Minerals are the elements which are present in small amounts about 4% of human body weight constitute minerals. They play important role in metabolism of body.
Categories of minerals: there about 25 types of element found in the body. On the basis of their amount required by body, these are grouped into 2 categories:
i. Macro elements: These are required in large amount (more than 1gm). These include Ca, Mg, K, Na, Cl, S & P.
ii. Micro elements: these are required only in small amounts (less than 1 gm). These are also called as trace elements. These includes Cu, Co, Cr, Zn, Se, Fe, Mn, I, F, etc.
Macro elements: Important macro elements are
a) Calcium- It is found mainly in dairy products, egg, wheat germ, and dark green vegetables. It is useful for the formation of bone and teeth. It help in blood clotting and keeps muscles and nerve activity normal. Its deficiency causes rickets and muscle spasms.
b) Magnesium- Its main sources are dairy products, cereals, green leafy vegetables, seafood, chocolate, and wheat germ. It helps in release of energy. It also acts as catalyst. It helps in muscle relaxation and keeps nerves relaxed. Its deficiency causes convulsion and hallucinations.
c) Potassium: It is found in most of fruits and vegetables, and wheat germ. It is important for normal muscle and nerve activity. It is an alkalinizing agent and hence prevents acidosis. Its deficiency causes muscle disorders including cardiac muscle and nerves.
d) Sodium- its main sources are table salt, food, and wheat germ. It works with potassium. It maintains pH balance of body fluid. It helps in muscle activity and transmission of nerve impulses. Its deficiency causes cramps, diarrhea and dehydration.
e) Chlorine- it is found in salt, seafood vegetables, and chlorinated water. It is essential for pH balance of body fluid.
f) Sulphur- its sources are meat, dairy products and eggs. It is essential for synthesis of vitamin B1 and essential for healthy for healthy hairs, skin, nails. Its deficiency may interfere with healthy growth of hair and nail.
g) Phosphorus- its sources are meat, fish, egg, dairy product and wheat germ. It is important for formation of bone, teeth, and biomembranes and it keeps muscles and nerve activity normal. It is a part of energy carriers (ATP, ADP, AMP) nucleic acids (DNA, RNA) and coenzymes (NAD, NADP, FMN, FAD). Its deficiency causes loss of bone minerals and many metabolic disorders.
a) Chromium- it is found in meats and animal proteins except fish, black gram, soybeans, carrots, brown nuts and tomatoes. It works with insulin in the metabolism of sugar. Its deficiency causes diabetes like problems.
b) Cobalt- it is obtain from milk, meats. It is a part of vitamin B12. It helps in erythropoesis and in the action of certain enzymes.
c) Copper- it occurs in peanuts, beet, barley, soybeans, peas etc. it promotes utilizations of iron in the hemoglobin. Its deficiency causes anemia.
d) Fluorine- it is found in fish, tea, most city water supplies. It maintains healthy teeth. Its deficiency causes weak teeth which are prone to decay.
e) Iodine- it is found in iodized salt, seafood, drinking water, and onions. Iodine is a component of thyroxin hormone of thyroid gland. Its deficiency cause goiter.
f) Iron- it is found in most meats, dried nuts, cereals, beans, honey, green leafy vegetables, etc. it is a component of hemoglobin. Its deficiency causes anemia.
g) Manganese- it is present in liver, nuts, legumes and wheat grams. It is important for normal reproduction, function of mammary glands and synthesis of hemoglobin. Its deficiency causes infertility. Spongy bones, menstrual problems and unpaired causes infertility, spongy bones menstrual problems and unpaired fat metabolism.
h) Molybdenum- it is present in wheat, black gram, peas, wheat, black grams, peas, bajra, cabbage etc. it is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin and absorption of iron. Its deficiency causes some disturbances in iron metabolism.
i) Zinc- it is present in soybeans, black grams, wheat, groundnuts, coconut, onions, peas, almonds, milk and eggs. It’s very important mineral. It is a co factors of many enzymes such a carbonic anhydrate and alcohol dehydrogenase. It is also essential for metabolism of vitamin A and hastens healing of wounds. Its deficiency in diet causes poor growth, slow sexual development, impaired wound healing.