5 Minerals for Better Health: Minerals

Learn about which five minerals are best for you health


Many minerals play major roles in the body. Those that are needed in trace amounts are called microminerals. Macrominerals, also called bulk minerals, are needed in larger amounts. Both are necessary for good health and vitality.



Calcium : A body builder
As the most abundant mineral in the body, calcium regulates heartbeat, normalizes nerve and muscle function, and assists in blood clotting. Calcium is required for production and activity of enzymes and hormones that regulate digestion, fat metabolism, and energy release; it’s also nature’s skin tonic and sedative, helping cells regenerate and soothing nerves. Calcium’s sedative effects may also calm some hyperactive children, according to Lendon H. Smith, M.D., professor of pediatrics at the University of Oregon.

But many Americans don’t get enough. In 1997, The National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine issued new recommendations, suggesting between 1,000 and 1,200 mg of calcium per day. Yet according to a nutrition survey published in 1995 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the average daily calcium intake ranges from only 600 to 800 mg for women and 800 to 1,000 mg for men.

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