There are 19 minerals in total, most of which our bodies need, in very small quantities, to function properly.
- We need minerals to build our bones and teeth.
- Minerals help us to carry out bodily functions.
- Minerals help to control the levels of fluid in our bodies.
We need calcium to:
- build bones and teeth
- help our blood to clot
- help muscles to work.
Sources of calcium are:
- milk and milk products
- green vegetables
- the bones of tinned oily fish (e.g. sardines)
- drinking water
- wholemeal bread and white bread if calcium has been added.
We need iron to build haemoglobin, which is a substance in our blood that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide around the body.
sources of iron include:
- lean meat
- wholemeal flour
- offal (animals' internal organs, such as the heart, liver and kidneys)
- green vegetables
- egg yolk
we need phosphorus to:
- build bones and teeth (together with calcium and vitamin D)
- control the structure of our brain cells.
We need to have sodium in all our body fluids. It regulates the amount of water we have in our bodies. It also helps with the functioning of our muscles and nerves.
If we eat too much salt our bodies can excrete some of it in our urine . Our Kidneys control how much salt we get rid of through our urine. We also lose sodium when we sweat, but our bodies cannot control how much salt we lose in this way.
Sodium is found in salt (sodium chloride).
Many foods :
- are cooked with salt
- or have salt added to them (e.g. bacon and chesese)
- or already contain salt (e.g. meat, eggs, fish).
We need iodine so that our thyroid gland can function properly. The thyroid gland produces hormones that control our growth . if it is not working properly it can us underweight or overweight.
Sources of iodine include:
- iodised salt
- drinking water obtained near the sea
- vegetables grown near the sea.