Mineral supplements are not as frequently thought of as vitamin supplements, but perhaps they should be! Minerals, even those that we only need in trace amounts, are absolutely crucial to our bodies’ functioning. They help our metabolism work at peak efficiency and keep our bones strong, among other things. If you’re eating a well-balanced diet you might be getting all the minerals that you need, but if you’re normal diet isn’t always perfect you could probably stand to supplement to make sure that your body is working as smoothly as possible. Read on to find out what minerals can do for you and your body.
This one is no health secret; we’re taught from a very young age that getting enough calcium is critical for strong bones. It can also help your teeth, and is an important factor in lowering your risk for heart disease, colon cancer, and osteoporosis. It has also been known to aid insomnia and P.M.S. symptoms. There are a couple types of calcium supplements. There’s calcium carbonate, which is probably the easiest go-to if you don’t have any specific needs. Calcium carbonate tends to be well-tolerated and is generally on the cheaper side. Try Now’s calcium carbonate or try Caltrate’s version which also includes magnesium (we’ll get to that mineral soon) and vitamin D, a crucial vitamin that helps your body absorb the calcium you’re taking. If you have problems with absorption you might also try Calcium Citrate instead, because it dissolves a little easier in the stomach. And if you want to get your calcium in a tastier form, Caltrate also makes gummies. Yum!
Iron’s most important function is in our blood. Iron helps our body form hemoglobin, which allows all of our organs to get enough oxygen to function properly. A lack of iron can cause fatigue, digestive issues, and overall malaise. This particular supplement comes in so many forms it may be a little overwhelming, but they are all effective. It’s just about finding one that works for your needs. Try Buried Treasure’s liquid herbal iron supplement or perhaps Thompson’s Ideal Iron if you prefer it in pill form. The main complaint people usually have about iron supplements is that they can cause constipation. To avoid this side effect you’ll want to choose something like Now’s iron complex, which contains the more easily-digestible variety of iron known as iron chelate. Natural Factors also makes an iron supplement that is gentle on the stomach.
Magnesium is an important factor in maintaining blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and heart rhythm and also plays a role in bone health. It helps with energy while also helping muscles relax, and has been known to have beneficial effects on insomnia. Try our basic magnesium supplement. There’s also a powdered or liquid form if that’s more your speed.
This mineral’s critical function involves blood pressure. Potassium acts on the body as a sort of anti-sodium, helping counter the negative blood-pressure-raising effects of salt. It also aids cardiovascular health, bone health, and muscle maintenance. Now offers this mineral in both powder (you can even use it in your bath!) and tablet form, or you can use the chloride form in place of standard table salt. Nutricology offers a potassium citrate supplement that is a little more easily absorbed by the body.
Essential to proper immune function, Zinc is often found in cold- and flu-fighting supplements for a reason. This mineral has been linked time and time again to healthy immune function. Supplementing for zinc might just give you that extra edge to fight off whatever bug happens to be going around. (It’s good for your sense of taste and smell, and for wound-healing, too!) This particular mineral, unlike the rest we’ve covered so far, often comes in lozenge form. Try Quantum’s elderberry-zinc variation. If you’re looking for another form, browse our full range because this mineral has too many to name here.
Minerals are often divided into two groups when it comes to their health uses. There are macro-minerals, which we need in higher amounts, and micro-minerals, which we need only in very small or “trace” amounts. Micro-minerals include chromium, iodine, manganese, and even the aforementioned zinc and iron. These micro-minerals are no less important than their macro counterparts and are just as easily supplemented.
If you’d prefer taking all your minerals together there are plenty of multi-mineral supplements available as well. With products like Now’s colloidal mineral formula you can make mineral supplementation easier on yourself by getting everything that you need in one bottle.
While supplementing minerals might not be a guaranteed ticket to perfect health, it could still be an important factor. Getting adequate amounts of the minerals your body requires can really make a difference in your overall well-being, and when it’s so easy to get everything you need, what have you got to lose? If you don’t have time to eat a perfectly healthy diet the odds are that you’re not getting everything you need just by diet alone. Taking a mineral supplement can help your body work to its full potential, whether you’re an athlete or just an average person looking to build a better, healthier you.
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