Minerals for Good Health
Minerals are required for a healthy, fit body and are present in fresh food. Processed foods are often lacking in something, and minerals and vitamins can be dramatically reduced from fresh food in processing. By eating as much fresh food as possible, there is more chance of absorbing the vitamins and minerals we require every day. The major minerals we require are calcium, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
An important mineral especially for the bones, which is where 99 percent of the calcium in our bodies is stored. Itís also important for healthy teeth and gums. The best source of calcium is dairy products. Good sources of calcium in garden vegetables include: Turnip greens, broccoli, and kale.
Required by almost every cell in the body, with 85 percent of it stored in the bones. Phosphorus helps keep cells, bones and teeth healthy. The best sources of phosphorus are normally high protein foods such as dairy, produce, fish and meat. Good sources of phosphorous in garden vegetables include: Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, mushrooms, broad beans and globe artichokes.
Plays a role in energy and metabolism and is important in controlling calcium in the blood and processing fat. The best sources of magnesium are wheat germ, dairy products and chocolates. Good sources of magnesium in garden vegetables include: Spinach, broad beans, green beans, broccoli, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.
Keeps the water balance in our bodies under control. In addition to keeping water levels correct, sodium plays a part in nerve impulses and muscle contractions. It also helps keep the acid alkaline levels balanced. The best source of sodium is salt. Other sources include cheese, canned olives and packaged cereals. There is only a trace of sodium in fresh garden vegetables. If no processed foods are consumed on a daily basis, it is enough to add just a little salt when cooking.
Along with sodium, potassium helps keep the acid/alkaline balance in the body. It also helps store sugar and is essential for muscle function. The best sources of potassium are whole grains, dairy products and red meats. Good sources of potassium in garden vegetables include: Asparagus, spinach, tomatoes, broad beans and potatoes.
Adapted from Grow Your Own Pharmacy by Linda Gray (Findhorn Press, 2007).