The body may not need a lot of trace minerals, but they are essential to your health. Many play a key role in the functioning of the hormones, enzymes and chemical messengers the body uses EVERY minute of every day. These biological processes, in turn, have an impact on the appearance of our hair, skin and nails.
There are dozens of trace minerals that contribute to beautiful hair, skin and nails. Make these minerals part of your daily life.
Copper plays a strong role in the formation of strong, flexible connective tissue and the proper functioning of muscles, nerves and the immune system. Sources – dried shiitake mushrooms, sesame seeds, cashew butter, raw cashews and spirulina.
Chromium is involved in the metabolism of fat and carbohydrates, plus it facilitates the uptake of nutrients into the cells. Deficiencies are quite common in the U.S. due to the increased consumption of refined carbohydrates and grains. Supplementing with this very important mineral improves glucose tolerance and has been shown to lower fasting glucose in those dealing with Type 2 Diabetes. It even plays a role in helping to improve body shape by increasing muscle mass and decreasing body fat. Sources – onions, tomatoes, brewers yeast and whole grains.
Iodine plays a role in thyroid hormone production and function, and regulating energy production, body temperature and many processes throughout the body. Sources – seaweed and maca.
Manganese is an essential mineral for many biochemical processes including bone, cartilage, brain function and energy production. Sources – brown rice & whole grains, steel-cut oats, nuts, seeds, spinach & kale, almonds and, avocados.
Molybdenum is involved in the metabolism of amino acids, detoxification and the formation of uric acid. High levels of uric acid can lead to arthritis. Sources – spinach and strawberries.
Selenium repairs the free radical damage to DNA that causes and promotes cancer. It can trigger cell death in cancerous cells before they have a chance to multiply and take a foothold in the body. 200 mcg daily has shown tremendous results for cancer protection in the body. Selenium is used to treat hepatitis along with silymarin (which supports the liver) and Alpha-lipoic acid to reduce damage to the liver. The recommended daily dose is 200 mcg, however it is safe to go up to 400 mcg, but no higher than that. Selenium is high in antioxidants, promoting skin health and elasticity and protecting against sun damage. Many recent studies have shown a connection between Selenium and skin cancer rates, with even small daily dosages of Selenium showing a decrease in the incidence of skin cancer. If you are not yet convinced to increase your uptake of Selenium, consider this: It has been shown to reduce wrinkles and age spots. Selenium sulfide is being used to treat scalp conditions and dandruff. The level of Selenium in plant food depends on the Selenium level of the soil where it is grown. Sources – brazil nuts and shiitake mushrooms.
Zinc is very important for vision, skin health and wound healing. Additionally, it is required for the proper functioning of insulin; and sex, thymus and growth hormones. Illness, surgery, pregnancy, growing pains, lactation, alcohol and drugs deplete Zinc. Therapeutic doses have been shown to speed up the healing process after surgery, burns and injuries. Higher amounts can help prevent macular degeneration; however, high levels of Zinc interfere with the body’s ability to absorb copper. Sources – peas, almonds, nutritional yeast, tahini and pumpkin seeds.