Trace minerals and macrominerals perform various functions. The most plentiful mineral in the body is Calcium. Calcium helps build strong teeth and bones. Calcium rich sources are dairy products and leafy green vegetables. Phosphorus is needed for growth, and maintenance of cells and tissues and the genetic building blocks. Phosphorus is found in nuts, poultry, meat, and fish. Magnesium helps to supply energy production and helps balance calcium levels. Magnesium is found in black walnuts, almonds, cashews and green leafy vegetables. Sodium helps maintain blood pressure and blood volume. The most common type of sodium is table salt. Sodium occurs naturally in celery, milk and beets. Potassium helps to conduct electricity in the body and supports healthy heart, digestive and muscular functions. All meats, salmon, cod, dairy products, fruits and vegetables contain potassium. Chloride helps to maintain the proper balance of body fluids. Food sources of chloride are seaweed, lettuce, olives, and tomatoes. Iron is found in red blood cells that provide oxygen to body tissues. Foods rich in iron are eggs, beans, leafy green vegetables and dried fruits. Zinc supports healthy immune function and contributes to cell growth. Nuts, beef and pork are rich in zinc. Manganese makes connective tissue, and sex hormones. Pineapples, whole grains, nuts and seeds are a source of manganese. Copper helps keep the immune system and nerve cells healthy. Copper is found in seafood, legumes, fruits and vegetables. Iodine assists in normal growth and development. Lima beans, turnip green and summer squash are rich sources of iodine. Fluoride reduces tooth decay and helps maintain bone structure. Fluoride is obtained from fluoridated water, seafood, gelatin and tea. Selenium helps the immune system function properly. Butter, garlic, sunflower seeds contain selenium.
Water is a vital component that the body requires. The body can last only a few days without water. Water creates the foundation of blood, digestive juices, urine and perspiration and makes up 60 percent of body weight. Fresh water is needed every day to make up for deficiencies caused by urine, bowel movements and breathing. Water serves various functions as protecting body organs and tissues, helps prevent constipation, carries nutrients and oxygen to cells and regulates body temperature. Water is the best fluid to drink to stay well hydrated. An adequate water intake depends on factors such as the environment, exercise and any health concerns.
Dehydration is the result of losing more fluid than you take in and not drinking an adequate amount of water. Water and other fluids are needed to carry out normal functions. Diarrhea, vomiting, fever or excessive sweating are causes of dehydration. Lethargy, dark urine, low or no urine output, dry mouth and confusion are symptoms of dehydration. Severe dehydration can result in brain damage, seizures and death.
Preventing dehydration can be accomplished by drinking plenty of fluids and eating foods high in water such as fruits and vegetables drink plenty of water before, during, and after exercise, refrain from drinking coffee, colas, or other drinks that contain caffeine and alcohol. Drinking enough fluid to eliminate feeling thirsty and producing colorless or light yellow urine a day indicates an adequate fluid intake.
Minerals are a vital nutrient that is necessary for the development of a healthy body. Trace