The Importance of Minerals in The Athlete's Diet

A good, healthy diet must contain a balanced amount of minerals. In this article we'll show you which foods you can eat to benefit from those much needed minerals.
The Importance of Minerals in The Athlete's Diet

Last update: 24 January, 2019

A healthy diet is mainly based on the consumption of various types of food that include carbohydrates, proteins, fats, and vitamins. However, we can’t forget about the importance of minerals in a healthy and balanced diet.

The importance of minerals

Minerals are inorganic components found in our food. They are essential elements for our organism and play a part in many vital processes in the body. Here are the main roles of dietary minerals.

  • They contribute to a healthy body. For example, phosphorus, calcium, fluoride, magnesium, and silicon make up the teeth.
  • They also act as electrolytes in body fluids. They help maintain healthy blood pressure and the correct ph balance in the body.

Here’s a summary of the importance of minerals in the body and how to include them in your diet.

Calcium

Calcium is used all over the body, including connective tissues, muscles, and especially in bones. Additionally, along with potassium and magnesium, it plays an essential role in blood circulation.

The importance of minerals in the body is evident in muscle and bone strength

Not to mention that it also plays a big role in muscle contraction, which is essential for athletes. You may find it in foods such as vegetables, nuts, and milk products.

Sodium

Sodium helps the body distribute water to different parts of the body. However, a high level of sodium in the body can lead to high arterial pressure, which causes fluid retention. On the other hand, a low level can lead to nausea, vomiting, headaches, and problems with vision.

The main dietary source of sodium is salt. We can find salt naturally in most foods, thus we must be careful not to add too much extra salt to our food.

Potassium

Like sodium, potassium plays an important role in regulating water content in the body. Additionally, it helps the heart and the nervous system work properly. Low levels of potassium can lead to muscle aches, weakness, exhaustion, and asthenia.

One of the main causes of a potassium deficit in the body is over exercising since it’s easily lost in perspiration.

Eggplants are a good source of potassium

We can find potassium in broccoli, eggplants, cauliflowers, and fruits like avocados, bananas, and cherries.

Phosphorus

The importance of minerals in the diet is due to the large role they play in many bodily functions. For example, phosphorus makes up bones and lipids, which are an important part of cell membranes. Its concentration is directly related to the amount of calcium in the body.

This mineral can be found in the same foods that contain calcium, such as nuts, vegetables, soy, and milk.

Magnesium

Magnesium is important in order to absorb calcium in the body. Additionally, it’s essential for a healthy heart and muscle development. Along with calcium, it also plays a role in bone structure.

We can find magnesium in hazelnuts, almonds, peanuts, cereals, beans, and fruits.

Almonds are a great source of magnesium

Iron

When we consider the different levels of importance of minerals in the body, iron plays one of the largest roles. It helps with the synthesis of hemoglobin, which transports oxygen from the lungs to the red blood cells and then to the rest of the body. Additionally, it helps regulate the use of vitamin B.

An iron deficiency causes anemia, and it’s important to maintain healthy levels in your body. Some iron-rich foods are legumes, fruits, nuts, and cereals. Also, other sources include animal-based products such as red meat and seafood.

You can get iron from chickpeas

In this article, we learned about the importance of minerals in a diet, especially for an athlete. These are just some of the most important minerals, but you must maintain a varied and balanced diet to benefit from them all. They play a very important role in your wellbeing.

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