If you have been following along for a while, you may be familiar with my #FoodFact series I started when I first opened my business.
The intention with these posts was to help educate others on the basic, valuable nutrients found in the simplicity of- food!
The goal was a to break down each Vitamin and Mineral to understand: it’s basic function, how it worked in the body, WHY we need it, how to get it through diet and what to look for when supplementing.
Hopefully, it’s been a useful tool for some and for others, maybe a fun way to learn a few #FunFacts!
At the end of 2021 I had completed the essential Vitamins list and so, we are on our way to understand what Minerals are… what ones are essential, what ones are slowly becoming recognized as essential and certain toxic minerals & heavy metals to avoid.
But first, let’s do a quick recap:
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL VITAMINS?
Vitamins are essential for growth, vitality and health but are not part of the bodies tissues meaning they are not the building blocks for our body but are the helpers in metabolism.
Essential Vitamins are a group of micronutrients that include fat-soluble & water-soluble nutrients. We obtain these organic elements through diet (plant or animal based) as most cannot be manufactured in our body. Vitamins help convert macronutrients (fats, carbs & protein) to be more bioavailable or metabolically useful but are not sources of energy.
ESSENTIAL VITAMINS we covered:
Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and the B vitamins (B1 – thiamine, B2 – riboflavin, B3 – niacin, B5 – pantothenic acid, biotin, B6 – pyridoxine, B7 – biotin, B9 – folate and B12 – cobalamin) are considered essential to the body and are the main topics we have covered so far.
Now, starting in 2022 we will begin the BIG discussion of: MINERALS
Minerals are what we like to call ‘elements’. The cool part about these elements, is that we are still discovering them!! Currently there are 118 elements (also known as the periodic table) however, scientists have now begun trying to find elements 119, 120 and 121.
“Remember the word attachment when you think about the future minerals, because attachment is going to rule the day when it comes to mineral nourishment. Already we have a good handle on the idea of chelation, and in the supplement world we are already producing a variety of mineral chelates by attaching minerals to different amino acids. We’re going to see the partnership becoming as important as the mineral itself. “Who” the mineral hangs out with is going to become more and more critical. We’re going to start insisting on more and more specialized mineral delivery forms. We will also start treating mineral more like lovers and loners. Magnesium with calcium, copper with zinc- the relationships are going to captivate more and more of our health energy.” – Elson M. Haas, MD in the 21st century edition of ‘Staying Healthy with Nutrition’
WHAT ARE ESSENTIAL MINERALS
Minerals are the basic building blocks of all matter meaning our body cannot “produce” minerals in the sense of making them from “scratch”. Similar to Vitamins, there are minerals that are considered essential (such as macrominerals & elements plus some microminerals), some that we are slowly recognizing as being essential (such as certain micro/trace-minerals) and then there are toxic minerals & heavy metals to be mindful and aware of.
Minerals are the other group of micronutrients that are the building blocks for our body, as they are the natural elements of the earth and cannot be reduced to a simpler substance.
WHAT ARE THE MINERALS TO BE AWARE OF?
Major Minerals (Macrominerals considered essential): Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sodium & Sulfur.
Trace Minerals (Microminerals considered essential in small amounts): Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Selenium, Silicon & Zinc.
Trace Minerals (Microminerals possibly essential): Boron, Fluoride, Germanium, Lithium, Nickel, Rubidium, Strontium, Tin, Vanadium.
Toxic Minerals/Heavy Metals (Minerals to be aware of and avoid): Aluminum, Arsenic, Cadmium, Lead, Mercury, Antimony, Barium, Beryllium, Bismuth, Bromine, Thallium and Uranium.
OKAY so THAT is the quick crash-course through essential vitamins & minerals. Although that’s all good and dandy information to know, there’s also a few key components to consider when picking nutrient dense food because (sadly) the quality of our food is not what it used to be… and that, is primarily due to our environment changing and the toxicity load (specifically in our soils).
IMPORTANT FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN SOURCING INGREDIENTS
Essentially, when sourcing anything these days it’s a good idea to take some time to do your homework and research. There is SO much data and SO much information out there that it’s easy enough to make the best educated decision for yourself however, what is it that we’re looking for?! When sourcing food / ingredients here are a few things to look for and consider:
- Quality > Quantity: Look for nutrient-dense ingredients that have been grown or produced as locally to YOU as possible. Items grown/produced closer to your hometown will be more fresh and will have less economical footprint (meaning they may be more affordable as well).
- Opt for organic, non-GMO or unsprayed products: our soils are the main reason we have nutritionally depleted foods. Plus all of the chemicals, spraying and toxins added to the growing and production of food vastly reduces the nutritional value (and adds worse chemicals to it!!).
- WHERE and HOW your food grows is JUST as important as how you use it! What chemicals are being used in the soils? What chemicals are in the water? What is the air pollution like? What is the agricultural environment like? What are the farming practices? There are SO many contributing factors to the quality of food. If you can, support a local farmer that lives near you!
- Don’t have local farms near you? Try growing a few basics at home! Indoor herb gardens and more are becoming much more popular. Try a roof or wall garden to save space, join a community garden or see more of my tips below!