Minerals from A to Z – What you need to know about basic minerals – Part II

Minerals -Part II

In our first article, we have covered some of the basic minerals known to most of the people. The information provided in that article should shed some light on the benefits of the minerals, and the consequences that can occur when the daily value is not satisfied. The minerals listed below are as important as the minerals mentioned in the first part of the article. All together, these minerals are crucial for our welfare and healthy life.

How strong is Iron?

The production of iron started in the Middle Bronze Age. China was the first country that produced cast iron during the 5th century BC, which they used for agriculture, architecture, and warfare. Europe was introduced to iron’s benefits somewhere in the medieval period.  In 1709, Abraham Darby I discovered the way to produce cast iron. Moreover, iron was one of the key elements that led to the Industrial revolution.

Iron (Fe) is the most common element that forms the Earth’s inner and outer core. Many people know that iron is important but perhaps they do not know why and how much. Iron is crucial because it forms complexes with molecular oxygen in hemoglobin and myoglobin. It is also associated with important enzymes that deal with cellular respiration.

Green vegetables, fish, red meat, bread, dried fruits, liver, beans, poultry, tofu, chickpeas, black-eyed peas, fortified breakfast cereals, and eggs are rich in iron.

For men, the optimum amount of iron is 8.7 mg, while for women is 14.8 mg. A meal of two boiled eggs and a piece of integral bread are meeting the daily value of iron. It is important to know that vitamin C helps the body to absorb the iron, thus, with these iron-rich food you should drink citrus juices.

Pregnant women and blood donors are advised to pay attention on the iron level and to do regular checkups.  If the iron is law, they need to increase the iron intake.

How necessary is Zinc?

Zinc (Zn) is a metallic element similar to magnesium. The largest amount of minerals is in Australia, Asia, and the United States. An alloy of zinc and copper has been used since the 10th century BC.  The alchemist Paracelsus probably gave the name to this mineral after the German word Zinke. It is very important for both humans and animals. Its deficiency can cause growth retardation in children, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation, and infection susceptibility. Researches tell us that zinc is found in 100 specific enzymes. Most zinc is in muscles, bones, kidney, liver, and brain, but the highest concentration of it is in the eyes and prostate.

Zinc interacts with numerous organic ligands and regulates apoptosis; most importantly is that zinc plays an important role in central nervous system and brain functioning. Its role is also significant in the DNA and RNA metabolism and gene expression. An adult can suffer from liver and chronic renal disease, diabetes, malignancy, alopecia, eye and skin lesions as a result of zinc deficiency.

Zinc is found in soybeans, beans, walnut, nuts, mustard, oysters, shrimp, mussels, and lentil.  Recommended daily amount for men is 9.5 mg, and for women is 7 mg. For instance, 100 grams of oysters contain 70 mg of zinc.