I often refer to mineral balance as an essential part of the body’s biochemical balance, in the absence of which no healing program can be successful in the long run. When you build a house (your health) you will first of all start with strengthening the foundation (biochemical balance), not building the windows, roof, painting, etc. Many times I see that this very important phase of biochemical balance, of solving nutritional deficiencies is completely ignored by other health programs. But it is dangerous and inefficient to skip this stage when you want optimal health and proper healing.
Imbalances in minerals are at the base of all illness and negative symptoms. Healing is not possible without the correct and precise detection of the mineral imbalances in any organism and solving these through food and supplementation.
There are a number of factors that can prevent the absorption of minerals, even when they are available in the diet. Digestive dysfunctions and especially leaky gut and lack of gastric acid will decrease the absorption of important minerals such as zinc, sodium, copper, magnesium, manganese, selenium, iron and chromium.
Also phytic acid remains a real problem for all commercial breads that use yeast. It decreases the absorption of minerals such as zinc, calcium and iron. Phytic acid is reduced in cereals only by germination or fermentation. However, it can be found in seeds, nuts and legumes as well. Nuts and seeds can be hydrated in water with added salt to decrease the amount of phytic acid.
The most effective ways to ensure an adequate level of minerals in the body are: following a healthy diet, suitable for the type of metabolism, consumption of concentrated bone broth, rich in bioavailable minerals and amino acids, consumption of unrefined salt and supplementation with deficient minerals. The most accurate and correct way to determine the exact mineral deficiencies is by hair tissue mineral analysis and knowing your metabolic type.
Only this way you can know exactly what minerals to supplement with, also taking into account that all minerals work in antagonism and synergy with each other. This is why it is often inefficient and even dangerous to supplement minerals randomly; by doing so you will automatically influence the status of other minerals, vitamins and nutrients, by decreasing or increasing them. This way you can worsen other deficiencies or destabilize other minerals or vitamins. For example, what happens if you supplement with vitamin D without knowing the status of minerals? You can cause an even more pronounced deficiency of zinc, potassium, magnesium, or phosphorus, because they work in antagonism with vitamin D. So, over-supplementing with vitamin D can worsen the condition of those minerals. But other nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, sodium, copper and selenium work in synergy with vitamin D, so a possible combination of these nutrients can be beneficial if determined to be necessary. What happens if you supplement with magnesium for example? You can also affect the condition of other minerals such as calcium, manganese, sodium and phosphorus and can worsen their deficiencies, if any. On the other hand, magnesium’s synergetic elements are calcium (works both in synergy and in antagonism with magnesium), potassium, zinc, manganese, phosphorus, chromium, vitamin A, B1, B2, B3, C and E.
Heavy metals are also in antagonism with minerals in the body and when heavy metals accumulate, they will further influence the deficiencies of certain minerals. This causes even greater complexity when analyzing the correct state of your minerals. In conclusion, it is essential to know what you are supplementing with and what exactly do you want to achieve through this? As you see, this area is a “sophisticated dance” where you really need to know the steps!
What Are the Most Important Minerals for the Body that Can Be Analyzed by Hair Analysis and What Are They Needed For?
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals and deficiency is common. Some of the main functions of magnesium include: energy production, blood pressure regulation, maintaining strong bones, balancing nitric oxide in the body, maintaining proper function of nerves, muscles and tissues, proper transit and preventing constipation.
Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include: angina, anxiety, asthma, cardiovascular disease, constipation, depression, dysmenorrhea, fatigue, high blood pressure, high gastric acid, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, muscle / joint pain, osteoporosis, premenorrhea, nervousness, excessive sweating, muscle spasms / cramps, migraines / headaches, seizures.
Foods rich in magnesium are: spinach, mangold, dried beans, almonds, cashew nuts, potatoes, pumpkin seeds, avocado, bananas, broccoli, Brussels sprouts.
There are at least six magnesium forms in supplements and choosing the right form is very important for this mineral.
Manganese plays an important role in many chemical processes, including the synthesis of cholesterol, carbohydrates and proteins. It is also involved in the production of digestive enzymes, in support of the immune system, helps balance hormones, blood sugar and collagen formation.
Symptoms of manganese deficiency include: energy production dysfunction, allergies, hypoglycemia, diabetes, dizziness, tinnitus, muscle weakness, bone fractures, weak ligaments and tendons, reproductive dysfunction, memory loss, low immunity.
Foods rich in manganese are: teff, rye, brown rice, amaranth, berries, adzuki beans, black and white beans, naut, macadamia nuts, oats, buckwheat.
Sodium (along with potassium) helps maintain the body’s fluid balance. Sodium plays an important role in the transmission of nerve impulses, adrenal gland function, muscle contraction and hydrochloric acid production.
Symptoms of sodium deficiency include: dehydration, low blood pressure, muscle weakness, fatigue, diarrhea, too much magnesium, dry skin, poor digestion, water retention, pH imbalance.
For an adequate intake of sodium in the diet it is recommended to consume unrefined quality salt. Other foods high in sodium are red beet, celery, carrot, spinach, seaweed.
Potassium deficiency is one of the most common deficiencies. Potassium is essential for the health of the nerves and cells, as well as for regulating the heartbeat, for energy production, normal blood pressure, prevention of muscle cramps and for carbohydrate metabolism.
Symptoms of potassium deficiency include: excessive thirst, irregular heartbeat, insomnia, depression, dry skin, salt retention, exhaustion of the adrenal glands, allergies, fatigue, cravings for sweetness, hypoglycemia, low blood pressure.
Foods rich in potassium are: dried white beans, avocados, broccoli, sweet potatoes, bananas, salmon, peas, sardines, grapefruit, white potatoes.
Zinc is an essential nutrient and currently a very high number of people are deficient. You can find out more about this mineral in the article: Zinc Deficiency: an Epidemic that Can Be Stopped.
Zinc is required for hundreds of enzymes that control various functions such as vision, hearing, skin health, nails, hair, connective tissues, sexual function, digestion, immune system and many more. Zinc is needed for optimal growth and development of children, it is needed to release vitamin A from the liver and metabolize fats, carbohydrates and proteins, the body’s primary antioxidant (superoxide dismutase enzyme), wound healing, eradication of infections and is also important for DNA synthesis. It is also necessary to produce intestinal tissue, bile production, and pancreatic secretions.
The eye retina is one of the richest tissues in zinc and one of the most dependent on zinc production, along with the prostate and intestines. Zinc is also a “calming” neurotransmitter; it is necessary for the continuous mental functioning and the development of the neocortex.
Symptoms of zinc deficiency include: hyperactivity, ADHD, anxiety, irritability, emotional instability, slowing growth and development, low immunity, decreased appetite, altered taste, and many other mental and emotional disorders. Zinc and copper are maintained in a delicate balance. Many of the premenstrual problems are directly related to imbalances in this category.
Foods rich in zinc are: oysters, beef, lamb, pumpkin seeds, ginger, beef.
Copper is required for fixing calcium in bones, for forming collagen and for forming and repairing connective tissues, energy production, helps in iron absorption, is closely linked to estrogen metabolism and is necessary for fertility and maintaining pregnancy.
Symptoms of copper deficiency include: anemia, atherosclerosis, capillary fragility, fatigue, hair loss, premature greying of hair, deficient hormone production, collagen deficiency,
fatigue, osteoporosis, tingling and loss of sensation in the feet and hands, confusion, irritability, hemorrhoids, varicose veins.
Foods rich in copper are: liver, organs, eggs, avocado, asparagus, lentils.
Sulfur is another important mineral that has been exhausted considerably from our soils. It is necessary for collagen formation and protein synthesis, skin, hair and nail health, essential for many enzymatic reactions, brain and joint health. Sulfur is also one of the most important minerals for detoxification!
Symptoms of sulfur deficiency include: deficient detoxification capacity, poor protein synthesis, eczema, dermatitis, fragile hair and nails.
Foods rich in sulfur are: eggs, fish, poultry, milk, garlic, onion, broccoli, cabbage, bone soup.
Boron is a very important mineral for the parathyroid glands. Boron helps the correct use of calcium and vitamin D, regulates the magnesium / phosphorus balance, helps regulate hormones and is essential for endocrine health.
Symptoms of boron deficiency include: osteoporosis, excessive sweating, menopausal symptoms, hypertension, arthritis, memory problems, allergies
Foods rich in boron are: dried beans, artichokes, berries, cherries, sweet potatoes, onions, pecans, nuts, plums, peaches, apricots, apples, pears, avocados, grapes, nettles.
Chromium is one of the most important nutrients involved in regulating blood sugar. Chromium is required for proper carbohydrate metabolism and plays a role in energy production as well as cholesterol regulation.
Symptoms of chromium deficiency include: poor blood glucose control, anxiety, fatigue, poor cholesterol metabolism, low energy, changes in appetite and body weight, poor eyesight.
Foods rich in chrome are: eggs, beef, crustaceans, broccoli, potatoes, garlic, turkey, green beans, apples, bananas and organic whole grains.
Phosphorus is important for bone and tooth structure, kidney function, cellular health, energy production and maintaining the acid-alkaline balance of the body. Phosphorus is found in many foods, but to be used properly, it must be in proper balance with magnesium and calcium in the blood. Excessive levels of phosphorus in the blood, often due to the consumption of soft drinks containing phosphoric acid, can lead to loss of calcium and the craving for sugar and alcohol; too little phosphorus inhibits calcium uptake and can lead to osteoporosis and poor protein synthesis.
Symptoms of phosphorus deficiency include: irritability, muscle cramps, general weakness, loss of appetite, osteoporosis
Foods rich in phosphorus are: yogurt, milk, meat, fish, eggs, nuts, whole grains.
Calcium is vital for bone health, strong teeth, the nervous and cardiovascular system, muscle contraction, blood pressure and to prevent premenstrual syndrome and diabetes.
Symptoms of calcium deficiency include: anxiety, cardiovascular disease, dehydration, depression, dysmenorrhea, fatigue, high blood pressure, cancer risk, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, irritability, loss of pregnancy, muscle spasm pain, osteoporosis, syndrome dental caries.
Foods rich in calcium are: organic, unpasteurized dairy from cows raised on pasture, sardines, nettles, broccoli, kale, bams, almonds.
Cobalt is an important co-factor of vitamin B12. This mineral plays an important role in the health of red blood cells, nerve and muscle health, energy production and digestion. Cobalt is also needed for a lot of enzymatic reactions.
Symptoms of cobalt deficiency include: pernicious anemia, loss of appetite, nerve damage, mood changes, gastrointestinal pathogens, neurological disorders.
Cobalt-rich foods are: liver, beet, cabbage, spinach, fish.
Iron is essential in the formation of catalase, a key antioxidant that protects cells from free radicals, in the formation of cytochrome, which is the basis of ATP and energy formation and is a necessary co-factor in the synthesis of neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. About 70% of the iron in the body is found in red blood cells called hemoglobin and muscle cells called myoglobin. Hemoglobin is essential to transfer oxygen from the blood to the lungs and tissues. Myoglobin accepts, stores, transports and releases oxygen.
Symptoms of iron deficiency include: anemia, fatigue, dizziness, headache, insomnia, inability to breathe well, irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness, low cognitive function, mood swings, low immunity.
Foods rich in iron are: liver, dried white beans, lentils, spinach, chickpeas, sardines, beef, lamb.
Molybdenum is very important for the metabolism of iron (along with copper), enzymatic processes, and the prevention of accumulation of toxic substances in the body.
Symptoms of molybdenum deficiency include: anemia, high rate of breathing and heartbeat, headache, mental function disorders, poor detoxification, dental caries.
Molybdenum rich foods are: lentils, peas, dried beans, naut, oats, tomatoes, cucumbers, celery, eggs, carrots, peppers, yogurt
Selenium is an important antioxidant, important for the immune system, thyroid gland, and protects against cancer and cardiovascular disease.
Symptoms of selenium deficiency include: hair loss, low immune system, muscle and bone dysfunction, cardiovascular disease, asthma, infections, fatigue.
Foods rich in selenium are: Brazil nuts, salmon, turkey, chicken, mushrooms, eggs, sardines, sunflower seeds, beef, oats, beef liver.