Have you seen “trace minerals” on an ingredient list of, let’s just say, your favorite prebiotic soda and wondered what it meant? You have come to the right place!
We have laid out a quick breakdown so that you can understand what each trace mineral brings to the table and what foods you can eat to make sure you are getting your recommended values.
What Are Minerals?
Our bodies need many nutrients, including minerals, to support different functions in the body. Unlike some other nutrients, minerals are not made by the body, so we must consume these minerals through the foods we eat or supplements. Eating a well-rounded diet without overly processed foods gives you a better chance of meeting the recommended intake of each mineral.
We need two types of essential minerals: macrominerals (calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur) and trace minerals. The difference between the two types of minerals is the amount our bodies need. We need more macrominerals than we do trace minerals, but don’t let this fool you into thinking one is more important than the other.
What Are the Functions of Each Trace Mineral?
While trace minerals have their own essential roles, they work together, along with other nutrients. Getting an adequate intake of each trace mineral is important to maintain optimal health, as they support your bones, muscles, and so much more.
Deficiencies can be caused by many reasons, but the biggest is usually a diet that is lacking foods that contain trace minerals.
If you are looking for a fun, refreshing way to get more trace minerals in your diet, pop open a VINA Prebiotic Soda with brain-boosting minerals. Here is a breakdown of what each trace mineral does for the health of the body and where you can find each mineral.
Iron is a bit of an anomaly. While it is considered a trace mineral, the amount of iron we need is slightly higher than all other trace nutrients.
One major job of iron is within the red blood cells. Seventy percent of iron found in the body is in the red blood cells. The hemoglobin in red blood cells is an iron-rich protein that gives them their red color. This hemoglobin allows the blood cells to deliver oxygen from the lungs to other parts of the body. It also takes the carbon dioxide from those organs back to the lungs to be exhaled.
If you are looking for good food sources of iron, you can find it in chicken or beef liver, shellfish, and canned sardines. You can also find it in spinach, fortified cereals, and legumes—and even tomatoes.
With iron being so vital for the distribution of oxygen throughout the body, iron is vital to many areas of the body. An iron deficiency is called anemia. Anemia can cause tiredness, gut health issues, and weakness and can affect memory and concentration. If your doctor feels you are not getting enough iron, they may recommend a mineral supplement.
Copper is an important trace mineral that is involved in many functions of the body. Copper helps with nerve signaling in the brain, helping to stop and start neuron signaling. Copper also helps iron in many ways, from forming red blood cells to helping in iron absorption in the body.
Copper supports bone and joint health because of its aid in maintaining the health of collagen. Collagen is a protein in the connective tissues in your joints, bones, skin, nails, and hail. Copper is also shown to be an antioxidant and supports immune and heart health.
You can find the highest amounts of copper in organ meats, oysters, and chocolate. That’s right; we said chocolate! Unfortunately, that doesn't mean grabbing any candy bar at the checkout counter will give you the copper you need. You can find it in unsweetened baking chocolate or dark chocolate.
If you are feeling a little under the weather, make sure you are getting enough zinc. Zinc is known for supporting immune health, which may help you fight off germs to feel better faster. It also helps with metabolism, healing wounds, tasting, and smelling. It also helps with normal growth and development in babies and children.
There is no storage system for zinc in the body, which makes it important that the foods you eat are good sources of zinc. The highest amount of zinc comes from oysters, but you can also get a good amount of zinc from red meat and poultry. Plant-based foods like beans, nuts, and seeds are all good sources of zinc.
Oysters have the highest levels of selenium, followed closely by halibut and brazil nuts. Selenium is an important trace mineral because it is a known antioxidant. Antioxidants fight free radicals in the body and protect against oxidative stress.
Selenium also helps with heart health, brain health, and immune health.
We have all heard of fluoride in toothpaste. Fluoride helps with teeth health. It helps protect the teeth against cavities and tooth decay, and it also helps to protect the enamel of your teeth.
Fluoride isn’t naturally in food, but we get what we need from the fluoridated water that we drink and foods made with fluoridated water. Of course, fluoride is also found in most toothpastes.
You don't hear a lot about chromium, but it is an essential trace mineral. There is still some debate on what this mineral does for the body, but it seems to help in the breakdown of protein, carbs, and fat. It also helps provide energy. Chromium may help benefit metabolic health.
The highest amounts of chromium can be found in broccoli. You can also find chromium in grape juice, turkey, and whole wheat.
Iodine is extremely important for thyroid function. The thyroid is essential for metabolism by creating hormones that tell cells how much energy to use. Iodine is also important during pregnancy for the healthy development of the brain and bones.
The major source of iodine in the United States comes from dairy products like cheese, yogurt, and milk. You can also get iodine from seafood and iodized salt.
Manganese may not be as well known as some of the other trace minerals, but this humble mineral is very important. You can find it in whole grains, like brown rice, nuts, seeds, beans, and pineapple. You can even find manganese in peas!
Manganese is in many enzymes and helps with forming connective tissue, bones, and hormones. It also helps support blood clotting and brain and nerve functions.
Trace minerals are an essential nutrient for overall health and wellness. While each trace mineral has its own specific role, they work together, along with macrominerals, vitamins, fats, protein, carbohydrates, and water, to keep the body functioning like a well-oiled machine. Eating a well-balanced diet full of red meat, poultry, vegetables, beans, and whole grains will help you reach the daily requirements of trace minerals (and bonus, all the other nutrients too!)
Drinking VINA will not only give you prebiotics essential for gut health, but each can is filled with brain-boosting minerals that may not only help your brain but your overall health.