L-glutamine (or simply glutamine) is one of the biggest buzzwords in the health field today.…
Minerals are divided into two categories – macro and micro. Macrominerals are aptly named as the body
requires them in large quantities, and micro minerals or trace elements are only required in small amounts.
There is a delicate balance that takes place between the interactions of one mineral to another, whilst fulfilling multiple functions and facilitating critical pathways of interactions that make life happen daily. Let’s take a look at the two mineral categories:
1. Calcium: Helps form and maintain healthy teeth and bones, stimulating muscle contraction
and activating blood-clotting factors. Help prevent osteoporosis. Blood calcium plays an
important role in balancing the body’s acid-alkaline balance.
Deficiencies: Hypocalcaemia: Low blood calcium and can be a result of Vitamin D deficiency
or kidney disease.
Significant Synergies: Vitamin D ensures the absorption of calcium and acts like its
conductor for bones.
Food sources: Edamame, Tofu, Organic full-fat Milk, cultured and fermented cheese, and sea
2. Magnesium: Helps maintain normal nerve and muscle function, supports a healthy immune
system, and helps bones remain strong. Aids in the production of energy and protein.
Deficiencies: An electrolyte disturbance in which there is a low level of magnesium in the
body. Symptoms: poor coordination, muscle spams and personality changes.
Synergies: Magnesium interacts with Calcium, Vitamin D and Potassium. Vitamin D increases
the absorption of magnesium.
Food sources: Whole wheat, bananas, chickpeas, leafy greens, and nuts.
3. Potassium: Essential for a healthy heartbeat. Has a distinctive function as the body’s primary
electrolyte, helping to conduct electrical charges around the body. It is integral to maintain
good pH levels in body fluids, and by relaxing blood vessel walls, it helps lower blood
pressure. It supports healthy muscle contractions and mineral density for bones.
Deficiencies: Electrolyte imbalance. Symptoms: fatigue, constipation and irregular
Synergies: Potassium is found mainly inside the fluid of the cells, and sodium found mainly
in the fluid outside the cells. An electrical voltage, called ‘membrane potential’ is taking
place then and this balance enables the cell membranes to conduct electrical charges to
transmit nerve impulses, muscle contractions and the maintenance of a regular heartbeat.
Food sources: Beetroots, white beans, avocado, bananas and tuna.
4. Phosphorus: Helps maintain our bones and teeth and the pH balance. Support the kidney’s
detoxification, lift memory and support energy metabolism.
Deficiencies: Osteoporosis. Joint and muscle pains.
Synergy: High levels of calcium will block phosphorus absorption.
Food sources: Red meat, quinoa, broccoli, leafy greens and chia seeds.
5. Chloride: Helps break down proteins and aid digestion and the absorption of iron and B12.
Helps to neutralize stomach acid (body’s pH balance – neutral state)
Deficiencies: Dehydration, muscle weakness and loss of appetite.
Synergies: Works synergistically with other members of the electrolyte family to maintain
body fluids, electrolyte balance and metabolism. Works with sodium and potassium in the
nervous system to conduct nerve transmissions and muscle movement.
Food sources: Sea vegetables, olives, lettuce, tomatoes and any foods that have sodium
6. Sodium: An electrolyte that is abundant outside the cells and works synergistically with
potassium, which is abundant inside the cells and is critical for body functions such as:
Controlling blood pressure, regulating bodily fluids, nervous system function – transmission
of nerve cell’s communication, good digestion due to its requirement for producing
Deficiencies: Thirst, dehydration, mental lethargy, and irregular heartbeat.
Food sources: Sea vegetables, olives, beetroot, carrots and celery.
1. Iodine: Critical for the proper functioning of the body. Regulate the metabolism and cellular
Deficiencies: Feeling tired, brain fog, weight gain, menstruation issues and constipation.
Synergies: Selenium is required for the body to recycle iodine for further use and these two
minerals work in tandem to produce thyroid hormones.
Food sources: Saltwater fish, sea vegetables (kelp), red meat, prunes and dairy.
2. Copper: Acts as a co-factor in many enzymes, which have various roles in the body, including
free radical defense lines. Critical for fetal brain development.
Deficiencies: Anaemia, bone loss, impaired immune system due to a low white blood cell
count and irregularities in the thyroid and nervous system.
Synergies: Vitamin C stimulates the absorption and metabolism of copper.
Food sources: Liver, shellfish (oysters), legumes, quinoa, mushrooms and chia seeds.
3. Chromium: Supports the metabolism and is a co-contributor in the synthesis of
carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The chromium binds to the insulin receptors of cells and
ensures optimal amounts of glucose and nutrients enter those cells for energy release. Plays
a role in weight management by enhancing the entrance of glucose and fats into the cells so
they don’t remain in the blood to be stored as fat later.
Deficiencies: Diabetic state of high blood pressure, impaired insulin function, a rise in
Synergy: The presence of vitamin C will help the absorption of chromium.
Food sources: Nutritional yeast, red meat, poppy seeds, legumes, and red wine.
4. Fluoride: Though not considered essential for the biological processes of the body, it is still
seen as an ally for the health of bones and teeth.
Deficiencies: Tooth decay and bone loss.
Food sources: Plant foods, Black, Oolong, and green and white teas brewed in demineralized
5. Manganese: Helps metabolize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Functions: Antioxidant
structure, bone development, fertility, thyroid function, liver support and optimal brain and
nervous system. Helps regulate blood sugar levels through the synthesis and secretion of
insulin in the bloodstream.
Deficiencies: Impaired cognitive function, weakened bones, hormonal disturbances and
Synergies: Manganese assists the optimal absorption of vitamin E and some B group
vitamins. Manganese has synergistic energy with calcium, zinc and copper.
Food sources: Cardamon, turmeric, cinnamon, pine nuts and hazelnuts.
6. Molybdenum: A co-factor to many enzymes and is involved in the metabolism of foods and
in preventing sulphites from building up in the body and helping to break down uric acid for
excretion. Plays a crucial role in the body’s detoxification systems.
Deficiencies: Tooth decay.
Synergies: Copper and molybdenum have numerous synergistic roles in the body.
Food sources: Legumes, leafy greens, cucumber, pumpkin and sesame seeds, and eggs.
7. Boron: Helps to usher calcium into the bones and joint cartilage before playing its own role
in protecting the bones from osteoporosis. Boron helps synthesise vitamin D, improve and balance
estrogen and testosterone levels, and helps fight fungal infections like candida and reduce
skin irritations. Necessary for optimal brain and nervous system function.
Deficiencies: Weakness within bones, arthritis, and low mental alertness.
Synergy: Helps in the metabolization of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and copper.
Food sources: Raw cacao, beans, avocados, figs, and almonds.
8. Selenium: Helps in protecting the fats in cell membranes, reducing damage and repairing
the cells. Support antioxidant activities to fight viral infections, bacterial influencers, and
helps to protect against DNA damage to cells.
Deficiencies: Chronic asthma, low thyroid, and immune function, hair loss, fatigue, fertility
Synergies: Selenium regenerates vitamin E and C in the body, which benefits the skin and
helps protect against damage caused by UV rays.
Selenium works with vitamin E to support thyroid health.
Vitamin C helps the absorption of selenium.
Food sources: Beef liver, salmon, chicken, eggs, and brazil nuts.
9. Zinc: Zinc is critical for breaking down food during digestion, and plays a role in collagen
production, protein and carbohydrates synthesis, energy metabolism, and the optimal
function of neurotransmitters.
Deficiencies: White spots on fingernails, a decline in the senses for taste, smell and eyesight,
hair loss and fatigue.
Synergies: Protein is vital for zinc uptake, and vitamin B6 helps optimize that absorption.
Zinc helps in the transportation of vitamin A, critical for good vision along with zinc.
Food sources: Oysters, red meat, poultry, eggs, raw cacao, nuts and seeds.
10. Iron: Plays a crucial role in respiratory and metabolic function. Essential micromineral that
must be present for the formation of hemoglobin, the red blood cells that carry oxygen
through the blood to every cell for life.
Deficiencies: Anaemia, fatigue, pale skin, lack of concentration, and low blood pressure.
Synergies: Iron is absorbed better in the presence of vitamin C.
Vitamin A increases the absorption of both haem and non-haem iron.
B9, folate must be present for iron to be part of haem formation.
Food sources: Chicken and beef liver, red meat, poultry, beans, tempeh, quinoa.
Let’s take a quick look at Electrolytes.
Electrolytes are essential minerals like sodium, calcium, and potassium that are vital to many key functions in the body. They’re often talked about in association with dehydration and advertisements for sports drinks that promise to replace electrolytes lost through sweat. Once these minerals enter bodily fluids, they become positively or negatively charged ions that conduct electrical charges and signals throughout the nerves. They help make sure specific bodily functions run at optimal levels.
To replenish electrolytes – Drink coconut or watermelon water, electrolyte-infused waters/ drinks,
and milk to assist replenishment or – eat bananas, dairy products, and avocados.