Calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron Essential minerals to be in good shape

About twenty minerals are involved in a multitude of physiological functions. However, some are lacking in our daily diet.

Calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron  Essential minerals to be in good shape
Calcium, magnesium, sodium, iron  Essential minerals to be in good shape

Zinc, phosphorus, magnesium… Minerals represent only 4% of our weight, but they are key elements which intervene in a multitude of physiological functions. There is no hemoglobin (the protein that carries oxygen in the blood) without iron; no DNA, the molecule of inheritance, no phosphorus; and no muscle contraction without calcium, potassium and magnesium.

As for bone mineralization, it requires calcium in large quantities, as well as phosphorus and magnesium. In addition, most mineral elements work on several levels. Magnesium alone thus participates in more than 300 biochemical reactions: it is involved in the metabolism of lipids and glucose, and the synthesis of proteins.

Frequent deficiencies

The recommended daily allowances may be modest - from a few tens of micrograms to a few grams - these essential nutrients are still often lacking in our diet. Four major epidemiological studies carried out over the past thirty years have led to the same findings: the French have insufficient intake of magnesium, zinc and iron.

In the 2000s, the Suvimax study (for Supplements in Vitamin and Anti-Oxidant Minerals) showed that 6% of men and 8.4% of women had a blood magnesium deficiency; 23% of women, insufficient iron stores; and 8% of the population have zinc deficiencies.

However, magnesium deficits can be the cause of nausea, loss of appetite, vomiting, fatigue, anxiety, insomnia ... The lack of iron can lead to a decrease in the level of red blood cells with its attendant problems: intense fatigue, shortness of breath, pallor, irritability ... As for the zinc deficiency, it results in stunted growth, poor resistance to infections, difficulty in healing

Fruits and vegetables, major sources of minerals

To avoid these deficiencies, you should drink enough water per day. The minerals available in our diet come from rocks and transported through the leaching of soils by water. They therefore pass through them before being assimilated by living organisms, plants or animals, and it is therefore in the water that they should be sought as a priority. Especially since studies have shown that magnesium from water is better absorbed by the body than that from solid foods.

Be careful, in order not to deprive yourself of the magnesium present in tap water, you must avoid filtering it. You can also opt for mineral waters that contain at least 80 ml / l such as Hépar, Contrex, Quézac or Badoit.

But it's not just water. "We must also follow the rule of five fruits and vegetables a day, because they are essential sources of magnesium and iron," recalls Dr. Jean-Jacques Altman, diabetologist at the Georges-Pompidou European Hospital in Paris. For zinc, use whole grains rather than refined ones. Simple rules that ensure that everyone in good health gets the minerals they need without resorting to mineral-enriched supplements.

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