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Health Benefits of Minerals

13 Micronutrients With Major Benefits

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.

Mineral Benefits RDA Sources
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.

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jae Payne
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