Minerals originate from the earth, and the body cannot manufacture them. Luckily, they are abundant in soil, water, and plants, and thus can easily find their way into the body through many of the foods we consume. The six major minerals in the human body are calcium, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, chloride, and magnesium. Mineral deficiencies, as well as over-toxicity, are common and can cause a plethora of symptom.
Calcium performs several functions in the body, including aiding the development of strong bones and teeth. It also supports muscle contraction and proper functioning of the blood vessels. A short-term deficiency of calcium can cause muscle cramps, stiffness, and poor mobility. In the long term, it can lead to decreased bone density and osteoporosis. Many foods are rich in calcium, such as milk, cheese yogurt, canned salmon, and beans. Broccoli, kale, and Chinese cabbage are also high in the mineral. Calcium-fortified foods, those supplemented with the mineral, include orange juice, tofu, and some cereals.
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