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What Happens If You Don't Get Enough of 3 Essential Minerals in your Body

Updated on October 30, 2012

There are three essential minerals that you need to make sure to get into your diet if youwant to increase your health. Those minerals are calcium, iron and iodine.Failure to get these three minerals can result in serious consequences such asanemia or problems with your bone development. Luckily, these minerals are easyto find in foods that you are probably already consuming. In fact, theseminerals are each found in different foods so the most important thing will bethat you are eating a well rounded diet.

Let’s take a closer look at these three important mineralsand what happens to your body when you don’t get enough of them:

1. Calcium.Most people know that it is very important to eat enough calcium. This mineralis what makes your bones strong. If you don’t get enough calcium during yourdeveloping years then you can have problems with bone growth and you may evendevelop a serious condition called rickets. If you don’t get enough calcium inyour adult years then you can experience bone loss and will be more prone tobroken bones as you age. Women who have already gone through menopause areparticularly susceptible to this problem. What you might not know is thatcalcium is an important mineral for other reasons as well. Calcium helps to controlmuscle contractions, initiate DNA synthesis, signal biochemical processes at the cellular level, improve your metabolism and even properly clot the blood.Failure to get enough calcium into your diet can affect all of these differentthings going on in the body and can have significant effects on your long-termhealth.

2. Iron. Anothervery important mineral that we need to get enough of is iron. Many people knowthat a lack of iron can result in anemia which is a blood problem. This is dueto the fact that iron serves the purpose of helping to produce blood cells in the human body. Ironhelps to carry oxygen throughout the body and also aids in digestion. If youdon’t get enough iron then you can suffer from a number of different healthproblems, the most common of which is chronic fatigue. You may simply feel tootired to do anything. Additionally, you may find that your food doesn’t digestproperly, your immune system is weakened and therefore you get sick more oftenand your memory or brain function is slowed down a bit. You can also get acondition called glossitis with is an uncomfortable swelling of the tongue. Atits most severe, this condition can actually block your airway and make itdifficult for you to breathe.

3. Iodine.Most people are aware of the fact that they need calcium and iron but they maynot be aware of the fact that they need a third important mineral in theirdiet: iodine. Iodine works in the thyroid which affects your hormone levels.This can alter everything from your mood to your metabolic rate. Failure to getenough iodine in your diet can result in a feeling of fatigue or lethargy. Itcan also cause weight gain, dry skin and the growth of a goiter in the neck.Children who don’t get enough iodine in their bodies may have problems withmental development although this is rare in developed nations.

How to Get These 3Important Minerals

It is clear that calcium, iron and iodine are importantminerals for your total health and wellbeing. Failure to get enough of thisminerals can result in problems ranging from feeling tired to developinguncomfortable abnormalities like a goiter or swelled tongue. It can also leadto serious problems with childhood development or with issues related to aging.So you need to get this minerals in proper doses. How should you do that?

The best way to get the right minerals into your body is toconsume them as a part of your natural diet. These three minerals all come fromdifferent sources so a well-rounded, balanced diet is your best choice forgetting all three minerals. Here are some of the sources for these individualminerals:

1. Sourcesof calcium. The best way to get calcium into your body is to consume milkand diary products. Low-fat milk, low-fat cottage cheese and yogurt are allreally great, healthy sources of calcium. However, it is possible to getcalcium from other sources as well. Spinach, oranges, baked beans and almondsall have calcium in them.

2. Sourcesof iron. Many people believe that you need to eat meat to get enough ironinto your body. It’s true that meat is a great source of iron (with lean cutsof beef and poultry being the best choices). However, iron is found in manydifferent foods. Non-meat sources ofiron include dried fruit (apricots, raisin and prunes), dried beans,iron-fortified cereals, whole grains and green vegetables (spinach, kale,broccoli).

3. Sourcesof iodine. Iodineis a mineral that is found in interesting places. It is added to table salt soany food that contains salt is going to add to your iodine intake. It is alsofound in sea vegetables. Additionally, some dairy products including milk andeggs have iodine and them. Interestingly, so do strawberries.

Speak to your doctor about getting the proper amount ofthese three minerals. You should be able to do so by getting them through yourdiet but you may need to take additional supplements especially if you aredeficient in these things as you get into your older years.


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