Nutrition A to Z
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Minerals are inorganic elements and come from soil and water. Different plants and animals absorb mineral from plants and animals. Our body needs different inorganic minerals to function and sustain life.  To fulfill the mineral demands of our body, we make plants or animals or both, a part of our diet. Our body need larger amount of calcium for growth, function and development. Our body also needs other minerals like chromium, copper, iodine, iron, selenium and zinc are needed in less quantity. Sometime these minerals also referred as trace minerals.

  • Calcium
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Zinc
  • Trace Minerals
  • Chromium
  • Selenium


Calcium is important especially in the childhood and teenage years. It is bone and teeth building mineral. It is very to have enough calcium in childhood days so that it fights against calcium loss later in life. Weak bones are prone to a disease called osteoporesis, which cause bones to become brittle and break easily. Many postmenopausal women are prone to this condition.

About 99% of our total of our total body calcium is stored in different bones and remaining 1% is found throughout the body in muscle, fluid cell and blood. Calcium is required for muscle contraction, blood vessel contraction and expansion, secretion of hormones and different enzymes and sending messages through the nervous system.
Some of the good sources of calcium are milk, yogurt, cheese, broccoli, dark / green leafy vegetables, soy foods, orange juices, etc.

In 1997, the National Academy of Science set the Upper Limit (UL) of calcium intake as 2500 mg per day. Excess calcium can cause kidney stones. High blood calcium can minimize the concentration of other minerals in blood like iron, zinc, and / or magnesium etc. 
If a person did not take calcium rich diet, calcium from bone is get used by the body in blood. Insufficient calcium ingestion, decreased calcium absorption, and increased calcium loss in urine can decrease total calcium in body that might cause osteoporosis and other problems related to low calcium. 

 The adverse conditions related with high calcium intake are hypercalcemia (high concentration of calcium in blood), kidney problems and other problems associated with low concentration of minerals.

Recommended Intake of Calcium:

  • Approximately, 1000 to 1300 mg per day.


Iron is one of the most abundant element / mineral in the earths’ crust. It is necessary for all life forms. Iron is an important part of many proteins and enzymes. It helps Red Blood Cells (RBCs’) to carry oxygen to all parts of the body.
Deficiency of iron in human body develops disease like anemia. Symptoms of anemia are weakness and fatigue, lightheadedness, breath shortness, difficulty in maintaining body temperature, decreased immune function. The World Health Organization (WHO) considers iron deficiency as one of the most nutritional disorder in the world. About 80 % of world’s population is iron deficient and 30% of this is affected with iron deficient anemia.
Some of the sources of iron are red meat, pork, fish, poultry, lentils, beans and soy foods, green leafy vegetables, raisins and fortified foods like grains, cereals, flour etc.

Recommended Intake of Iron:

  • Male- Approximately 11 milligrams per day.
  • Females- Approximately 15 milligrams per day



Magnesium is found abundantly in the body, it is necessary for good health and sustains life. Our bones hold about 50% of the total magnesium content. Remaining 50% is found inside the cells of body tissues and organs. About 1% of magnesium is contained in blood but the body works too hard to hold the magnesium in blood. 
Over 300 biochemical reactions in the body need magnesium. Magnesium helps in normal functioning of muscles, heart, and immune system. Magnesium also maintains sugar level in blood and blood pressure. Magnesium also participates in protein synthesis and energy metabolism.

A deficiency of magnesium in the body results in the loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue and weakness. A slightly high deficiency of magnesium can result in numbness, tingling, muscle contraction and cramps, seizures, personality changes, heart problems and coronary spasms. Sever magnesium deficiency can result in hypocalcemia i.e. low levels of calcium in the blood. 
Some sources of magnesium are whole grains and whole grain breads, bran cereals, nuts and seeds, green leafy vegetables (like spinach), potatoes, yogurt, beans, avocados, bananas, kiwifruits, broccoli, shrimp and chocolates.

Recommended Intake of Magnesium:

  • Males: Approximately 410 milligrams per day.
  • Females: Approximately 360 milligrams per day.


Phosphorus is contained in every cell membrane of the body. Phosphorus makes our bones and teeth healthy.
Phosphorus is found in almost all the foods. Some of the sources of Phosphorus are meat, fish, and milk and dairy product.

Recommended Intake of Phosphorus:

  • Approximately, 1250 milligram each day.


Potassium supports our muscular and nervous system. Potassium also helps in water preservation in blood and tissues.
Some of the sources of potassium are potatoes with skin, broccoli, green leafy vegetables, bananas, dried fruits, citrus fruits, whole grain breads, bran cereals and legumes such as peas and lima beans. 

Recommended Intake of Potassium:

  • Approximately 2000 milligrams per day.


Zinc is a vital mineral for the growth and development of our body. Zinc also plays key role in DNA synthesis, sexual development, and in maintenance of a strong immune system. Zinc also maintain our monitor our smell and taste sense.

Some of the sources of Zinc are poultry, red meat, oysters, seafoods, nuts, dried beans, soy foods, milk and dairy products, whole grains and fortified breakfast cereals.
An excessive consumption of zinc in our diet can impair the immune system. The limit of Zinc consumption is less than 50 milligrams. Shortage of Zinc in our body system leads to diminished taste, wounds that takes longer to heal, and recurring infections that do not clear up easily.

Recommended Intake of Zinc:

  • Approximately, 10 milligrams per day.

Trace Minerals

The following minerals are required in trace amounts in the body.


Chromium is a mineral that requires in trace amounts (very less quantity).
Chromium is found primarily in two forms:

  • Chromium 3 i.e. trivalent chromium (3+), it is biologically active and found in food,
  • Chromium 6: hexavalent chromium (6+), it is highly dangerous and toxic form of chromium and comes from industrial pollution.

Chromium 3 augments the action of insulin. Insulin is a hormone, its significance in the metabolism and storage of carbohydrates, fat, and protein in the body.
Some of the sources of Chromium 3 are meat, whole grain products, some fruits, vegetables, and spices.


Selenium is a trace mineral that our body requires in very less quantity, though necessary.  Selenium integrates with proteins and makes selenoproteins, the anti-oxidizing enzymes. Selenoproteins prevents the damage to cells from free radicals. Some selenoproteins help in thyroid functioning and plays vital role in immune system.

Some of the known sources of selenium are vegetables, meats, and seafoods.

The presence of selenium in food depends on the fact that either the soil where plants grown or animals fed contains selenium or not.



n Nutrition

n Malnutrition

n Metabolism

n The 5 Food Groups

n Vitamins

n Good Fats Vs Bad Fats

n Carbohydrates

n Dietary Guidelines

n Minerals

n Height and Weight Charts

n Glossary of Terms

n Contact Us

n Home


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