Mineral substances in food

Mineral substances entering our body with food are absolutely necessary to ensure the normal functioning of our “metabolic factory”, contributing to the assimilation by the body of substances that provide energy. Their presence is absolutely necessary. Therefore, our task is to ensure that they enter the body in sufficient quantities, as well as proteins , fats , carbohydrates , fiber , water and vitamins .

The lack of minerals not only makes our bodies vulnerable to any disease, but also reduces immunity and accelerates aging. There are two main reasons for the body to lose minerals. First of all, the ration we prepare ourselves is often poorly balanced and uniform. Secondly, consumed products produced in industrialized countries are characterized by a low mineral content due to:

  • intensive agricultural technology oriented not on quality, but on productivity and widely using chemical fertilizers and means of protection against pests (pesticides, insecticides, herbicides);
  • collection of agricultural products before maturity;
  • long transportation and storage;
  • excessive and systematic cleaning (screening, bleaching);
  • canning for long periods;
  • inadequate cooking method;
  • improperly chosen method of cooking (or heating).

Minerals are found in both animal and plant products. They can be divided into macro and micronutrients. There are a lot of macroelements per person per day — up to 2–3 g. These are compounds of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, sodium, chlorine and sulfur. The need for trace elements is a few milligrams, and sometimes even less. These include iron, copper, manganese, zinc, cobalt, iodine, fluorine, chromium, molybdenum, and a number of other elements.

 What role do these elements play in the functioning of our body?

Calcium compounds comprise mineral base bones and teeth, involved in the processes of the excitability of neural tissue, muscle contractility, are part of the major parts of cells (nuclei and membranes) and in tissue fluid.

Recently, calcium is given a particularly large role, since it has been established that it reduces allergic phenomena that cause us more and more trouble every year. The daily calcium requirement for adults is 0.8 g, and for allergic diseases, 1.5-2 g.

The richest sources of calcium (more than 100 mg per 100 g of product) in our diet are milk, kefir, cottage cheese, cheese, beans, parsley, green onions. In second place (50-100 mg / 100 g) you can put sour cream, eggs, buckwheat and oatmeal, peas, carrots, horse mackerel, herring, caviar. Least calcium compounds in meat, semolina, pasta, bakery products from high-grade flour, potatoes, cucumbers, apples, pears.

One of the sources of calcium is fish. A rich source of calcium are crustaceans and especially small fish, which is eaten with bones. It is curious that small specimens of fish are not only more tasty, but also more valuable: they are especially rich in calcium and phosphorus; small fish is also rich in fluorine, which protects teeth well from decay.

Phosphorus compounds play a special role in metabolism in the formation of bones, enzymes, hormones, etc. It is located in the tissues of the brain, muscles, liver, and kidneys.

Phosphorus is part of such vital compounds as nucleic acids – carriers of heredity – and adenosine triphosphate acid – the source of energy in our body. The daily need for its compounds for adults is 1.2 g.

The following are the main sources of calcium compounds and the degree of its absorption in the intestine (mg / 100 g of product):

Cheese, beans, caviar, oatmeal and pearl barley, beef liver More than 300
Cottage cheese, chickens, fish, buckwheat, millet, peas, chocolate 201—300
Beef, pork, boiled sausages, eggs, bread from flour of 1 grade 101—200
Milk, sour cream, rice, semolina, pasta, bread made from high-grade flour, potatoes, carrots 51 —100
Butter, cabbage, green onions, cucumbers, beets, tomatoes, apples, pears, watermelons Less than 50

Magnesium along with calcium is part of the mineral base of the bones. In addition, it activates many enzymes, normalizes the activity of the nervous system and the heart muscle, although, of course, this is not where its functions in the body are exhausted. The daily need for it is about 0.4 g.

All plant products are rich in magnesium, but especially bran, oatmeal, dried apricots, prunes, millet and, of course, green vegetables, as it is part of chlorophyll.

Potassium and sodium are the two most important regulators of water-salt metabolism in the body. Potassium promotes the excretion of water and sodium from the body, and sodium – the accumulation of fluid in the tissues of the body. However, the role of potassium compounds is not limited to this: they are necessary for normal muscle activity (especially the heart), maintaining osmotic pressure, acid-base balance, activation of a number of enzymes.

Plant foods contain much more potassium compounds than sodium (about 5–10 times), so when they want to reduce body fluids, reduce puffiness, and with hypertonic disease, include more meals of oatmeal, dried fruit, baked potatoes in the diet. .

Sodium and chlorine are not randomly placed nearby. They enter the body mainly in the form of sodium chloride – salt. Attitude to salt has always been a very special people. When they say: “the salt of life”, “bread and salt”, they mean well-being and hospitality; salt – the most important kitchen seasoning, without it, any dish will be tasteless.

Sodium plays a huge role in metabolism, maintaining osmotic pressure and acid-base balance, is involved in the regulation of water metabolism, contributing to the accumulation of the required amount of fluid in the body.

Chlorine , as a faithful helper and satellite of sodium, is also involved in the regulation of water metabolism, the maintenance of osmotic pressure and the formation of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. However, as they say, everything is good in moderation. The normal need for chlorine is satisfied by food (especially bread) and salt used for cooking.

In hot climates, as well as when working in hot workshops with abundant sweating, the need for sodium chloride increases to 20-25 g.

Copper in the body contains about 100 mg, but if even 1/3 of this amount is missing, adrenaline levels in the blood decrease, hemoglobin biosynthesis slows down, blood formation is disturbed. The most negative effect of the lack of copper on tissue respiration, metabolic processes. It is rich in buckwheat, oatmeal and pearl barley, potatoes, gooseberries, apricots.

Iron is necessary for blood formation and tissue respiration, as it is a part of hemoglobin and myoglobin and is a carrier of oxygen.

As a rule, modern diets include enough iron. Especially a lot of it (more than 3 mg per 100 g) in dishes made from liver, tongues, meat of rabbits and turkeys, croup, beef. However, it must be borne in mind that the maximum amount of iron absorbed in the intestine is (of the total amount of iron present in foods): for eggs 5%, grains, vegetables and fruits – 5-10%, fish – 15% and for meat only thirty%. In dishes consisting of animal and plant products, about 10% iron is used.

Iodine is necessary for the normal function of the thyroid gland, on which such basic biological processes as growth, development and differentiation of tissues depend. It is in this gland that hormones are produced that regulate all types of metabolism, as well as energy consumption. The need for iodine is 0.1-2 mg per day. Iodine deficiency leads to endemic goiter. Especially a lot of iodine is found in marine fish and seafood – shrimp, mussels, sea kale, etc. Thus, 100 g of mackerel contains a daily dose of iodine, warning against thyroid disease. Constantly including mackerel and other types of ocean fish in the diet, you can compensate for the lack of this essential microelement.

However, during cooking, the amount of iodine in foods can be significantly reduced. So, when cooking potatoes in whole tubers, up to 30% of iodine compounds are lost, and chopped – up to 50%.

A significant part of the need for iodine is satisfied by drinking water. In areas where there is little iodine in drinking water, diseases of the endemic goiter often occur, and iodized sodium chloride is used to combat it – iodine compounds are added to table salt.

Fluorine is a relative of iodine and chlorine. He needs a person to build bone (especially dental) tissue. Its lack of nutrition leads to dental disease, caries, and an excess – to the fragility of the teeth. A lot of fluoride found in saltwater fish, tea.

Zinc has a hematopoietic effect, protects against excessive fat deposition, is necessary for the normal activity of the endocrine glands. They are rich in meat offal, eggs, fish, mushrooms.

The most important source of trace elements are vegetable and vegetable dishes . Fortunately, during culinary processing mineral substances are practically not lost, except for iodine and chromium compounds, since some of them are volatile. However, a significant amount of trace elements goes into broths. When cooking soups, this phenomenon is almost irrelevant, but in the manufacture of main dishes it can lead to a sharp decrease in the rations of not only trace elements, but also all minerals.

Manganese compounds affect the growth and reproduction of animals and plants, the level of cholesterol in the blood, is involved in the processes of respiration and mineral metabolism. The daily need of an adult in manganese is 5-10 mg. The lack of it causes the abnormal development of the skeleton, the occurrence of nervous disorders.

Cobalt is called the hematopoietic element, as it is involved in the formation of red blood cells with iron and copper. It also inhibits the growth of malignant tumors. Its sources are liver, cheese, beets.

Knowing the content of trace elements in vegetables, pasta, cheese and other products, it is possible to prepare such dishes in which these elements are in a balanced state.

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