In addition to protein, fat, vitamins, and carbohydrates, the body also requires the intake of other nutrients namely minerals. Although the body’s need for minerals is the least when compared with other nutrients (only 5 percent) still a lack of minerals will trigger various health problems in the body. So, what are the functions of minerals for the body?
What is Mineral?
Minerals are inorganic chemicals that are produced from food scraps that are destroyed at high temperatures or degraded by chemicals. Minerals are essential nutrients and the body needs in small amounts to carry out its functions optimally.
The function of minerals for the body is so important. Minerals act as cofactors and catalysts in human organs. A lack of mineral intake in the body is said to harm organ performance.
What is the function of minerals for the body?
Mineral function in each person can be said to vary and is influenced by several factors such as gender, age, and physiological conditions. Minerals play an active role in treating physiological functions, structural functions of the body, and prevent the occurrence of body deficiencies.
Broadly speaking, mineral functions consist of:
- Produce enzymes
- Control osmotic pressure on the body
- Forms soft and hard tissue structures
- Caring for healthy bones and teeth
- Helps form antibodies
- Helps muscle contraction and nerve response
- Prevents pain in the muscles
- Control the balance of water and acid-base in the blood
- Caring for brain function
- Delivering oxygen throughout the body
- Maintain heart and nerve health
Know the Types of Minerals and Their Functions
Minerals are divided into 2 (two) groups, namely minerals that are needed by the body (Macro Minerals), and minerals that are needed by the body in small amounts (Micro Minerals). Here are the types of minerals along with the functions of minerals for the body that you need to know about.
1. Macro Minerals
Macrominerals are a class of minerals needed by the body in large quantities, which is above 100 mg per day. Types of minerals included in the macromineral group are Phosphorus, Calcium, Sulfur, Magnesium.
Phosphorus is one of four types of macro minerals. You can get phosphorus through several foods such as chicken, fish, beef, and cereals. The function of phosphorus minerals, among others, is to:
- The main component of enzymes and body cells
- Caring for healthy bones and teeth
- Optimize the body’s metabolism
Ideally, humans need no less than 700 mg of phosphorus per day to maintain optimal bodily functions. Phosphorus deficiency is suspected to trigger several health problems such as weakness and disruption of nucleic acid synthesis.
This type of mineral that is familiar is also included in the macromineral group and is commonly found in several foods such as milk, beef, chicken, to seafood such as shrimp and crabs. The functions of calcium minerals include:
- Maximizing the production of digestive enzymes so that the process of absorption of food runs quickly
- Caring for bone density
- Speed up the wound healing process
Calcium is the type of mineral that is most needed by the body. The ideal level of calcium needed by the body in a day reaches 4700 mg.
Sulfur is a type of mineral that is often used as a composition of beauty drugs. In food, this macromineral can be found in fish, chicken meat, eggs, and milk. The function of sulfur minerals includes:
- Producing insulin
- Acting as an anticoagulant
- An important component of cartilage
For Sulfur to function properly, your body needs at least 800-900 mg of sulfur in a day.
Macro magnesium minerals have several important functions for the body. Magnesium can be found in foods such as beef, vegetables, tofu, beans, and chocolate. The function of magnesium minerals include:
- Control electrolyte balance when muscle contractions occur
- Activating and controlling several types of enzymes
- Optimizing the body’s metabolism, especially those related to fat and protein
It takes at least 310 mg of magnesium per day to optimize the function of magnesium in supporting your body’s performance.
Don’t forget this mineral too, Sodium is a type of macromineral that is usually contained in salt. The function of sodium for the body include:
- Maintain a balance of acid-base levels
- Optimizing the performance of the nervous system
The ideal amount of sodium mineral intake in a day is 200 mg. Keep in mind, sodium intake exceeds that number can trigger you to experience high blood pressure (hypertension). Therefore, control your daily sodium intake.
2. Micro Minerals
If macro minerals are needed by the body in large quantities, then what happens in microminerals is the opposite, which is needed by the body in small amounts. The types of minerals included in the micro mineral group are Chromium, Iodine, Manganese, Flour, Selenium.
Meat, cereals, vegetables, and some seafood are the main sources of chromium minerals. The function of chromium minerals for the body includes:
- Cofactor to produce insulin
- Control glucose levels
- Optimize the body’s metabolism
The adequacy rate of chromium minerals in a day around 25-35 micrograms. Although classified as a little, chromium deficiency will affect the body’s metabolism.
Hearing the name iodine, most of us would immediately think of a spice called salt. Although classified as a mineral micro, iodine has a function that is quite important for the body, namely:
- Control body temperature
- Play a role in the synthesis of thyroid hormones
- Take care of nerves and muscles
- Control oxidation in cells
- Optimizing body growth
Every day, you need at least 150 micrograms of iodine to maintain healthy bodily functions. This mineral depletion can cause health problems such as goiter.
Manganese micro minerals can generally be found in types of food such as wheat, shrimp, and sesame seeds. The function of manganese for the body is to:
- Regeneration of red blood cells
- Helps bone formation and growth
- Smooth the reproduction cycle
- Helps metabolize carbohydrates
Manganese is a mineral that is included in the micro mineral group because the body only needs 1.8-2.3 mg of manganese per day.
Flour or fluoride is a micro mineral commonly found in spinach, onions, and soybeans. Flour has functions including:
- Prevents bone loss
- Prevents the occurrence of coral on teeth
- Caring for overall dental health
The body’s need for flour is 2.5.4 mg per day. It would be nice to meet this one mineral intake to prevent tooth and bone damage to yourself.
Selenium is widely available in chicken, milk, and onions. Selenium functions include:
- Enzyme cofactor
- Fat metabolism
So that you avoid health problems due to selenium deficiency such as muscle aches, it takes at least 30 micrograms of selenium per day.
That’s the information about the function of minerals for the body that you need to understand. Considering the importance of minerals for the health of the body, then do not let you lack this one nutrient, yes. Consult your nutritionist to find the right mineral intake pattern according to your gender, age and health condition. It may be useful!