The 16 essential minerals
In addition to the 13 essential vitamins your body needs, there are 16 essential minerals, all of which you might recognize from the periodic table. Unlike vitamins, minerals are “inorganic,” meaning they do not contain a carbon atom.
Macrominerals are the minerals that your body needs in relatively large amounts; trace minerals are those that your body needs in small amounts. The essential macrominerals are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. The trace minerals your body requires are iron, zinc, iodine, chromium, copper, fluoride, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium.
Other important nutrients
Another nutrient to note is choline, which is widely understood to play a critical role in nerve and brain function. Meat, eggs and poultry are all excellent sources of choline. Strict vegetarians may want to consider taking a choline supplement.
Each of the essential vitamins and mineral plays a complex set of roles in the body. Magnesium, for example, is a vital element in over 300 biochemical reactions, ranging from protein synthesis to nerve function. It is not hard to imagine the broad potential for health symptoms to arise from a deficiency in this one mineral.
In addition to vitamins and minerals, there are other nutrients that are backed by established research, including omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, antioxidants such as CoQ-10, are gaining recognition for their essential role in the healthy function and immunity of the body’s cells. These examples represent opportunities to improve wellness beyond the basics of vitamin and mineral intake.
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