The Importance of Minerals


importance of minerals

As someone following a raw and living foods diet, you’re probably getting plenty of minerals, right?  Depending on where your organic produce was grown, you may actually be deficient in several important minerals. Additionally, eating the same foods over and over again tends to skew the diet in favor of certain substances and omit others.  Even though you’re probably eating a very healthy diet, it’s important to think about minerals and ensure adequate mineral consumption.

Minerals, the Forgotten Element of Nutrition

Your body needs minerals to function in peak form. Dr. Linus Pauling, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize and the founder of orthomolecular medicine, said, “You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment, ultimately, to a mineral deficiency.”

Why should this be so? Out of a total of 90 known minerals, 23 are essential for human health. Among these minerals, 16 are considered major players and 7 minor.  . Calcium comes immediately to mind, since even school children learn that strong bones and teeth depend upon adequate calcium intake. Many other minerals including magnesium, sodium, potassium, silicon, sulfur, zinc, copper and others help different body systems function optimally.  Minerals help your body regulate blood glucose levels and the regular beating of the heart. They help with muscle contraction and relaxation, healthy skin, nails and hair, and even mood and nervous system function. Minerals are critical during just about every stage of life, and a lack of minerals can lead to subtle imbalances that affect other systems.

Plants, the Alchemists of Minerals

Plants are indeed wonderful little natural factories, transmuting sunlight, water and air into food for people, animals and insects. They also change the minerals in the soil into minerals properly sized for human absorption. That’s important to know, since it’s tempting to reach for cheap commercial supplements to get more minerals.  Yet such supplements may not be easily absorbed by the body – or not absorbed at all.  The very best source of minerals are plant foods, specifically green, leafy vegetables and other vegetables, sea vegetables, nuts and fruits.

Increasing Mineral Intake

As a raw and living foods vegan, you probably eat foods that are naturally higher in mineral content than your friends who are typical Standard American Diet followers.  It’s still important to be careful and conscious of your mineral intake (without unduly stressing over it!).  Although organic produce is better for you because it omits harmful pesticides and chemicals, even the soil on organic farms can become depleted over time. Soils are also naturally richer in various minerals in different spots around the world; organic apples grown in upstate New York will vary in minerals from apples grown in Oregano or Argentina.  Food charts provide the average vitamin and mineral content in foods.

To get more minerals into your diet, make a few simple and straightforward adjustments.

•    Drink green smoothies – not only are they alkalizing, they’ll increase your mineral intake thanks to the greens included in the smoothie

•    Grow your own organic produce – as much as possible, grow your own organic produce at home. You’ll know how healthy your soil is because you control it.

•    Vary your raw food meals – it’s easy to get stuck in a rut and choose the same recipes weekly. Seek variety, and add one new food or recipe per week. Rotate your foods. This ensures a variety of nutrients, including minerals, in the diet.

•    Add sea vegetables to your weekly diet – sea vegetables contain an abundant source of natural minerals.  Dulse, kelp and other sea vegetables contain minerals your body can absorb and use.

•    Take spirulina and chlorella – these blue-green algae also contain minerals and have health benefits

•    Use a high quality supplement – Raw People’s Co Op sells excellent high quality supplements. Vita Green Mineral is an excellent supplement, and you can purchase a trial before buying a monthly supply.

Minerals are vital to good health. Here’s to a healthy, mineral-rich raw food lifestyle!

The author of this article based the facts on minerals on Spiritual Nutrition by Gabriel Cousens, M.D.  Quotes are taken from this book.

These statements have not been evaluated by the food and drug administration.  The preceding information and/or products are for educational purposes only and are not meant to diagnose, prescribe, or treat illness. Please consult your doctor before making any changes or before starting ANY exercise or nutritional supplement program or before using this information or any product during pregnancy or if you have a serious medical condition.

Written by:  Jeanne Grunert
Copyright 2011 All rights reserved