The term minerals refers to elements in their simple inorganic form. In nutrition they are commonly referred to as mineral elements or inorganic nutrients. Minerals are vital to health. Like vitamins, protein and other organic compounds, minerals (inorganic compounds) are essential for regulating and building the trillions of living cells which make up the body. Minerals are especially important for intracellular electrical messages which tells cells when to replicate and when to die if abnormal. Cancer is caused by these messages not being present and is often due to mineral deficiencies. Infection and damage can also stop these
messages getting through to these abnormal cells. Many prescribed medications, alcohol and other toxins can block absorption and cause a huge loss of essential minerals through the urine and perspiration.
The body is made from the following elements and their atomic numbers are included in brackets.
The purpose or cause and effect these elements have in the human body and the natural sources of each one can be found on their dedicated pages.
Many common foods, humans already consume, contain fair amounts of calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, sodium and zinc. But it is also particularly important to add foods to the diet that contain barium, bismuth, boron, bromine, caesium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, fluoride, germanium, gold, iodine, iridium, lithium, molybdenum, nickel, nitrogen, platinum, rhodium, rubidium, selenium, silicon, silver, strontium, sulphur, vanadium and tin at least once a fortnight.
This is especially important for those doing any strenuous activities, taking any medications or recreational drugs, drinking alcohol regularly or those suffering from diarrhoea and fevers or illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS or immune system, bone, neurological or degenerative disorders and pregnant women. Everyone else should strive to include these foods at least once a month to ensure the correct balance of minerals in the body and prevent any ailments developing. Athletes and anyone that partakes in intense physical activities are often lacking in minerals as they perspire profusely but do not replace lost minerals so they should consume plenty of the foods highest in
minerals listed below.
Because legumes, pulses, nuts, seeds and whole grains contain high levels of phytic acid which inhibits absorption of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium and zinc it is important to soak, sprout or ferment them before consumption.
For more information see
Minerals cannot be made in the body and must be obtained in the diet. Pure unrefined sea salt, mineral water, chlorella, spirulina, hemp seeds, oily fish, halibut, krill oil, shellfish, octopus, squid, sea weed and sea vegetables like kelp are the only certain way to gain all the vital elements required by the body because both modern farming and food processing techniques have stripped the soil and food of these vital elements. Naturally occurring, nutrient-rich soil is becoming increasingly rare. Eons of vegetation growth and intensive modern farming techniques have brought many of the earth’s minerals to the surface
where they have been washed away. Synthesised fertilisers are routinely applied to farms and fields where minerals have been depleted. But man-made fertilisers provide only enough mineral substance to support basic plant life. Numerous trace minerals essential to human life do not get replenished.
Trace minerals do not exist by themselves but in relationship to one another. Too much of one trace element can lead to imbalances in others and most trace elements need to be in ionic form to be well absorbed in the small intestine. Therefore taking mineral supplements is not the answer. Only readily digestible minerals from natural food sources will provide optimum health and protection.
A typical plant makes its own food from raw materials and a typical animal eats its food. For plants, these raw materials include soil-based inorganic mineral salts. Soil-based mineral salts can be depleted through synthetic fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides, as well as repeatedly growing crops on the same soil. This is why so many people are often unwittingly deficient in certain minerals especially those whose lifestyles deplete their bodily supplies faster and more often such as those on medications, those that drink alcohol regularly and those participating in high energy activates such as sports and dancing or
those whose system is less able to absorb minerals due to illness or old age.
Minerals taken as supplements are industrial chemicals made from processing rocks with one or more acids. The consumption of this “other half” of the mineral compound is not only unnatural, it can lead to toxicity concerns. Humans were designed to eat food and to get their minerals from foods. Foods do not naturally contain minerals bound to substances such as picolinic acid, carbonates, oxides, phosphates, etc. When supplementation is required it should be in the form of natural foods only.
Body cells receive the essential food elements through the blood stream. They must, therefore, be properly nourished with an adequate supply of all the essential minerals for the efficient functioning of the body. They help maintain the volume of water necessary to life processes in the body. They help draw chemical substances into and out of the cells and they keep the blood and tissue fluid from becoming either too acidic or too alkaline.
The importance of inorganic minerals, like organic vitamins, is illustrated by the fact that there are over 50,000 enzymes in the body which direct growth and energy and each enzyme has different minerals, vitamins and other chemicals associated with it. Each of the essential food minerals does a specific job in the body and some of them do extra work, in teams, to keep body cells healthy and eliminate abnormal cells. Although as yet, it has not been discovered what the functions of some elements have in the human body, many of these 118 elements are present and many have a purpose of some kind. Those in blue are linked to
their known functions, deficiencies, toxicity and natural food sources sections on this page.
Minerals thus play a highly important role in every bodily function and are present in every human cell. Although the amount needed may be small, without even the trace of the mineral, dysfunction is bound to occur at some level in the body. A zinc deficiency may show up in ridged fingernails with white spots. Lack of sulphur can cause lack-lustre hair and dull-looking skin. Less obvious deficiencies may surface as fatigue, irritability, loss of memory, nervousness, depression and weakness. Minerals also interact with vitamins. Magnesium, for instance, must be present in the body for utilisation of B complex, vitamin C and
vitamin E. Sulphur also works with the B complex vitamins. The body needs all the trace minerals in proper balance. A constant lack of minerals in the body results in infection and disease and serious disorders of processes including diabetes, bone disorders, organ failures and cancer.
Coffee, alcohol, excess refined salt, strenuous exercise, stress, sugar and many drugs can rob the body of minerals or make them ineffective. Industrial pollutants cause toxic minerals to enter the body. Minerals at toxic levels also have the effect of destroying the usefulness of other vitamins and minerals. Exercise improves the activity of certain vitamins and minerals while stress and fatigue work against them. Too much exercise, however, can cause deficiencies in minerals if they are not replaced.
A well-balanced diet provides as abundance of minerals and vitamins. In refining cereals, grains, flour, salt and sugar, the food industry has robbed them of their natural vitamins and minerals. Some dietary sources of these nutrients are whole grains, cereals, bran and germ. It is the bran and germ which are removed in processing. To obtain a balance of nutrients, it is , therefore, necessary to avoid refined and processed foods and consume far more organic whole fruit, herbs, legumes, nuts, sea foods, seeds, spices and vegetables which are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins.
Electrolytes are the smallest of chemicals that are important for the cells in the body to function and allow the body to work. Electrolytes especially chloride, magnesium,
sodium are critical in allowing cells to
generate energy, maintain the stability of their walls and to
function in general. They generate electricity, contract muscles,
move water and fluids within the body and participate in myriad
The concentration of electrolytes in the body is controlled by a variety of
hormones, most of which are manufactured in the kidney and the adrenal glands.
Sensors in specialised kidney cells monitor the amount of sodium, potassium and
water in the bloodstream. The body functions in a very narrow range of normal
and it is hormones like renin (made in the kidney), angiotensin (from
the lung, brain and heart), aldosterone (from the adrenal gland),
and anti-diuretic hormone (from the pituitary gland) that keep the
electrolyte balance within those normal limits. Keeping electrolyte
concentrations in balance also includes stimulating the thirst mechanism when
the body gets dehydrated.
Mineral water is a healthy alternative to tap water as it usually contains trace elements that are essential to human health. Depending upon it's source it can naturally contain minerals such as bicarbonate, calcium, fluoride, lithium, magnesium, potassium, silica, sodium and strontium. Water from natural springs, wells and mountain lakes contains minerals which are in the rocks through which it flows and these minerals all have a purpose within the human body. Modern day farming techniques have leeched many minerals from the soil so non organic farmed food is often lacking in them, especially magnesium. The best way to ingest the some of the minerals needed daily is through
drinking mineral water, whether carbonated or still, everyday.
Drinking mineral water is especially important for the elderly and
medications which can force the body to expel essential minerals
in the urine such as
Tap water has little mineral content except fluoride and chlorine which are added
artificially and, in many developed countries, also contains traces of
medications administered to humans such as hormone replacement drugs and the
Read about the dangers of drinking boiled or distilled water, why it is necessary to prevent heart attacks and signs of a deficiency of water in the body here: Water
A - Z OF MINERALS
NOTE: Some nutrients in this section are measured in µg which is the abbreviation for microgram and is equivalent to a unit of mass equal to one millionth (1×10−6) of a gram or one thousandth (1×10−3) of a milligram. One IU is the biological equivalent of 0.3 μg or 0.3 micrograms.
Fluorine is a chemical element with the atomic number 9. Fluoride is an inorganic, monatomic anion of fluorine. An anion is an atom or a molecule which is negatively charged which means it has more electrons than protons. Read more about Fluoride
Industrial use of heavy metals elements has caused spillage and leakages into the environment that have contaminated food and water resources and is cause for concern as they are toxic to animals and humans and can lead to many serious conditions, such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease, when levels increase in the human body. For further information and natural ways to reduce and eliminate heavy metals from the body see Heavy metal dangers
Iron is an important
trace mineral, with the atomic number of 26, and is part of the vital activity of the blood and glands.
Haemochromatosis is a hereditary disease characterised by excessive absorption of dietary iron
resulting in abnormal high levels of total body iron stores. Excess iron
accumulates in tissues and organs disrupting their normal function. The
hereditary form of the disease is most common among those of Northern European
ancestry, in particular those of British or Irish descent, with a prevalence of
one in 200. For those patients extra iron will likely worsen their symptoms.
Potassium has the atomic number of 19 and is essential to the life of every cell of a living being and is among the most generously and widely distributed of all the tissue minerals.
Read more about Potassium
Sodium is a mineral element with the atomic number 11. Sodium chloride, the chemical name for common
salt, contains 39 per cent of sodium, an element which never occurs
in free form in nature. It is found in an associated form with many
minerals especially in plentiful amounts with chlorine. Read more about Sodium
Strontium is a mineral element with the atomic number 38 that was discovered in 1808 and was named after Strontian, a town in Scotland. It is one of the most abundant elements on earth, comprising about 0.04 percent of the earth's crust and has some very beneficial properties for the human body. Read more about Strontium
All living matter contains some sulphur; this element is therefore essential for life. It is critical to many of the body's biological processes and, without adequate sulphur, glucose metabolism is inhibited and this can lead to metabolic syndrome, low energy levels, weight gain and muscle and skeletal disorders which causes inflammation and pain. Read more about Sulphur
Highest sources of sulphur in milligrams per 100 grams
Tin is a trace mineral element with the atomic number of 50 and some animals do not grow well without it. Although it has been said that there is no known biological function of tin in the human body there have been studies that suggest it could have a function in the tertiary structure of proteins or other bio-substances and the human body does have receptors for it. Read more about Tin
Natural sources of tin
Algae and seaweed
Blessed thistle (herb)
Brewer's yeast (dependent upon source, check label)
“Zeolites” refers to a group of silicate minerals that share a similar chemical composition, mineral associations and geologic occurrences. Naturally occurring clinoptilolite is a zeolite that has been used for over 800 years in traditional medicine in its raw form in places like India, China and Russia. In other countries it is used in air purification, animal feed, water filtration and in fertilisers to improve the health of crops.
Zeolite is a negatively charged, crystalline structure formed from the fusion of volcanic lava and ocean water. The molecules in zeolite contain a magnetic energy that attracts and holds several types of toxins at a molecular level which, taken orally, pull metals out of body tissues and into the zeolite itself. It is then passed safely through the urinary tract, without depleting the body of essential electrolytes.
Zeolite also blocks viral replication, does not disrupt the electrolytes in the body and naturally establishes an optimal pH level (between 7.35 and 7.45), which activates healthy brain, immune and liver function and supports the elimination of pesticides, herbicides and xeno-oestrogens. This makes zeolite especially suitable as a detoxifying agent as it can remove common heavy metals like aluminium, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury from the body which can help with the treatment and prevention of disorders such
as Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson's disease. This can potentially help to heal a range of toxicity-related
inflammatory diseases, including dementia, while supporting (not burdening) the body’s excretory systems.
Zeolite is available in powdered or liquid form. The liquid zeolite is up to 10 times more efficient than the powdered form.
Zinc is the healing mineral with the atomic number of 30 and is part of the enzymes that helps the body to metabolise protein, carbohydrates and alcohol. It also aids in building bones and healing wounds. Read more about Zinc
Highest sources of zinc in milligrams per 100 grams
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is not intended to diagnose medical problems, prescribe remedies for illness, or treat disease. Its intention is solely educational. If you are in any doubt about your health, please consult your medical or health professional. Nature Cures does not warrant or assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of the information provided here or the outcome of using it.
Nature Cures is not responsible for, and does not endorse, any content or items purchased from any external websites linked to this website.