Minerals are needed for a healthy body. They are needed to help our bodies grow. The most plentiful mineral in the body is calcium. Yet, it may not be found in many diets. Studies show that a lack of calcium may be found in all age groups. For instance, from the age of nine, the diets of girls and women may not have enough calcium. their diets may lack as much as 25 to 30 percent of the calcium they need.
Almost all calcium is in bones and teeth. The rest is found in the tissue and body fluids. Calcium is needed for blood to clot. It is also needed for the heart to work properly. The nervous system does not work well when calcium levels in the blood are low. Even muscles work better when the body gets enough calcium.
Most people who buy from the milk counter are stocking up on calcium supplies. In the U.S. we depend on milk as a big source of calcium. Two cups of milk, or an equal amount of cheese or other dairy products, gives us a lot of calcium. They go a long way toward giving us all the calcium needed for the day.
But milk is not the only source of calcium. Dark green leafy vegetables like collards, mustard greens or turnip greens have some calcium. Salmon and sardines give use useful amounts of it if the very tiny bones are eaten.
Calcium is not the only important mineral in the body. Iron is important, too. Women of child-bearing age need more iron than men. The diets of infants and pregnant women may need to be watched closely to see that they have the iron they should.
Only a few foods have iron in large amounts. Liver, heart, kidney and lean meats have a good deal of it. Shellfish, especially oysters, have a lot of iron. Whole grain and enriched breads and cereals are rich in iron. They give us up to one quarter of the daily iron we need. Dark green leafy vegetables are also sources of iron.
Calcium and iron are not the only minerals you need. Most of the other minerals your body needs are found in so many foods that a little variety in making your choice at the market can easily take care of them. Make a healthy, happy body your goal next time you food shop.