Everyday Health & Wellbeing
the metals that your body needs to function optimally
Don’t worry, this article isn’t going to convince you to take a bite out of a chunk of steel or iron. However, you’ve probably noticed that some foods contain or are even enriched with metals such as iron. Many people still don’t understand what it means to ingest iron and it causes a lot of confusion and often frustration.
So to help you get to grips with these “healthy” metals, here’s a list of them that can be beneficial to your health:
Zinc is used to strengthen your immune system and repair it quickly whenever it’s damaged. It helps to repair skin damage and can even assist in fertility. A lack of zinc is usually identified by bruises and cuts that take a long time to heal and you’ll be more likely to catch a cold or flu than others.
Zinc is usually found in seafood, but if you’re not a fan of fish and oysters then you can also get it from pulses like lentils. Cheese can also contain a small amount of zinc, and red meat is rich in zinc too.
Magnesium is needed for many different functions in the body. It helps to keep your nervous system functioning, it keeps your heart beating at a normal pace, and it can even strengthen your bones. Magnesium is typically taken in from fruits, vegetables, and soy products, but there are also capsules such as magnesium supplements that offer the same benefit. Increased magnesium can sometimes cause drowsiness and weak muscles, but a lack of magnesium can lead to more worrying effects such as confusion, insomnia, and poor memory.
Iron is used to assist blood being transported around our body. It helps our muscles produce energy and even as a hand in helping us fight off viral infections. A lack of iron will cause a low haemoglobin count in our blood, meaning less oxygen circulates around our body. This can cause drowsiness, but it also makes it difficult for you to focus. The heart may also beat irregularly because it’s working harder to pump out the thinned blood around your system.
Too much iron can be toxic to your body, but it takes a lot to become fatal. Iron is usually found in green leafy vegetables and meat, but you can also find it in fortified cereals.
Potassium is good for your overall health because it’s present in every cell of your body. It helps maintain everything from your brain to your heart, and it’s very easy to get enough potassium to keep your body running healthily. For starters, it’s found in most fruits and vegetables, but it’s also present in dairy and meat.
However, boiling food can often destroy most of the potassium content in foods. For instance, you should grill your chicken instead of poaching it, and bake your potatoes instead of boiling them. A lack of potassium is usually indicated by numbness, cramping or fatigue. Since these symptoms are vague, it’s a good idea to check with a doctor to ensure you’re not lacking the essential metals that your body needs.
Take Good Care of Yourself