Minerals are the inorganic chemical elements in the diet and body. Some minerals in our diet form our bones and teeth. The human body needs at least 20 different minerals to function properly. Some are required in large amounts, such as calcium, which makes the hard part of teeth and bones; iron, which produces haemoglobin, a component of blood that carries oxygen around the body; potassium and sodium.
Other minerals needed in smaller, or trace, amounts include magnesium, zinc, manganese, selenium, iodine, sodium, copper and chromium. These help the production of enzymes (which speed up chemical reactions in the body) and hormones (substances that control the functioning of different organs).
While most of us focus on our vitamin intake, mineral deficiencies do occur with calcium, iron and zinc being the most common. The correct diet, however, can easily restore the balance of these minerals.
Are you getting your fair share of minerals? Find out now.