Trace Minerals: Your Guide To Minerals, Trace Minerals, Macro Minerals and more
Could you use a trace mineral boost? If you’re an adult living in the United States, chances are the answer is yes.
Due to unsustainable farming practices, changes in soil composition, and the rise of packaged and processed franken-foods, the fruits, vegetables and meats we eat today simply don’t have the same vitamin and mineral composition they used to.
This is why many experts call our current generation the most overfed and undernourished yet. Because while food consumption might be at an all time high, food nutrition is at an all time low.
And we all suffer as a result.
When your diet is missing key vitamins and minerals, you may feel sluggish, struggle to think clearly, experience irregular changes to your mood, have difficulty sleeping, gain weight despite your best efforts to change, and more.
Despite all that, here’s the good news: With proper nutrition and vitamin and mineral consumption, you can restore your body back into full balance.
Most of us know how to improve our diet (eat cleaner, more sustainably grown foods). But an often overlooked piece of any health journey is how important trace minerals can be to your health. Why? Because the truth is, most of us have never even heard of trace minerals before. We know we can get vitamins like Vitamin A from carrots, but where do you get iron, manganese, or zinc?
In this post, we’ll show you what trace minerals are, the science supporting their use, the benefits of consuming them regularly, and the easiest ways to add a daily dose of them to your diet. We’ll also give you a full list of the top 72 macro and micro minerals and show you some of the key benefits they can have for your health.
Vitamins vs Minerals vs Trace Minerals: What’s the difference?
Whether you’ve taken Flintstones capsules as a kid or grab a popular brand in your grocery store today, most of us have heard of or taken multivitamins before. In fact, it’s estimated that more than one-third of all Americans take multivitamins on a regular basis.
But even though many of us take them on a regular basis, we don’t always know why each ingredient is in the formula. Or more fundamentally, we don’t always know the difference between vitamins and minerals.
So what is the difference? And which do you need to promote good health?
It’s important to understand the difference because both vitamins and minerals play a key role in helping your body function and stay well. But they each have different functions.
- Vitamins are organic substances. That means they are compounds made by plants or animals. Most, if not all, of the essential vitamins your body needs can be obtained through food alone. That said, many people look for additional “insurance” through their multi-vitamins.
- Minerals, on the other hand, are inorganic elements. That means they don’t come from living organisms and instead come from the soil and water. It’s very difficult to get enough minerals from diet alone. So many people turn to supplements to ensure they are getting enough minerals to thrive.
Another key difference between vitamins and minerals is the amount of each your body needs to thrive. When it comes to vitamins, there are 13 vitamins your body needs to function properly.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B1 (thiamine)
- Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
- Vitamin B3 (niacin)
- Pantothenic acid (B5)
- Biotin (B7)
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Folate (folic acid and B9)
When it comes to minerals, there are over 70 different kinds. And they break down into two categories — macrominerals and trace minerals.
What are trace minerals? What are macrominerals? And why are they important?
Trace minerals — or “microminerals” — are minerals that the human body needs in small amounts. They are often confused with “macrominerals,” which includes calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and chloride. Macrominerals are minerals adults need in amounts greater than 100 milligrams a day.
Trace minerals are different.
You need them in smaller doses (less than 100 milligrams a day, typically between .2 and 15 milligrams). Some of those trace minerals include chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc.
While your body only needs them in small doses, don’t underestimate trace minerals’ power in your health! They are just as vital to your health as macrominerals.
According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, minerals form only five percent of the typical human diet but are essential for normal health and function.
So it’s important to understand what trace minerals can do for your body and to learn the best way to introduce them in your life through diet and supplementation.
Benefits Of Trace Minerals (The Science Supporting Their Use)
Trace minerals provide incredible functions to your overall health and vitality. We’ve broken down 9 essential trace minerals, their benefits to your body and health, and the daily dose to strive for.
- Chromium best helps regulate glucose (or blood sugar) and insulin levels. In one study by Harvard of nearly 1,250 men, it found that “chromium may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.” According to Harvard Health, “studies from around the world indicate that a substantial proportion of people do not get enough chromium.” It’s recommended that men should get 35 mcg of chromium, and women 25 mcg. You can find chromium in whole grains, green beans, broccoli, and nuts.
- Copper promotes healthy metabolic and nervous system function. It also plays a key role in bone health. Copper deficiencies can lead to fatigue, low immune health, weak bone health, brain fog, and more. And since the early 20th century, copper in the standard American diet has been decreasing. In fact, 1 in 4 Americans and Canadians consume less than the average daily requirement. It’s recommended adults 18 and older have 900 mcg of copper. You can find copper in several foods, including organ meats, oysters, potatoes, mushrooms, nuts, and more.
- Fluoride helps support bone health and may help reduce tooth decay (through mineralization and re-mineralization). It is the ionic form of the naturally occurring element, fluorine. But you probably recognize it as the mineral in your drinking water or toothpaste (which may be produced synthetically). The Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) of the US Institute of Medicine’s Adequate Intake (AI) for Fluoride is 4 mg in adult men and 3 mg in adult women. The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) sets the optimal level of fluoride for preventing tooth decay at 0.7 ppm, or 0.7 milligrams (mg) in every liter of water. You can find fluoride in water, as well as fruit juice, canned crab, rice, and fish.
- Iodine is important in the production of thyroid hormones. These hormones can affect your body’s metabolism, bone development, cognitive function, and more. The National Institutes of Health says, “Getting enough iodine is important for everyone, especially infants and women who are pregnant.” The average adult needs 150 mcg of iodine daily. You can get iodine from most table salts, seafood, such as cod or tuna, milk and cheeses.
- Iron is vital in the production of hemoglobin and myoglobin in your red blood cells. This helps your red blood cells carry oxygen from your lungs and provides oxygen to muscles. When you’re deficient in iron, you may feel extremely tired, low in energy, have cold extremities, have brittle or weak nails and hair, and more. According to the NCBI, approximately 10 million people are iron deficient in the United States, including 5 million who have iron deficiency anemia. The USDA recommends that adult men get 8 milligrams of iron per day in their diets. For women, adults and teens, this number is higher (due to blood loss during menstruation), so the recommended daily intake is closer to 15-18 mg. There are several iron-rich foods you can consume to help boost your iron intake, including lean meats, seafood, beans, spinach, and certain dried fruits.
- Manganese is a trace mineral that plays a role in your cognitive function and nervous system. It also plays the role of “constituent of multiple enzymes and an activator of other enzymes.” This means, it can help with your antioxidant functions, metabolism of carbs, amino acids, and more, healthy cartilage and bone development, and collagen production. The Adequate Intake recommendation of manganese for adult males is 2.3 mg per day and 1.8 mg per day for adult women. You can find the most sources of manganese in whole grains, leafy vegetables, and seeds.
- Molybdenum is used by the body to process proteins and genetic material and is important in the function of several enzyme systems in the body. It can also help break down toxicity in the body. The Adequate Intake recommendation of Molybdenum is 45 micrograms in adult men and women. You can find Molybdenum in legumes, such as beans, lentils, and peas, and grains and nuts.
- Selenium is a powerful antioxidant that can play an important role in your skin, hair, and nail health, as well as your metabolism and thyroid function. This trace mineral can help protect your cells from “free radicals,” which speed up aging. Selenium has also been found to “reduce oxidative damage and can limit DNA damage.” The Recommended Dietary Allowances for Selenium is 55 mcg in adult men and women. You can find selenium in Brazil nuts, mushrooms, light turkey, and seafood such as sardines, shrimp, cod, halibut, crab, or oysters.
- Zinc is most well known for its immune-boosting properties. It is also involved in several cellular metabolism functions. Getting enough zinc is important because your body doesn’t have a “specialized zinc storage system.” In other words, a daily intake of zinc is critical because “the body’s immune system needs zinc to do its job.” Most zinc deficiencies are because the zinc being taken isn’t bioavailable or absorbed properly (being able to absorb this trace mineral at the cellular level by supplementing with ionic minerals can help combat that). The average daily recommended amount of zinc is 11 mg in adult men and 8 mg in adult women. You can find it in oysters, red meats, poultry, certain dairy products, and nuts.
How many macro and trace minerals are there?
There are over 70 naturally occurring minerals on the periodic table. Some of the notable macro and trace minerals include:
Trace “Micro” Minerals
Best Ways To Get Trace Minerals
The best way to get essential trace minerals is by eating a combination of healthy fresh fruits, vegetables, and clean meats and seafood.
But the bioavailability of trace minerals in certain foods may be lacking.
And for many people, it’s very difficult to get enough minerals from diet alone. So many people turn to supplements.
This ensures they are getting enough minerals day in and day out.
Since 1992, Maximum Living has been a leader in helping people get the macro and trace minerals they need to thrive through MineralRich.
MineralRich is a liquid mineral drink with 70+ minerals. It’s harvested from The Great Salt Lake and combines macro minerals, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, chromium and potassium, in precise quantities together with trace minerals and Vitamins B-12 and Biotin (B7) for loads of health benefits.
Our physician-formulated blend is naturally balanced, ionically charged, and can be absorbed at the cellular level (without digestion).
You just take 1 fluid ounce daily and enjoy a host of benefits, including hair growth, stronger nails, better skin, and restored and higher energy levels!
If you’re interested in trying it out, click here to get a $10 off code to try out a quality, made-in-the-USA, sourced from the Great Salt Lakes Trace Mineral supplement.