Compared to vitamins, minerals do not attract much attention though they play a vital role in our body's metabolism. Let us study some of them here. Phosphorus is an important mineral whose characteristics are that it acts in conjunction with calcium to build bones and teeth. Phosphorus is essential for smooth muscular activity. It acts to stimulate brain and nerve cells.
Sodium is a constituent of saliva,gastric juices and intestinal fluids and helps in the digestive process. Sodium has the tendency to increase blood pressure and so useful in treating low blood pressure but harmful to high blood pressure patients. Sodium deficiency may impair hearing. Excess sodium consumption may lead to high blood pressure and may cause body water retention hence moderation is the key.
Chlorine is vital to the digestive process since it is a constituent of hydrochloric acid in the stomach that digests the food. Chlorine helps in body fluid balance.
Zinc is an essential mineral helps in male virility. It is vital for healthy hair and skin. It plays a role in healing wounds. It is essential for body growth as it is part of enzymes that control major metabolic activities.
Magnesium deficiency symptoms are appetite loss and vomiting. Magnesium is vital for transmission of nerve impulses.
Potassium helps water retention in cells. It ensures proper working of all muscles including heart. Both low and excess amounts of potassium is harmful affecting cardiovascular functions and may prove fatal hence supplements should not be taken without doctor's advice. It helps in transmission of nerve impulses.
Iodine prevents wrinkles in skin. Iodine helps the thyroid gland function. Iodine deficiency causes the swelling of thyroid gland and this condition is called goiter. This can be prevented by using iodized table salt. Iodine is important for the production of hormone thyroxin by the thyroid gland for regulating rate of metabolism that controls all physical and mental functions.
Sulfur is a constituent of amino acidscystine and methionine. Not much is known about this mineral as the information on this mineral is limited except that it is important for the body functions. Sulfur is present in almost all cells of the body.
Selenium is known to fight chemically induced cancer and only a trace amount is necessary.
Fluorine helps in the formation strong teeth and it is available in ground water. Fluorine is toxic in large quantities
Chromium is needed for the metabolism of blood sugar.
Vanadium is useful in maintaining blood sugar levels healthy. It is advisable to consume many different foods so that we can have adequate quantities from a variety of sources.