In order to understand how we can fix the low levels of minerals in our cells and bodily tissues, first we need to looks at the whys.
I’m sure most of you have heard that we are NOT what we eat, but what we absorb. This is why it’s not so straight forward to fix a mineral insufficiency, as many of us have compromised gut and liver function that needs to be addressed. Plus the actual form of the mineral is just as important, so taking a bunch of pills will not necessarily fix this issue.
We want to ideally ingest a good bio-available form when supplementing, and while food is the most ideal, most of the time, food may not be sufficient. This is due to soil erosion leading to mineral depletion, fertilisers and pesticides. Plants get their nutrients from the soil, and animals get their nutrients from plants. In the last 70-80 years, the micro-nutrient content of food has plummeted, and we literally have to eat 30% more food to get the same level of minerals that were available in foods some 80 years ago.
Before the era of continuous soil depletion, the topsoil consisted of as many as 90-100 different minerals. The great rivers such as the Nile in Egypt and the Ganges in India caused extensive flooding every year, bringing new minerals from the glaciers and mountains to the land, automatically fertilising it. The people living in these areas were generally in perfect health and lived very long lives! The situation changed with the erosion of forests and building of dams.
Whatever is contained in modern chemical fertilizers (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium) may be sufficient to raise normal-looking crops; yet the healthy-looking plant foods are short of minerals, which is reflected in their poor taste.
Another huge reason why so many of us are mineral deficient is because of the over-consumption of highly refined foods.
Cakes, biscuits, pastries, potato chips, take away foods, ice cream, doughnuts, soda/fizzy pop..Not only do these foods lack minerals (most are destroyed during their processing), but they damage the body with the inflammation that occurs from over-consumption. This in turn increases mineral demand to handle the oxidative stress, rather than being utilised for other essential purposes.
Food or supplements?
Minerals need to be incorporated within the structure of plants in order to be usable by your body. Some mineral supplements taken in isolation can even contribute to your health issues, as they commonly end up deposited in your various tissues. This can result in serious health problems including arthritis, fibromyalgia, Alzheimer’s, and arteriosclerosis. Calcium and Iron supplements are notorious for this (even if chelated to an amino acid).
Your best source of all usable organic minerals is fresh vegetables, and some animal produce, with egg yolk and beef liver being the most nutrient dense. Some nuts and seeds are also abundant with minerals, such as in the case of sesame seeds, which supply a whopping 1160 milligrams of calcium per 100 grams. The super-grain, Chia seeds, is packed with numerous minerals. I recommend soaking your nuts and seeds first for optimum absorption of nutrients.
Unlike vitamins, minerals cannot be synthesized by plants. Plants take up mineral salts (inorganic compounds) from the soil and convert them into colloidal minerals (organic compounds). Ionic minerals have an absorption rate of 98 percent, which indicates that minerals in its organic form are best utilised by the human body. Food-derived minerals rarely have negative side effects, even if you overdose on them. But as is the case with vitamins, most serious mineral deficiencies can occur because of inadequate nutrition.
In short: low or insufficient minerals are caused by:
- An over consumption of nutrient-poor, highly processed foods such as white flour, sugar and harmful inflammatory oils, too many acid-forming foods and beverages
- Malabsorption due to poor gut function.
- Pharmaceutical medications
There is not much point in taking extra minerals when they are removed right away or destroyed by one or more of these factors. The best starting point for replenishing your minerals is booking yourself a Hair Mineral Analysis (HTMA) to look at which minerals may be insufficient. This test will also look at mineral imbalance and any toxicity. I can then get you on a customised Mineral Balancing program, by studying your results, your symptoms, health history and food diary. You can click here to order your test package.
The Mineral Fix, Dr. James Dinicolantonio
Timeless Secrets of Health and Rejuvenation, Andreas Moritz