Health One Family Medicine

6 Essential Minerals, Their Functions, and Sources

Essential minerals are nutrients that are important for maintaining a healthy body. They are inorganic components that play several functional roles in human cells. The body’s organs utilize these minerals for energy production, growth, movement, development, and the maintenance of internal homeostasis.

All minerals are divided into two main groups based on the amounts required for normal body function: macrominerals and microminerals. A balanced diet provides both macrominerals and microminerals to keep you physically and mentally healthy.

This blog will discuss essential minerals and their functions and sources.

Essential Macrominerals

1. Magnesium

Magnesium is an essential element found in bones. Your body needs it to make protein and contract muscles. It also needs magnesium for nerve transmission and to maintain immune system health.

The best sources of magnesium are nuts and seeds. Legumes and leafy, green vegetables also contain high amounts of magnesium. Easting seafood, artichokes, and chocolate can also add magnesium to your body.

Daily requirements:

  • Men aged 19-30: 400 milligrams
  • Men aged 31 and above: 420 milligrams
  • Women aged 19-30: 310 milligrams (unless pregnant or breastfeeding)
  • Women aged 31 and above: 320 milligrams (unless pregnant or breastfeeding)
  • Pregnant women: 350-360 milligrams
  • Breastfeeding women: 310-320 milligrams

2. Potassium

Our bodies need potassium for a variety of functions. This essential mineral helps with proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction. It also helps control blood pressure and makes kidney stones less likely.

Fresh fruits and vegetables, meat, milk, legumes, and whole grains are the best sources of potassium.

Daily requirements:

  • Adults: 4,700 milligrams (unless breastfeeding)
  • Breastfeeding women: 5,100 milligrams

3. Sodium

Like potassium, our bodies also need sodium for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction and relaxation. Sodium also helps maintain stable blood pressure levels.

Table salt, bread, vegetables, unprocessed meats, soy sauce, processed foods, and milk are all good sources of sodium.

Daily requirements:

  • Adults aged 19-50: up to 1,500 milligrams
  • Adults aged 51-70: up to 1,300 milligrams
  • Adults aged 71 and above: up to 1,200 milligrams

Essential Microminerals

1. Iodine

Iodine is an essential micromineral that is found in the thyroid hormone. It helps regulate growth and development. It also boosts metabolism and aids brain and bone development in pregnant women and infants.

The best sources of iodine are foods grown in iodine-rich soil, bread, seafood, iodized salt, and dairy products.

Daily requirements:

  • Adults: 150 micrograms (unless pregnant or breastfeeding)
  • Pregnant women: 209 micrograms
  • Breastfeeding women: 290 micrograms

2. Iron

Iron is an essential micromineral that is part of the hemoglobin molecule found in red blood cells. This molecule carries oxygen in the body. Our bodies need iron to convert blood sugar into energy. They also need iron for blood production and healthy skin, hair, and nails.

Organ meat, red meat, fish, poultry, shellfish, legumes, egg yolks, dried fruits, dark, leafy greens, and iron-enriched bread and cereals are all wonderful sources of iron.

Daily requirements:

  • Men aged 19 and above: 8 milligrams
  • Women aged 19-50: 18 milligrams (unless pregnant or breastfeeding)
  • Women aged 51 and above: 8 milligrams
  • Pregnant women: 27 milligrams
  • Breastfeeding women: 10 milligrams

3. Zinc

Zinc is a micromineral that is an essential part of many enzymes. Our body needs zinc to make protein and genetic material. It also needs zinc to heal wounds, aid healthy fetal development, produce sperm, encourage normal growth and sexual maturation and boost immune system health.

Meats, poultry, fish, leavened whole grains, and vegetables are the best sources of zinc.

Daily requirements:

  • Men: 11 milligrams
  • Women: 8 milligrams (unless pregnant or breastfeeding)
  • Pregnant women: 11 milligrams
  • Breastfeeding women: 12 milligrams

Does your diet fulfill your daily mineral requirements, or do you have a mineral deficiency? Head over to Health One Family Medicine today for your physical. To make an appointment with a physician at Health One Family Medicine, visit or call (469)262-5762.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *