We’ve all heard of minerals. But what kind of wonder substances are these exactly?
Minerals are nutrients that our bodies cannot produce themselves. They must therefore be ingested through food.
Minerals have a very simple structure. Like vitamins, they are also not energy carriers, but help our bodies to build bones, teeth, hormones and blood cells. Some minerals take on extremely diverse functions, they maintain tissue tension, transmit stimuli, activate enzymes. Calcium, for example, builds bones and teeth, helps with blood clotting and translates impulses on muscles.
Minerals are divided into two groups depending on the quantity required: Bulk elements, of which we sometimes have to absorb up to several grams a day – such as magnesium, calcium or potassium. And trace elements of which our organism needs the smallest units – such as iodine, fluoride, iron or zinc.
Minerals are abundant in all kinds of vegetables. Since all minerals are water-soluble, we remove them by cooking for too long. That’s why it’s best to always steam vegetables, otherwise more minerals will float in the cooking water than in the food itself.
It mainly occurs inside body cells and is responsible for the regulation of water balance. Potassium is mainly found in spinach and beans.
Calcium is the most important mineral in the human body in terms of quantity. Bones and teeth consist of calcium compounds.
Magnesium is found in the bones and muscles – including the heart muscle and the muscles of many organs. Magnesium also supports many enzyme systems.
Iron is important for cell formation and oxygen transport: The oxygen we ingest is bound with its help to the red blood pigment hemoglobin.
We know fluoride from toothpaste, and in the body it is responsible for the strengthening of bones and enamel. Fluorine is found in relatively few foods, including sea fish, nuts and soy products.
Is an essential component of thyroid hormones and important for growth, development and various metabolic processes.
Protects against free radicals, binds toxic heavy metals and strengthens the immune system.
The second most common element on earth after oxygen is the basis of all human tissue.
Important for metabolic processes and is an essential component of many enzymes.