My Tropicana Slim

Your Guide to Healthy Lifestyle

What Are Minerals?

Minerals makes up only about 4% -5% of body weight, but they are essential nutrients to regulate body processes (regulate fluid balance, muscle contractions, nerve impulses) and give body structure. Unlike the organic vitamins, minerals are inorganic, thus cannot be destroyed by heat or other food handling process.

All minerals from food are absorbed in intestines. Once they enter the body, they will remain there to be used or be part of the body structure (eg: bones, teeth). Any excess amounts are excreted. However, body stores minerals too; high level of consumption over long time can be harmful to body.

For diet, minerals are grouped into two categories:

i) Major minerals:
a. Needed in greater amounts
b. Example: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, chloride & potassium

ii) Trace minerals:
a. Needed in very small amount
b. Example: iron, zinc, iodine, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum.

Some of the minerals tend to be consumed in less than optimal amounts, those include calcium and iron. Refer table below to understand their importance, deficiency symptoms and food sources.

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Guest Columnist
Lai Huey Qin
Dietitian
B. Sc Dietetics, UPM

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This entry was posted on March 20, 2013 by .
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