Minerals must be taken as a compound.Food has certain essential constituents which are minerals.the exact mineral definition is “it is naturally occurring homogenous inorganic substance which is present in solid form, called minerals”.
It is 4% of our body weight. The good source of rock crystal is milk, eggs, meat, vegetables, fruit, and ta le salt (sodium chloride). These are used as minerals food. Mineral oil is also used as a lubricant laxative. Which is used to treat constipation.The minerals list include following ;
- Sodium (Na)
- Potassium (k)
- Calcium (ca)
- Magnesium (mg)
- Phosphorus (P)
- Chlorine (Cl)
- Copper (Cu)
- Fluorine (F)
- Manganese (Mn)
- Cobalt (Co)
- Zinc (Zn)
- Iron (Fe)
- Iodine (I)
- Molybdenum (Mo)
- Selenium (Se).
But we are discuss only about calcium, iron and iodine. Which are considered most important because their deficiency is commonly seen in population.
Compared to other minerals, calcium is present in a large quantity in our body. It is present in almost every cell of the body. But the maximum amount is in the bones and teeth along with the mineral phosphorus.
Calcium rich food:
- Calcium can be obtained in our diet from milk and milk product, except butter and ghee.
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach methi are also rich source of calcium.
- Animal food such as meat, fish and eggs also provide some amount of calcium.
- Cereals are only fair source of calcium with exception of rahi.
- Among the oilseeds, til seed are very rich in calcium.
Function of calcium:
The major role of calcium is to build our bones and teeth and keep them healthy. This function is performed in combination with phosphorus in presence of vitamin D. Besides this, calcium also helps to regulate various body processes, for example, clotting of blood.
Effect of deficiency:
Calcium deficiency is most commonly seen in pregnent and lactating mothers and in children. In children this leads to symptoms like that seen in the case of Rickets. In this, the calcium and phosphorus not absorbed properly in the body and so the bones and teeth remain soft and weak. This leads to poor growth of child. Similar symptoms are appear in women.
Another important minerals for the body is iron. It is required in very small amounts by the body and is therefore also called a trace element.
Whole grain cereals contribute a major share of iron to our diet. Other sources of food high in iron are green leafy vegetables, eggs yolk, liver and meat. Jaggery, through q sweetener, is also a good source of iron. Hence we should prefer jaggery to sugar to sweeten our foods.
Iron play a major role in the synthesis of haemoglobin which is the red coloured pigment present in our red blood cells. This haemoglobin which carries oxygen from lungs to the tissue and carbon-dioxide back from the tissue to the lungs.
Effect of deficiency:
Iron deficiency is known as Anaemia. It is most commonly seen in children and women of reproductive age. In case of , Anaemia the working capacity of a person decrease due to insufficient supply of oxygen to the tissue. Person become breathless very soon and gets tired easily. Person appear pale. Tongue and finger tips become pale. All these symptoms are due to lack of production of haemoglobin.
Another trace element whose deficiency is commonly found is iodine. Iodine is an important constituent of the thyroid hormone thyroxine in our body which controls the various body processes. The iodine deficiency leads to a conditions called Goitre. In this there is an enlargement of the thyroid gland in the neck region. As the body process are affected, the persons becomes inactive and also put on weight. This deficiency is commonly seen in the Himalayan region of india. It is also widespread in cities like Delhi and Hyderabad.
Iodine is present in the soil from where it is taken up by the the plants. So if the soil is rich in iodine, the crops grown on it are a good source of iodine in the diet. In hilly areas where the soil is easily washed off by rains and melting snow, the deficiency of iodine is more commonly seen.
Many people ask what food have iodine? Sea-food are very rich in iodine. Since salt is universally used cheap food additive or taste enhancer and addition of iodine to it does not affect its quality. It is best to add iodine to salt as a measure to prevent Goitre. Hence the best way of preventing iodine deficiency is to used iodised salt in our diet.