of glutathione, the body's primary antioxidant that is found in every cell.

2. Benefits: Selenium can help protect against various forms of cancer, (bladder, prostate, thyroid). It can also aid in reducing the risk of stroke and help prevent heart disease. This mineral can also help keep youthful elasticity in tissues. Selenium can help alleviate hot flashes and menopausal distress. It can also help with treatment and prevention of dandruff.

3. Fun fact: Trying to conceive? Selenium has been found to help raise sperm count and increase fertility in men.


Sodium

1. Description: Sodium is a mineral and electrolyte that helps your body to maintain fluid and blood volume to help it function normally. Most sodium in the body is found in blood and lymph.

2. Benefits: Sodium intake can help prevent heat stroke. It also helps our cardiovascular system function, helping to regulate blood pressures within normal ranges. Sodium intake is essential for helping nerves and muscles function properly as well.

3. Fun Fact: Having trouble losing weight? Check your sodium intake. Your body needs sodium to digest carbohydrates.


Zinc

1. Description: Zinc acts as a traffic director in that it helps oversee the efficiency of body processes, and helps maintain proper functioning of enzyme systems and cells. Zinc is essential for protein synthesis and collagen formation. It also governs the contractility of muscles. Zinc can help in the formation of insulin. Zinc is what helps maintain a proper acid-alkaline base for your blood levels. Some studies have found zinc is essential for brain function and has been used in the treatment of schizophrenia.

2. Benefits: Zinc can accelerate healing time for internal and external wounds. It can also aid in the treatment of infertility. Zinc can help promote growth and mental alertness. as well as aid in weight loss. Zinc helps decrease cholesterol deposits.

3. Fun Fact: History of prostate issues or trying to prevent them? Research has found a direct correlation with low levels of zinc and problems with the prostate.