Every mineral has it’s own health benefits, and so I’ve listed the key ones for you here.
In most cases I’ve also included information about it’s effect on fertility health, so that it’s clear as to how important each one is.
When I mention a nutrient in this list, I am referring to the natural nutrient as it exists in nature and in food -and not the nutrients that are used in supplements.
Supplementation, in my opinion, is not the best way to obtain these nutrients, which is why I share my food posts with you in this blog.
Use the contents list here to more easily access the individual nutrients.
Sodium has many health benefits including promoting digestion, promoting restful sleep and preventing muscle cramps.
It plays a role in the conduction of nerve signals to the brain, which is essential for movement. Sodium also helps with the regulation of blood pressure and volume, and fluid maintenance, to ensure you have enough fluid around your cells. This is important for the health of all cells including egg and sperm cells.
Natural sources of sodium are apples, bananas, cabbage, egg yolks, leafy green vegetables, and salt.
It is advisable when using salt to use a mineral or earth salt rather than sea salt, to reduce your exposure to environmental toxins.
Selenium is one component of antioxidant enzymes and is also used by the body to help support thyroid health – particularly the conversion of thyroid hormones from one to the other. Thyroid health is fundamental to your general and fertility health and future pregnancy.
Natural sources of selenium are: Brazil nuts, Barley, Beef, Brown Rice, Cod, Eggs, Halibut, Liver, Mushrooms, Poultry and Shellfish (Oysters, Clams, Mussels, Scallops)
Potassium is an electrolyte which counteracts the effects of sodium, helping to maintain consistent blood pressure levels – another important element for pregnancy. Many processes in the body rely on a small electric current to function, and electrolytes provide this current.
Potassium is required to keep the brain, heart, kidneys, muscle tissue, and other important organs in good condition. Its health benefits are; boosting the immune system, Improving bone health, improving muscle strength, blood sugar regulation, blood pressure regulation, and maintaining optimal nerve and brain function.
Natural sources of potassium are: Dried apricots, banana, broccoli, bell pepper, chicken, cod, citrus fruits, Kiwi, potatoes, salmon, sardines, sweet potatoes ,strawberries, tomatoes and watermelon
Phosphorus is an element that plays an important role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. It is essential in our diet and particularly in children when growth and development occurs most.
The health benefits of Phosphorus are: improved digestion; formation of healthy bone; hormone balance; kidney health; elimination of muscle weakness and fatigue; muscle maintenance; and repair of cells and tissues.
Natural sources of Phosphorus are: broccoli, eggs, garlic, legumes, meats, nuts, tuna, dairy products and whole grains.
Magnesium supports a healthy immune system as well as keeping bones strong. It is also great for stress, and combined with vitamin B6 can help induce sleep and alleviate symptoms of bloating and weight gain associated with PMS.
The production of Vitamin D also relies on Magnesium, and many people that are deficient in Vitamin D also have a Magnesium deficiency. Before taking a Vitamin D supplement I would recommend increasing Magnesium intake, whilst also increasing sun exposure, and then retest Vitamin D levels after 4 weeks.
Many people experience heightened stress levels and develop magnesium deficiency as it is a difficult nutrient to obtain from your diet. Crab meat has a high source of Magnesium, but many people will need to supplement this mineral.
Magnesium is helpful for cell function, and if you become deficient you can quickly experience increased stress feelings, disturbed sleep, or muscle cramping.
Natural sources of Magnesium are: crab meat, artichoke, barley, fish, leafy green vegetables, sweet potatoes and whole grains.
Manganese is a naturally occurring mineral which aids in the formation of connective tissue, bones, blood-clotting factors, and sex hormones. It is a powerful antioxidant which neutralises the damaging particles of free radicals. It plays a role in fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, and blood sugar regulation.
Natural sources of Manganese are: Almonds, Bananas, Beetroot, blackberries, cucumber, Green vegetables, Garlic, Grapes, leeks, pineapple, raspberries and strawberries
Iron is a mineral that the body uses to carry oxygen in the blood.
It has many functions but also plays a key role in strengthening the immune system and regulating body temperature.
Natural sources of Iron are: Liver, Red meats, Leafy green vegetables, Fish, Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Legumes, Lentils, and Whole Grains
Iodine is an element. It cannot be produced in the human body and so we need to acquire it the foods we eat.
Around 60% of iodine is stored in the thyroid gland and controls the metabolic rate of your body. Without iodine energy levels are affected and hormones can get out of balance.
A sufficient quantity of iodine is required in pregnant women to prevent stillbirth or neurocognitive conditions like cretinism in newborn babies. A deficiency can lead to gestational hypertension, which can result in a number of complications during pregnancy.
An adequate level of iodine ensures proper movement and growth of the baby, along with proper speech and hearing development.
A deficiency of iodine can also contribute to infertility.
Studies show that a pregnant or nursing woman can lose more than her entire required daily dose of iodine every day, which can result in a serious deficiency for her even after pregnancy and breastfeeding are over.
Long term depletion of iodine typically results in the development of a Goiter (swelling around the neck), which causes complications for the Thyroid.
Seaweed is a naturally rich source of iodine and is used in Chinese medicine to decrease Goiters, due to the iodine and naturally occurring salts, which soften and reduce physical masses. Seaweed should only be used under the supervision of a health practitioner. If used in the wrong situation it could make the Thyroid worse.
Natural sources of Iodine are Cod, Garlic, Haddock, Halibut, Lobster, Oyster, Salmon, Sea bass, Seaweed, Spinach, Swiss chard, Summer squash.
Calcium is needed to build and maintain strong bones, support heart health, and for optimal function of the muscles and nerves. It is also required alongside Vitamin D to aid in its use throughout the body.
Natural sources of Calcium are Sesame Seeds, Broccoli, Cabbage, Kale, Okra, Swiss chard, Fermented Soy Beans.
Copper is essential for overall health and is involved in many processes in the body. It cannot be produced by the body and must, therefore, be consumed through food.
Combined with iron it enables the body to form red blood cells, which carry oxygen around the body as well as helping with wound healing. Copper helps maintain healthy bones, blood vessels, nerves, and immune function, and it contributes to iron absorption.
Too much or too little copper can have a big impact on fertility, particularly for men. Sperm health can be greatly affected by an imbalance of copper.
Natural sources of copper are: shellfish, oysters, dark leafy greens, dried fruit, whole grains and organ meats such as Liver and Kidney.
Zinc benefits include maintaining brain function, strengthening bones, boosting your immune system, increasing energy levels, and enhancing reproductive health.
Zinc is essential for the repair and function of DNA, which affects sperm and egg quality.
It’s also essential for the rapid growth of cells and the building of major parts of cells during pregnancy. The development and enzyme activity that takes place during pregnancy is supported by zinc, which means that this is one of the most important nutrients for babies and mothers.
Zinc is also involved in making red blood cells (along with iron) and hemoglobin, which transport nutrients around your body helping to support your organ and cellular health.
In women, zinc supports all of the reproductive phases, including the stages of birth and milk production.
In men zinc assists in spermatogenesis and the development of the sex organs.
For sperm health this mineral plays a major role in a number of ways:
- It acts as a sedative for the sperm so that they don’t expend energy unnecessarily.
- It protects the reproductive DNA inside the sperm from breaking down, so a correct transfer of genetic information takes place.
- Once inside the female reproductive tract, the sperm quickly disperses and has a sudden burst of activity, which propels it towards the fallopian tubes.
- Zinc is an essential part of the enzymes that allow sperm to penetrate into the female egg
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