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List of Minerals in Food & Their Function

Minerals play an important part in many body functions, including normal growth, protein synthesis and hormone secretion. Minerals come from the foods you eat and are either macrominerals or microminerals. Macrominerals found in food include calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sulfur. Microminerals found in food include copper, fluoride, manganese, selenium and zinc.

Calcium and Chromium

Calcium is stored in the bones and teeth to make them strong. Calcium helps your muscles and blood vessels contract and expand. It also helps with the secretion of hormones and enzymes as well as sending messages throughout your nervous system.
Chromium enhances the action of insulin and is directly involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fat and protein.

Copper and Folate

Copper helps iron to form red blood cells. This mineral also helps with healthy functioning of your bones, blood vessels, bones, immune system and nerves.
Folate is required for the formation of normal red blood cells and essential for the metabolism of some amino acids. It helps produce new cells and prevent changes in DNA that can cause cancer. Consuming this mineral is necessary to prevent anemia during pregnancy.

Iron and Magnesium

Iron is an essential part of many enzymes and proteins. It helps your red blood cells transport oxygen to all the parts of your body. Iron also helps regulate cell growth and cell differentiation.
Magnesium is required for over 300 biochemical reactions in your body. It helps keep muscles and nerves functioning normally and also helps to regulate your heart beat, supports the immune system and keeps your bones strong.

Manganese and Phosphorus

Manganese assists in processing carbohydrates, cholesterol and protein in your body. It may also play a role on bone formation.
Phosphorus plays a key role in the formation of bones and teeth. It also assists your body to utilize carbohydrates and fats as well as protein synthesis. This mineral is integral in energy storage and helps maintain and repair cells and tissues.

Potassium and Sodium

Potassium helps keep the proper acid-to-base balance in your body,and plays an important role in synthesizing proteins from amino acids and in the metabolism of carbohydrates. Muscle growth and normal body growth require potassium. Potassium is essential for the normal electrical activity in your heart.
Sodium helps with nerve and muscle function. It also helps maintain the proper balance of fluids in the body.

Selenium and Zinc

Selenium is an important part of protein and enzyme formation. It also helps to regulate your thyroid and maintain a healthy immune system.
Zinc helps your immune system fight illness and is used to make proteins and DNA. Pregnant women especially need zinc in order for their developing baby to develop properly. It also plays a part in your sense of taste and smell, and helps with wound healing.

This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.