Although they often work together to regulate and promote certain bodily functions, there's a big difference between vitamins and minerals. While our bodies need vitamins for vital energy release at cellular level, minerals are more involved in maintaining things such as water levels — including blood, bone health, and metabolic processes. The minerals we require fall into two categories including essential and trace elements, with calcium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and magnesium falling into the former, and manganese, selenium, copper, iodine, iron, molybdenum, cobalt, and zinc belonging to the latter.
Read on to find out what benefits these micronutrients have on your health and how to enrich your diet with them.
|Calcium||bone and dental health||1-1.2g||dairy products, leafy greens|
|Phosphorous||bone and dental health||4g||dairy products, nuts, eggs, mushrooms|
|Potassium||brain function, stress relief, bone health, fluid balance||4.7g||avocado, spinach, sweet potato, salmon|
|Sodium||blood volume, composition, and pressure||2.4g||unrefined sea salt, beetroot, raisins|
|Magnesium||heart health, stress relief||300-320mg||spinach, chard, almonds, yoghurt|
|Manganese||immune health||1.8mg||avocado, beetroot, pineapple, leafy greens|
|Selenium||antioxidant, bone health||55mcg||meat, seafood, dairy products, sesame seeds|
|Copper||cognitive function, heart and immune health||1.2mg||almonds, beef liver, mushrooms, cashew nuts|
|Iodine||thyroid function, hormone production, and metabolic rate||150mcg||spinach, swiss chard, seafood|
|Iron||blood regulation, immune support||18mg||meat, liver, dried beans, nuts, and seeds|
|Molybdenum||metabolic health||45mcg||liver, green beans, eggs, lentils|
|Cobalt||blood cell production||5-8mcg*||poultry, milk, organic meat|
|Zinc||immune support, skin health, growth regulation||8mg||mushrooms, pumpkin, whole grains|
*There is no set recommended daily allowance for cobalt, but the average adult is believed to consume between 5 to 8 micrograms of the mineral every day.