Minerals are just like vitamins; they play an important part in your body's growth, development and overall health.  It is also used to propel the different parts of your body to perform their functions, like the transmission of nerve impulses, development of strong bones and regulation of heartbeat.

Here are five major minerals that help to promote health:

1. Calcium

Calcium is the most important mineral that your body needs to provide nourishment to you bones and teeth.  It is also involved in your body's nerve and muscle function.  The required dietary allowance of calcium in adults is 1,000 mg per day.  Calcium rich foods include milk, salmon, broccoli, cabbage and other dairy products.

2. Iodine

Iodine is a trace mineral which your body needs for healthy thyroid glands which help to regulate many metabolic processes including growth and energy.

The RDA of iodine is 150 micrograms per day.  You should take note that a deficiency or excess of this mineral in the body can cause abnormality in the thyroid function. Iodized salt, seaweeds, eggs and dairy products are natural sources of iodine.

3. Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that plays an important role in the normal functioning of cells, tissues and organs in the body, including your kidneys.  It is also essential for the contraction of your muscles which regulate the pulsating action of your heart.

The average person needs three to five grams of potassium everyday.  Food sources of potassium include bananas, fish, potatoes, squash and spinach.

4. Magnesium

Magnesium is a very common mineral which is essential in the metabolism of fat, carbohydrates and protein in the body.  It is an anti-stress mineral which also plays an important role in the normal functioning of your muscles and nerves.  Many fruits and vegetables, seafoods and dairy products are rich in magnesium.

The daily magnesium requirement of average adults is between 310 to 420 mg.

5. Iron

Iron is the mineral that acts as your body's major oxygen transporter.  It also plays a major role in the formation of hemoglobin, the oxygen-carrying pigment which is predominant in red blood cells.

Average adult males need 8 mg of iron each day while average women require 18 mg.  Foods which are loaded with iron include green leafy vegetables, liver, oatmeal, poultry, eggs and fishes.

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