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5 minerals that are absolutely necessary for good health

Updated: Oct 20

Have you ever wondered what minerals are necessary for your body to function properly? The following are the five minerals that are the most critical for sustaining your energy levels, weight, and mood, in addition to the health of your skin, bones, and immune system. Discover what each mineral does for your body, how much you need, and what foods contain it all by reading below;


Iodine



Iodine is a trace mineral, an essential nutrient that the body requires in very small amounts for optimal health.


The thyroid gland cannot produce thyroid hormones without iodine, which slows metabolism and affects the entire body.


Iodine deficiency is on the rise globally due to poor soil quality and poor dietary habits.


Why is Iodine Important?


Iodine is an essential component of thyroid hormones, which aid in the regulation of the metabolic rate of all cells in the body. To produce thyroid hormones efficiently, the thyroid gland (a butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of the neck) absorbs small amounts of iodine from food. Iodine deficiency can cause a decrease in thyroid hormone production. Similarly, too much iodine can be harmful to the thyroid; this is why you should not supplement with iodine unless under the supervision of a practitioner.


Iodine is also necessary for foetal and infant development, as well as brain health and cognition, particularly in early childhood. The requirements of the growing baby increase a woman's iodine intake during pregnancy. Iodine is required for brain and bone formation, and low iodine levels may result in intellectual delays and growth problems.



Iodine deficiency symptoms


Prolonged production of thyroid hormones can result in hypothyroidism, also known as an underactive thyroid.


Hypothyroidism symptoms include:


  • Fatigue

  • Weight gain that was unexpected

  • Depression and low mood

  • Hair loss due to increased sensitivity to cold

  • Skin that is parched

  • Memory loss and brain fog

  • Inflammation of the neck (due to an enlarged thyroid gland)

  • How to Perform an Iodine Deficiency Test


There are several ways to test for iodine deficiency, including a urine test (which is simple and quick), a blood test (which is more accurate), an iodine patch test (which measures how quickly iodine is absorbed through the skin), and an iodine loading test (to measure how much iodine is excreted via urine in 24 hours). Consult your natural health therapist about the best test for you.


Foods high in iodine


Because iodine occurs naturally in soil and ocean waters, it can be found in a variety of plant-based and saltwater foods.


Iodine-containing foods include:

  • Vegetables from the sea (edible seaweed, nori, dulsi, algae, spirulina, chlorella)

  • Prunes and plums, dried

  • Cranberries

  • Iodised salt (fortified table salt with iodine) - consuming table salt is not recommended because it is highly processed and contains harmful additives. Instead, use sea salt or Himalayan salt, which contain a trace of iodine.


How to Boost Iodine Levels


Iodine intake should be 150mcg per day for adults and 220mcg during pregnancy.


The following factors may have an impact on iodine absorption:


  • Gut dysfunction. If the gut is harmed in any way, nutrients will not be absorbed efficiently, and mineral deficiency may occur.

  • Goitrogenic foods such as soy, millet, and raw brassica vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower) may interfere with iodine absorption in the body. Brassica vegetables' goitrogenic properties can be reduced by cooking them.

  • Deficiency in selenium. Selenium is another mineral that is essential for thyroid function and helps protect the thyroid from free radical damage. Iodine deficiency can be exacerbated by a lack of selenium.

  • Iodine deficiency can be exacerbated by a lack of zinc, iron, copper, tyrosine (an amino acid), magnesium, and B vitamins.

  • Methods for increasing iodine levels


Eat a well-balanced, nutrient-dense diet rich in organic vegetables and fruits to ensure you get enough of the key nutrients that support thyroid health.

Increase your consumption of iodine-rich foods (as indicated above).


Avoid high-sugar, inflammatory foods like refined carbohydrates (bread, pasta, pastries, pizza, pies), gluten, processed foods, dairy, and unhealthy fats. These foods are harmful to your digestive system and can disrupt the balance of beneficial gut bacteria.

Probiotics can help replenish and repopulate your gut with beneficial bacteria.


Find out how to improve your gut health.


Promote thyroid health


Iodine is a mineral that is required for normal thyroid function and metabolism, as well as for growth and development and brain health in babies and infants. Iodine deficiency is caused by depleted soils and poor dietary habits. If you suspect you have an underactive thyroid, consult your natural therapist because you may be deficient in iodine.


zinc



Maintain a healthy immune system and keep inflammation at bay.

Zinc is a trace mineral that is required for the body to function properly.


It is required for growth and development, as well as to aid the immune system in fighting infections and producing cell proteins.


Your health may be jeopardized if you do not get enough zinc.


What role does zinc play in the body?


Zinc is an essential nutrient that participates in over 200 chemical reactions and functions in the body; other nutrients rely on zinc to do their "job." Zinc is required to form the protective barrier of cells (the mucous membranes) that protects cells from toxins and other harmful particles. It also aids in the breakdown of alcohol in the body, proper digestion of food, and the formation of red blood cells, which transport oxygen throughout the body. Zinc is especially important for growth and development, so maintaining adequate zinc levels is critical during preconception, pregnancy, infancy, and childhood.

Zinc's Health Advantages


Zinc is essential for the production and function of immune cells, so it helps to keep your immune system strong. Zinc stimulates the immune cells that fight infections. Taking zinc at the first signs of a cold can significantly reduce the length and severity of the cold.

Lowers pro-inflammatory molecules, which reduces inflammation and cell damage. A lack of zinc has been linked to increased pain and chronic inflammation. Those suffering from inflammatory diseases such as arthritis would benefit from increasing their zinc levels.

Accelerates wound healing because zinc is essential for skin health and the skin contains 5% of the body's zinc. Zinc is required for the production of collagen (a protein that gives skin structure), the modulation of the immune system, and the control of inflammation, all of which are important when the skin is injured (burns, cuts, skin lacerations, ulcers).