The Mineral Chapter in History

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Last century, we developed a firm understanding of what governed our bodies, and it turned out they were all nutrients. Scientists slowly discovered a batch of nutrients that illustrated how closely the human body is linked to the natural world.

The discovery of minerals in our bodies and our food was an integral part of how natural medicine emerged. If the minerals were so important to the body, then taking in more minerals could help with natural healing. And perhaps deficiencies of these nutrients were causing health problems.

Minerals were discovered by trial, error, experiment and accident. Previously, we didn’t know the minerals were in food and our bodies. Chromium, for instance, was discovered in the 1950s, after researchers removed a substance called “glucose tolerance factor” from pork kidney. This factor, which has large amounts of chromium in it, helps maintain your sugar levels. So chromium ensures your body uses sugar properly, and enhances the actions of the all-important insulin.

Here’s a quick rundown of the essential minerals the role of which in our health helped redirect medicine back to its roots in natural healing.

  • Boron: Critical in healthy bones and joints, it helps the
    body balance and absorb calcium, magnesium and
    phosphorus.
  • Calcium: Keeps bones and teeth strong; prevents
    deterioration and weakness.
  • Chloride: An “electrolyte” mineral, it’s found in fluid
    across all your cells. Chloride’s critical in balancing sodium
    levels in the fluid.
  • Chromium: Without it, insulin would not be able to carry
    glucose into your cells. Pivotal for your body’s energy and
    the prevention of diabetes.
  • Copper: An essential part of many enzymes that perform
    functions such as iron utilization, bone creation, and energy
    production.
  • Iodine: Permits the thyroid gland to produce its
    hormones that regulate how your body uses energy.
  • Iron: Inside all red blood cells, iron permits hemoglobin
    to carry oxygen throughout your body.
  • Manganese: Critical for a wide array of enzymes to
    perform an entire catalogue of functions.
  • Magnesium: Makes sure calcium is used properly, and
    helps produce energy, contract muscles, and transmit nerve
    impulses.
  • Molybdenum: Part of the essential enzymes that play a
    wide variety of roles.
  • Phosphorus: Key in turning carbohydrates, fats and
    protein into energy.
  • Potassium: Essential in fluid balance. It also is vital in
    energy production and maintaining safe blood pressure.
  • Selenium: Very recently, science discovered its
    incredibly important role in killing free radicals and
    preventing many chronic diseases (including cancer).
  • Sodium: Allows substances to enter cells, and has a
    unique ability to help transmit muscle and nerve impulses.
  • Sulfur: Among a litany of important roles, sulfur is
    needed by proteins that are crucial in the structure of bones,
    cartilage, tendons, hair and nails.
  • Vanadium: Helps process carbohydrates, cholesterol and
    sugar.
  • Zinc: No mineral does more than zinc; why don’t we
    leave it at that?
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