What is food mineral?

Minerals are inorganic elements that originate in the earth and cannot be made in the body. They play important roles in various bodily functions and are necessary to sustain life and maintain optimal health, and thus are essential nutrients.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Minerals in Food

Minerals in Food
It is known that human beings require 14 different elements for health and growth. These include calcium, phosphorus sodium, chlorine, potassium and magnesium and sulphur, which are present in appreciable amounts (0.5 percent or more ) the other iron, iodine, manganese copper, zinc, cobalt and fluorine are found in traces.

Functions of mineral
Minerals have several functions in the body. Body building minerals serve as structural constituents in the hard issues of the body, such as the bones and teeth.

They are the components of soft tissues (muscles, nervous tissue).

They form a part of compounds essential for body functions (hemoglobin, thyroxine, insulin etc.)

Body regulation
Some minerals help to maintain acid-bases balance and while others regulate water balance in the body. Some minerals are important in transmission of nerve impulses, while other are necessary for muscle connection and relaxation.

Essential for Active of Enzymes
Some metals are integral part of enzymes, while others function as cofactors of some enzymes.

Calcium and Phosphorus
The minerals are needed in comparatively large amounts to help normal growth and development of bones and teeth.

Breast milk supplies these in sufficient amounts for the six months of life. The best source of calcium is milk. Babies receive an excellent supply of calcium from their mother’s milk.

The milk of cows, buffaloes and goats is rich in calcium, so are milk products such as curd, paneer, khoa, cheese and milk powder. Other food sources are fish, sesame seeds, the miller ragi and dark green leafy vegetables.

Deficiency of calcium may lead to poor and teeth formation. Severe deficiency may cause rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults.

Iron
The iron requirement is met from the fetal store for the first three months. Iron is essential for the formation of hemoglobin, the red pigment in blood.

Iron is the one mineral, which is found in insufficient amounts in the infant’s diet when it is fed only milk.
Minerals in Food

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