sunflower seedsMinerals often take second place to vitamins when considering micronutrients, maybe just because they aren’t as well known. The most commonly known ones are iron, calcium, magnesium and potassium, both in everyday and sporting fields. As with vitamins, athletes can have a higher requirement for minerals and are often deficient in one or another. The best way to make sure you reach your recommendations for minerals is to consume a well-balanced diet but there are certain foods that are rich in certain minerals and can be consumed to boost your levels of that particular nutrient.

Minerals work alongside vitamins in the maintenance of a strong immune system and a healthy circulatory system. They enter the food chain by being integrated into the soil in which plants are rooted: so we either get our minerals directly by eating these plants, or by eating the animals that feed on them. There are 22 essential minerals, some known as major minerals and other as trace minerals. Trace minerals are needed in smaller quantities than major minerals and include zinc and selenium for example.

Please see my specific blog posts on iron, potassium and calcium, with more round-ups to come….