Minerals Compendium - A Guide For Women Of All Ages

Minerals Compendium – A Guide For Women Of All Ages

Minerals (also called elements) are as vital to your health as vitamins. Everyone has heard that you need calcium for strong bones. Did you know chromium helps break down fats into (good) HDL cholesterol?

Since you’re here at our site we know you care about your health. The information you read on this site is meant to enhance your knowledge. When surfing the internet we all tend to move rapidly along. Please take a few minutes to review the vitamin and mineral sections. When you least expect it, the information you read here may be beneficial.

Learn how the essential vitamins and minerals help!

As a woman your body goes through amazing changes every month. The information on this site helps provide you with the tools to recognize any deficiencies that may occur in your body. If you know how the essential vitamins and minerals help your body then you alone will know if you need a supplement.

Think for a minute about any health related issues that affect you. As you scroll through these pages you may come across information that could help relieve pain, give you more energy, or just make you feel better.

Calcium isn’t just for strong bones and teeth.

Vegetarians and women on a diet may need a Calcium supplement.

Calcium is the strong bone and teeth mineral. In addition to bones and teeth calcium is also present in a liquid form in nerves and muscles. Helping nerve impulses and muscle growth while helping to structure RNA and DNA. As if that weren’t enough this mineral inhibits the absorption of toxic lead too. Girls 9-18 need 1,300 mg/d to 2.5 g/d, women need 1,000mg/d to 2.5 g/d, and women over 50 need 1200 mg/d to 2.5 g/d.

Natural sources of calcium are dairy products, green leafy vegetables, sardines, tofu, seafood, and baked beans.

Women who are vegetarians, are on a diet, and those that do not get enough dairy products may need a Calcium supplement. Alcohol consumption may increase your need for calcium. Some laxatives and antacids may reduce the absorption of calcium into your body.

Signs of calcium deficiency include aching joints, brittle nails, eczema, high blood cholesterol, heart palpitations, hypertension, insomnia, muscle cramps, nervousness, rheumatoid arthritis, rickets, tooth decay, convulsions, delusions, and depression.

Calcium may make it harder for your body to absorb iron and some other minerals.

Chromium helps regulate blood sugar levels

Chromium aids in the process of metabolism of proteins and fats. Making it a desirable  Supplement for women on a diet.

Chromium is the mineral responsible for breaking down fats into (good) HDL cholesterol. It also aids in making glucose available for energy and controlling blood sugar levels. This makes a Chromium Supplement ideal for dieters as it suppresses cravings for sweets. Girls 9-13 should intake at least 21 mcg/d, teens need 24 mcg/d, women of child bearing age need 25 mcg/d, women over 50 need 20 mcg/d. During pregnancy your needs increase to 30 mcg/d and while lactating jump to 45 mcg/d. Upper level limits have not been determined.

Natural sources of chromium include dairy products, whole grains, apples, corn, meat, potatoes, spinach, brewers yeast, nuts, and beer.

Signs of deficiency may include anxiety, fatigue, and glucose intolerance.

Diabetics should only take supplements under doctors’ orders. Do not take if you are pregnant, lactating, or have epilepsy,

Copper aids in the formation of collagen

Copper helps your skin and nerves stay healthy. Because of copper water pipes in the U.S.A. deficiency is not a real problem.

Copper is the mineral that helps form collagen for healthy skin. It also helps in the formation of hemoglobin for red blood cells and helps keep your nerves healthy. Girls 9-13 need 700-5,000 mcg/d, women of all ages need 900-8,000 mcg/d, and during lactation 1300-8,000 mcg/d is needed.

Natural sources of copper include liver, nuts, avocados, beans, beets, cereal, garlic, lentils, mushrooms, potatoes, fish, soybeans, and green leafy vegetables. Because of copper water lines in the United States copper supplements are not normally required.

Signs of deficiency include anemia, diarrhea, skin sores, and hair loss.

High intakes of copper can lead to depression, nausea, vomiting, nervousness, and muscle pain.

Do not take supplements if you have Wilson’s Disease.

Iodine helps regulate your metabolic rate

The most common source of iodine is iodized salt. Sea kelp is the best natural source of an Iodine Supplement.

Iodine is a mineral that helps regulate our metabolic rate. It is also needed to help form two separate hormones for the thyroid. Normal physical and mental development depends on iodine as well. Girls 9-13 need 120-600 mcg/d, teens 14-18 need 150-900mcg/d, women need 150-1,100 mcg/d, during pregnancy 220-1,100 mcg/d are needed, and while lactating 290-1,100 mcg/d are required.

Natural sources of iodine include saltwater fish and shellfish, iodized salt, sea salt, kelp, asparagus, garlic, mushrooms, sesame seeds, soybeans, and turnip greens. Iodine is also added to milk in the UK.

Deficiency of iodine may be noticed by fatigue or weight gain. Very little iodine is required by the body. Too much iodine may leave a metallic taste in your mouth, swollen salivary glands, diarrhea, vomiting, or sores in your mouth.

Sea kelp is the best source of an Iodine Supplement.

An iodine supplement should not be taken with certain medical conditions or while taking some medications.Consult your health care provider.

Iron is the mineral most deficient in women

Women that are just starting on a vegetarian course may need an Iron Supplement. An iron supplement will also be needed during pregnancy and by women that don’t get enough citrus products in their diet.

Iron is the most prevalent mineral in your blood. It is needed for a healthy immune system and for the production of energy. The synthesizing of ATP could not be done without iron. ATP is what makes your body go (have energy). There are two forms of iron. One can be easily obtained from animal products. The other which is obtained through plants is much harder to absorb. Girls 9-13 need 8-40 mg/d, women 14 to 50 need 15-45 mg/d, women over 50 and those lactating need 8-45 mg/d, pregnant women need 27-45 mg/d.

Natural sources of iron include animal products, which is easily absorbed. It can also be found in green leafy vegetables, whole grains, eggs, and baked beans.

Vegetarians adapt to absorbing iron from vegetables over time. For anyone just changing to a vegetarian diet an Iron Supplement may be needed.

Iron is the mineral to women that the vitamin Folic Acid is. In other words it is the mineral most deficient in women’s bodies.

Deficiency symptoms include anemia, brittle hair, difficulty swallowing, digestive problems, dizziness, fatigue, fragile bones, hair loss, inflammation in the mouth, spoon shaped nails or nails with ridges running their length, nervousness, obesity, slowed mental reactions, and decreased intellectual performance.

Too much iron leads to the production of free radicals and requires more vitamin E. Too much iron in young children can cause iron poisoning. You should not take iron supplements if you have certain medical conditions. Consult your health care provider.

Iron supplements may cause constipation.

Magnesium is needed in over 300 enzymes

Magnesium helps to absorb calcium and potassium. Alcoholism and excessive use of laxatives are just 2 of the reasons a Magnesium supplement may be needed.

Magnesium helps in the absorption of calcium and potassium. It helps bones mineralize and helps over 300 enzymes in your body. The transmission and reception of nerve signals to the muscles is also helped by magnesium. Girls 9-13 need 240-350 mg/d, teens 14-18 need 360 mg/d, women need 320-350 mg/d, pregnant teens need 400 mg/d, pregnant women need 320-350 mg/d, lactating women need the normal amounts.

Sources of magnesium include dairy products, meat, fish, seafood, green leafy vegetables, bananas, broccoli, eggs, nuts, potatoes, whole grains, apples, brown rice, tofu, and soybeans.

Signs of deficiency include fatigue, muscle weakness, muscle spasms, depression, abnormal heart rhythms, and loss of appetite. Alcoholism, stress, diabetes, heart failure, too many laxatives, and severe burns can lead to a deficiency in your body. If any of these apply to you, a Magnesium Supplement may be needed.

Too much magnesium is not usually serious but can lead to diarrhea.

High levels of vitamin D, and zinc increase your bodies need for magnesium. Too much fats, calcium, vitamin D, and proteins make it harder for your body to absorb it.

Molybdenum is needed in very small quantities

Molybdenum helps in the metabolism of iron. It can be found in dairy products and dark leafy vegetables.

Molybdenum is one of those minerals that doesn’t do a lot but you still need it. Your body needs very little of this to function but it is still needed. Helping in the metabolism of iron, maintaining normal cell function, and aiding an enzyme that is used for breaking down waste for urination is this mineral’s claim to fame. Girls 9-13 need 34-1,100 mcg/d, women need 45-2,00 mcg/d, pregnant and lactating women need 50-2,000 mcg/d.

Natural sources include dairy products, beans, cereal, legumes, peas, and dark leafy vegetables.

Signs of deficiency include mouth or gum disorders and impotency in men. Too much sulfur can lead to lowered levels.

Too much molybdenum could lead to gout and make it harder to absorb copper.

Selenium helps neutralize free radicals

Selenium aids in the formation of antioxidant enzymes. The mineral also helps the normal functioning of thyroid hormones. Take Selenium supplements in small doses at first.

Selenium aids in the formation of antioxidant enzymes and helps the normal functioning of thyroid hormones. As an antioxidant it helps neutralize free radicals. These are the real bad guys in our bodies caused by normal chemical reactions in our bodies. Girls 14-18 need 40-280 mcg/d, women need 55-400 mcg/d, pregnant women need 60-400 mcg/d, and women lactating need 70-400 mcg/d.

Sources of selenium include bread, Brazil nuts, fish, liver, rice, chicken, vegetables, onions, and dairy products. The selenium levels of the soil vegetables are grown in determine the levels in the vegetables.

A deficiency of selenium may show up as exhaustion, problems with growth, infections, high cholesterol, or becoming sterile. If you feel you need a Selenium Supplement try small doses to see if it helps you. Vegetarians living in areas with low levels may need a supplement. Stop at a local produce stand and ask the farmer. He/she will be glad to talk to you about their soil.

Too much is just as bad as too little. It can cause brittle nails, breath that smells like garlic, stomach problems, irritability, arthritis, hair loss, liver or kidney problems, rashes, and a metal taste in your mouth. Changes in your nervous system can also be caused by too much selenium.

Zinc is one of the major minerals in your body

From your immune system to your unborn baby the mineral zinc plays a major role. Do not exceed 300 mg/d with a Zinc supplement.

Zinc is important in several ways. It aids in bone formation, the healing of wounds, functioning of the male prostrate gland, and the growth of the reproductive organs. The enzymes it helps create are responsible for tissue growth, reproduction and the immune system. As if that wasn’t enough it also aids in cell replication, DNA synthesis, and plays a major role in early development of your unborn baby. Girls need 8- 23 mg/d, teens need 9-34 mg/d, women need 8-40 mg/d, pregnant women need 11-40 mg/d, and women that are lactating need 12-40 mg/d.

The best sources of zinc are eggs, fish, legumes, meats, poultry, cheese, milk, whole grains, and mushrooms.

A zinc deficiency can lead to fingernails becoming thin, and loss of taste and smell. Early signs of deficiency include slow wound healing, skin lesions, frequent colds and flu, memory loss, prostrate trouble, infertility, acne, slow sexual maturation, fatigue, hair loss, slowed growth, impaired night vision, high cholesterol, and being more susceptible to infection.

A Zinc Supplement is safe up to the upper limits listed above. Do not exceed 300 mg/d or it could impair your immune system.

About Helen Patterson

Helen Patterson lives, eats, and dreams fitness every day. From the healthy glass of lemon water first thing in the morning to the disgustingly healthy smoothie every night just before bed, she is a walking advertisement for lean, fit and healthy. Or at least she tries to be! Some days it doesn’t quite pan out that way but it’s the thought that counts. It’s also why she spends a considerable amount of time, in between yoga, meditation, and working out, researching and writing about health and fitness.