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Dietary Minerals – Trace and Quantity Minerals

Nuts are rich in mineralsDietary minerals are elements that are required in our diet for proper functioning of our body. Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and Nitrogen are also elements that we need, however they are in abundance as anything that we eat is fundamentally made out of these four elements. When we say minerals in nutrition it generally represents the quantity and trace minerals such as potassium, sodium, chlorine, phosphorus  calcium, magnesium, copper, iodine, manganese, zinc, iron, selenium and molybdenum. These elements are very important for proper functioning of the body. However in very high levels they may become toxic.

The following table describes the minerals, daily requirement, their sources and the diseases caused due to deficiency as well as excess of these minerals.

Minerals Daily requirement Sources* Deficiency Excess
Potassium 4700 mg Legumes, potato outer layers close to skin, tomatoes, bananas, papayas, lentils, dry beans, whole grains,
hypokalemia hyperkalemia
Chlorine 2300 mg Table salt hypochloremia hyperchloremia
Sodium 1500 mg Table salt, sea vegetables, milk, and spinach. hyponatremia hypernatremia
Calcium 1300 mg Dairy products,green leafy vegetables, nuts, seeds, tofu, oregano, dill, cinnamon. hypocalcaemia hypercalcaemia
Phosphorus 700 mg dairy foods, bread, rice, oats. hypophosphatemia hyperphosphatemia
Magnesium 420 mg Raw nuts, soy beans, cocoa mass, spinach, chard, sea vegetables, tomatoes,beans, ginger, cumin, cloves magnesium deficiency hypermagnesemia
Zinc 11 mg (Trace) dry beans, mushrooms, spinach, asparagus, green peas,
yoghurt, oats, seeds
zinc deficiency zinc toxicity
Iron 18 mg (Trace) Grains, dry beans, spinach, chard, turmeric, cumin,
parsley, lentils, tofu, asparagus, salad greens, soybeans
anaemia iron overload
Manganese 2.3 mg (Trace) Spelt grain, brown rice, beans, spinach, pineapple, soybeans, raspberries, strawberries, garlic, squash, cloves, cinnamon, turmeric manganese deficiency manganism
Copper 900 µg (Trace) Mushrooms, spinach, greens, seeds, raw cashews, raw walnuts, barley copper deficiency copper toxicity
Iodine 150 µg (Trace) Sea vegetables, iodized salt, strawberries, mozzarella
cheese, yogurt, milk,
iodine deficiency iodism
Selenium 55 µg (Trace) Brazil nuts, mustard, mushrooms, barley, cheese, garlic, tofu, seeds selenium deficiency selenosis
Molybdenum 45 µg (Trace) Tomatoes, onions, carrots molybdenum deficiency
Alternativemedicinewiz.com promotes lacto-vegetarianism, so the sources given are predominantly vegetarian

Both dietary minerals and vitamins in correct quantities are extremely important for proper functioning of the body. All we need is a well planned balanced diet, however if the hectic lifestyle is not permitting you to have a balanced diet, then one can opt for dietary supplements. However learn more about dietary supplements before going for one.

About the author


Ajithkumar, an Engineer and a management professional is the founder of AlternativeMedicineWiz.com. He’s practiced Yoga and Pranayama for more than a decade, after learning it from his renowned guru Gireeshan. He has a keen interest in Ayurveda and Siddha medicine.