From the hair on your head to the bones that support you and the blood that runs through you, your body relies on minerals for optimal health. Minerals are broken into two categories: macro-minerals (calcium, potassium, magnesium) and trace minerals (selenium, copper, manganese). Since neither type of mineral is made by the body, we must acquire them from food or water. The challenge is getting enough trace minerals. There are over seventy known trace minerals, many of which play critical roles in human health. Trace minerals are not commonly added to vitamin-mineral formulas, so it is essential to acquire them in different ways, including a trace mineral supplement.
Why You Need a Trace Mineral Supplement
There was a time when non-processed foods, like dark leafy greens (and others), provided all the minerals we need. But today, that’s not the case. According to The US Department of Agriculture and other research organizations, our food remains relatively stable in terms of vitamins but deficient in minerals, particularly trace minerals.
Symptoms of mineral deficiencies are varied and can surface at any time. They can include:
- GI issues: constipation, bloating, diarrhea, poor digestion
- Poor immune function
- Impaired cognitive function: memory, learning, brain fog
- Muscle issues: pain, spasms, cramping, weakness
- Heart issues
- Generalized pain, weakness or fatigue
- Developmental delays or behavioral issues
So, how do we address this dilemma?
Eat healthy, non-processed foods, especially dark leafy greens, vegetables, fruit, nuts, legumes and lean proteins. Supplement with a good quality multiple vitamin and mineral formula (macrominerals) and use a separate trace mineral formula.
Trace minerals are acquired from the mineral rich waters found in certain oceans and seas around the globe such as the Great Salt Lake and the Australian Ocean. They can also be plant-derived. These can be taken as a capsule, liquid, powder and even added to your water. Your holistic health practitioner can test your mineral levels should they suspect a deficiency or imbalance. They can also guide you regarding the best product and dose.
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McCormick, Donald B. “Vitamin/Trace Mineral Supplements for the Elderly.” Advances in Nutrition 3.6 (2012): 822–824. PMC.
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Welch, RM, and RD Graham. “Breeding for Micronutrients in Staple Food Crops from a Human Nutrition Perspective.” Journal of Experimental Botany. 55.396 (2004): 353-64. Print.