Minerals. Technically speaking, these “minerals” are chemical elements which means neither your body nor the plants in your vegetable garden can make these substances. These elements play key roles in the physical structure of your body tissues like the steel framework of a tall building or the cables holding up the span of a bridge. In addition they are activators or catalysts in the thousands of biochemical processes within the cells of your body organs that perform all your daily life functions. In fact many vitamins do not perform so well without the presence of sufficient key “mineral” elements. Therefore your body needs to take in these elements regularly — in most cases in the foods you choose to eat. They must be available to help support your body’s vitality and health.
What are some important elements? You probably know some of the “mineral” elements if you take a daily multisupplement — calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, sodium and potassium to name a few. These examples of “mineral” elements have well-known functions in your body. Calcium is the major element in your bone; iron is in the hemoglobin found within your red blood cells; magnesium is a catalyst in a few hundred biochemical processes going on every day within you; zinc helps activate your immune system and promotes healing and repair of body tissues; sodium and potassium help maintain the proper amounts of water both inside and outside your body’s trillions of cells. The list of mineral elements and their essential functions within your body is too extensive for this brief discussion. Be assured, however, that providing the necessary “mineral” elements to your body is a most important aspect of your nutritional habits over your lifetime.
Your body may well be experiencing a mineral shortage. When you feel lack of energy on a regular basis examine your lifestyle. Not enough sleep? Not enough hydration (see previous blog)? Insufficient food intake or nutrient-poor food choices may be part of the problem. Studies of the amounts of “mineral” elements in the food supply by the Nutrition Security Institute as recently as 2006 indicate farm crops do not contain the amounts and varieties of elements needed to maintain a high level of functioning of the body’s cells. Inadequate “mineral” elements in the diet is at the core of many other health issues such as wound healing and lower production of certain hormones (regulators of vital life functions).
How do you get sufficient “mineral” intake? Broaden out your daily food intake to include more organic and sustainably-farmed vegetables and fruits. This can help increase the chances that these foods were grown in soils enriched with a broader spectrum of “mineral” elements through composting and use of crop rotation. (Remember, elements exist in Nature and are not made by your body or the plants.) Eat some sea plants. Many of the “mineral” elements depleted from the soils have been washed into the oceans. Eat some nuts. The roots of trees go down deeper than most conventional farm crops and draw up important elements. Examine your use (or non-use) of a multisupplement for the “mineral” element composition. Consider the type of water you drink to see what measurable “mineral” content is there.
Further studies in the fields of sports nutrition and exercise physiology have brought to light the need for proper daily replenishment of the “mineral” elements. It’s been known for decades that athletes underperform or, worse, suffer collapse. Lack of energy may well be a simple matter of insufficient “mineral” element intake. It may be a signal that your body needs some essential nutrients you are not giving it. We can learn something here.
Some thoughts for your good health.