The Minerals in our Body

Minerals play a crucial role in the proper functioning of the body. Either a surfeit or a lack are liable to interfere with its proper functioning.

We all know what an iron bar looks like, most of us recall the 8th grade experiment in which zinc “burned” in the air, and we know that the colour of copper is a golden red. How is all of this related to the human body, and what is the difference between iron which builds up our red blood cells and an iron nail? The zinc and copper mentioned are metals, and most of us are familiar with them in their solid chemical state, or through their use in industry and electronics. These metals all exist in our bodies as well and carry out a range of crucial functions, although in a slightly different “state”.

So let’s delve into chemistry for a moment, in order to understand. Our world is composed of atoms; tiny components visible only under a microscope. Iron atoms are able to make contact with other iron atoms and form metal, which is the state most of us are familiar with. From this metal it is possible to produce frying pans and pots, bars and nails. Nonetheless, iron atoms are also capable of making contact with elements of a different sort, and form “salts”. Yes, the same salt we all use to season our food is composed of this sort of salt (but with sodium atoms instead of iron atoms). Many metals can create salts and the advantage of these, in our case, is that they dissipate in our bodies, and are edible. Thus, in effect, our bodies, and those of all living things, can get the metals they require in the state of soluble atoms, known in nutritional language as “minerals”.


Where does our body get the minerals from? From the food we consume. Our bodies are unable to produce the minerals in the way that it is capable of producing fats, for example, and it is therefore extremely important to maintain a rich, varied diet, which includes all the important minerals.

The minerals are divided into two main groups – Macrominerals, which ??? and microminerals. Both are needed. Below are some:

– Calcium – The main ingredient in the human skeleton, it serves as the main building material for bones, teeth and other tissue. Found in dairy products, green vegetables, and citrus fruits.
– Iodine – belongs to the micromineral group. Crucial for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland even in utero. A lack of iodine may affect fetal brain development and cognitive function among adults. It can be found in dairy products, fish, seaweed and eggs.
– Sodium – Found in salt, balances the volume of fluids, the nervous system’s and muscles’ functions.
– Magnesium – aids in the production of protein and in the construction of bone and muscle. Found in leafy green vegetables, banana, cacao, almonds, nuts and legumes.
– Iron – A crucial mineral responsible for bringing oxygen to the body’s tissues. A lack of iron can lead to anemia, shortness of breath, hair loss and exhaustion. Iron can be found in meat, chicken, fish, eggs, and vegetable sources including chickpeas, lentils and beans.
– Potassium – Crucial for the nervous system’s functioning. Found in tomatoes, bananas, dates and potatoes.