Weight Loss Program

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Minerals

Minerals are chemical substances required for metabolic processes. They come from soil and water and are absorbed by plants or eaten by animals. They are needed in small amounts and do not provide any dietary energy.

There are two classes of minerals, major and trace:

  • Major minerals are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. Your body needs them in relatively larger amounts than the trace elements. Your body needs them in relatively larger amounts than the trace elements.
  • Trace minerals are chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc. Although they are needed only in tiny amounts, they are important for the proper functioning of your body.

Calcium

Functions

Calcium is essential for:

  • building and maintaining strong bones and teeth;
  • muscle contraction and relaxation;
  • blood clotting;
  • blood pressure.

Sources

  • dairy products;
  • shrimp and clams;
  • salmon;
  • legumes;
  • dark green leafy vegetables;
  • soy foods.

Notes

  1. Too much chocolate, fat or salt, reduces calcium levels.
  2. An increased calcium intake is not likely to cause toxic effects. Any excess is easily eliminated. However, there is a long-term increased risk of kidney stones.
  3. Vitamin D is required for your body to absorb and maintain adequate amounts of calcium.

Iodine

Functions

Iodine maintains the production of the vital thyroid hormone.

Sources

  • seafood;
  • seaweed;
  • iodized salt.

Notes

  1. Vegetables like cabbage, brussels sprouts, raw turnip, broccoli and cauliflower can neutralize iodine in the diet.
  2. One teaspoon of iodized salt provides 150 micrograms of iodine.

Iron

Functions

Iron is essential for:

  • the production of hemoglobin which carries oxygen from the lungs to body cells;
  • proper functioning of the immune system.

Sources

  • red meat;
  • pork;
  • fish and shellfish;
  • poultry;
  • egg yolk;
  • legumes;
  • soy foods;
  • green leafy vegetables;
  • dried fruits.

Notes

  1. Iron is lost from the body through sweat and blood loss. That is why athletes in training, women, regular blood donors and people with diseases that cause bleeding (such as gum disease or stomach ulcers) are at an increased risk of iron deficiency.
  2. Certain substances can reduce your body's ability to absorb iron:
    • tannins from tea, coffee and wine bind iron and carry it out of the body;
    • high fiber diets reduce the absorption of iron, because food is moved quickly through the digestive system;
    • calcium and phosphorus reduce the absorption of iron from plant sources.
  3. Too much iron can be toxic as the body stores iron very efficiently.

Phosphorus

Functions

Phosphorus is essential for:

  • forming healthy bones and teeth;
  • making energy;
  • transporting fat;
  • proper functioning of cells. Phosphorus is a vital component of every cell membrane.

Sources

  • dairy products;
  • eggs;
  • meat and poultry;
  • fish;
  • legumes;
  • nuts.

Notes

Phosphorus levels are depleted by antacid remedies or too much dietary iron or magnesium.

Zinc

Functions

Zinc is essential for:

  • normal growth;
  • strong immune system;
  • wound healing;
  • the development of the reproductive organs;
  • muscle contraction and relaxation.

Sources

  • red meat;
  • poultry;
  • fish;
  • seafood;
  • nuts;
  • legumes;
  • soy foods;
  • dairy products;
  • whole grains.

Notes

  1. Excessive sweating depletes zinc levels in the body.
  2. Zinc can be lost from foods during food processing.

Vitamins Exercise
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