Jillian Kubala MS RD writes:
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
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.
Eating cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, broccoli, Swiss chard, and Brussels sprouts, is associated with numerous health benefits, including the reduction of chronic disease. These health benefits are directly related to the nutrient density of these veggies, including their impressive concentration of minerals. Cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli, kale, cabbage, and watercress, are especially rich in sulphur. In addition to sulphur, cruciferous vegetables are a good source of many other minerals, including magnesium, potassium, manganese, and calcium.
Although not as popular as protein sources like chicken and steak, organ meats are amongst the most mineral-dense foods you can eat.
Eggs are often referred to as nature’s multivitamin — and for good reason. Whole eggs are rich in nutrients and provide many important minerals. They’re high in iron, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium, as well as many vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants, and proteins. Although many people avoid egg yolks due to their cholesterol content, the yolks contain nearly all of the vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds, so make sure to eat the whole egg, not just the white.
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.
Avocados are creamy fruits packed with healthy fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals. They’re especially rich in magnesium, potassium, manganese, 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.
Yogurt and cheese
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.
Sardines are nutritional powerhouses and contain almost every vitamin and mineral your body needs to thrive.
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.
Leafy greens, including spinach, kale, beet greens, arugula, endive, collard greens, watercress, and lettuces, are amongst the healthiest foods you can eat. They’re not only loaded with health-promoting minerals, including magnesium, potassium, calcium, iron, manganese, and copper, but also have been associated with reduced disease risk. Leafy green vegetable intake has been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, certain cancers, diabetes, and death from all causes. The best part is that green leafy vegetables can be enjoyed in many ways. Try adding some kale to your smoothies, sautéing beet greens with your eggs, or mixing greens to create a nutrient-dense salad.
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.
The above words are just a snippet from Jillian’s original article, which can be seen in full with all information and research links here
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
thanks for reading
All the best Jan