Minerals • Its importance • Common sources of minerals • Its deficiency diseases and the symptoms • Prevention or the control over the diseases
Minerals are inorganic material that originate in the earth and cannot be found in the human body. They play important roles in various bodily functions and are necessary to sustain life and maintain optimal health, and thus are essential nutrients. All nutrients such as vitamins, protein, enzymes, amino acids, carbohydrates, fats, sugar, oil etc requires minerals for proper cellular functions. All bodily processes depend upon the action and the presence of the minerals. Minerals are more important to nutrition than vitamins. Vitamins are required for every bodily biochemical process. However, vitamins cannot function unless minerals are present.
Some of the sources of the minerals are as follows: • Most of the minerals in human diet comes directly from plants and water or in- • directly from animals food. However , the minerals content of water and plant • foods varies geographically because of variation in the content of soil from reg- • ion to region. • For instance, potassium a reactive metallic element. Used in manufacturing gla • ss, fertilizers and soaps. It is found naturally in beans, milk, fish, nuts and veh- • getable. Moderate amount is necessary for the proper functioning of our body.
Minerals can be categorized into following types: • Major minerals- are those minerals that are required in the amount of 100 mg or more • per day. • Trace or minor minerals- are those minerals that are required in amount less than 100 mg per day. • The term major and trace, however, do not reflect the importance of minerals in maintaining the health, as a deficiency of either can be harmful.
Some of the deficiency diseases of minerals along with symptoms: • Anemia- caused due to lack of iron where a person is susceptible to infections, fatigue, headache and weakness. Chronic excess causes constipation, indigestion and vomiting. Overdose leads to death. • Hypertension- person has high blood pressure with dizziness, blurred vision, nausea and vomiting. Deficiency of sodium, chloride and potassium results in this disease. • Rickets – mainly caused due to lack of calcium with unnatural appetite, abnormal stools, the enlarged abdomen and loss of weight. Osteoporosis also come under same cause. Here bones becomes weaker and weaker leading to fracture. • Malnutrition-It’s the common disease with loss of weight, headache, dry lip.
Prevention or control for minerals deficiency diseases: • sodium, chloride and potassium are directly linked to the high blood pressure (hypertension) due to their role in body fluid’s function. So person with such problem should take the diets that are rich in sodium, chloride and potassium. For example, milk, nuts, fish, common salt, seaweeds, olives, lettuce and tomatoes can be taken to overcome such disease. • High potassium intake has been associated with the lower risk of stroke, particularly in people with hypertension. Researcher also suggests a preventive role for magnesium in hypertension and cardiovascular diseases and as well as beneficial effect in treatment of diabetes, osteoporosis and migraine headache.
Osteoporosis is a bone disorder in which bone strength is compromised, leading to an increased risk of fracture. • Along with our lifestyle factors, intake of calcium and vitamin D plays an important role in maintenance of bone health and the prevention and treatment of • osteoporosis. Good calcium nutrition, along with low salt and high potassium in take, has been linked to prevention of hypertension and kidney stones.