Do I Need a Mineral Supplement?

| Modified: Aug 25, 2018
Health Benefits of Mineral Supplements

Minerals are critical to the function of the body. Mineral imbalances or insufficiencies can cause a host of health problems. For this reason, increasing the quality of the diet or taking mineral supplements can improve a number of health conditions.

What are Minerals?

Minerals are solid and inorganic elements and compounds. They are the building blocks of everything. Bones, tissue, muscles, cells, and blood all have minerals in them. Minerals help with fluid balance in body tissues and affect the function of the heart, among countless other biological processes in the body.

There are some minerals of which the body needs more than others. These are called macrominerals and they include calcium, sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus and sulfur. The body requires at least 100 mg of each of these on a daily basis. The body also need other minerals in lesser amounts. These trace minerals include iron, iodine, copper, and zinc. These are not less important, in fact, they are quite necessary. A smaller amount is just required.

What are the Macro Minerals?

Calcium

Calcium is needed for bones and teeth. It is also necessary for digestion and the heart. Calcium sources include dairy products, dark leafy greens, nuts, and fish with bones.

Magnesium

Magnesium is needed for bones and muscles. It is also needed for proper assimilation of calcium. Whole grains, beans and nuts provide the body with magnesium.

Potassium

Potassium is an electrolyte and is found in foods like bananas, tomatoes, potatoes (white and sweet), prunes, oranges, and dairy products.

Chloride

Chloride is needed to make HCL for digestion. Salt is the primary source of chloride in the body.

Phosphorus

Bones and cells need phosphorus. Sources of phosphorus include animal products and grains.

Sulfur

The body needs sulfur to make insulin. Hair skin, nails and joints are all dependent on sulfur to be healthy. Sulfur is found in beef, poultry, eggs, garlic and onions.

Sodium

Sodium helps to maintain the fluid balance in your body. Salt is the main source of sodium in most diets.

What are the Best Sources of Minerals?

Salt

Salt, chemically made up of sodium and chloride, is usually not difficult to get into the diet. Because of the body’s need for sodium and chloride, a completely salt free diet can leave the body depleted. However, if you are on a salt restricted diet, do not up your salt intake without medical counsel.

Ideally salt will be a natural salt, which also contains trace minerals. Iodize table salt is void of these trace minerals, though it does have iodine, which is a necessary trace mineral and commonly lacking in most diets.

Whole Foods

Foods that have been processed have often been stripped of minerals. When whole wheat berries are processed into white flour, large amounts of minerals are lost including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, not to mention numerous trace minerals, vitamins, and fiber.

Unfortunately, white flour and sugar compose a great number of calories of many diets. For this reason, a person could be overweight from the consumption of processed foods, but actually be suffering from malnutrition due to insufficient nutrients in food.

Superfoods

"Superfood" are more densely packed with nutrients than other foods. They contain a variety of minerals and vitamins. These “superfoods” are good choices to include in your diet to give you a more concentrated form of nutrition.

Some superfoods to include in your diet include the following:

Notice that the above mentioned foods have one thing in common. They are all single ingredients. Taking oatmeal and adding some coconut oil, sea salt and blackstrap molasses and blueberries provides a densely packed super breakfast! Each ingredient has nutrients. On the other hand, many breakfast cereals start with a grain that has been processed (and nutrients removed) and then sugar (or high fructose corn syrup) is added and then vitamins and minerals are added back in. Similarly, prepackaged oatmeal has sugar, guar gum, and artificial and natural flavors added.

This does not mean you can never grab a granola bar for a snack or eat birthday cake. But it does mean that if a large proportion of calories come from processed foods, you will be missing out on nutrients.

Even those who eat a completely “whole” diet, may still be lacking minerals. If the body does not adequately absorb nutrients it will be lacking. Excessive sweating can cause mineral loss. And some diets, even when the ingredients are "whole" lack variety, which can mean some minerals are sparsely consumed.

Stress can cause the body to use up minerals more quickly. Magnesium and zinc can be depleted when a body is stressed.

Poor quality soils can result in poor qualities of foods. For this reason, if symptoms of mineral deficiency are present, mineral supplements or sources of more concentrated nutrients should be considered.

Trace minerals are also critical to a body's proper function. To read more about trace minerals, see this page.

Have you corrected a mineral deficiency and improved your health? We would love to hear from you!



Mineral Mud Baths  

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Posted by Michael (New Zealand) on 03/21/2017
5 out of 5 stars

Okey Dokey, gather round whilst I pretend to be a chemist and attempt to spell some names I have never written before! Maybe we will discover a brand new element here! You heard it first from me naturally!

Down here in Middle Earth there exist quite a few thermal regions spread out across the Country alongside our daily diet of earthquakes: think Yellowstone perhaps?

One of them I am thinking of may possess a distinct menu of ingredients but like the others contains water and MUD, HOT, VERY hot, actually! Temps. have been recorded as high as the high forties degrees Celsius/Centigrade (111+F??). This brand of mud contains Sulphur, Magnesium, Boron (one of my favourites), Boric Acid, Calcium Chloride, CO2, Silica, Iodine, Fluoride, Potassium and many others such as Mercury, Lithium, Caesium and Rubidium etc. etc. There is Hydrogen Sulphide and Carbon Dioxide gas present. Apparently, when the hot water reaches the surface, the pressure (from under Middle Earth) reduces and the gas escapes out of the solution.

O.K. so many of us know that there is often little gain without much pain so how do you feel about a series of hour-long soaks in such mud and water with Magnesium and Sulphur included? I vaguely recall trying out one of these pools, which was about 42 degrees Centigrade on that particular day! The several pools vary in temp. between themselves and on different days, so you need to remember to check the black-board each time you go in case there has been a change (adds that little bit of extra ZEST to life eh?). You can "work your way up" of course but you get extra "bragging rights" if you score the hotter ones naturally.

Articulate persons have waxed eloquently regarding the health benefits from becoming a regular attendee. From Arthritis to Post-Parturition Pains, patrons have extoled the virtues of a good SOAK. And RELAXING! It is NOT advisable to put your head under though. If you are especially unlucky, in some other pools in other areas, there has in the past, been a tiny worm that can enter your skull and drill a hole in your brain! Not pleasant! If you have a memory like a sieve, you wont be wanting any more holes in there will you?

This extra long rumination was caused by reading a recent post by MTM who was pondering the effects of Sulphur (Sulfur) and Magnesium and it got me wondering if the "Answer Lies in the Mud" instead of the Soil. So, there you go.

I hope there is a hot thermal pool near you in Tennessee or elsewhere to try out?

Take care out there. Watch out for marauding worms!

Cheers, Michael

Replied by Mineral Seeker
Los Angeles
08/23/2018

Can you share where the mud baths you speak of are exactly?

Thank you!

Replied by Michael
New Zealand
08/25/2018

How about the north of the North Island of New Zealand.

Cheers,

Michael