How Men Can Get the Minerals They Need

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Vitamins and minerals are essential for your body to function the way it was designed. Luckily, most men are able to get the nutrients they need from a healthy, well-balanced diet. But when you aren’t able to meet the daily-recommended intake (DRI) from the foods you eat — or if you lack these vital elements due to body chemistry or illness — supplements may be needed.

Talking with your doctor to determine if supplements are right for you (or if some other medical treatment is needed) is an important step in achieving your best health.

Why Are Vitamins and Minerals Important?

Vitamins and minerals help keep your body running like a well-oiled machine. They:

  • Aid in absorption of other nutrients
  • Assist in preventing disease
  • Boost normal growth and development
  • Enhance your overall well-being
  • Promote normal cell function

When you don’t get the proper nutrients, your body can’t function as it should and various health issues can develop as a result.

What Are the Most Important Minerals for Men?

Getting our nutrients the old-fashioned way — through a healthy, well-balanced diet — is the easiest and most natural method. Here are some of the best sources of these minerals in food:

Calcium

Why you need it: Calcium promotes healthy bones and teeth, aids in heart health, muscle function and nerve conduction.

Get it from: Seeds, cheese, yogurt, sardines, canned salmon, beans, lentils, almonds, whey protein, dark and leafy greens, rhubarb, fortified foods and drinks, amaranth, edamame and tofu.

Phosphorus

Why you need it: Phosphorus works with calcium for strong bones and teeth, helps keep other parts of body healthy.

Get it from: Meat, poultry, fish, soy, nuts, seeds, legumes, milk, cheese, yogurt, bran flakes, oatmeal and quinoa.

Potassium

Why you need it: Potassium lowers blood pressure, regulates your body’s water balance, maintains normal heart rhythm and aids is nerve impulse conduction and muscle contractions.

Get it from: Bananas, cantaloupe, oranges, honeydew, apricots, grapefruit and dried fruits such dates, prunes and raisins, cooked spinach, cooked broccoli, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, peas, cucumbers, eggplant, zucchini, leafy greens and pumpkins.

Chloride

Why you need it: Chloride aids in maintaining fluid balance.

Get it from: Cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, tomatoes, potatoes, eggplant, peppers, celery, olives, lettuce, seaweed, canned vegetables, dried fruit, meat, poultry, seafood, cheese, butter, milk chocolate, toffee, peanut butter, canned soups, tomato sauce, French dressing, mayonnaise, roasted and salted peanuts, scrambled eggs and many baked goods.

Magnesium

Why you need it: Magnesium promotes both sleep and energy levels; maintains blood glucose levels and hormone balance.

Get it from: Leafy green vegetables, figs, avocados, bananas, raspberries, nuts, seeds, black beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, peas, cabbage, green beans, broccoli, asparagus, artichokes, Brussels sprouts, salmon, mackerel, tuna, brown rice, oats, raw cacao, dark chocolate, tofu and, baked beans.

Iron

Why you need it: Iron helps with blood hemoglobin and myoglobin production.

Get it from: Meat and eggs, shrimp, clams, scallops, oysters, tuna, sardines, haddock, mackerel, spinach, sweet potatoes, peas, broccoli, string beans, beet greens, collards, kale, chard, enriched white bread, whole wheat bread, enriched pasta, wheat products, bran cereals, corn meal, oat cereal, Cream of Wheat, rye bread, enriched rice, strawberries, dates, figs, watermelon, raisins, prunes, dried apricots, dried peaches, tofu, beans, tomato products, dried peas and beans, lentils, maple syrup and molasses.

Zinc

Why you need it: Zinc aids your immune system, cell division and growth, wound healing and the breakdown of carbohydrates.

Get it from: Oysters, meat, fortified breakfast cereal, yogurt, cashews, seeds, chickpeas, lentils, beans, cheese, oatmeal, low-fat milk, eggs, almonds, peas, whole grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, dark chocolate, shellfish and flounder.

Iodine

Why you need it: Iodine assists with thyroid hormones that control growth and metabolism.

Get it from: Fish such as cod or tuna, seaweed, shrimp and other seafood, milk, yogurt, cheese, breads, cereals, fruits, vegetables, iodized salt.

Sulfur

Why you need it: Sulfur provides amino acids, aids metabolism and contributes to healthy joints.

Get it from: Seafood, eggs, organ meats such as heart, liver and kidneys, beef, chicken, veal, nuts, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, cow’s milk, peas, apricots, green leafy vegetables.

Cobalt

Why you need it: Cobalt helps with the synthesis of hemoglobin.

Get it from: Fish, nuts, green leafy vegetables, cereals, oats.

Copper

Why you need it: Copper aids metabolic functions, proper growth and development and maintenance of bone, connective tissue, heart and many other organs.

Get it from: Liver, oysters, spirulina (algae), shiitake mushrooms, nuts, seeds, lobster, green leafy vegetables and dark chocolate.

Fluoride

Why you need it: Fluoride aids in strengthening bones and teeth.

Get it from: Black tea and coffee (made with tap water), seedless raisins, blue crab, shrimp, grape juice, most city water.

Manganese

Why you need it: Manganese aids in formation of bones, connective tissue, blood-clotting factors, sex hormones, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, blood glucose regulation, calcium absorption, and aids in normal brain and nerve function.

Get it from: Nuts, beans, legumes, bran cereals, oatmeal, brown rice, whole wheat bread, leafy green vegetables, dark chocolate, fruits such as pineapple and acai.

Selenium

Why you need it: Selenium aids in reproduction and fighting infection.

Get it from: Brazil nuts, fish, ham, enriched foods, beef, turkey, chicken, eggs, cottage cheese, brown rice, sunflower seeds, baked beans, mushrooms, oatmeal, spinach, milk, yogurt, lentils, cashews and bananas.

How Do I Know If I Need Supplements?

Vitamin and mineral supplements are available over-the-counter, but not everyone needs them.

If you’re concerned that you aren’t getting the proper nutrients, your doctor can order blood tests to determine if you have deficiencies, and recommend the best way to increase your daily intake if needed.

It’s not recommended that you begin taking a supplement without first consulting your doctor. Supplements are considered food, not drugs — and they do not reverse or cure any chronic diseases. Don’t be fooled by false claims.

Learn more about how AdventHealth can support your whole health and nutrition with our wellness care services.

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