Minerals: Tiny But Important Nutrients

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When we are talking about nutrition, essential minerals are chemical compounds that your body absorbs through food so that it can function at it’s best. Minerals perform many important tasks in the body – they help your muscles, brain, and entire central nervous system run. They help your metabolism, impact hormone regulation and build bones.

Simply put, you need them, but many people don't get enough.

Although I recommend taking some high quality supplements (See my recommendations HERE), as part of your health and wellness plan, the best sources for minerals are from whole foods, so you can take them as nature intended.

Here are some of the essential minerals (and foods that contain them) you'll want to focus on getting into your diet:

  • Calcium: Green leafy vegetables kale, dairy products, almonds, chickpeas, dried fruit, flaxseeds, broccoli, bok choy, watercress.
  • Iron: Most organic, grass-fed meats, seafood, beans, dark, leafy vegetables, raisins, dried apricots, peas. 
  • Potassium: Avocado, squash, spinach, sweet potato, wild-caught salmon, dried apricots, coconut water, white beans, bananas.
  • Sodium: All vegetables, dairy products, meat, shellfish, salted nuts, table salt, and my favorites--sea salt and himalayan pink salt.
  • Magnesium: Spinach, chard, pumpkin seeds, brown rice, black beans, yogurt or kefir, almonds, dark chocolate (yay!), avocado, figs, banana.
  • Phosphorous: Pumpkin seeds, organic meats, dairy, tofu, lentils and beans, tempeh.
  • Sulfur: Arugula, coconut juice, milk, or oil, cruciferous vegetables (like broccoli, cauliflower, bok choy, kale, radish, watercress), dairy, garlic, dried fruits, eggs, legumes and dried beans.
  • Chloride: table salt or sea salt, tomatoes, rye, seaweed, olives, lettuce, celery.

And here is some good news if you enjoy a glass of wine....Wine (red and white) contains all 13 of the minerals necessary to sustain human life? Mineral waters also contain most, if you're not a drinker!

Starting today, make sure you include more mineral-rich whole and organic items in your shopping cart. Foods like kale, dried apricots, nuts, beans, and others, contain a lot of minerals……So load up on these!

Note for my vegetarian and vegan friends:  Adding vitamin C-containing food with your iron-containing food can help you absorb it. For example, if you make a spinach salad, throw in some fresh orange slices, or toss your sauteed kale in fresh lemon juice.