Mineral Food Sources and Function

Posted on Mar 15, 2017 in Health Conditions, Healthy Living, Natural Health, Nutrition, Nutritional Supplements

Mineral Food Sources and Function

Minerals are referred to as the building blocks of the body whereas vitamins are viewed as catalysts. Vitamins are organic substances while minerals from plants and animals are inorganic substances. Chemical reactions in the body depend on minerals. They are critical for creating enzymes that enhance or initiate these chemical reactions for life itself. Minerals are vital and mandatory for all cellular reactions throughout the body. The process of chelation tends to occur in the intestinal tract from the newly formed ions. Dissolved minerals convert into mineral salts and then become ions; (an ion is a molecule with one or more electrons added or absent which now possess either a negative or a positive charge). The chelation process provides stability, allowing these ions to pass through the gut wall and into the blood stream.

The main composition of minerals within the body is the chelated form. To ensure a successful chelation process, minerals should be taken with a protein. To aid this process, the amino acids found in protein, along with stomach enzymes and acids, are all required elements to be present in adequate amounts. These mineral ions are innately directed to particular tissues and destinations in the body, including bone, organs and glands.

Essential Minerals (Macrominerals) and Trace Minerals


Bone building (coordinates major nutrients involved in bone health: vitamin D, calcium, magnesium and phosphorus), motor skills, learning and memory, boosts our own antioxidant protection and reduces oxidative stress

Best sources: Green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, fruit, dried fruit, legumes, vegetables, prunes and raisins. Boron is found in low amounts in animal protein and most grains


Healthy teeth and bones, works with other minerals and vitamins, cellular metabolism, nerve transmission, blood clotting, muscle stimulation and a stabilizer for pH blood levels

Best sources: All dairy products, tofu, oysters, kale, broccoli, parsley, leafy greens, asparagus, cabbage, kelp, watercress, raw nuts and seeds, whole grains, legumes, carob, figs, prunes and yeast


Necessary for fat metabolism and glucose utilization, activates enzymes for metabolism of cholesterol, comprises part of the glucose tolerance factor (GTF) and fatty acid production and energy

Best sources: Nutritional yeast, whole grains, pork, calf liver, kidney, meat, cheese, black pepper, wheat bran, rye, yellow cornmeal and chile peppers


Acid and alkaline balance, production of hydrochloric acid and an active participant in the chloride shift to do with plasma transport, one of the three most important electrolytes in the body and lung excretion

Best sources: Table salt or sea salt has sodium chloride; many vegetables and a few foods with higher amounts of chloride include seaweed, rye, tomatoes, celery, lettuce and olives


Constituent of B12, acts as a substitute for manganese and zinc in the activation of several enzymes, repair of the myelin sheath, assists with glucose transportation from the blood into the cells and assimilation of iron

Best sources: Figs, buckwheat, cabbage, beet greens, lettuce, spinach, watercress, raw milk and cheese, apricots, liver, red meat, sea vegetables, goat’s milk, apricot kernels and Irish moss


Produces energy by oxidizing (cytochrome c) for cell respiration, promotes healthy blood vessels, cofactor for several enzymes, impacts the mobilization and absorption of iron from the liver and other storage areas, involved in the production of the myelin sheath and facilitates in collagen formation

Best sources: Liver, kidney, egg yolk, whole grains, legumes, shellfish, nuts, poultry and dark green leafy vegetables, avocado, soy and cauliflower


Healthy immune system, increases oxygen performance, antioxidant, enhances Natural Killer (NK) cells and T cells, protects against food allergies and auto-immune disorders

Best sources: Garlic, Shitake mushrooms, onion, bran, whole wheat, vegetables, meat, dairy, seeds, and herbs such as comfrey, aloe vera, ginseng and suma


Essential for teeth and bones, reduces bone loss, reduces hardening of the arteries and improves hearing in the elderly

Best sources: Seafood, tea, milk, cheese, meat, eggs, fruit and vegetables (depending on soil content)


Necessary for the thyroid gland to produce thyroid hormone (once in the thyroid gland iodine becomes part of thyroxine hormones T3 and T4, involved in metabolism and regulation of cellular oxidation)

Best sources: Sea vegetables like kelp, dulse, nori, wakame, bladderwack, clams, oysters, lobsters, crabmeat and ocean fish. Fruits and vegetables must have iodine in the soil for the trace mineral to be present.


Important component of hemoglobin and myoglobin, holds oxygen in the blood, energy production, collagen synthesis and promotes healthy circulation

Best sources: Liver and organ meats, beef, lima beans, legumes, dark green leafy vegetables, sardines, prune juice, blackstrap molasses, pumpkin seeds, eggs, fish, poultry and spinach


Promotes relaxation, nervous system, muscular sensitivity, heart health, enzyme catalyst, converts fats, protein and carbohydrates to energy, and involved in the pH of blood and body fluids

Best sources: Rice bran, millet, cornmeal, green leafy vegetables, legumes, soy, whole grains, nuts and seeds. Magnesium is available in most foods.


Collagen and urea formation, production of cholesterol and fatty acids, digestion of proteins, bone development, protein synthesis, cofactor for several enzymes and synthesis of mucopolysaccharides

Best sources: Liver, kidney, wheat germ, legumes – especially beans and peas, whole grains, eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, wheat germ, wheat and nuts


Essential for three enzymes (1. metabolizes iron from the liver 2. metabolizes fat 3. breaks down sulfites, constituent of zanthine oxidase and aldehyde oxidase

Best sources: Beans, legumes, whole grains, liver, wheat germ, dark green leafy vegetables, split peas, cauliflower, eggs, brown rice, garlic and spinach


Protects cell membranes, stimulates a number of enzymes engaged in hormone and fat metabolism, involved with RNA and activation of liver enzyme arginase (a manganese containing enzyme)

Best sources: Seafood, whole grains, buckwheat, legumes, seeds, broccoli, cabbage, soy, cauliflower, spinach, meat, shellfish, dark chocolate, nuts, carrots, onions, licorice, mushrooms, sprouts, Brussels sprouts and asparagus


One of the three most important electrolytes in the body, CO-2 transport, cellular integrity, membrane transport, muscle contraction, nerve transmission, enzyme activity, heart function, growth, metabolism of proteins and carbohydrates and water balance

Best sources: White beans, legumes especially the beans, dark leafy greens, baked potatoes (with skin), dried apricots, acorn squash, yogurt (plain), fish, avocados, mushrooms (white), kiwi, bananas, rice bran, molasses, seaweed, nuts and seeds


Cell reproduction, cell division, metabolic function, bones and teeth, conversion of carbohydrates to energy, stabilizes the bloods pH acid and alkaline balance, several enzymes and B vitamins require the presence of phosphorus to work and kidney function

Best sources: Meat, fish, poultry, dairy, nuts and seeds, legume family, egg yolk, whole grains, vegetables and fruit


Immune system, takes out toxic metals, constituent of glutathione, inhibits lipid peroxidation, protects cell membranes, production of prostaglandins and promotes healthy muscles, heart and liver

Best sources: Liver, kidney, nutritional yeast, broccoli, mushrooms, cabbage, celery, seafood, onions, whole grains, garlic, cucumber, radish and vegetables

Silicon (silica)

Bones, connective tissue and vascular walls, hair, skin and nails, and nervous system

Best sources: Horsetail (herbs), oatstraw tea (decoction process), soy, seafood, bell peppers, beets and green leafy vegetables


One of the three most important electrolytes in the body, Co 2 transport, nerve transmission, muscle contraction, amino acid uptake and a main element in the lymph system

Best sources: Beets and beet greens, table salt, whey powder, dulse, kelp, baking powder and soda, butter, carrot juice, celery, celeriac, cheese, goat milk, milk, buttermilk, olives, seafood, meat and poultry


Similar role to calcium, healthy bones, prevents tooth decay and energy production in cells

Best sources: All legume family, whole grains, leafy vegetables in particular spinach and kale, root vegetables especially carrots, parsnips, brazil nuts, dairy, seafood and most plant food


Main constituent of the amino acids methionine, cysteine and the cysteine component of chondroitin sulfate and collagen, liver, brain, kidney, required for healthy bones, tendons, cartilage, hair, skin and nails

Best sources:  Dried beans, horseradish, Brussels sprouts, fish, eggs, meat, organ meats, soy, dairy, poultry, garlic, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, legumes, turnips, wheat germ and watercress


Regulates sodium in the body, formation of bones and teeth, growth, reproduction, metabolism of blood cholesterol levels and catecholamine

Best sources: Whole grains (particularly buckwheat), olives, legumes, liver, seafood, meat, vegetable oil, dill and radishes


Cofactor in twenty five enzyme reactions, assists production of protein and nucleic acids (DNA and RNA), important role in the immune system, enhances T cell production, healing, growth, detoxifies alcohol, bones, eyes, prostate and pancreas, glands, kidneys, skin and hair

Best sources: Oysters, herring, meat, black eyed peas, brazil nuts, egg yolk, liver, whole grains, nutritional yeast, pumpkin seeds, cashews, cheddar cheese, chick peas, dulse, kelp, lamb, fish, sardines, wheat germ, soy, poultry, and legumes including lentils

Copyright © 2016 – All Rights Reserved – Michelle Honda Ph.D.


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While close attention was given to the accuracy of information in this article, the author accepts neither responsibility nor liability to any person with respect to injury, damage, loss or any circumstances involving alleged causes directly or indirectly related to the information in this article. The sole purpose is to educate and broaden ones awareness. This information is not meant to replace medical advice or services provided by a health care professional.



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