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We all desire a lit-from-within effervescence, and from a biological standpoint, minerals play an important role in that zest. Minerals are the vital micronutrients, involved in every cellular function in the body yet due to soil erosion, they are less and less available to us through our food. Though macronutrients get the headlines and buzz—you know them as protein, fats, and carbohydrates—the micronutrients are the real conduits to vitality. As our Sakara co-founder, Danielle Duboise puts it, minerals give the body its “electric energy.” “Minerals are responsible for our electrical body; how our cells speak to one another via magnetic impulses through nerve and muscle cells. An imbalance of minerals means an imbalanced communication system between cells.” Because the key to optimum physical and cognitive function requires an electric body, firing on all cylinders. A body that moves with grace, vigor, and feels powerful and strong. This means iron for blood, sulfur for muscles, calcium for bones, and a host of other minerals that support our amino acids, hormones, and beyond.
WHY WE NEED MINERALS
Though essential to our being, experts estimate that up to 90% of Americans have mineral imbalance or deficiency. Through an organic, plant-rich diet, many of the vital nutrients are a part of our diet, but as modern soil has depleted many of the natural mineral content we once received, additional supplementation is extremely helpful, if not necessary. Taking each supplement in isolation, however, can be a tricky course as the minerals play well together, and often work in pairs for maximum bioavailability.
WHY WE MIGHT BE DEFICIENT
Before urban life, plumbing infrastructures, and city filtration systems, we would get our water from pristine rivers and lakes that were naturally purified and supplemented with essential minerals by the rocks over which they traveled and the clay beds where they collected.
Conventionally grown produce now has lower vitamin and mineral count (due to the depletion of minerals in the soil from industrialized agriculture) and water from the tap, or even bottled, filtered water is similarly depleted and contaminated. Where eating organic produce ensures more vibrant produce, free of toxicity, similarly, mineral supplementation helps restore and elevate the mineral content of the water you consume on a daily basis.
Though our world today insists on purifying everything and dousing in pesticides to support yield—the end result is a weakened immune system, lower-quality food, and water without these minerals that electrify our systems.
THE KEY MINERALS + METALS WE NEED:
Magnesium: This is critical for bone health, DNA and RNA support, and is responsible for relaxing and contracting muscles—this is a great tool for combatting PMS and easing digestion. Whole food sources include quinoa, avocado, spinach, swiss chard, and pumpkin seeds
Potassium: One of the more popular culprits for helping with muscle repair and metabolism. Whole food sources include bananas, melon, prunes, and citrus.
Sodium: Not your average table salt, pure sodium helps works in tandem with potassium to regulate the water in and around your cells—too little, and our cells become inflamed and can cause several health issues. Whole food sources include celery and beets.
Chloride: In addition to being a critical electrolyte, chloride is an important piece of hydrochloric acid, the stomach digestive enzyme responsible for breaking down your nutrients and is required for proper digestion—and nixing bloat. Whole food sources include seaweed and other sea vegetables, olives, tomatoes, and lettuce.
Zinc: If supple skin is what you’re after, zinc is an important tool in achieving the glow, as its powers include helping with skin elasticity, integrity, and even tone by fighting free radicals, and controlling inflammation. Whole food sources include chickpeas, lentils, and hemp seeds.
Molybdenum: An important mineral in the detoxification process, the metal activates enzymes that spur detox within cells and prevents a harmful buildup of sulfites (all the more reason for choosing organic, natural wines!). Whole food sources include kidney and navy beans, cashews, and tempeh.
Chromium: This trace metal aids in blood sugar stabilization, and draws blood sugar out of cells. Whole food sources include green beans, broccoli, and potatoes.
Calcium: Calcium is critical for bones and helps maintain their integrity—not to mention it is also responsible for nervous system, heart and muscle vitality as well. Whole food sources include collard greens, bok choy, and turnip greens.
Phosphorus: Working in tandem with calcium to support proper bone formation and health. Whole food sources include plants with high protein such as chard, beans, lentils, and nuts.
Silica: This works in tandem with sulfur to detoxify the body and build strong nails and shiny hair. It also maximizes cellular hydration by making water “wetter”, a phenomenon that creates proper fluid balance in and around the cells. Dehydrated cells can cause them to stack or cluster, translating to inflammation and parched skin and organs. Whole food sources can be found in mangoes, spinach, oats and brown rice.
Selenium: This mineral acts as a powerful antioxidant, and aids in thyroid health, hormone balance, and cognitive function. Just a single Brazil nut provides over 130% of your RDI, but other whole food sources include shiitake mushrooms and sunflower seeds.
WHY WE SHOULD “RE-WILD” OUR WATER
First and foremost, getting your nutrients from organic, whole food is key but there still may be gaps with modern nutrition—mineral supplements in water is a boost that can provide any missing micronutrients.
What’s most seductive about a mineralized body is not simply that we support our cells, with proper fluid balance in and surrounding the building blocks of our body. The joy comes from the fact that, in tandem with a nutrient-dense, plant-rich diet, mineral supplementation allows us to, in scientific terms, light up. Our neurons are activated, keeping us sharp. Our muscles, bones, and fascia are supported and strong, giving us ample energy and toned limbs to live loud and explore with abandon. The electrical current running from our heart to the rest of our body pumps steadily on, keeping our rhythm no matter how giddy we feel. Through minerals, our bodies embrace the intersection of magic and medicine.
By S LIFE MAG • April 25, 2019