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9 Microminerals: Sources & Functions

The human body needs essential minerals in order function properly and maintain good health. Minerals have many jobs for our body to function in addition to creating enzymes and hormones.

There are two types of minerals that are essential for our bodies:

  1. Macrominerals: You need larger amounts of these (read article here)

  2. Microminerals: You need smaller amounts of these

Microminerals Functions & Sources

  1. Iron is found in our red blood cells called hemoglobin and in our muscle cells called myoglobin. Hemoglobin is needed for transferring oxygen in the blood from the lungs to the tissues.

  • Sources of Iron: Dark leafy greens, dried fruits, legumes, egg yolks, iron-enriched breads, dark chocolate, peaches, tofu, fortified cereals, artichokes

2. Zinc is essential for our body's defensive immune system to function properly. Zinc is part of enzymes and is essential for making protein and genetic material. It has a function for our sense of taste and smell, wound healing, normal fetal production, sperm development, and sexual maturing.

  • Sources of Zinc: Leavened whole grains, vegetables, fruits, cereals, sesame seeds, squash seeds, mushrooms, spinach, nuts, lentils, low-fat yogurt, oatmeal

3. Iodine is needed to make thyroid hormones to help regulate our body's growth, development, and metabolism.

  • Sources of Iodine: Iodized salts, dried seaweed, strawberries, cranberries, baked potatoes, fennel, bananas, spinach, watercress, broccoli, Himalayan salt, yogurt, eggs

4. Selenium helps our body make proteins called antioxidant enzymes, which functions to prevent cell damage.

  • Sources of Selenium: Whole grains, nuts and seeds, carrots, lettuces, spinach, potatoes, peaches, bananas, mushrooms, brown rice, eggs, yogurt, cottage cheese, brewer's yeast

5. Copper is essential of iron absorption and helps keep our blood vessels, bones, immune system, and nerves healthy.

  • Sources of Copper: Water, legumes, zucchini, nuts and seeds, wheat-bran cereals, bananas, dark chocolate, chickpeas, sweet potatoes, cashews, avocados, firm tofu, sesame seeds

6. Manganese has a variety of functions that are essential for regulating our blood sugar levels. It also plays a role in the metabolism of amino acids, cholesterol, glucose, and carbohydrates.

  • Sources of Manganese: Garbanzo beans, soy beans, whole grains, leafy vegetables, coffee, tea, spices, black pepper, cinnamon, raspberries, oats, beet greens, strawberries, pineapples

7. Fluoride is involved in the formation of teeth and bones and helps prevent tooth decay.

  • Sources of Fluoride: Water and black tea

8. Chromium is important for our brain function and works with insulin to regulate blood sugar levels and glucose break down. Chromium also plays a role in the breakdown of fats and carbohydrates.

  • Sources of Chromium: Grape juice, red wine, oranges, apples, potatoes, broccoli, whole grains, tomatoes, barley, green beans, whole wheat bread, green bell peppers, mushrooms, oatmeal, cheese

9. Molybdenum activates enzymes that helps prevent the body from toxin buildup and harmful sulfites.

  • Sources of Molybdenum: Legumes, bread, leafy greens, lima beans, black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, kidney beans, cucumbers, tomatoes, lentils, lettuce, green peas

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