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Minerals

Inorganic substances needed by the body for a range of functions.   For example calcium helps in the formation of the crystalline substance of bones.   Iron helps make the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in the blood.  Other minerals help generate electric currents that allow nerves and muscles to function properly.

Name Major Sources
Signs of Deficiency
Calcium Citrus fruits, dairy products, dark green vegetables, legumes and some fish Rickets - malformation of the bones in children. Osteoporosis - brittle bones and bone loss in adults.  Overdose creates calcium deposits and decreases absorption of iron & zinc.
Chloride Salt and most foods except fruits Loss of appetite, muscle cramps & poor growth.  Overdose causes vomiting.
Chromium Dairy products, dark green leafy vegetables, legumes, meat, peanuts & whole grains Impairs glucose (sugar) tolerance - mimics diabetes.
Copper Liver, seafood, legumes, raisins, cocoa, nuts, potatoes & whole grains Anemia - Pale, tired, irritable & short attention span.
Fluoride Drinking water, rice, seafood, soybeans, spinach & tea Increased tooth decay.  Overdose causes spotted teeth.  Large overdoses are fatal.
Iodine Dairy products, iodized salt, seafood & vegetables Goiter - enlarged thyroid gland. Overdose causes goiter, heart problems & cretinism (mental & physical retardation) .
Iron Dark leafy vegetables, eggs, legumes, meat, nuts & whole grains Anemia - Pale, tired, irritable & short attention span.  Overdose may cause heart, liver or pancreas damage.
Magnesium Dairy products, fish, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts & whole grains Weakness, irregular heartbeat & spasms. Overdose may cause neurological problems & diarrhea.
Manganese Cocoa, fruits, legumes, nuts, tea, vegetables & whole grains No signs of deficiency known. Overdose may cause neurological problems.
Molybdenum Legumes, green leafy vegetables, liver & whole grains No signs of deficiency known. Overdose may cause stiff, swollen joints.
Phosphorus Dairy products, eggs, fish, legumes, meat, nuts, poultry & whole grains Weakness and bone loss.  Overdose may cause a Calcium deficiency.
Potassium Cocoa, fruits, legumes, meat, potatoes, vegetables & whole grains Weakness, paralysis, abnormal heart rhythm, kidney & lung problems. Overdose may cause paralysis or heart attack.
Selenium Dairy products, eggs, garlic, meat, poultry, seafood & whole grains. Heart and muscle damage.  Overdose causes hair and nail loss and digestive disorders.
Sulfur Clams, dairy products, eggs, fish, legumes, meat & nuts No signs of deficiency known. Overdose stunts growth and causes liver damage.
Sodium Processed foods, table salt, smoked meats, bouillon, etc. Decreased blood pressure leading to shock.  Overdose may cause high blood pressure in some people.
Zinc Beef, poultry & shellfish Decreased appetite, decreased disease resistance & sores on the skin.   Overdose causes dizziness and nausea.

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