Feel tired & sluggish? Aching muscles? Headaches? Get every cough and cold?
If you answered yes to any or some or all of the above it might be an indication of being low on essential minerals. They are called essential minerals because the body is unable to make them out of other things already in the body. If you eat a nice varied (organic) diet, getting ideally 7 vegetables a day, then you are much more likely to be ticking all the mineral boxes. If you tend to eat a limited, processed diet then you are far more likely to be deficient.
You can also put Epsom Salts in the bath regularly that are magnesium rich, which I really recommend to those who get regular headaches and sore, aching muscles; they are also great for PMS and period pains. You can also take good quality supplements, but begin with the foods and the baths. If the minerals are coming from food, the body knows exactly what to do with them and you will also eat other molecules that the body sometimes needs to extract the minerals and take them into the body so they can be utilised. If you just take supplements which are synthetic copies of the pure form, the body can’t use them in the same efficient way.
Below are foods to eat that will help boost your mineral intake, and the minerals they contain. You will see, it’s actually not very hard to tick the boxes, as long as you like green leafy vegetables!! As always, organic unprocessed is the best way to go to ensure you get as much of the intact nutrients as possible from the foods.
A good example of the body needing ‘co-factors’ to absorb nutrients from food is iron. If you don’t eat meat or red meat and get all your iron from plant sources, you need Vitamin C with it so the body can extract it. If you don’t, your body can only use a tiny percentage of the iron you are eating. A way to do this, for example, is to have spinach with some tomatoes or lemon squeezed on it.
The first thing to do in order to get the right amount of sodium is to throw out ‘table salt’ and buy unbleached sea salt. The salt called table salt is a synthetic copy of salt and causes havoc with sodium levels in the body. Real salt – sea salt, pink Himalayan salt, wet salt etc, on the other hand, has more than just sodium in it and as it’s the real version, the body knows what to do with it. Due to this it’s much more beneficial and helps the body work much better. Sodium is crucial for the right fluid levels in the body, nerve communication and muscle function.
The next is to eat more dark green leafy vegetables – kale, broccoli, spinach, collard greens, swiss chard, watercress, bok choi etc. They contain so much good stuff! Including potassium which is vital for nerve and muscle function, as well as maintaining the right fluid levels in the body. Calcium which is vital for bone and teeth health, healthy muscles and nerves, blood pressure and keeping the immune system strong and healthy. Magnesium which is vital for bone health, muscle and nerve health and the immune system working properly. Iron which is so important for healthy red blood cells and enough oxygen getting around the body. Manganese and molybdenum which are needed by so many enzymes (the workers in the body), and help everything function properly.
Nuts and seeds – soak them first for at least 2 hours to ‘activate’ them which means you are getting all of the nutrients from them. Also, if you struggle with digesting them, soaking will make it much easier. Remember peanuts don’t count as they are a legume! Cashews are also a bit weird and aren’t a nut either. Nuts– brazil, almonds, hazel, pecan, walnut etc and seeds – pumpkin, flax, chia, sesame etc. Nuts and seeds contain copper which is needed to metabolise iron and for lots of enzyme function. Zinc which is crucial to so much including fertility and keeping the immune system healthy and happy, and magnesium. Nuts also contain chromium which helps to keep blood sugar levels level and regulated and sulphur which is part of the proteins found in muscles.
Good quality unprocessed organic meat and having red meat every once in a while is also important because it contains the most easily absorbed iron. Meat also contains sodium, potassium, chloride and phosphorus, selenium, sulphur, zinc, and copper! Selenium is an incredibly powerful antioxidant and helps reduce internal stress. Chloride is important for making stomach acid, and phosphorus is responsible for so much and is in every cell!
Oily fish are also powerhouses of nutrition (always get sustainable/wild/organic and be mindful of mercury levels in the wild fish) and contain calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, iron and zinc.
Eggs if you eat them are also amazing! Once again, get organic free –range. They contain phosphorus, sulphur, iron and zinc.
Eating a mix of legumes, beans and grains means you will get iron, zinc, selenium, copper, manganese, chromium, molybdenum, sodium, chloride, magnesium and sulphur.
Dairy if you eat it also contains so much. Organic is really important or even raw if you can get local raw milk, yoghurt and cheese. In dairy, there is: sodium, chloride, potassium, calcium, phosphorus, sulphur, chromium, molybdenum and iodine which is so important for a healthy thyroid which is responsible for growth and your metabolism.
Dark chocolate also contains magnesium so having a bit of, ideally 85% a day is actually very good for your health!
By making sure you get a mix of the above regularly means that you will be helping your body in more ways than you can imagine.
As always, any questions, get in touch! Follow my Instagram (Harley_Street_Naturopath) to see ways to easily incorporate all those foods in a non-faffy way.