Leading a healthy lifestyle can be a challenge for most people. With all of the rumored dos and don’ts, it is hard to know exactly what to do to achieve optimal health. Of course most people agree that eating healthy is definitely a key component in the healthy lifestyle quest. The question is: what is healthy eating?  Healthy eating is choosing foods that have the most health benefits and are full of nutrients to help your body function properly. Minerals are a part of the list of nutrients that the body must have to function properly.

A mineral is a naturally occurring solid chemical substance that is formed through geological processes and has a characteristic chemical composition, a highly ordered atomic structure, and specific physical properties. It is important to know what minerals provide the most health benefits and how to find them.

Calcium is a mineral that works to help build healthy bones, teeth, and tissue within the body. Calcium can also be obtained from eating the soft bones in canned fish like salmon, and sardines. Although many people avoid eating these bones they are perfectly healthy and provide a huge source of much needed calcium.

Potassium helps the body to maintain electrolyte balance. Those who suffer from dehydration must replace potassium in order for their body to become re-hydrated and function properly.  During physical activity potassium works hard within the body to keep signals flowing from muscle, nerve, and heart. A good source of potassium are bananas. Most sports drinks contain potassium and can be used for a quick pick me up.

Chloride functions very similar to potassium within the body. It moves freely across cell membranes and works to achieve electrolyte balance. Chloride is found in salt.

Phosphorous assists the body in energy metabolism. It is found in the bones and teeth of the body.  Some lipids or fats within the body also contains phosphorous.  They are known as phospholipids. Phosphorous is most easily found in proteins like spinach and kale. However, processed foods and soft drinks also contain phosphorous.

Magnesium works within the cells of the body to produce protein.  It participates in energy metabolism. Magnesium is found in leafy vegetables, nuts, and seeds.

When increasing your mineral intake it is important to eat a well balanced diet. Many minerals work with each other within the body to function properly. It would not be wise to over consume any particular mineral; this could possibly cause adverse effects on other minerals. Remember to keep meals balanced and full of variety. This allows your body to function best.

If you take multivitamins then most of them have included the major minerals necessary for optimal health. The minerals are listed on the bottle label near the vitamins. Also, remember to drink the recommended 64 oz of water a day. This will help to assist your body in using minerals properly.


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