Is It Possible That Americans Are Deficient in Minerals?
Minerals are responsible for thousands of bio-chemical processes in the body. Many of the minerals work synergistically so a deficiency in just one mineral can have a devastating impact on the body.
Magnesium for example is involved in over 300 chemical processes that activate enzymes. Magnesium is also crucial in the production of ATP, or energy, in the body. Zinc is a co-factor in over 70 enzymatic processes, needed for insulin production, and is responsible for skin, immunity, growth, musculo-skeletal issues and tissue repair.
It is estimated that North Americans are the most deficient in the following minerals:
• Magnesium: 75%
• Iron: 58%
• Copper: 81%
• Manganese: 50%
• Chromium: 50%
• Zinc: 67%
• Calcium: 70%
• Potassium: 97%
Where Do Most of Our Minerals Come From?
Most of dietary minerals come from plant foods, particularly vegetables. In the past 50 years the U.S. has lost 75% of its mineral rich topsoil. After World War II fertilizers containing only 2-4 minerals were introduced leaving agricultural soils mineral depleted. To make the situation even worse, it is estimated that less than four percent of the population eats sufficient fruits and vegetables. That means that 96% of Americans don’t eat enough mineral rich vegetables.
Can Mineral Supplements Help with Mineral Deficiency?
That’s a loaded question… and the answer is, if you are taking mineral supplements from your grocery store, your health food store, or your local big box superstore, you may be swallowing rock dust that your body can not utilize. The truth about nearly all minerals in supplements is that they are really industrial chemicals made from processing rocks with one or more acids. Humans were designed to eat food and to get their minerals from foods… not from rocks. It is always best to get your minerals from foods… that means raw, steamed or lightly sautéed vegetables. If you are not eating multiple servings of fresh vegetables daily you probably need supplementation. The best form of mineral supplements are whole food supplements made from real food!