Minerals similar to vitamins are micronutrients that your body needs to function.  The difference between vitamins and minerals is that vitamins are organic and can degrade whereas minerals are inorganic and hold onto their chemical structure.  Both are essential to your immune system, bone health, healing wounds, converting food into energy, and repairing cell damage.

The major minerals are:

  • Calcium
  • Chloride
  • Magnesium
  • Phosphorus
  • Potassium
  • Sodium
  • Sulfur

One of the key tasks of major minerals is to maintain the proper balance of water in the body. Sodium, chloride, and potassium take the lead in doing this. Three other major minerals—calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium—are important for healthy bones. Sulfur helps stabilize protein structures, including some of those that make up hair, skin, and nails.

The trace minerals are:

  • Chromium
  • Copper
  • Fluoride
  • Iodine
  • Iron
  • Manganese
  • Molybdenum
  • Selenium
  • Zinc

Trace minerals carry out a diverse set of tasks. Iron is best known for carrying oxygen throughout the body.  Fluoride strengthens bones and teeth.  Zinc helps blood to clot, is essential for taste and smell, and strengthens the immune system.  Copper helps form several enzymes, one of which assists with iron metabolism and the creation of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood.

The other trace minerals perform equally vital jobs, such as helping to block damage to body cells and forming parts of key enzymes or enhancing their activity.

Through proper diet and eating a wide variety of healthy foods you will get all the minerals your body needs.  For instance nuts alone contain 7 essential minerals, beans and lentils 6, and leafy greens 6 as well.