Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Minerals : Calcium

Minerals are organic elements present in soil. Plants absorb the minerals from their growth medium. We need very small amounts of each mineral in our diet, but they are essential to maintain all nerve and muscle function, teeth, bones and body cells. Minerals are insoluble in water and need to be bonded with a soluble compound before they can be properly utilised. That is why foods are the very best sources.

Functions of Calcium:
Strong bones and teeth
Aids in nerve impulse transmission
Required for blood clotting
Helps with iron absorption
Helps prevent osteoporosis

Sources of Calcium:
Dairy products
Green vegetables
Nuts and seeds
Tinned fish
Deficiency symptoms:
Soft bones
Brittle nails
High blood pressure
Muscle cramps
Increased sensitivity to cold

Supplements are unnecessary provided the diet includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Always check with your doctor before taking supplements of any kind. An excess of any mineral can have unpleasant side effects. Minerals are insoluble in water.

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