Trace Minerals: Essential to a Healthy Body
From the hair on your head to the bones that support you and the blood that runs through you, your body relies on minerals for optimal health. Minerals are broken into two categories: macrominerals and trace minerals. Since the body cannot make minerals, we must get them from food or water.
Many foods and vitamin formulas contain the major macrominerals, such as calcium, potassium and magnesium. The challenge is trace minerals, such as selenium, copper, manganese and molybdenum. There are over seventy known trace minerals, many of which scientists continue to study to understand the critical role they play in human health. These are not commonly added to vitamin-mineral formulas.
There was a time when non-processed foods, like dark leafy greens (and others), provided all the minerals we need. But today, that’s not the case. According to The US Department of Agriculture and other researchers our food remains relatively stable in terms of vitamins but deficient in minerals, particularly trace minerals, which we need for optimal health.
There was also a time when water was brought from the well, safe, clean water from the earth. This water contained trace minerals. Our water today is vastly different being cleaned of toxins for the most part, and stripped of minerals.
Symptoms of mineral deficiencies are varied and can surface at any time. They can include:
- GI issues: constipation, bloating, diarrhea, poor digestion
- Poor immune function
- Impaired cognitive function: memory, learning, brain fog
- Muscle issues: pain, spasms, cramping, weakness, tightness
- Heart issues such as palpitations
- Generalized pain, weakness
- Developmental delays or behavioral issues, anxiety, depression, attention issues
- Weak or ridged nails
My eyes were opened to this when I had a patient who had chronic fatigue syndrome and was on disability. I prescribed proper hydration with trace minerals added to his water daily. We ran some tests and scheduled a follow up visit. When he returned, he reported, before discussing the labs, that his fatigue was gone. He was looking for work and very happy he found his life back. The adrenal glands use minerals for proper functioning.
So, how do we address this dilemma?
Eat healthy, non-processed foods, especially dark leafy greens, vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes and lean proteins. Eat local and shop at organic farmers markets whenever possible. Use Himalayan sea salt to season your food. Supplement with a good quality multiple vitamin and mineral formula (macrominerals) and use a separate trace mineral formula. Trace minerals are acquired from the mineral rich waters found in certain oceans and seas around the globe such as the Great Salt Lake and the Australian Ocean. They can also be plant-derived. These can be taken as a capsule, liquid, powder and even added to your water. Never underestimate the power of trace minerals – they are essential to life.