Important minerals

by Payal Shukla, Staff Writer

Photo Credit: Flickr

Photo Credit: Flickr

As college students, it’s definitely hard to get in all of the daily nutrition our bodies need because we simply don’t always have time to eat very nutritious meals. There are a plethora of important minerals that our bodies need in order to perform optimally. Here are the minerals that I think are the most important and how to easily add them to your daily diet!

Calcium: This one seems obvious, but it’s extremely important since it is the most abundant mineral in your entire body. Calcium will help regulate your heartbeat and move your muscles and keep your teeth and bones healthy and strong. You can easily add calcium to your diet by drinking a glass of milk daily or eating leafy green vegetables and boned fish such as sardines or salmon.

Iron: This mineral is absolutely essential to your body for many reasons. It helps with metabolism, immunity, prevents anemia and helps the blood in your body to carry oxygen. Iron also helps to maintain healthy cells, hair, skin and nails. There are two types of iron: heme and nonheme. Heme irons can be found in animal products like meat while nonheme iron is found in leafy vegetables and is less easily absorbed. You can easily add iron to your diet by eating a handful of nuts or dried fruits every day!

Chloride: Chloride is an essential mineral because it is one of the most important electrolytes in your blood. It helps to keep your cells in homeostasis. Chloride maintains the acid-base balance in your body and keeps the proper balance of body fluids. Having too much chloride can lead to dehydration. Although many people usually have more than enough chloride daily, you can get chloride from table salt, tomatoes or celery!

Phosphorous: This important mineral is the second most abundant in our body. It works with calcium to build strong bones and teeth, but phosphorous also plays a role in tissue and cell growth and repair. It also helps to filter your waste in your kidneys and helps your body store and expend energy. Add phosphorous to your diet by eating a banana or orange each day!

Selenium: Selenium works as an antioxidant in our bodies to help fight free radicals that damage DNA and cellular membranes and contribute to conditions such as heart disease or cancer. Selenium also plays a role in thyroid gland function and is essential to your immune system! In males, selenium will help keep the prostate gland functioning properly. You can add selenium to your diet by eating chicken, eggs, nuts, or grains!

Magnesium: Magnesium is an extremely important mineral because your body does not produce it. It is absorbed in the small intestine where it is stored until it is needed. Magnesium plays a role in the normal functioning of your nerves and muscles. It also helps many enzymes in your body work properly and keeps your heart beating regularly. Magnesium is found in many nuts, including almonds and cashews! You can also easily get magnesium by eating peanut butter or spinach.