The Role of Minerals in Our Diet: Essay on Nutrition
Human beings have been using minerals in their diets for ages, knowingly or unknowingly. In the past, people may not have recognized the benefits of including a balanced amount of minerals in their diets; but, with technological advances, we are now able to recognize the importance of including various minerals in our food. Minerals are vital materials for the body. Specifically, minerals are necessary for growth, for maintaining the inner workings, and for protecting the body from various diseases.
Firstly, there are many minerals that are essential for growth and development of our bodies. We need correct proportions of minerals in the diet in every stage of life for the growth of bones, muscles, fluids, tissues, and cells. In newborns, calcium and phosphorus must be balanced in order to provide the requisite building blocks for growth and maturation (Moe and Daoud). Infants have to achieve significant levels of growth of their bodies; and thus for proper growth of the body, infants must eat various types of minerals necessary for this process. Whatever be our age, we constantly need essential minerals like calcium, iron, and potassium in our diets for the growth of bones, for making blood cells, and for maintaining body fluids; in addition, trace minerals like iodine, zinc, and manganese make many tissues and hormones. Thus for the growth of the body and for the production of various necessary fluids, we need some specific minerals in our diets.
Secondly, proper intake of some minerals is necessary to maintain various features of the body. Selenium, copper, chloride, sodium, and potassium are necessary in our meals to maintain good health and proper functioning of the body. In addition to bodily growth, it is absolutely necessary that the parts of the body function normally. Some minerals are necessary in order to ensure that there is adequately maintained balance, proportion, and level of various fluids and other materials in the body.
Thirdly, the risk of acquiring diseases is enormous if we don’t include adequate proportions of minerals in our diets. Insufficient intake of chromium and copper, coupled with ample intake of iron, and possibly zinc, may be related to increased risks of cardiovascular diseases associated with eating westernized diets (Anderson). There are other diseases like rickets, scurvy, and muscle glycogenesis which are the result of deficiency of minerals in the diet. Similarly, animals suffer from many diseases from mineral deficiency in their diets. Thus, the only way to avoid such diseases is the intake of the correct quantity of minerals.
Finally, various minerals perform different functions in the body; some minerals are necessary in the body for growth of various cells, and some minerals are necessary to maintain an appropriately functioning body. In addition to this importance of minerals, we need minerals in our food in order to avoid many illnesses. Thus minerals are a fundamental need of the body, and minerals should be included in our diets properly.
Anderson, R. A. “Trace Minerals and Cardiovascular Diseases.” Trace Elements and Free Radicals in Oxidative Diseases., 1994, https://auth.lib.unc.edu/ezproxy_auth.php? url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspxdirect=true&db=lhh&AN=199514041 13&site=ehost-live&scope=site.
Moe, Sharon M., and Jacques R. Daoud. “Disorders of Mineral Metabolism: Calcium, Phosphorus, and Magnesium.” National Kidney Foundation’s Primer on Kidney Diseases, Sixth Edition, 2013, pp. 100–12, doi:10.1016/B978-1-4557-4617-0.00011- X.
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