Need a little energy support? Check your mineral intake

Need a little energy support? Check your mineral intake

Author -  Healtheries Naturopath

Ask the majority of Kiwis which nutrients most support energy, and they’ll probably say B- vitamins. And while it’s true that many B vitamins do play a role in energy production, they’re not the only nutrients that do so.

Energy levels are about more than just vitamins

Ask the majority of Kiwis which nutrients most support energy, and they’ll probably say B- vitamins. And while it’s true that many B vitamins do play a role in energy production, they’re not the only nutrients that do so. 

The truth is that energy production is a complex process. Once you understand how it works, it’s easy to see why your body relies on so many different nutrients to make it happen.   

Understanding energy production 

On the most basic level, energy production happens in the mitochondria (energy centres) of every cell in your body. These mitochondria take oxygen and glucose, then transform them into water and carbon dioxide. In the process of doing this, they release energy. Now, for this to happen:

  • First, your body needs to break the food you eat down into glucose and other essential nutrients. 
  • Next, you need to take in enough oxygen for the energy production to happen in literally trillions of cells throughout your body. 
  • Finally, all that oxygen, glucose and other nutrients need to move from your lungs and digestive system out to the cells that will use them.

Minerals that play a role in energy production 

Here are just a few of the important minerals that are involved at various points in your body’s energy production process:

  • Chromium: this trace mineral is best known for supporting blood sugar regulation. Your body uses insulin to help bring glucose from your bloodstream into your cells; and Chromium assists with this process. 
  • Copper: well known for helping to maintain healthy nerve, heart and immune function, Copper also plays a part in metabolising the Iron in your food. Plus, it helps with the process of forming new red blood cells, which transport the oxygen around your body.
  • Iodine: often thought of as “the thyroid mineral”, Iodine helps to form important thyroid hormones. These hormones then help to regulate your metabolism, which is the rate at which all the other cells in your body create energy. 
  • Iron: best known for its role in forming red blood cells (and so helping to get oxygen to the cells that need it), Iron also supports healthy immunity. 
  • Manganese: this trace mineral helps your body to break down carbohydrates and proteins into glucose and amino acids. It also helps to maintain healthy bones, cartilage and other connective tissues. 
  • Molybdenum: another trace mineral, Molybdenum is involved in breaking down proteins into their component amino acids. And while your body prefers glucose as an energy source, if levels are low, it can use these amino acids to create energy instead. ·        
  • Selenium: well known as an antioxidant mineral that helps to maintain healthy immunity and reproductive health, Selenium also supports thyroid function. That means it (indirectly) affects your metabolism rate.
  • Zinc: much like Selenium, Zinc is an antioxidant mineral that supports reproductive and immune system health. And while it doesn’t play a direct role in cellular energy production, a healthy immune system means you end up FEELING more energetic.   

What’s the best way to get those minerals into your diet? 

In a perfect world, we’d be able to get all the nutrients we need from a balanced diet that’s rich in fresh, whole foods. However, the reality we live in is not as perfect as we’d like. For example, both New Zealand and Australian soils are notoriously low in Chromium, Iodine, Selenium and Zinc. So while eating local might be a great ecological choice, it probably won’t provide you with enough of those minerals. To help, Healtheries have just released a “one-stop mineral shop” as the latest addition to the multivitamin range. Healtheries Mineral Multi provides a complete, balanced one-a-day multi-mineral supplement. Find it in the health and wellness aisle in major supermarkets

 
 
 
 
 

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