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.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Food Sources of Minerals

Minerals in foods include a range of inorganic elements that are required by living organisms to support biochemical processes, including building bones and teeth, transmitting nerve signals, energy conversions from food and vitamin biosynthesis.

All foods from both plants and animals contain varying amounts of minerals. The mineral material may be present as inorganic or organic salts or may be combined with organic material, as the phosphorus is combined with phosphoproteins and metals are combined with enzymes.

Animals tissue contain minerals in the proportions that the animal needs, so animal derived foods are more reliable mineral sources.

Minerals from animals foods can be absorbed more easily than those from plants.

Plants foods can be excellent of several minerals but the mineral content of plants can vary dramatically depending on the minerals in the soil where the plants are found.

More than 60 elements may be present in foods.

It is customary to divide the minerals into two groups, the macro-minerals or essential minerals and the trace elements.

The macro minerals includes potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium, chloride, sulfate, phosphate and bicarbonate. These minerals required at more than 100 mg/day by the adult.

Trace elements are all others and are usually present in amounts below 50 parts per million (ppm).

There is also a group of minerals called ultra trace minerals, including vanadium, tin, nickel, arsenic, and boron that are being investigated for possible biological function.

Some mineral elements have been documented to be toxic to the body and should, therefore, be avoided in the diet.

The levels of trace elements/minerals in foods very according to inherent, environmental and processing factors.
Food Sources of Minerals

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