Earth contains 118 elements, aka the building blocks of our entire planet. 25 of those elements are considered essential in human health, although 60 of these are arguably necessary for the human body. However, modern agricultural only adds 3 (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) to the soil. This extremely myopic approach to agri-business is a big part of our health dilemma in western society. Knowing the best foods for your vitamins and minerals can help maintain optimal health.
We know there is an undeniable crucial link between minerals and human health
Minerals that are Essential
America spends $3.5 trillion per year on health care, of which $480 billion goes to prescription medication. While no one will argue with the life saving advantages of a big city emergency room, when it comes to chronic disease (i.e. heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney problems, mental illness) drugs and surgery fall short of fixing the problem. Enter the need for minerals that are essential for optimal nutrition.
Humans need macronutrients (big amounts or gram quantities): protein, carbohydrates, fats, water, fiber
Micronutrients (small amounts of milligram quantities): vitamins and minerals
Trace elements (tiny amounts or microgram quantities): selenium and chromium are examples.
5 Best Foods for Essential Minerals
Foods High in Magnesium
Many a person suffers from heart pains, heart attack, depression, weakness, and more simply due to a magnesium deficiency. Magnesium is in low supply in the American diet with the average American consuming half the RDA of 400 mg/d. Nuts, seeds, and green leafy vegetables are the best food sources of magnesium. More than coincidentally, these same foods are associated with lower risk of heart disease. Magnesium is crucial for at least 300 separate enzyme reactions in the human body. Some experts say that long lived cultures benefit from their diet and water that is rich in magnesium.
Best Sources of Iodine
Iodine is found primarily in seafood. Iodine deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies in the world. Low iodine leads to hypothyroidism, cancer, mental retardation and more. A certain percentage of breast cancer may be nothing more than a long term deficiency of iodine.
Best Sources of Selenium
Selenium is another mineral in short supply in the American diet. Numerous studies have shown the link between low selenium intake and cancer. Best food sources of selenium are nuts, meats, cottage cheese, fish, kelp, mushrooms, and oats. Essentially, the earth’s crust has an uneven distribution of minerals throughout the soil. People assume that all soil contains all the essential minerals in the right ratio. Not so. Selenium is a classic example of a mineral that is very low in some soils, hence the plants grown on that soil, and the animals that eat those plants will be low selenium. All the more reason for biodynamic farming where the soil is properly fertilized to feed the plants and animals who feed from this soil. The ultimate karma. Feed the soil properly and you are feeding you and your family properly.
Foods Rich in Chromium
Chromium is another mineral commonly missing in the American diet. Studies show that chromium can be an effective treatment for diabetes and elevated fats in the blood.
There is compelling evidence that a substantial portion of the 6 million Americans now suffering from Alzheimer’s disease are at the tail end of decades of a lithium deficiency.
Strontium to Reduce Dental Caries
Strontium is a mineral found sporadically throughout the food and water supply. Areas that have the highest strontium have the lowest incidence of dental caries.
How to Add these Best Foods for Minerals to your Diet
It is clear that minerals play a crucial role in human health and that most Americans do not get enough minerals. Try and include these best foods for minerals.
- Eat whole foods. Processing removes most or all of the minerals.
- Eat a wide variety of foods. No one food contains all of the essential minerals.
- Eat seafood. The ocean contains all the essential minerals. Seaweed and fish are good sources of many minerals.
- Eat biodynamic food grown in nutrient dense soil.
- Grow your own food. Now you know what goes into your food supply by nourishing your soil properly.