Making Sense of Vitamins and Minerals pt. 3 - Mining

I was born with hillbilly in my blood, in fact I can trace my roots back to the good ol’ Appalachian Mountains in West Virginia. Out there mining is a way of life, and in fact, I remember during many trips to see family out there we’d even visit a mine or two.

In legends people talk of mining to find valuable minerals and resources such as gold and diamonds.  However, what we often take for granted is the mining process our bodies go through.

As we eat food our body sifts through what we need for health and performance. The digestive system is not just looking for vitamins but also valuable minerals that will help our body work like a well oiled machine.

Personally I’ve always been more aware of vitamins and their functions then of minerals. However, minerals are just as important as vitamins, and after reading today’s post I hope you’ll better understand why the body’s “mining” goes a long way in finding valuable minerals for optimal function.




Calcium - assists in blood clotting process, and with cell function in bone

- Popular Food Sources - green leafy vegetables, and kelp


Chloride - aids in the digestion of other nutrients

- Popular Food Sources - whole grains, whole fruits, lean meats, and unprocessed salty foods


Chromium - improves the bodies response to insulin

- Popular Food Sources - broccoli, whole grains, meat, and bananas


Copper - serves as an anti-oxidant

- Popular Food Sources - cashews, almonds, chocolate, whole wheat and organ meats


Flourine- Prevents tooth decay

- Popular Food Sources - water, and tea


Iodine - Necessary for thyroid hormones

- Popular Food Sources - iodized salt, seafood, eggs, and strawberries


Iron - Helps with the formation of hemoglobin (think red blood cells)

- Popular Food Sources - red meat, tuna, spinach, and cashews


Magnesium - assists in the metabolism of carbs and fats

- Popular Food Sources - whole grains, almonds, avocados, and cashews


Manganese - helps with metabolism of carbs and cholesterol

- Popular Food Sources - pineapple, oats, spinach, almonds, sweet potatoes, and raspberries


Molybdenum - helps with metabolism of drugs/toxins

- Popular Food Sources - whole grains and nuts


Phosphorous - helps with the structure of bones, and hormone production

- Popular Food Sources - whole grains, eggs, berries, bananas, and almonds


Potassium - Helps with muscle contraction and nerve impulses to muscles

- Popular Food Sources - bananas, spinach, tomatoes, almonds, and avocado


Selenium - Interacts with nutrients responsible for antioxidant effects

- Popular Food Sources - seafood, whole wheat, and milk


Sodium - Regulates blood volume and pressure

- Popular Food Sources - whole grains, whole fruits, vegetables, meats, and nuts and seeds


Zinc - Supports structure of the cell as well as immune function

- Popular Food Sources - poultry, cashews, almonds, and yogurt


Next time I hope to wrap up this installment up by offering practical applications towards helping you eat healthier.