Minerals are a very important part of our diet. The dietary minerals are the inorganic elements that are very essential to humans to perform the normal daily body functions.

Our body needs about at least a 100 mg of minerals every day and the trace elements are needed in much smaller amounts. We can get minerals from the earth, as well as the plants, which absorb the minerals from the earth.

We need calcium for the development of bones and teeth, as well as maintaining a healthy status of the bones. The calcium is also present in the blood plasma as well as other body fluids and it performs the function of blood clotting, transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contraction. The major source with which we can get calcium is from dairy products, as well as green leafy vegetables. There is requirement of vitamin D for the absorption of calcium.

Another important mineral is phosphorus, which is found in dairy products. It is closely associated with calcium in bone and tooth formation and it is also associated with vitamin D. It is present in the different parts of cell such as nucleic acids and adenosine triphosphate.

Magnesium is another element, which is present in every cell and it is necessary for the metabolism of protein and carbohydrates, cell reproduction and smooth muscle contraction. Magnesium is found in nuts, soybeans and cocoa.

Sodium is found in the skeleton and the extracellular fluid to maintain acid base balance and muscle function. Sodium is found in table salt.

Potassium is present in intracellular fluid and helps maintain the fluid and electrolyte balance, as well as in heart muscle activity. It is found in bananas and legumes.

Chlorine is found in the extracellular fluid and it helps to maintain the normal fluid electrolyte balance as well as acid base balance.

Sulfur is necessary for energy metabolism, enzyme function and detoxification. Sulfur is found in protein foods, meat and eggs.

Just to name a few trace elements, these include chromium, copper, fluorine, manganese, molybdenum, zinc and selenium.

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