Minerals are elements that are found in the earth and food and essential to life. For example, minerals are needed for heart and brain function, as well as the production of hormones and enzymes.
Minerals are divided into two categories based on how much the human body needs. Macrominerals are needed in larger amounts and include calcium, potassium, sodium, chloride, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Although equally important, trace minerals, including iron, copper, fluoride, selenium, zinc, chromium, molybdenum, iodine, and manganese, are needed in smaller amounts.
Minerals can be found in a variety of foods, but some foods are especially abundant in these important nutrients.
Here are sixteen foods that are rich in minerals.
Nuts and seeds are packed with an array of minerals but particularly rich in magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, and phosphorus.
Shellfish, including oysters, clams, and mussels, are concentrated sources of minerals and packed with selenium, zinc, copper, and iron.
Although not as popular as protein sources like chicken and steak, organ meats are amongst the most mineral-dense foods you can eat.
Beans are known for being packed with fibre and protein, but they also happen to be an abundant source of minerals, including calcium, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, copper, and zinc.
Adding cocoa to smoothies, munching on a piece of dark chocolate, or sprinkling your yogurt with cacao nibs are satisfying ways to increase your mineral intake. Although they’re not often associated with being nutrient-dense, cocoa products are loaded with minerals. Cocoa and cocoa products are particularly rich in magnesium and copper.
Berries, including strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries, are not only delicious but also an excellent source of important minerals. Berries are a good source of potassium, magnesium, and manganese.
Dairy products, including yogurt and cheese, are some of the most common sources of calcium in the diet. Calcium is needed to maintain a healthy skeletal system and essential for your nervous system and heart health. Studies show that many people, especially older adults, do not consume enough calcium in their diets. Adding high quality dairy like yogurt and cheese to your diet is a good way to increase your intake of calcium, as well as other minerals like potassium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium. However, many people are intolerant to dairy products. If you cannot eat dairy, many other foods contain calcium, including beans, nuts, and leafy greens.
Spirulina is a blue-green alga that’s sold in powder form and can be added to beverages like smoothies, as well as dishes like yogurt and oatmeal. It’s loaded with minerals like iron, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, and consuming it may benefit your health in many ways.
Eating ancient grains, including amaranth, millet, quinoa, and sorghum, has been associated with a variety of health benefits. Unlike refined grains, ancient grains are high in a number of important nutrients, including magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and copper.
Starchy vegetables like sweet potatoes, potatoes, butternut squash, and parsnips make excellent alternatives to refined carbs like white rice and pasta. Although many (especially diabetics) do avoid eating starchy vegetables due to their high carb content they are nutritious and packed with fibre, as well as antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
Tropical fruits grow in tropical or subtropical climates and include bananas, mango, pineapple, passion fruit, guava, and jackfruit. In addition to being rich in antioxidants, fibre, and vitamins, many tropical fruits are excellent sources of minerals, such as potassium, manganese, copper, and magnesium.
The bottom line
Minerals are vital to your health, and maintaining optimal mineral levels is essential to feeling your best. Yet, many people don’t get enough minerals in their diet. Still, it’s easy to increase your mineral intake, as many foods, including the nutritious foods listed above, are packed with a variety of minerals. Try adding some, or all, of the foods on this list into your diet to increase your mineral intake, decrease your disease risk, and improve the overall quality of your diet.
Some other helpful/interesting posts
You can read our 'Introduction to low-carb for beginners' post here
You can read 'Why low carb' post here
You can read 'What is LCHF Anyway' post here
All the best Jan