Trace Metabolic Functions Minerals

The only known function of iodine is that it aids in the formation of thyroid hormones, which help regulate cell activities. It is found mainly in clams, lobsters, shellfish and seafood, plants grown near the sea and foods with iodine added (iodised) salt. Selenium is the major mineral antioxidant and is required for many processes in the body. Vitamin E and selenium reinforce one another and can make up for one another if one is deficient. Selenium works well to help sun-damaged skin. Research also shows it can possibly help prevent viruses attacking the heart and lowers the risk of many cancers. Selenium is found in shellfish and meat as well as whole grains, but soils are often deficient in selenium, and the sulphur content in many fertilisers can also inhibit plant absorption.Selenium should be taken every day as an aid to fight oxidative free radicals that cause premature aging and stress. Low levels of selenium are also associated with mood disorders, degenerative diseases, thyroid problems, psychiatric disorders, poor immune functions and skin conditions.Copper helps promote bone growth and maintains the health of nerve tissue. Iron, copper and cobalt work closely together in the production and maturation of red blood cells. It is found in beef, liver, seafood, nuts, dry roasted cashews, dried beans and sunflower seeds.

Macro minerals

Calcium is important for building healthy bones and teeth, and also plays an essential role in nerve and muscle function and blood clotting. It keeps muscles moving smoothly and prevents cramping. Approximately 99 per cent of the calcium in your body is present in the bones, teeth and skeleton; the other 1 per cent is found in and around cells. You will find calcium in milk and milk products; calcium-fortified foods; the bones of fish like sardines and salmon; tofu, spinach and oatmeal. Phosphorus works with calcium to help build bones and teeth. It is used in the energy cycle and helps in the formation of red blood cells. It is found everywhere in foods with more being added during food processing and in plant fertilisers. Some of the best places to get phosphorus are high-protein foods like meat, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts, seeds, whole grains and milk.Magnesium is a wonderful mineral that is involved in just about every biological process in the body. It is essential for nerve and muscle function and the renewal of proteins, and is needed to make body tissues, particularly your bones. Main food sources are whole grains and legumes, green leafy vegetables, nuts, mushrooms and bananas. Much magnesium is lost during food processing, so use stone-ground wholemeal flour or brown rice.Sodium is one of the few minerals that we easily have in excess in our diets. Fourteen to 28 g of sodium chloride (salt) per day is considered excessive, but not uncommon in developed countries (1 teaspoon = approximately 5 g). Ten per cent of daily sodium comes from the natural salt content of foods. Fifteen per cent of salt is added during cooking or at the table, and a whopping 75 per cent of salt is added during the processing and manufacturing, as it also acts as a preservative.

The most of these additives are used in foods.

Creative Ways to Use Tofu

There are different types of tofu, primarily distinguished from one another by their texture. Silken tofu, or Japanese-style tofu, ranges from the softest to medium-soft. Chinese-style, or hard-pressed tofu, is medium-firm to dense-firm. Read the rest of this entry »