Minerals, like the vitamins, are found in a wide variety of whole plant and animal foods and are added to many processed foods.
Although each of the major minerals has its own unique set of characteristics and functions, there are some generalities that can be made.
For example, major minerals tend to be abundant in certain foods, a seafood, meat and dairy products, although some vegetables, fruits and legumes can be good sources as well.
Many are cofactors for enzymes, some of which are involved in energy metabolism. Nearly all the minerals reuqir3ed by the body are elements of low atomic number, from sodium (11) to selenium (34); the exceptions are molybdenum (42) and iodine (53).
In living matter, these elements are present in a number of different states: as inorganic compounds, as free ions in body fluids or combined with organic compounds.
Characteristics of major food minerals
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