Minerals – What, Why And How | A Comprehensive Handbook

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Minerals: What Are They, Why We Need Them And How To Take Them Correctly

This is a part II article, in which we’re going to discuss minerals and their functions in the body. Part I is my first article, where we examine Vitamins and their functions. You can read it here…

When we are talking about minerals we usually ask two questions:

How much do we need?

What foods have them?

I have prepared a comprehensive guide which will give you the most accurate and up-to-date data about minerals needed to stay healthy. In this article, you find everything there is to know about functions of minerals in the body.

  • What Are They, How Many Are There and Why We Need Them
  • What are the 14 essential minerals?
  • What They Do and Where You Can Find Them(their sources in food)
  • What Is Your Daily Nutritional Requirement for Each Mineral
  • Which Minerals Are Crucial To Proper Body Functioning

Minerals – What Are They?


A mineral is a naturally occurring, inorganic solid substance.

Naturally-occurring  means that minerals are formed through natural processes.

Inorganic  means that minerals are formed from non-living materials. 

According to Wikipedia:

“A mineral is a chemical element required as an essential nutrient by an organism to perform functions necessary for life. However, the four major structural elements in the human body by weight (oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, and nitrogen), are usually not included in lists of major nutrient minerals (nitrogen is considered a “mineral” for plants, as it often is included in fertilizers).

These four elements compose about 96% of the weight of the human body, and major minerals (macrominerals) and minor minerals (also called trace elements) compose the remainder. Minerals, as elements, cannot be synthesized biochemically by living organisms.”

All human cells and tissues are composed of various chemical elements and their compounds. They serve as the basis for all processes, starting with the growth and development of the organism and ending with metabolism.

These elements enter our body together with food, water, and air and serve as a building material for cells, participate in biochemical processes, and after the realization of all their functions, are removed from the body.

Why We Need Them?

The minerals in our diet are essential for a variety of bodily functions. They are important for building strong bones and teeth, blood, skin, hair, nerve function, muscle and metabolic processes such as those that turn the food we eat into energy. This means that minerals are needed for the body to work properly, for growth and development, and overall, for maintaining normal health.

The required dose of macronutrients, such as potassium, sodium, calcium, phosphorus and magnesium is about 100 mg per day, while in microelements, such as zinc, iron, manganese, copper, iodine, selenium and molybdenum, we need much less.

Each of them is very important, for instance, Calcium is necessary for the formation of bone tissue and the production of collagen, it is contained in dairy products, eggs, nuts, and legumes.

Iron is responsible for transporting oxygen throughout the body, it is contained in the liver, meat, dried fruits, and apples.

Potassium is responsible for the cardiovascular system, it can be replenished by eating bananas and potatoes.

Copper is important for metabolic processes, it is abundant in cabbage, corn, and beans.

Magnesium is responsible for the synthesis of proteins, it is contained in eggs, green peas and wheat seedlings.

Manganese stimulates cell renewal and is mainly found in plant foods, greens, tomatoes, and grapes.

Sodium is involved in cell renewal; carbohydrate metabolism is impossible without sulfur, it is abundant in meat, fish, cereals, onions, and mustard.

Zinc is involved in the formation of blood cells, it is found in seafood, nuts, seeds, and garlic.

Iodine is needed for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, most of it is in algae and seafood.

Chromium is responsible for the health of the nervous system, to replenish it is recommended to use buckwheat, pearl barley or millet porridge, as well as dates, and legumes.

Selenium is necessary for strengthening immunity, it can be found in coconuts, bran, meat, and liver.

Why We Develop Mineral Deficiency?

One of the main reasons people develop mineral deficiency is poor diet. We should be able to get all the needed vitamins and minerals from food and water, but some diets may prevent it. For example, a diet that relies on junk food or lack of fruits and vegetables. Also, a low-calorie diet may cause mineral deficiency. People in weight loss programs, older adults with bad appetite or people with eating disorders may develop mineral deficiency.

The absorption of minerals is hindered by:

  • Diseases of the liver, gallbladder, intestine, pancreas, or kidney
  • Surgery of the digestive tract
  • Chronic alcoholism
  • Medications such as antacids, antibiotics, laxatives, and diuretics

What Are The Symptoms of Mineral Deficiency?

  • Weak Immune System
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation, Bloating, or Abdominal Pain
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Muscle Cramping
  • Weakness or Tiredness
  • Poor Concentration

How To Get What You Need?


Choosing foods each day that are rich in vitamins and minerals is the best way to give your body what it needs to be healthy. However, research consistently finds that most Americans have diets that lack an appropriate amount of vitamins and minerals. According to USDA, Americans do not get enough calcium, potassium, fiber, magnesium, vitamins A, C, D, and E.

If you think that you’re not getting enough vitamins and minerals through your diet or for some reason unable to get them, talk to your doctor if vitamin supplements are right for you.

Recently, I came across a company called Vitagene and they believe your DNA is your story. Based on your unique DNA they will tell you which vitamins and minerals to take along with your Ancestry reports, Exercise reports, and Diet reports.

  • You will learn how your genetics influence your diet and discover the right food choices for you.
  • Discover the top supplements recommended for you based on an analysis of your genetics, goals, medications, and health conditions.
  • Learn the types, frequency, and intensity of workouts best suited for your DNA.
  • Find out what your genes reveal about your global ancestry because where you came from informs who you are.

Are you with me so far? Great, let’s begin. Here are 14 essential minerals your body requires for optimal health.



According to research published by Harvard’s School of Public Health, “Americans average about 3,300 milligrams of sodium per day. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 milligrams (mg) a day and moving toward an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults.

What It Does:

  • Balances Fluids in the Body
  • Helps Send Nerve Impulses
  • Needed for Muscle Contractions
  • Natural Source of Electrolytes
  • Influences Blood Pressure, even modest reductions in sodium consumption can lower blood pressure.

What happens when your Sodium is low?

Sodium deficiency leads to diarrhea, vomiting, headache, weakness, low blood pressure, lethargy, weight loss, confusion, dizziness, and muscular irritability.

How Do We Get Sodium?

A major source of sodium in most diets is added salt in the form of sodium chloride — which is 40% sodium and 60% chloride by weight. Dietary sodium deficiencies are very rare even with low-sodium diets.

People with high blood pressure, diabetes and chronic kidney disease, as well as older adults and African Americans, tend to be more sensitive to the blood-pressure-raising effects of sodium. People with high blood pressure, consuming more than 7 grams per day, should lower their sodium intake

How Much Sodium Should We Take?

1,500 mg per day for healthy adults which is 0.3 teaspoon

Do Not Exceed:

2,300 mg

The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for salt is set at 5.8 grams per day.

Side Effects Of Too Much Sodium:

Risk of Heart Disease, Stroke, Osteoporosis, Stomach Cancer, Kidney Disease and Kidney Stones, Bloating and Weight Gain

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Carbohydrate metabolism
  • Fluid balance
  • Growth and development
  • Heart function
  • Muscle contraction
  • Nervous system function
  • Protein formation

This Nutrient of concern for most Americans. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommend an intake of 3,500 mg a day and most of the global population do not meet this recommendation.

A high potassium intake reduces the risk of overall mortality by 20%. It also decreases the risk of stroke, lowers blood pressure, protects against loss of muscle mass, preserves bone mineral density, and reduces the formation of kidney stones.

Less than 2% of Americans even get the recommended minimum adequate intake of 4,700 mg a day.  98% of Americans eat potassium deficient diets because they don’t eat enough plants.

What happens when your Potassium is low?

Potassium deficiency can lead to fatigue, weakness, and constipation. It can escalate to paralysis, respiratory failure, and painful gut obstructions.

How Do We Get Potassium?

It is best to obtain any vitamins or minerals through food. Here are some best sources to obtain potassium: • Bananas • Beet greens • Juices (e.g., carrot, pomegranate, prune, orange, and tomato) • Milk • Oranges and orange juice • Potatoes and sweet potatoes • Prunes and prune juice • Spinach • Tomatoes and tomato products • White beans • Yogurt

*Cooked, boiled, or drained beet greens, without salt have the highest amount of potassium of 1,309 mg.

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How Much Do We Need Daily?

4.700 mg per day

Do Not Exceed:

No tolerable upper intake level (UL) has been set for Potassium

Side Effects Of Too Much Potassium:

Stomach upset, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, or intestinal gas. In some severe cases weakness, paralysis, mental confusion, low blood pressure and death.

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Acid-base balance
  • Conversion of food into energy
  • Digestion
  • Fluid balance
  • Nervous system function

On average, an adult human body contains approximately 115 grams of chloride. In addition to its functions as an electrolyte, chloride combines with hydrogen in the stomach to make hydrochloric acid, a powerful digestive enzyme that is responsible for the break down of proteins, absorption of other metallic minerals, and activation of intrinsic factor, which in turn absorbs vitamin B12. 

Chloride is a highly important, vital mineral required for both human and animal life.  Without chloride, the human body would be unable to maintain fluids in blood vessels, conduct nerve transmissions, move muscles, or maintain proper kidney function.

What happens when your Chloride is low?

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Alkalosis

How Do We Get Chloride?

Chloride is found in almost all foods where salt is added, often in large amounts, during processing or cooking.

Celery • Lettuce • Olives • Rye • Salt substitutes • Seaweeds (e.g., dulse and kelp) • Table salt and sea salt • Tomatoes

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How Much Do We Need Daily?

3,400 mg

There’s no reason to take chloride as a dietary supplement, the foods you eat are more than sufficient.

Side Effects Of Too Much Chloride:

  • Loss of body fluids from prolonged vomiting, diarrhea, sweating or high fever (dehydration).
  • High levels of blood sodium.
  • Kidney failure, or kidney disorders.
  • Diabetes insipidus or diabetic coma.

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Blood clotting
  • Bone and teeth formation
  • Constriction and relaxation of blood vessels
  • Hormone secretion
  • Muscle contraction
  • Nervous system function

Everyone knows that calcium is very important! Calcium is only 2% of body weight. And although 99% of calcium is concentrated in bones and teeth, its role is reduced not only to the formation of the skeleton, it participates in vital processes that take place in our body.

It is necessary to ensure the daily intake of sufficient calcium in the body at any age because the body takes calcium for bone tissue. The effects of inadequate intake of calcium in the body can be seen only when changes begin to occur at the level of bone tissue.

Calcium can reduce the risk of developing certain diseases: osteoporosis, colorectal cancer, hypertension, overweight, etc. However, the beneficial properties of calcium are often better manifested in the presence of other substances, such as vitamin D, proteins, phosphorus or fluoride.

What happens when your Calcium is low?

If your body doesn’t get enough calcium from your diet, it starts to take it from your bones. And this can lead to the loss of bone mass and puts you at risk for the bone disease called osteoporosis. Blood clotting can also occur as a result.

Studies show that 90% of women and 70% of men don’t consume the recommended daily allowance of calcium. 

How Do We Get Calcium?

Almond, Rice, Coconut, and Hemp Milks • Canned Seafood with bones (e.g., Salmon and sardines) • Dairy Products • Fortified Cereals and Juices • Fortified Soy Beverages (soymilk) • Green Vegetables (e.g., Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Turnip Greens) • Tofu (made with calcium sulfate) • Kelp, Quinoa, and Okra

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How Much Calcium Do We Need Daily?

Aged 19-50 need 1000 mg 

Women over 50 and Men over 70 need 1200 mg per day

Do Not Exceed:

2.500 mg

Side Effects Of Too Much Calcium:

When taking Calcium, side effects can occur, including gas, constipation and bloating. 

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Acid-base Balance
  • Bone Formation
  • Energy Production and Storage
  • Hormone Activation
  • The Key to the Growth and Recovery of the organism in general
  • Supports Normal Metabolism
  • Normalizes the Cardiovascular System
  • Regulates the Fluid Balance in the body
  • Helps to Strengthen Bones and Teeth
  • Takes part in the work of the Nervous System
  • Activates the Action of Vitamins

Phosphorus is a macro element that takes part in almost all the vital processes of the body. In the human body, phosphorus is almost completely concentrated in the bone tissue and teeth, however, the remaining 10% of the macroelement is distributed throughout the body and is involved in the vital activity of each cell. Therefore, it is very important that this element is present in the body in the required quantity since this is the key to health and well-being.

In combination with calcium, this macronutrient forms the entire internal mineral structure of the bone, providing it with the necessary strength and mechanical endurance. One of the most important functions of phosphorus is its energy supply, which means the food we eat is converted into energy, as a result of which the work of muscles, organs, the brain becomes possible.

What happens when your Phosphorus is low?

  • Joint or Bone Pain
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability or Anxiety
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Poor Bone Development in Children

How Do We Get Phosphorus?

• Beans and Peas • Garlic • Dairy products • Meats • Nuts and Seeds • Dried fruit • Poultry • Seafood • Whole grain, enriched, and fortified Cereals and Bread

Certain health conditions (such as diabetes and alcoholism) or medications (such as some antacids) can cause low phosphorus levels. If you need to take Phosphorus as a supplement, talk to your doctor. Rx ONLY!

How Much Phosphorus Do We Need Daily?

1,000 mg

Do Not Exceed:

4000 mg

Side Effects Of Too Much Phosphorus:

Too much Phosphorus is dangerous to humans, no less than its lack. Its excess affects almost all systems and organs, disrupting their work and causing general poisoning of the body. The greatest danger of an overabundance of this element is that it contributes to the leaching of calcium from the bones, which normally should be twice as large.

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Blood pressure regulation
  • Blood sugar regulation
  • Bone formation
  • Energy production
  • Hormone secretion
  • Immune function
  • Muscle contraction
  • Nervous system function
  • Normal heart rhythm
  • Protein formation

Magnesium is a universal mineral that takes care of almost all systems and tissues: from immunity and mental health to the heart and blood vessels. Research shows that people who consumed a certain dose of dietary magnesium had a 10% lower risk of heart disease, a 12% lower risk of stroke and a 26% lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes compared to those who did not. At the same time, an additional 100 mg of ordinary magnesium per day can reduce the risk of stroke by 7%, and the risk of type 2 diabetes – by 19%.

What happens when your Magnesium is low?

Some studies suggest that up to 75% of Americans are not meeting their recommended intake of magnesium. Here are some symptoms of magnesium deficiency:

  • Twitches, tremors, and muscle cramps
  • Mental disorders
  • Osteoporosis
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • High blood pressure
  • Asthma
  • Heart Arrhythmia

How Do We Get Magnesium?

Avocados • Bananas • Beans and Peas • Dairy products • Green Leafy Vegetables (e.g., spinach) • Nuts and Pumpkin Seeds • Potatoes • Raisins • Wheat bran • Whole grains

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How Much Magnesium Do We Need Daily?

400 mg

Do Not Exceed:

2,500 mg.

Side Effects Of Too Much Magnesium:

  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Low Blood Pressure



What It Does:

  • Insulin Function
  • Protein, Carbohydrate, and Fat Metabolism

Chromium, as a chemical element, is a solid metallic substance of a bluish-white color. Chromium Picolinate in the human body is involved in many areas and has a very important role, but its main task is to maintain a normal balance of sugar in blood serum.

It turns out that the positive effect of chromium is manifested in all ailments associated with a weak interaction of the body with insulin. Such diseases are hyperglycemia (hypoglycemia), obesity, gastritis, colitis, ulcers, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, migraines, epilepsy, stroke, hypertension.

May help people with diabetes improving the body’s response to insulin and lowering blood sugar.

What happens when your Chromium is low?

If the Chromium is insufficient, glucose is absorbed ineffectively, therefore its content may be underestimated (hypoglycemia) or overestimated (hyperglycemia). The level of cholesterol and blood sugar rises. This leads to increased sweetness – the body requires carbohydrates and not only “sweet” ones. Excessive consumption of carbohydrates leads to even more significant loss of chromium – a vicious circle. In the end, there are diseases such as obesity (in the case of hypoglycemia – a sharp weight loss), diabetes, atherosclerosis. Reports of deficiency in humans are rare and not enough sufficient evidence of either benefit or harms it can cause.

How Do We Get Chromium?

Broccoli • Fruits (e.g., apple and banana) • Grape and Orange Juice • Meats • Spices (e.g., Garlic and Basil) • Turkey • Whole grains • Red wine

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How Much Chromium Do We Need Daily?

120 mcg

Do Not Exceed:

1.000 mcg

Side Effects Of Too Much Chromium:

  • Irregular Heartbeats
  • Sleep Disturbances
  • Headaches
  • Mood Changes
  • Allergic Reactions
  • Kidney or Liver Damage.

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Antioxidant
  • Bone Formation
  • Collagen and Connective Tissue Formation
  • Energy Production
  • Iron Metabolism
  • Nervous System Function

Support your energy by promoting effective iron absorption.
Once in the body, the copper compound enters the liver, which is the main storage of this microcell. Copper is also concentrated in the brain, heart and kidneys, muscle and bone.

It supports the normal composition of blood. Copper contained in enzymes participates in the delivery of oxygen to the cells, supports immunity and health of the skin and bones, and ensures the absorption of vitamins, macro- and microelements and other beneficial substances from food.

What happens when your Copper is low?

Copper deficiency is rare, but at the same time, some studies suggest that at least one-fourth of adults in the United States and Canada consume less than the estimated average requirement. Here are some symptoms that may occur if you are not getting enough copper:

  • Fatigue and Weakness
  • Weak Bones
  • Weak Immune System
  • Problems with Memory
  • Loss of Coordination
  • Pale Skin
  • Sensitivity to Cold Temperatures
  • Vision Problems

How Do We Get Copper?

Chocolate and cocoa • Crustaceans and shellfish • Lentils • Nuts and seeds • Lamb or Calf liver • Whole grains • Lobster • Oysters

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How Much Copper Do We Need Daily?

2 mg/day

Do Not Exceed:

10 mg/day

Side Effects of Too Much Copper:

Too Much Copper is toxic. You can get excessive amount from supplements or from drinking contaminated water.

It can lead to abdominal pain, diarrhea, and vomiting. In more severe cases it can cause kidney and liver damage, heart and brain disease and death.

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Growth and development
  • Metabolism
  • Reproduction
  • Thyroid hormone production

Iodine is a key trace element that determines the functioning of the human thyroid gland and is responsible for the normal functioning of the central nervous system, the growth, and development of children.

What happens when your Iodine is low?

1.5 billion people are Iodine deficient

  • Weight Gain
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Swelling of the Neck
  • Hair Loss
  • Changes In Heart Rate
  • Dry Skin
  • Severe Side Effects During Pregnancy

How Do We Get Iodine?

Bread and cereals • Dairy products • Iodized salt • Potatoes • Seafood • Seaweed • Turkey • Seaweed (up to 1,989% of recommended daily intake)

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How Much Iodine Do We Need Daily?

150 mcg

Do Not Exceed:

1,100 mcg

Side Effects of Too Much Iodine:

  • Enlarged Thyroid Gland
  • Thyroid Gland Inflammation
  • Thyroid Gland Cancer
  • Burning of the Mouth, Throat, and Stomach
  • Vomiting and Diarrhea
  • Coma

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Energy production
  • Growth and development
  • Immune function
  • Red blood cell formation
  • Reproduction
  • Wound healing

Iron is a biologically significant, beneficial trace element for humans. It is part of a large number of proteins and enzymes that allow respiration, DNA synthesis, cholesterol metabolism, immune and enzymatic reactions. The trace element iron is needed to ensure the delivery of oxygen to human tissues, organs, and systems.

What happens when your Iron is low?

Iron Deficiency may occur for different reasons including poor diet, inflammatory bowel disease, pregnancy, and severe blood loss. Here are some symptoms of not enough Iron in your system:

  • Fatigue
  • Shortness of Breath
  • Pale Dry skin
  • Dizziness
  • Irregular Heartbeat
  • Dry Hair
  • Mouth Swelling
  • Restless Leg Syndrome

How Do We Get Iron?

Iron needs to be constantly maintained and regularly replenished. In other words, it is necessary every day to consume a certain amount of this trace element contained in our food.

Beans and Peas • Dark Green Vegetables ( spinach and kale) • Meats • Poultry • Prunes and Prune Juice • Raisins • Seafood • Whole grain, enriched

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How Much Iron Do We Need Daily?

18 mg/day

Do Not Exceed:

45 mg/day

Side Effects of Too Much Iron:

  • Stomach Pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Iron build-up in tissue and organs leading to severe damage
  • Cancer
  • Increased Risk Of Infections

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Carbohydrate, Protein, and Cholesterol Metabolism
  • Cartilage and Bone Formation
  • Wound Healing
  • Prevents Liver Obesity

Manganese is a trace element that affects blood formation, the health of the sex glands, brain function, skeletal development, immunity, and tissue respiration. The main content of manganese in the human body is concentrated in the liver, pancreas, kidneys, bone tissue and brain and is approximately 10-20 mg.

Manganese is important for the normal functioning of thyroid hormones and female sex hormones, maintaining biochemical blood coagulation factors, for enhancing the bone-joint apparatus, the formation of the nervous system and is especially needed during the growth period of a child’s body;

What happens when your Manganese is low?

  • Delayed Hair and Nail Growth
  • Movement Disorders
  • Muscle Pain, Cramps and Spasms
  • Memory Impairment
  • Dizziness Weakness, Fatigue

One of the reasons for manganese deficiency in the body can be a large consumption of refined sugar and fine flour, the use of canned foods, sugary carbonated drinks with high phosphate content.

Also, people with osteoporosis, diabetes and epilepsy may be prone to manganese deficiency.

How Do We Get Manganese?

Beans • Nuts • Pineapple • Spinach • Sweet potato • Whole grains • Brown Rice • Acai • Dark Chocolate

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How Much Manganese Do We Need Daily?

2 mg/day

Do Not Exceed:

11 mg/day

Side Effects of Too Much Manganese :

Cases of manganese poisoning as a trace element contained in the products are unknown, but there are known facts of acute manganese poisoning from water in cases of environmental pollution and manganese dust in the workplace.

Too much Manganese in the body can cause neurological disorders. Some symptoms of manganese toxicity can include headaches, tremors, loss of appetite, leg cramps and hallucinations.

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Enzyme production

Molybdenum has a high chemical activity and therefore does not occur in nature in its pure form, but only as part of various compounds and minerals. Located in plant and animal tissues, accumulates mainly in the liver, kidneys, skin and bones. An adult’s body contains about 9 milligrams of molybdenum.

Responsible for the removal of toxic substances from the human body, which come in the process of smoking, drinking alcohol, and breathing harmful fumes.

Increases the efficiency of vitamin C, protects the body from infectious, inflammatory processes, which has a positive effect on the overall condition of the body.

It contributes to the accumulation of fluorine, it is an important factor in childhood, when growth and development of bone tissue occurs.
Controls the iron content, is involved in the reactions of blood circulation and respiration.

What happens when your Molybdenum is low?

With a lack of molybdenum in the body, a decrease in immunity is observed, fatigue, drowsiness, headaches, flaking of the skin, hair loss, loss of visual acuity, muscle tone decreases, heart, kidney, stomach, dyspnea and neurosis problems occur.

Molybdenum deficiency is very rare in people with good health.

How Do We Get Molybdenum?

Beans and Peas • Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Chestnuts, and Peanuts) • Whole grains • Soy products such as Soy Milk, Soybeans, and Tofu • Cheese and Yogurt • Leafy vegetables • Eggs

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How Much Molybdenum Do We Need Daily?

75 mcg/day

Do Not Exceed:

2000 mcg/day

Side Effects of Too Much Molybdenum:

Consuming too much Molybdenum can cause serious health problems including seizures, hallucinations and permanent brain damage. Also, people who consume more than recommended can develop Gout-Like Symptoms, decreased bone growth, and reproductive problems.

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!


brazil Nuts,selenium,mineral

What It Does:

  • Antioxidant
  • Immune function
  • Reproduction
  • Thyroid function

Selenium by itself is a strong poison, but it is still necessary for the human body in microscopic doses – as an antioxidant and an important factor in the normal functioning of the immune and hormonal systems.

It protects the cells of the body from the action of free radicals – aggressive fragments of molecules. Selenium is part of the special proteins – selenoproteins, which are part of the enzymes that fight free radicals.

Another important function of Selenium is the maintenance of the human reproductive system. Selenium, along with zinc, allow the male reproductive cells, spermatozoa, to maintain optimal mobility.

What happens when your Selenium is low?

Selenium deficiency is rare worldwide. It often takes years to develop, and it usually only occurs in regions with severely low selenium content in the soil.

How Do We Get Selenium?

Eggs • Enriched Pasta and Rice • Meats • Nuts (e.g., Brazil nuts) and Seeds • Poultry • Seafood • Tuna • Whole grains

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How Much Selenium Do We Need Daily?

70 mcg/day

Do Not Exceed:

400 mcg/day

Side Effects of Too Much Selenium:

Since in large doses, Selenium is toxic, experts do not recommend consuming it more than 400 micrograms per day. The upper threshold for infants is 45 mcg per day. This mainly concerns those who receive Selenium in the form of vitamin-mineral preparations or dietary supplements. Overdose may include symptoms such as: gastrointestinal problems such as nausea, neurological abnormalities, fatigue, hair loss, kidney and heart failure.

Before taking any vitamins or supplements you must consult with your doctor or other medical professionals!



What It Does:

  • Growth and development
  • Immune function
  • Nervous system function
  • Protein formation
  • Reproduction
  • Taste and smell
  • Wound healing

The presence of Zinc in the human body contributes to the normal course of the development of bone tissue, stimulates cell growth and division, tissue regeneration, reproductive function, brain development.

Zinc actively participates in the processes of tissue regeneration, the course of DNA synthesis processes depends on its presence.

Predominantly Zinc is found in skeletal muscle (63%). Significant concentrations of zinc are found in the skin, hair, bone, liver, retina, prostate gland.

What happens when your Zinc is low?

  • Loss of Appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Acne, Eczema
  • Hair Loss
  • Abnormal Taste and Smell
  • Depression
  • Slow wound Healing

How Do We Get Zinc?

Beans and Peas • Beef • Dairy products • Fortified cereals • Nuts • Poultry • Seafood (e.g., clams, crabs, lobsters, oysters) • Whole grains


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How Much Zinc Do We Need Daily?


Do not Exceed:

40 mg/day

Side Effects of Too Much Zinc:

  • Indigestion
  • Diarrhea
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Consuming Zinc in high doses for long time may cause copper deficiency. Do not use intranasal Zinc, which has been linked with the loss of the sense of smell.

If you have reached this point, congratulations are in order!

Now you have a better understanding of Minerals and their role in our life. You can try to figure it out which minerals do you really need with your doctor or you can try VitaGene and get your tailor-made vitamin supplements delivered to your doorstep, based on a lifestyle quiz and your DNA.

Thanks for your time and I hope you enjoyed my article. Now I want to hear from You. If you have any questions or would like to share your opinion, please feel free to leave a quick comment down below.


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Minerals - What, Why And How | A Comprehensive Handbook
Article Name
Minerals - What, Why And How | A Comprehensive Handbook
A comprehensive, most accurate guide about minerals needed to stay healthy. Major and Trace Minerals
Publisher Name
Best Health Supplements For You
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Author: David G

David G shares his passion, thoughts and knowledge in the world of herbs and natural remedies. His blog is dedicated to discover nature's wonders in the field of botanical therapy.

6 thoughts on “Minerals – What, Why And How | A Comprehensive Handbook

  1. Hi David! This post goes into a lot of depth concerning what minerals we need. Thank you very much for putting it together. I indeed found this article very helpful!

    I really appreciate you have included a section of side effects if we consume to much of any given mineral. I’m particularly surprised with the side effects that Molybdenum can cause: seizures, hallucinations and permanent brain damage. I didn’t know this so I’ll be careful from here on. 

    1. Hi Henry, and thanks for your comments. Yes, every vitamin and mineral has some side effects, if taking in large amounts. But these cases are extremely rare and only happen when people start abusing supplements, that’s why I always encourage my readers to discuss it with a doctor prior to taking ANY supplements.

      Thanks for reading and please visit my blog in the future, better yet, sign up for our monthly newsletter and never miss a new article.


  2. Wow! This is a very informative site. Much of this I have known, but this really is encyclopedic. How many mg of potassium is in one banana or 1 avacado? These are two foods I try to eat daily. I really didn’t realize all of the functions that potassium served in the body, but I believe at least this I get enough of.

    1. Hi Troy and thank you for liking my article and for your feedback.

      To answer your question: 

      One medium-sized banana contains about 420mg of potassium.

      One avocado contains about 975mg.

      Bananas are not top fruits in potassium. As you can see avocados are #1.

      We need about 4,700 mg a day, so you can do the math.

      Thanks again, hope to see you soon on my site, please, if you’re interested, subscribe to my monthly newsletter and never miss a new article.


  3. Hi David,

    Thank you for such an informative article! I needed to read the part on Magniesm. I have issues with half the items on the bad list. Great writing and wonderful pictures, the layout was top-notch. There seemed to be areas that were still loading once I finished the article. Do you have videos that go with the article?

    Everything was so detailed, and you provided so much wonderful information. I will go back to study up on my minerals. As of tomorrow, I will be adding Magnesium to my morning vitamin/mineral supplements. I have several bottles because my partner is diabetic and he takes it for that reason. I have been wondering if I should be taking also.

    Thank you for a great article!

    Cheers, and take care of yourself!


    1. Hi John, first of all, let me say thank you for your comment. I’m glad you liked it and I hope it was helpful and informative. For me personally, I always like to find new stuff, something that I can learn. Hopefully, you found it in my blog post. As far as taking any supplements, I always suggest talking to your doctor, before consuming any vitamins or supplements.

      Thanks again and hope to see you on my blog more often. If you would like, you can subscribe to my email and get a monthly newsletter. That way you’ll never miss new articles and some good deals on healthy products.


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