Minerals are micronutrients required in varying amounts for proper functioning, normal growth and keeping good health of body. They are inorganic elements, occurring in the form of their salts like calcium, potassium, sodium, phosphorus, iron, etc. They do not supply energy to our body but are essential for protection against diseases and also have role in body functions.

Required in larger amounts

Calcium, Phosphorus, Sodium, Potassium, Sulphur Chloride, Magnesium

Required in trace amounts

Iron, Iodine, Zinc, Chromium, Cobalt, Copper, Fluoride, Manganese, Molybdenum Selenium, and Boron

Functions of Minerals

  • Essential for development of bone and teeth. For example, calcium, phosphorus.
  • Regulate the fluid balance and acid alkalinity of body fluids. For example, sodium, potassium, chloride.
  • Iron is major component of hemoglobin, which helps in transport and release of oxygen.
  • Iodine is required for the synthesis of thyroid hormone thyroxine, which regulates the rate of oxidation energy sources within cells.
  • Zinc, copper and magnesium regulate a host of vital reactions in our body.

Calcium

Function: Formation of bones and teeth, necessary for nerve, teeth and muscles

Food sources: Milk and milk products; fish; meat; beans; green leafy vegetables; broccoli, tapioca; cereals

Deficiency Disease: Rickets; Oesteomalacia, loss of teeth

Symptoms: Softening of bones; deformities; pain in bones; enamel.

Iron

Function: Formation of hemoglobin; acts as carrier of oxygen.

Food sources: Liver; green leafy vegetables; eggs, spinach; groundnuts; cereals; jaggery.

Deficiency Disease: Anaemia

Symptoms: Loss of weight; pale appearance; tiredness; loses of appetite.

Phosphorus

Function: Formation of bones and teeth

Food sources: Milk; cereals; green leafy vegetables; nuts, bajra, meat

Deficiency Disease: Rickets and Oesteomalacia

Symptoms: Softening of bones; bowlegs; pigeon chest

Iodine

Function: Metabolic control of hormone thyroxine; controls growth and mental ability.

Food sources: Iodized salt; sea food; fish; green leafy vegetable

Deficiency Disease: Goitre

Symptoms: Enlargement of thyroid gland; retarding of physical and mental growth.

Sodium and Potassium

Function: Maintenance of normal water balance in the body; associated with conduction of nerve impulse.

Food sources: Common salt; meat; poultry; fish; fruits; cereals; egg; spinach; pulses; potato; yogurt

Deficiency Disease: High blood pressure; Oedema; Osmotic pressure disturbed.

Symptoms: Severe malnutrition; high blood pressure; fatigue; loss of appetite; vomiting.