Minerals are all around us; they can be found in everything from the plants we eat, to the cosmetics we wear, to the pencils we write with, to even the cell phones we’re so connected to.
When you get right down to it, minerals are classified as naturally-occurring, nonorganic substances. Edible minerals are extremely important to a healthy immune system and healthy hormone function, and can be found in most produce (or the dirt the produce is grown in).
Below are some of the most important minerals we can eat, and how much we should be eating a day!
Proper amounts of sodium help to control blood pressure and blood volume. Although sodium is vital to our health and well being, it’s important not to have too much of it. Excessive sodium intake puts one at risk for high blood pressure. Natural sources of sodium are beets, celery, sweet potato, and broccoli.
For a healthy dose of sodium, try our Detox Bloody Mary smoothie.
Recommended Daily Intake: 2,300 milligrams per day. Just 1 teaspoon of table salt contains your recommended dosage and 1 serving of broccoli (148 grams) contains 49 milligrams.
Chloride is an essential part of our digestive stomach acids, and helps the liver get rid of waste. Chloride is most prevalent in table salt and sea salt, and is readily available in most food sources, especially vegetables like olives,lettuce, tomatoes and celery.
Try our Celery Apple Refresher smoothie for a helpful (and delicious) dose of natural chloride.
Recommended Daily Intake: Chloride is so readily available in our normal food supply that there is no real recommended amount. You’re most likely getting enough every day – especially if you eat lots of plants.
Potassium is an electrolyte, and one of the most important minerals we can eat. It serves multiple functions in the body including helping nutrients move into cells and waste products move out of cells. Potassium is crucial to heart function, and plays a key role in skeletal and smooth muscle contraction, making it vital for normal digestive and muscular function.
Because of its many functions, it’s important to have a diet rich in potassium. Luckily, this essential mineral is prevalent in many fruits and vegetables including spinach, parsley, lettuce, broccoli, peas, tomatoes, potatoes, oranges, bananas, apples, avocados, and raisins.
For a potassium-filled treat, try our Vanilla Banana Apple smoothie.
Recommended Daily Intake: 4,700 mg/day. One medium banana contains approximately 422mg of potassium, while one medium sweet potato contains 542 mg.
Another very important mineral for our bodies, calcium helps form and maintain healthy teeth and bones, clot blood, release hormones, and maintain a normal heartbeat. Eating an adequate amount of calcium is crucial to preventing osteoporosis and protecting against bone loss. In addition to the calcium provided by most dairy products, you can get calcium from spinach, kale, collard greens, broccoli, and bok choy.
For a sweet and calcium-filled smoothie, try our Pear Kiwi Calm smoothie.
Recommended Daily Intake: 1,000 mg. An 8-ounce glass of milk contains 300 mg of calcium, while one cup of kale contains 101mg.
Phosphorus is an essential nutrient for proper cell function, regulation of calcium, and strong bones and teeth. Because phosphorus serves many purposes, it’s fortunate that it is readily available in just about every food! Foods that have high amounts of protein, such as meat, fish, eggs, milk, nuts, and beans, are also highest in phosphorus.
Try our your phosphorus fix. try our Protein Pineapple Almond smoothie.
Recommended Daily Intake: 700mg . An ounce of nuts contains 345mg of phosphorus.
Another extremely important mineral, magnesium is needed for “more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body.” Among other things, it helps to keep muscles and nerves functioning, boosts the immune system, keeps the heart beating at a steady pace, strengthen bones, helps to regulate serotonin, and aids in steady blood glucose levels. Magnesium can be found in a variety of foods including dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, fish, beans, whole grains, avocados, yogurt, bananas, and dried fruit.
Try our Chocolate Pumpkin Seed Protein smoothie for a magnificent dose of magnesium.
Recommended Daily Intake: Most of us need between 320mg and 360mg a day. One cup of spinach contains approximately 157mg of magnesium, while 1/8th cup of pumpkin seeds contains 92mg.
Iron is necessary for healthy red blood cells; which in turn are necessary for providing oxygen to the body. This is why iron deficiency often leads to a feeling of weakness or exhaustion. Iron is also an important building block for healthy hair, skin, and nails. Fruits and vegetables rich in iron include sweet potato, spinach, broccoli, beet greens, kale, chard, strawberries and watermelon.
For a smoothie that is sure to provide a boost in energy and iron, try our Sweet Potato Pie smoothie.
Recommended Daily Intake: It’s recommended that adult males ingest around 8mg a day, while women need around 18mg a day. One cup of chickpeas provides around 12.5mg of iron, while one bunch of broccoli provides around 4g.
Zinc is labeled as an “essential trace element” because most humans only need a small amount every day. Zinc helps our bodies properly absorb nutrients, helps wounds heal, boosts the immune system, keeps our metabolism trucking, and may even help with a clearer complexion. Foods rich in zinc are spinach, beef, kidney beans, flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and mushrooms.
Maintain a healthy immune system with our Green Orange Protein smoothie.
Recommended Daily Intake: It’s recommended that men get around 11mg of zinc daily and women get 8mg. An ounce of pumpkin seeds contain 2.9mg of zinc.