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10 Essential Minerals that Your Body Needs

What are Minerals?

Minerals perform almost similar functions to that of vitamins- of life sustenance. Minerals are elements that you must consume so that your body functions at its best. Some minerals may be required in large quantities, whereas others may be required in lesser quantities. This is determined by your body type.

Types of Minerals:

Major minerals that your body requires include- magnesium, chlorine, sodium, sulfur, potassium, calcium, iron, iodine, zinc, copper, cobalt, phosphorus, etc.

Minerals are classified as:

- macro-minerals: these are those minerals that are required by the body in large quantities, for example, calcium, sodium, magnesium, etc.

- micro-minerals: these are those minerals that are required by the body in small or minor quantities, for example, iron, manganese, zinc, etc.

Functions of Essential Minerals:

- Iodine: Iodine promotes the regular functioning of the brain and the nervous system. It also regulates the working of the thyroid gland, as iodine is required by the body in order to form and secrete thyroid hormones. In pregnant women, iodine helps to ensure proper growth and bone development in the child. 

- Calcium: Calcium is a mineral that strengthens teeth, bones, and joints. It also regulates the functioning of the heart and its rhythms. Calcium is required by the body for blood clotting and the working of muscles.

- Chloride: Chloride is an essential mineral that regulates the quantities of fluids and liquids in the body. For example, the stomach produces gastric enzymes for digestion. Excessive or reduced production of such enzymes leads to an imbalance in the body. This is regulated by chloride. 

- Iron: Your blood carries oxygen to different parts of the body. For this function, your blood requires hemoglobin, which is sourced into your body through iron. In addition to this, your body needs iron for the production and secretion of some hormones.

- Copper: Copper is a mineral that jointly works with iron to boost the process of red blood cell formation. It keeps the immune and nervous system healthy, and also facilitates proper absorption of iron and other nutrients.

- Magnesium: Many biochemical reactions take place in your body. Magnesium is one such mineral that sets the stage for the occurrence of such reactions. It helps in maintaining good heart health and keeps the heart rhythms steady. It is also required for energy production and glucose formation.

- Sulphur: Sulphur is needed by your body to facilitate the process of building and fixing DNA cells and genetics. Consumption of stipulated amounts of sulfur ensures that your body cells function properly. Thus, it also prevents cancer by preventing the growth of cancer cells in your body.

- Potassium: This mineral regulates the levels of fluids present within your body cells. It also facilitates smooth muscle movements and controls the blood pressure levels of your body. Potassium even helps in passing on nutrients into the cells and collecting the waste generated. 

- Zinc: This micromineral is required by your body so as to ensure that more than 150 enzymes perform their functions properly. It helps in building amino acids and proteins and facilitates the healing of wounds and cell damage. 

- Sodium: Your body requires approximately 500 milligrams of sodium each day. It helps to balance the fluid, water, and nutrient levels in your body and controls muscle movements. It carries nerve impulses all around the body and hence stimulates actions and all kinds of movements that we perform.

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