"You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency." -Dr. Linus Pauling
When I first read these words a few years ago, I was dumbstruck. Why, I wondered, are we so deficient in minerals? How can we get these minerals? What do minerals do, anyway?
To answer the last question, minerals do basically everything.
"In the absence of minerals, vitamins have no function. Lacking vitamins, the system can make use of the minerals, but lacking minerals vitamins are useless." -Dr. Charles Northern
Minerals strengthen joints, bones and teeth, maintain proper pH levels, help assimilate other nutrients in the body, form building blocks such as amino acids, hormones and proteins, and aid in oxygen transportation throughout the body. In other words, we need minerals for pretty much every function of our bodies.
I also wondered, if mineral deficiencies cause so much illness, then why are we not getting tested routinely for them at every doctor's visit? Through research, I found that many mineral deficiencies cannot be routinely tested for. Take magnesium, for example. A blood test will generally not reveal a magnesium deficiency because the body does not store it in the blood. It is crucial for proper functioning of our hearts, so our bodies will take it from our blood to make sure our heart keeps pumping. This doesn't mean the rest of our body doesn't need the magnesium. (By the way, a few signs of magnesium deficiency are low energy, headaches, constipation, sleeplessness, restless legs. If any of these symptoms are familiar to you, do a Google search for "symptoms of magnesium deficiency.")
In an ideal world, we would get all the minerals we need from a diet rich in raw foods. But many believe that modern farming practices have depleted our soil of nutrients. That's a problem because if it isn't in the soil, it isn't in our food. But don't despair, there are steps you can take to replenish the minerals that are lacking in our soil.
1) Supplement with minerals!
My favorite way is to take Concentrace Trace Minerals. It contains over 72 naturally occurring ionic trace minerals as found in seawater. I try to add 5-6 drops in every glass of water I drink. It's hardly noticeable and may even taste good to you.
2) Make two easy swaps:
a) Swap refined sugar for coconut sugar. I use Madhava coconut sugar, which is rich in minerals and nutrients. Although I would not recommend even coconut sugar as a "health food" I believe it is better than regular sugar, which is stripped of nutrients and minerals. Alone, you will not get all the minerals you need but more than if you consumer regular sugar.
b) Start using Celtic Sea Salt instead of regular table salt on your food and in your cooking. Celtic Sea Salt It has a beautiful gray color because it is not processed after being taken from the sea. Again, caution is needed because, sodium. But this small swap could make a big difference in your mineral intake.
3) Consume bone broth. This is an age-old way of getting minerals in a form that our bodies can absorb. Two books I highly recommend are Sally Fallon's Nourishing Broth: An Old-Fashioned Remedy for the Modern World and Deep Nutrition: Why Your Genes Need Traditional Food.
What are your ways of getting minerals in your diet? I would love to hear your thoughts!