When we talk about nutrition and a healthy diet, we often classify vitamins and minerals together as one nutrient. This is not entirely surprising, as without minerals we can't get the full benefits of the vitamins that we eat.
Of all of the minerals available to us, the 10 most important ones that we need to incorporate into a healthy diet are:
Let's take a look at these different minerals one by one, so that we can learn a little more about what they do and why they're an essential factor of a balanced, healthy diet.
When you ingest the nutrient calcium through the foods you eat as part of a healthy diet, it binds together with the vitamin D in our bodies and helps to strengthen our teeth and bones.
Iron is an essential nutrient and a vital component of a healthy diet, as it allows our bodies to produce healthy red and white blood cells, and also helps with the construction and general health of our muscles.
Magnesium can help our bodies to make better use of some of the nutrients that belong to the vitamin B complex group, and it also helps to regulate the levels of sodium and potassium in the body, making it vital for a healthy diet.
Zinc is an essential member of the nutrient family due to its antioxidant properties and the vital role that it plays in maintaining a strong and healthy immune system
When we hear the word iodine we usually think of the orange coloured antiseptic used to treat minor injuries in hospital. However, iodine is an essential nutrient that has many internal benefits for the body too.
Phosphorus is one of the essential minerals, due to its integral use in nearly every one of our biological and cellular processes.
You're probably familiar with copper being used as a material for manufacturing cooking implements and pipe work - however, copper, one of the essential minerals, is also an important trace element that can be found all around the body.
Like sodium and chloride, potassium is an electrolyte - when they dissolve in the bloodstream, they take on a positive or negative charge.