Having fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats in your diet can help protect your body against many health issues. Maintaining a healthy diet is a major part of longevity as previously mentioned. Here Shawn Radcliffe, HealthLine.com , reflects on mineral deficiency?
“Minerals are specific kinds of nutrients that your body needs in order to function properly. A mineral deficiency occurs when your body doesn’t obtain or absorb the required amount of a mineral.
The human body requires different amounts of each mineral to stay healthy. Specific needs are outlined in recommended daily allowances (RDA).
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The RDA is the average amount that meets the needs of about 97 percent of healthy people. They can be obtained from food, mineral supplements, and food products that have been fortified with extra minerals.
A deficiency often happens slowly over time and can be caused by a number of reasons. An increased need for the mineral, lack of the mineral in the diet, or difficulty absorbing the mineral from food are some of the more common reasons.
Mineral deficiencies can lead to a variety of health problems, such as weak bones, fatigue, or a decreased immune system.
What types of mineral deficiency are there?
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There are five main categories of mineral deficiency: calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
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Calcium is needed for strong bones and teeth. It also supports proper function of your blood vessels, muscles, nerves, and hormones.
Natural sources of calcium include milk, yogurt, cheese, and small fish with bones, beans, and peas. Vegetables such as broccoli, kale, and Chinese cabbage also provide calcium. Some foods are also fortified with the mineral, including tofu, cereals, and juices.
A calcium deficiency produces few obvious symptoms in the short term. That’s because your body carefully regulates the amount of calcium in the blood. Lack of calcium over the long term can lead to decreased bone mineral density called osteopenia.
If left untreated, osteopenia can turn to osteoporosis. This increases the risk of bone fractures, especially in older adults.
Severe calcium deficiency is usually caused by medical problems or treatments, such as medications (like diuretics), surgery to remove the stomach, or kidney failure. Symptoms of a severe deficiency include:
- cramping of the muscles
- tingling in the fingers
- poor appetite
- irregular heart rhythms
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More than half of the iron in your body is in red blood cells. Iron is an important part of hemoglobin, a protein that carries oxygen to your tissues.
Iron is also a part of other proteins and enzymes that keep your body healthy. The best sources of iron are meat, poultry, or fish. Plant-based foods such as beans or lentils are also good sources.
Iron deficiency develops slowly and can cause anemia. It’s considered uncommon in the United States and in people with healthy diets. But, the World Health Organization estimated in a 2008 report that iron deficiency causes approximately half of all anemia cases worldwide.
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The body needs magnesium for hundreds of chemical reactions. These include responses that control blood glucose levels and blood pressure. Proper function of muscles and nerves, brain function, energy metabolism, and protein production are also controlled by magnesium.
Roughly 60 percent of the body’s magnesium resides in the bones while nearly 40 percent resides in muscle and soft tissue cells. Good sources of magnesium include:
- whole grains
- green leafy vegetables, such as spinach
Magnesium deficiency is uncommon in healthy people. The kidneys can keep magnesium from leaving the body through the urine. Still, certain medications and chronic health conditions like alcoholism may cause magnesium deficiency.
Magnesium needs are also highly influenced by the presence of disease. In this situation, the RDA for magnesium may not be sufficient for some individuals.
Early signs of magnesium deficiency include:
- loss of appetite
Magnesium deficiency can lead to the following symptoms if left untreated:
- muscle cramps
- abnormal rhythms of the heart
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Potassium is a mineral that functions as an electrolyte. It’s required for muscle contraction, proper heart function, and the transmission of nerve signals. It’s also needed by a few enzymes, including one that helps your body turn carbohydrates into energy.
The best sources of potassium are fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, avocado, dark leafy greens, beets, potatoes, and plums. Other good sources include orange juice and nuts.
The most common cause of potassium deficiency is excessive fluid loss. Examples can include extended vomiting, kidney disease, or the use of certain medications such as diuretics.
Symptoms of potassium deficiency include muscle cramping and weakness. Other symptoms show up as constipation, bloating, or abdominal pain caused by paralysis of the intestines.
Severe potassium deficiency can cause paralysis of the muscles or irregular heart rhythms that may lead to death.
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Zinc plays a role in many aspects of the body’s metabolism. These include:
- protein synthesis
- immune system function
- wound healing
- DNA synthesis
It’s also important for proper growth and development during pregnancy, childhood, and adolescence. Zinc is found in animal products like oysters, red meat, and poultry. Other good sources of zinc include:
- whole grains
- dairy products
Zinc deficiency can cause loss of appetite, taste, or smell. Decreased function of the immune system and slowed growth are other symptoms.”
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Read More … Article Source: https://www.healthline.com/health/mineral-deficiency#6
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