The Importance of Minerals in The Athlete's Diet
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 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.
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.
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.
We can find potassium in broccoli, eggplants, cauliflowers, and fruits like avocados, bananas, and cherries.
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 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.
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.
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.