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Macrominerals and Their Functions

Andy Sartori , On July 6, 2018

Mealpro
Macrominerals are a group of essential minerals. The word "macro" is added to the word "mineral" to accentuate the need to consume these minerals in larger quantities as opposed to other essential mineral type called trace mineral.

Major “Macro” Minerals and Their Functions

Macrominerals, also known as major minerals along with microminerals, or trace minerals are one of two categories of essential minerals. Macrominerals are needed in larger amounts than trace minerals.

We don’t manufacture essential minerals in the body. We get them from our diet. The minerals come from rocks, soil, and water, and they’re absorbed as the plants grow or by animals as the animals eat the plants.

Fresh foods aren’t our only source of dietary minerals, however. Some processed foods, like breakfast cereal, may be fortified with minerals. And if you walk into any drugstore or look online, you’ll see endless options for mineral supplements in the form of pills, powders, and chewables.

Mineral

Function

Where to find

Sodium

Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction

Table salt, soy sauce; large amounts in processed foods; small amounts in milk, breads, vegetables, and unprocessed meats

Chloride

Needed for proper fluid balance, stomach acid

Table salt, soy sauce; large amounts in processed foods; small amounts in milk, meats, breads, and vegetables

Potassium

Needed for proper fluid balance, nerve transmission, and muscle contraction

Meats, milk, fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, legumes

Calcium

Important for healthy bones and teeth; helps muscles relax and contract; important in nerve functioning, blood clotting, blood pressure regulation, immune system health

Milk and milk products; canned fish with bones (salmon, sardines); fortified tofu and fortified soy milk; greens (broccoli, mustard greens); legumes

Phosphorus

Important for healthy bones and teeth; found in every cell; part of the system that maintains acid-base balance

Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, milk, processed foods (including soda pop)

Sulfur

Found in protein molecules

Occurs in foods as part of protein: meats, poultry, fish, eggs, milk, legumes, nuts

References:
1. University of Michigan
2. Harvard University

Andy Sartori

With a personal mission to change the narrative of how we view food, farming, and health in the US. Andy is deeply rooted in wholesome, natural foods as the foundation to great nutrition.