Minerals are naturally occurring elements found in the earth. They forms parts of rocks and stone that over time erode to become soil. Through the soil they are passed into plants and to the animals that eat them, and finally to humans through the food we consume.
Minerals are essential to the function of the human body. Some of these functions include transporting oxygen to the body; forming the building blocks of hormones, proteins, and amino acids; formation of blood, bone, teeth and the composition of bodily fluids; aiding in the assimilation of other other nutrients; maintenance of healthy nerve function; muscle contraction; and anti-oxidant activity.
Minerals are classified into two groups: Macro (bulk) minerals and Micro (trace) minerals. The difference being micro minerals are required is smaller quantities than macro minerals.
Just some of the main minerals required by the body are:
Macro: calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus
Micro: zinc, iodine, iron, manganese, chromium, silica, copper, selenium
A well balanced diet will help provide the essential minerals required for optimal function of the body. This is a diet high in fresh, high quality (and organic where possible) foods: vegetables, fruits, fish, eggs, grass-fed meat and whole grains. Unfortunately modern day farming has led to the depletion of minerals in soil, so even when a balanced diet is followed, you may not be receiving the mineral levels required by the body, or in the all important ratios needed and you may require supplementation.
A safe non-invasive way of measuring your mineral levels and ratios (as well as detecting heavy metal levels) is to have a Hair Tissue Mineral Analysis (HTMA). A small sample of hair from the scalp is sent to a laboratory for testing for more than 35 nutrient and toxic minerals, and over 25 important mineral ratios.