Health significance of minerals in foods
Minerals are considered as the micronutrients that help the body to grow, protect against diseases and sty fit and healthy, just like the vitamins. Each and every mineral performs a specific function within the body and their health significance is discussed as follows:
Calcium is mainly required for the construction of bones and teeth. It is essential in the clotting of blood and contraction of muscles. Milk and milk products, spinach, leafy green vegetables, soybean, dates, egg and fish are the rich sources of calcium. The deficiency of calcium leads to a condition called rickets.
Phosphorus functions as an important mineral for the construction of bones and teeth along with calcium. It is important for the growth of the body. It strengthens the nervous system, maintains the liquid balance in the body, and plays an important role in hair growth.
Cereals, pulses, soybean, carrot, peas, peanut, fermented foods, meat, fish, egg, and rice bran are food sources that are good sources of phosphorus. Teeth, joints and muscles become weak as a result of phosphorus deficiency.
Iron is very much required in blood formation. It also plays a significant role in the acid base balance of blood. Cereals, soybean, almond, nuts, banana, meat, egg contribute to food sources of iron. Deficiency of iron results in anemia.
It is an essential mineral for the functioning of heart. It yields strength and weight to the body, utilizes fat in the body, controls, water balance, contraction of muscles and acid base balance.
Cereals, pulses, milk, buttermilk, soybean, fish, egg, meat and tubers are food sources of potassium. Underutilization of proteins, weakening of muscles and heart and beriberi are the deficiency diseases.
Magnesium is helpful in reproduction and milk production, in preventing constipation, keeping muscles and bones healthy and activates enzymes. The deficiency symptoms of magnesium include imbalance in body stimulation.
Bread, carrot, paneer, egg, milk, peanut, meat, tomato and potato are magnesium rich foods.
It helps in increasing the weight and strength of the body, aids in fat metabolism and reproduction. Water, green leafy vegetables, fish and salt are rich food sources. Goiter is the deficiency disease of iodine.
Sodium assists in the absorption of glucose, in blood formation, makes food tasty, prevents kidney and stomach problems and helps in the stimulation of nerves. Salt, water and green leafy vegetables are the rich sources of sodium. The deficiency of this mineral leads to vomiting, nausea and fainting fits.
Zinc and Sulphur:
Both these minerals help in the production of hormone and enzymes. Sulphur is a part of our hair and nails. Food sources of zinc include prawns and germinated wheat, whereas Sulphur sources are germinated wheat, paneer and prawns.
Chlorine and fluorine:
It aids in the production of acid in the stomach and keeps the enamel healthy. Its deficiency is the main cause for tooth decay. Fish, fish products and dried beans are good sources of these minerals.
Manganese activates enzymes and its deficiency leads to thyroxin production affected porosis.
Copper acts as a catalyst in the production of hemoglobin. A well balanced contains adequate amounts of this mineral. The deficiency disease of copper is Wilson’s disease.
Cobalt aids in building up of the oxygen carrying capacity of the blood. The normal diet provides adequate quantities of this mineral. Its deficiency leads to loss of appetite, weight loss and anemia.
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