Essential minerals are vitamin’s second best dancing partner! Not to get too deep, but they are called "essential" because you must have them in order to survive! Let's take a look at a few, why they are necessary, and the foods that contain them:
Folic Acid – or (Folate), is a nutritional powerhouse with approximately 20 different enzymes to build DNA, the material that contains the genetic code for your body, and is essential for normal nerve function. It helps prevent heart attack and stroke by blocking artery-attacking chemicals that accumulate in the blood of those who eat meats. It is found in fortified cereals, pinto beans, navy beans, asparagus, spinach, broccoli, okra, and brussel sprouts.
Iron - Iron helps you to form hemoglobin, or red blood cells. It helps build and maintain your immune system so it is ready for attack when needed! Around 20% of Americans are deficient in iron. Along with soybeans, you can get it from beef, cream of wheat, baked potatoes, pumpkins seeds and clams.
Electrolytes- are made from potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium – When you are dehydrated, these four elements are what you’ve lost. Dehydration can happen to healthy people just like it can the sick. Either way, it is a serious condition. Intense fatigue and muscle cramps are only two symptoms. If you’re not bad enough to go to the Emergency Room, buy some Pedialite. It is a bottled drink formulated for children that contains these ingredients. To avoid dehydration, just drink plenty of fluids each day, and a diet containing fruits and veggies will prevent it. They naturally contain plenty of water and minerals!
Riboflavin– It is a known antioxidant that helps prevent cancer. While it can’t do much alone, it assists folic acid and vitamin B-6 to do their job. It also transports amino acids into neurotransmitters, chemicals crucial for thinking and memory. It is an essential B vitamin necessary for all kinds of chemical processes in the body. It is found in poultry, fish, grains, broccoli, turnip greens, asparagus, spinach, yogurt, milk and cheeses.
Selenium - It is a powerful antioxidant, and it works well together with Vitamin E against free radicals. You don’t need much of it, but it is a “team player” when it comes to assisting other cancer fighting substances in the body.
SYNERGY= (combined forces)
Remember to mix food colors for more impact and mix types of food such as proteins, complex carbohydrates and foods that contain the good fats. Foods synergize when eaten together stoking your body’s furnace. It will rev up your metabolism and if you keep up the practice you will stay balanced without sugar spikes or lows. In other words, you’ll feel better, and have a better chance of a healthy future.
Go Ahead - Mix It Up!
There are 5 Basic Food Groups, which in my generation, was called the Food Pyramid. It was a simple graphic that identified food groups to help you balance your daily portions. I have always maintained belief in its benefits, but somehow that part of health education here in America has been largely ignored in at least two decades. Emma Carder, a Registered Dietician in the UK, introduced me to the Eatwell Plate which is almost identical to the way I was taught, it's just called a different name. Intended only as a guide, it is all about variety and balance, and your body loves them both! Here it is:
• Fruits & Veggies
• Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta(and other starchy foods)
• Meat, fish, eggs, beans (and other non-dairy sources of protein)
• Foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar
• Milk and dairy foods
What you can know then is this: if you eat just one thing that is good for you, you are only part-way there. Foods need to be eaten together to synergize so that your metabolism revs up. In other words, one food's DNA will charge another one's and so on, and the cycle will continue, giving your body life – just like I have discussed that unhealthy cells dividing, gives your body death! So choose life!
Eating this way is good for you 360 degress. You will enjoy the taste, your digestive tract will become healthier, and the benefits to your bloodstream and lymphatics are immeasurable.
The Eatwell Plate will help you manage weight, improve general well-being and reduce the risk of conditions including heart disease, stroke, some cancers, diabetes and osteoporosis (thin bones). You'll love the graphic, it's colorful and printable! Follow Emma on Twitter @EmmaCarderRD.
Get empowered! It’s never too late to start a good thing.
Editor's Note: I am not a physician, and this information is to be used along with the directive of your healthcare professional. If you believe that you are in an emergency situation and need help, dial 911 immediately.