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Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Health Tips: August 2011

Minerals you need
in your body system

Minerals are constituents of the bones, teeth, soft tissue, muscle, blood, and nerve cells. They are vital to overall well-being. How do they work?

Minerals act as catalysts for many biological reactions within the body, including, muscle response, the transmission of messages through the nervous system, and the utilization of nutrients in food.
Below are some of the major nutrients and their sources that our bodies need:-
Calcium
Calcium is essential for forming strong bones, teeth and maintaining healthy gums.  Foods with calcium are dark leafy vegetables, broccoli, milk, yogurt, tofu, almonds, seafood, sardines, salmon, sesame seeds and soy beans.
Chromium
This mineral maintains stable blood sugar levels.  Foods with chromium are brown rice, cheese, meat, spinach, lean meats, mushrooms, dried beans, chicken, whole grains, broccoli and potatoes.
Copper
Copper is vital in forming collagen and works with zinc and Vitamin C to form elastin, an important skin protein.  Copper deficiency includes baldness, anemia, general weakness and skin sores.  Foods include barley, beets, beans, lentils, salmon, pecans, and green leafy vegetables.
Iron
The main function of iron is producing hemoglobin and transporting oxygen in the red blood cells.  A lack of iron includes dizziness, fatigue, brittle hair, fragile bones, anemia and nervousness.  Foods with iron are pears, peaches, dried prunes, dates, sesame seeds, almonds, lentils, millet, kidney beans, beets, brewer’s yeast, eggs, green leafy vegetables, whole grain foods, fish, beef and pumpkins.
Magnesium
Magnesium plays an essential role in decreasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.  It works to promote normal blood pressure and regulate blood sugar levels.  A deficiency of magnesium leads to seizures, insomnia, confusion and rapid heartbeat.  Foods high in Magnesium include bananas, avocados, apples, grapefruit,  apricots, brown rice, black-eyed peas,  garlic, sesame seeds, tofu, nuts, peaches, whole grains, wheat, lemons and green leafy vegetables.
Manganese
This mineral is needed for bone development, healthy nerves, metabolism, a healthy immune system and regulating blood sugar.  A deficiency of manganese causes in confusion, memory loss, hearing problems, pancreatic problems and hypertension.  Foods with manganese are green leafy vegetables, pineapples, blueberries, hazelnuts, cashews and macadamia nuts.
Potassium
Potassium is important for healthy nervous system and regular heart rhythm.  Food sources include nuts, dried fruit, fish, lima beans (mbaazi), brown rice, dates, dried fruit, bananas, apricots, avocados, garlic, potatoes, raisins, spinach, yams, yogurt and wheat bran.
Selenium
Selenium plays an essential role in regulating the effects of the thyroid hormone.  A deficiency of selenium can lead to exhaustion, tumor, heart disease and infections.  Foods with selenium are whole grains, wheat germ, bananas, chicken, salmon, onions, tuna, milk, eggs, cheese and nuts.
Zinc
Zinc maintains a healthy immune system, protects the liver, manages diabetes and is vital in healing of wounds.  A lack of zinc may cause fatigue, hair loss, colds, flu, infection, diabetes and the loss of the senses of taste and smell.  Foods with zinc are lima beans, fish, lamb, soybeans, sardines, meats, liver, mushrooms and pumpkin seeds.

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