Minerals


Mineral

Found in

What it does

Calcium (Ca)

Primarily in milk and dairy products; also dark-green vegetables, legumes, shellfish, fish with edible bones and tofu; also calcium-fortified orange juice.

Builds bones and teeth; promotes blood clotting, contraction of muscles and nerve impulses.

Chromium (Cr)

Whole wheat and other whole grains and molasses.

An essential nutrient required for normal sugar and fat metabolism; may also help prevent high cholesterol and atherosclerosis.

Copper (Cu)

Organ meats, shellfish, whole-grain products, legumes and dried fruits.

Builds bones, red blood cells and hemoglobin; metabolizes iron, maintains connective tissue and blood vessels; may play a role in cancer prevention.

Fluoride (F)

Seafood, tea, coffee and soybeans; sodium fluoride is often added to the water supply to prevent tooth decay.

Promotes bone and tooth formation; prevents tooth decay.

Iodine (I2)

Saltwater fish, shellfish, sea kelp and iodized salt.

Helps produce thyroid hormones; adequate iodine intake during pregnancy is crucial to normal fetal development.

Iron (Fe)

Iron is poorly absorbed from food. The richest sources are red meat and organ meats; other sources include whole-wheat products, shellfish, nuts and dried fruit. Many breads and cereals are enriched with iron. Vitamin C aids absorption of iron and is often added to iron supplements.

Helps produce hemoglobin and red blood cells; delivers oxygen to muscles and other body tissues; protects against effects of stress

Magnesium (Mg)

Legumes, whole-grain cereals, nuts and dark-green vegetables; also meat, seafood and dairy products.

Builds bones and teeth; involved in functioning of muscular and nervous systems and hear and circulatory system.

Manganese (Mn)

Tea, green vegetables, legumes, oats and rice.

Involved in reproductive processes, sex hormone formation; essential for normal brain function and bone development.

Molybdenum (Mo)

Dairy products, legumes, whole-grain cereals and organ meats.

Involved in enzyme activities.

Phosphorus (P)

Meat, fish, eggs, legumes and dairy products; also whole wheat, corn and rice.

Builds bones and teeth.

Potassium (K)

Potatoes, dried fruits, bananas, legumes, raw vegetables, avocados and mushrooms; also lean meat, milk and fish.

Helps nerves and muscles function; regulates heart's rhythm; regulates bodily fluids.

Selenium (Se)

Whole-grain cereals, fish and shellfish, meat and dairy products.

An antioxidant, helps protect cells and tissues from damage by free radicals; may also protect against some cancers.

Sodium (Na)

Naturally in many foods and is added to many prepared foods.

Maintains body's fluid balance; important for nerve function and muscle contraction; controls heart's rhythm.

Zinc (Zn)

Shellfish (particularly oysters), organ meats and lean red meat, yeast, whole-grain cereals, and legumes.

Involved in growth, skin health and wound healing, development of the reproductive organs, protein metabolism and energy production.