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Minerals

Calcium | Chloride | Chromium | Copper | Floride Acid | Iodine | Iron | Magnesium | Manganese | Molybdenum | Phosphorus | Potassium | Selenium | Sodium | Zinc

 
Calcium
Good to know: Calcium is believed to help prevent osteoporosis and colon cancer.
Recommendations: Ages 11-24, 1200 milligrams/day

Ages 25-51+, 800 milligrams/day

Benefits: Critical for strengthening bones and teeth. Necessary for proper nervous system and immune function, assists in muscle contraction, blood clotting and blood pressure.
Food sources: Dairy products, including milk, yogurt, and cheese, fish with bones (such as sardines or salmon), tofu, legumes, broccoli, kale, cabbage, calcium-fortified orange juice.
Day's supply in: 1 cup of milk (300 mg) PLUS 1 cup chopped broccoli (72 mg) PLUS 1 cup navy beans (127 mg) PLUS 1 cup plain yogurt (447 mg) PLUS 4 ounces canned pink salmon (242 mg)
Watch out: Most people, especially women, find it difficult to get adequate amounts of calcium from diet alone. Many doctors recommend a supplement of 1000 milligrams per day.
 
Chloride
Good to know: The greatest source of chloride in the diet is table salt, or sodium chloride.
Recommendations: Adult minimum: 750 milligrams/day.
Benefits: Important for fluid balance in the body. Also important for digestion, since it is a component of hydrochloric acid found in the stomach.
Food sources: Table salt, soy sauce, processed foods.
Day's supply in: The recommended minimum amount is satisfied by a mere quarter-teaspoon of table salt.
Watch out: No supplementation is necessary unless recommended by a physician. Too much table salt increases the risk of hypertension in susceptible individuals.
 
Chromium
Good to know: The dietary supplement chromium picolinate has been suggested to help burn fat and build muscle, but no scientific research has supported these claims.
Recommendations: Safe and adequate amounts for everyone over age 7, 50-200 micrograms/day.
Benefits: Works with insulin to help cells use glucose.
Food sources: Unrefined whole grain products, liver, brewer's yeast, nuts, cheese, meats.
Day's supply in: 1 ounce American cheese (48 mcg) OR 1 cup cooked peas (60 mcg) OR 2 eggs (26 mcg each)
Watch out: Because most people in the U.S. eat a diet of refined foods, many people don't get even the minimal amount of chromium in their diets. Deficiency symptoms resemble diabetes because the body is unable to use insulin normally. Symptoms may include fatigue, increased thirst and urination, and extreme hunger.
 
Copper
Good to know: Chocolate contains moderate amounts of copper. People with copper pipes get significant amounts of copper in their drinking water.
Recommendations: Safe and adequate amounts for adults: 1.5-3.0 milligrams/day.
Benefits: Helps make red blood cells, is part of several body enzymes, and is important for the absorption of iron.
Food sources: Shellfish, nuts, seeds, legumes, whole grain products, liver, meats.
Day's supply in: 1 Alaska King crab leg (1.57 mg) OR ½ cup lentils (0.25 mg) PLUS 1 cup raisin bran (0.25 mg) PLUS ½ cup roasted almonds (0.96 mg)
Watch out: Copper can be depleted if too much zinc (supplements of 50 milligrams per day for a long period of time) is taken.
 
Floride
Good to know: About half of all U.S. residents drink fluoridated water.
Recommendations: Safe and adequate amounts for children ages 7-18: 1.5-2.5 milligrams/day.

Safe and adequate amounts for adults: 1.5-4.0 milligrams/day.

Benefits: Helps form bones and teeth, and helps make teeth decay-resistant.
Food sources: Fluoridated drinking water, seafood, tea.
Day's supply in: Usually attained in drinking water or through supplements.
Watch out: Fluoridated water has helped reduce the amount of tooth decay among children in the U.S. But more is not necessarily better. People who get too much fluoride from a variety of sources can have permanently discolored teeth. Don't take fluoride supplements without consulting a local physician or dentist.
 
Iodine
Good to know: Iodine is found in the soil near coastal areas, so vegetables grown near salt water will also contain iodine.
Recommendations: Ages 11-51+, 150 micrograms/day
Benefits: Regulates growth and metabolic rate as a component of thyroid hormones.
Food sources: Iodized table salt, salt water fish.
Day's supply in: Normally attained through iodized salt or vegetables grown in iodine-rich soil.
Watch out: Iodine deficiency can result in goiter, the enlargement of the thyroid gland. Goiter is rare in the U.S.
 
Iron
Good to know: Iron from foods is absorbed better if you also eat foods rich in vitamin C.
Recommendations: Men ages 11-18, 12 milligrams/day

Men ages 19-51+, 10 milligrams/day

Women ages 11-50, 15 milligrams/day

Women ages 51+, 10 milligrams/day

Benefits: Important part of red blood cells.
Food sources: Red meat, fish, poultry, eggs, legumes, fortified cereals.
Day's supply in: 1 small extra-lean hamburger (3.14 mg) PLUS 1 cup dry roasted mixed nuts (5.07 mg) PLUS 1 egg (0.72 mg) PLUS ½ cup tofu (6.65 mg) OR 1 cup Kellogg's raisin bran (22.2 mg)
Watch out: Iron deficiency is common throughout the world. Women are especially at risk, since they lose iron in menstrual blood. Deficiency can lead anemia, with symptoms of fatigue, weakness and ill health. Too much iron may increase the risk of heart disease in men.
 
Magnesium
Good to know: Chocolate and cocoa are good source of magnesium.
Recommendations: Men ages 14-18, 410 milligrams/day

Men ages 19-30, 400 milligrams/day

Men ages 31-70+, 420 milligrams/day

Women ages 14-18, 360 milligrams/day

Women ages 19-30, 310 milligrams/day

Women ages 31-70+, 320 milligrams/day

Benefits: Part of enzymes in the body, helps build bones, teeth and proteins, important for proper function of nerves, muscles and immune system.
Food sources: Legumes, nuts, whole grain foods, green vegetables, seafood.
Day's supply in: 1 cup navy beans (107 mg) PLUS 4 ounces halibut (121 mg) PLUS 1 cup brown rice (84 mg) PLUS 1 cup raisins (48 mg) PLUS ½ cup cooked spinach (65 mg)
Watch out: Magnesium deficiency is rare, but people with diabetes, people who are chronically on diuretics, and chronic alcoholics are at much greater risk. Symptoms may include weakness, confusion and muscular spasms.
 
Manganese
Good to know: Deficiency and toxicity are rare in the U.S.
Recommendations: Safe and adequate amounts, ages 11-51+: 2-5 milligrams/day.
Benefits: Part of many body enzymes.
Food sources: Widely available in foods, especially nuts, leafy green vegetables, tea and unrefined cereals and grain products.
Day's supply in: Any combination of healthy foods.
Watch out: No Warnings
 
Molybdenum
Good to know: Deficiency and toxicity are rare in the U.S.
Recommendations: Safe and adequate amounts for ages 11-51+: 75-250 micrograms/day.
Benefits: Part of many body enzymes
Food sources: Milk, legumes, liver, unrefined cereals and grain products.
Day's supply in: Usually attained in the course of a healthy diet.
Watch out: No Warnings
 
Phosphorus
Good to know: The second most abundant mineral in the body, after calcium.
Recommendations: Ages 9-18, 1250 milligrams/day

Ages 19-70, 700 milligrams/day

Benefits: Works with calcium to form bones and teeth, helps create energy in the body, is part of cell membranes. Phosphorus is present in DNA and RNA, the body's genetic material.
Food sources: Most prevalent in protein-rich foods, such as meat, poultry, fish, eggs and milk.
Day's supply in: 1 chicken breast (392 mg) PLUS 1 cup skim milk (247 mg) PLUS 1 egg (89 mg)
Watch out: Too much phosphorus can deplete calcium in the blood. Avoid excess consumption of soft drinks, which contain phosphorus.
 
Potassium
Good to know: People who eat the recommended five servings a day of fruits and vegetables usually get enough potassium in their diets.
Recommendations: Adult minimum: 2000 milligrams/day
Benefits: Important for nerve transmission, muscle contraction, and balance of fluids in the body.
Food sources: Many types of fresh foods, including meat, milk, whole grain products, fruits, legumes, potatoes.
Day's supply in: 4 ounce sirloin steak (400 mg) PLUS 1 cup milk (400 mg) PLUS ½ cup kidney beans (329 mg) PLUS 1 baked potato with skin (844 mg) PLUS 1 slice whole wheat bread (70 mg)
Watch out: Excess vomiting or diarrhea, and drugs such as steroids or diuretics may deplete the body of potassium. Potassium supplements are often prescribed along with these medications. Symptoms of potassium deficiency include muscle weakness, confusion and fatigue.
 
Selenium
Good to know: Selenium is currently being investigated for its potential to prevent cancer.
Recommendations: Ages 15-18, 50 micrograms/day

Men ages 19-51+, 70 micrograms/day

Women ages 19-51+, 55 micrograms/day

Benefits: Powerful antioxidant that works to protect cells from damage, important for cell growth.
Food sources: Seafood, meats, grain products, seeds.
Day's supply in: 1 chicken breast (47 mcg) PLUS 1 egg (15 mcg) PLUS 1 slice whole wheat bread (10 mcg)
Watch out: Taking high doses, 1 milligram or higher, can cause toxicity symptoms, including nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, nerve damage, hair loss and nail changes.
 
Sodium
Good to know: Sodium supplementation is rarely necessary, even under normal conditions of exercise and sweating.
Recommendations: Adult minimum: 500 milligrams/day
Benefits: Important for nerve transmission, muscle contraction, and balance of fluids in the body.
Food sources: Table salt, soy sauce, processed foods.
Day's supply in: The recommended minimum amount is satisfied in daily diet.
Watch out: Too much sodium in the diet has been linked to hypertension in some people who have a genetic sensitivity. Most people get far too much sodium in their diets, due mainly to over-use of table salt. It is recommended that adults aim to keep their total sodium intake below 2400 milligrams per day, or about 1 teaspoon of salt.
 
Zinc
Good to know: Although some people suggest using zinc supplements to fight the common cold, results of scientific studies have been contradictory.
Recommendations: Men ages 11-51+, 15 milligrams/day

Women ages 11-51+, 12 milligrams/day

Benefits: Part of many enzymes in the body, helps with tissue growth and wound healing, important for taste perception.
Food sources: Protein-rich foods, including meat, poultry, fish.
Day's supply in: 1 small extra-lean hamburger (7.29 mg) PLUS 1 cup chickpeas (2.51 mg) PLUS 1 cup milk (0.98 mg) PLUS 2 slices whole wheat bread (1.1 mg) PLUS 1 cup plain yogurt (2.18 mg) PLUS 2 eggs (1.0 mg)
Watch out: People over age 65 have a greater risk of deficiency due to a reduced ability to absorb zinc, disease states, or use of diuretics or iron supplements. Zinc supplements may be required if symptoms appear, including anorexia, slow wound healing, impaired taste sensation or reduced immune function.



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