Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mineral salts in our body

Mineral salts are present in minor quantities in our body but they are essential for regulating different metabolic activities and proper functioning of the body. Some of the important mineral salts are listed below


Calcium is needed for the formation of bones and teeth, clotting of blood, contraction of muscles and healthy nerves. Milk, cheese, butter, green leafy vegetables, orange and eggs are rich sources of calcium. Calcium deficiency results in bone disorders, dental disintegration and rickets in children.


Phosphorous works with calcium for healthy bones and teeth. It also helps in the activation of enzymes and digestion of fats and carbohydrates. Milk, egg yolk, fish, meat and vegetables supply phosphorous to our body. Lack of sufficient phosphorous can hinder growth and affect bones.


Magnesium helps maintain the ionic balance of our body and influences the nervous system. Nuts, soya and seafoods are natural sources of magnesium. Deficiency of magnesium can lead to nervousness, anxiety and abnormal heart beat.


Potassium governs the acid-base balance in the cell and it is essential for glycogen synthesis. Chicken, banana and potatoes are abundant sources of potassium. Potassium deficit can lead to nervous breakdown and poor muscular control.


Sodium is vital for the regulation of osmotic pressure. Common salt (NaCl), carrot, cauliflower, eggs, legumes and radish are packed with sodium. Shortage of sodium results in nervous disorders.


Iron is important for the formation of haemoglobin and chromatins. Liver, fish, spinach, seafoods and eggs are good sources of iron. Anaemia is caused due to iron deficiency.


Iodine is necessary for proper working of thyroid gland and thyroxine secretion. Iodized salts are popular for obvious reasons. Sea foods and milk are chief sources of iodine. Iodine deficiency results in simple goitre.


Sulphur aids in the formation of body proteins. Sulphur has anti-aging properties and acts as a detoxifier. Sulphur is present in meat, garlic, cabbage, fish and onions. Sulphur deficiency can cause skin and nervous problems.


Chlorine is a vital component of cerebro-spinal fluid (CSF) and maintains the water balance in our body. Common salt is a good source of chlorine ions.


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