I hope you’ve taken a lot of vitamins since our last nutrition post. This is part 2 where we are going to talk more about minerals. We’ll see how important minerals are to our bodies. Vitamins and minerals are part of a group called “Micronutrients”. That means that you need them in smaller amounts than carbohydrates, proteins, or fats.
Minerals are found in water and soil. Plants absorb minerals from soil and water, and we eat the plants. The same case goes for animals. A chicken for example may eat mineral enriched plants, then we eat the chicken. It makes a fair case on why knowing what chickens and cows eat can be important. If they eat something harmful, there could be a chance you may be consuming the same thing through the meat. One thing can be sure- minerals are important to your body. There are many different kinds of minerals, but here are 3 big ones:
- Calcium: helps build bones, maintains heart health
Where: Dairy, broccoli, turnip/mustard green, kale, almonds, sunflower seeds.
Why: Building stronger bones and teeth can prevent dental problems in children. By in-taking calcium you are not only providing an essential mineral, but also preventing future problems (and saving a little $$ from your dentist trip).
Important Fact: Most people think of milk when they hear calcium, but when you or someone you know are lactose intolerant, there are other ways to consume calcium (and still get all the good benefits)- eat broccoli, turnip/mustard green, kale, almonds, sunflower seeds instead!
- Iron: Helps to create hemoglobin and facilitate oxygen (o2) transportation in body.
Where: Organ meat, eggs, dried fruits, whole grain, dark leafy greens, lean red meat, poultry
Why: Iron is key for blood to transport Oxygen to the body.
Important Fact: To prevent decrease of iron absorption, don’t eat iron-rich foods within an hour of drinking caffeinated beverages (coffee or soda).
- Potassium: Essential for nervous system and muscle function.
Where: Bananas, citrus, dried apricots, sweet potato, tomatoes, peas, and squash
Why: Getting potassium makes sure our hearts and blood pressure are under control.
Here’s a cool superpower that anyone can do- BOOST your mineral absorption. Here’s how!
- Vitamin C– increases the absorption of iron
- Vitamin D– aids the absorption of calcium
- Magnesium– helps body absorb potassium
It’s SUPER cool how vitamins and minerals work so well with each other. Making sure you’re consuming enough vitamins and minerals are important to your bodies function. Consume vitamins and minerals and your body functions great. You function great- you feel great. It all starts with making that 1st great decision of eating healthy foods along with that dose of exercise. Once you make that decision, it’s an easy walk towards a better life (For your body, for your mood, and for YOU). So eat healthy! Be healthy! Be happy!