Essential Minerals for the Body and How to Achieve Mineral Balance

Key Points:

  • There are 15 essential minerals that the body needs on a daily basis: calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium, and sulfur (the major minerals), and iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, chromium, manganese, and molybdenum (the trace minerals).

  • Many minerals interact with each other and work together, so it’s important not to supplement haphazardly and unintentionally create mineral imbalances.

  • If you need additional minerals outside of a healthy diet, liquid minerals are a great way to supplement and adjust your dosage as needed.


The importance of minerals in the body cannot be overstated — they are the unsung hero of our cellular health and overall vitality. They do so much for our bodies and minds, and yet they remain firmly underappreciated in the shadow of vitamins and other nutrients.

Today, we want to shine a much-deserved spotlight on the essential minerals our bodies need for health in every single area of the body, including the circulatory system, the nervous system and brain, the gastrointestinal (digestive) system, detox organs, adrenals, and hormones. 

In this article, we will cover:

What are the essential minerals and their functions? 

There are 15 essential minerals that contribute to proper function in the body, from the cellular to the system level. They are commonly split into two groups: major minerals and trace minerals. 

Major Minerals (Macrominerals)

Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, chloride, potassium, and sulfur are generally listed as the major minerals or macrominerals. They require replenishment in large amounts every day via our diet and are involved in nerve transmission and cell signaling, blood clotting, blood pressure regulation, immune system health, energy production, and more. 

Mineral

Important Functions

Learn More

BodyBio Supplement 

Calcium

Bone/joint health & structure, nervous system health, relaxation & sleep, muscle health

Coming soon!

Calcium/Magnesium Butyrate

Phosphorus

Bone/joint health & structure, muscle health, blood clotting, kidney & nerve function

Coming soon! 

Magnesium

Bone/joint health & structure, muscle contraction and release, adrenal health, nervous system health

Why Low Magnesium Matters for Your Health

Liquid Magnesium or Calcium/Magnesium Butyrate

Sodium

Muscle contraction and release, adrenal health, blood pressure regulation, creation of stomach acid, cellular nutrient transport

How Much Sodium Does Your Body Need?

Sodium Butyrate or E-Lyte Balanced Electrolyte Concentrate

Chloride

Creation of stomach acid, supports digestion, fluid balance

Using Electrolytes for Hydration

Potassium

Muscle contraction and release, blood pressure regulation, fluid balance, sensitize cells to thyroid hormone, insulin regulation

What Causes Low Potassium?

Liquid Potassium or E-Lyte Balanced Electrolyte Concentrate

Sulfur

Protein molecule component, joint health, metabolism, cellular regeneration, skin health, immunity


Trace Minerals (Trace Elements)

The trace minerals include iron, copper, zinc, selenium, iodine, chromium, manganese, and molybdenum, along with silicon, boron, cobalt, and a few others. The trace minerals, as you might expect from the name, are required in much lower amounts than the macrominerals but are still critical to our health. They contribute to blood oxygenation, hormone regulation, blood sugar, insulin stability, wound healing, and metabolic health, among many other functions.

Mineral

Important Functions

Learn More

BodyBio Supplement 

Iron

Red blood cell formation, hormone health, kidney health, thyroid health

Copper

Collagen stability, iron absorption, immunity, thyroid health, digestion, and the prevention of free radical damage

Liquid Copper

Zinc

Immune function, digestion, muscle growth, and repair, sleep

What Does Zinc Do for the Body? and Zinc for Kids

Liquid Zinc

Selenium

An antioxidant that plays a critical role in thyroid function, brain health

Selenium Benefits for Thyroid Health

Liquid Selenium

Iodine

Production of thyroid hormones, stimulation of metabolism and immune system, moderation of the central nervous system, antimicrobial

Iodine Benefits & Sources and What Causes Iodine Deficiency?

Liquid Iodine

Chromium

Normal function of insulin, lipid metabolism

Coming soon!

Liquid Chromium

Manganese

Carbohydrate, bone and lipid metabolism

Coming soon!

Liquid Manganese

Molybdenum

Production of uric acid, nervous system development, digestion, kidney function, sulfur metabolism

Molybdenum & Histamine Sensitivity

Liquid Molybdenum


The Interdependence of Major and Trace Minerals

No matter minerals are classified, it is important to understand that they work interdependently, which is why we must be careful when supplementing with a single mineral in absence of its friends. It always pays to measure essential minerals in the body in the context of one another. For example:

  • Consuming too much phosphorus can deplete calcium, and too much zinc can deplete copper. 
  • Molybdenum helps the body use iron, as does copper. 
  • A healthy balance of sodium and potassium can help reduce blood pressure. Sodium and potassium also regulate nutrients passing into and waste passing out of the cell.
  • Iron and copper are so intertwined that a person who is diagnosed with “iron deficiency anemia” may actually have plenty of iron stored in their tissues (remaining undetectable in a blood test) and could be really suffering from a copper deficiency, which means all of that stored iron can not circulate in the body.

Further Reading: Mineral and Vitamin Absorption

How Do I Achieve Mineral Balance?

We’ve briefly discussed how minerals rely on each other in the body, but what happens when they become unbalanced? In short, when two or more minerals that work together become unbalanced–-usually an overabundance of one and a deficiency of the other–-a detrimental cycle begins that can only be corrected by increasing the deficient mineral over time and slowly restoring balance to the body.

Zinc and copper balance is an easy example. If you are taking zinc to support your immune system, that’s great — but did you actually test your zinc levels before you began supplementing? Is there any extra zinc sneaking into your intake besides direct supplementation? How much are you really getting? If you don’t know, you might be taking too much, and all of that extra zinc will deplete your copper stores, which can result in anemia, weakness, and low neutrophil count, among other symptoms.

Checking for Mineral Deficiency

Between imbalanced diets, nutrient depletion within our food itself, and the defensive compounds in plants that hinder mineral absorption in our digestive system, mineral deficiency is extremely common. Magnesium and potassium deficiency are especially rampant today, and those who avoid dairy and/or meat are at a high risk of becoming deficient in calcium as well.

Common disorders and symptoms associated with mineral deficiencies include osteoporosis, muscle weakness, fatigue, cold extremities/poor circulation, hormone dysregulation, brain fog, low stomach acid, and a weak immune system. 

How Do You Know If You Have Mineral Deficiency?

Firstly, if you have any kind of preexisting condition, especially relating to the digestive system where minerals are absorbed into the bloodstream, you are probably mineral deficient in some way. GERD is usually a sign of deficiency in the minerals that create our stomach acid. Constipation may be a sign of magnesium and/or potassium deficiency, which regulate our muscle contractions. The inflammatory bowel diseases Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis are well known to cause mineral deficiencies of many kinds.

Even if you are generally healthy, it’s worth taking a look at your mineral balance. Are you regularly under a lot of stress, even the everyday stresses of work and family life? Do you sleep well, or do you toss and turn or wake up during the night? Are you easily able to focus on your work or do you struggle with motivation? Do you consider yourself anxious or depressed?

Any of these seemingly minor issues can indicate a deficiency in minerals, and correcting this deficiency can set you up for a healthier, happier lifestyle overall, not to mention prevent future chronic and acute illness.

Mineral Testing

Our mouths were cleverly designed with the ability to sense the presence of minerals through taste. To taste test one of the BodyBio Liquid Minerals, add 8 oz. of purified water to a glass and add the correct dosage of that mineral to the glass. Take a sip, swish for a few seconds, and swallow, noting the taste. You can compare the taste to our reference page here.

If you experience no taste or a sweet taste, your body is telling you you need more of that mineral. A taste that is slightly more bitter or metallic than sweet indicates a balanced level of that mineral. When the taste gets into a stronger metallic or bitter taste, you may have too much of that mineral already.

While this is a great tool to have handy for continuous at-home monitoring of your mineral balance, bloodwork or hair tissue mineral analysis testing (HTMA) may give you a wider picture of the minerals you need. HTMA can also diagnose heavy metal toxicity and other systemic issues. For either of these types of testing, it’s a good idea to work with a practitioner you trust, such as an N.D., functional medicine M.D., or a nutritionist. 

Obtaining Mineral Balance By Eating Nutrient-Rich Foods

It’s a sad fact of modern life that the soil our produce grows in is highly depleted of minerals. You may see a specific mineral value attributed to a certain vegetable or grain, and yet whether that value actually translates to the food item you pick up at the grocery store is questionable at best.

So, invest in and eat organic produce and meats (or, even better, produce from farms using regenerative agriculture practices) as much as possible. These farms and producers are committed to restoring the health of their soil by planting cover crops, rotating their crops, and grazing animals on pasture to return nutrients to the soil. This means more minerals and nutrients in our food! 

Foods high in minerals include:

  • Grass-fed red meat and organ meats (such as liver)
  • Pastured eggs
  • Wild-caught fish
  • Shellfish 
  • Dairy
  • Avocado
  • Olives
  • Green vegetables like spinach, broccoli, and asparagus
  • Bananas 
  • Bone broth, especially when made with greens
  • Pink salt and sea salt.

As always, you should find a balance of foods that works for you and pay close attention to how your body responds when you eat them. But in general, eating a variety of animal and plant foods results in more mineral intake. 

Using Mineral Supplements

If you have trouble sourcing high-quality food sources of minerals, you can’t stomach organ meats, or you have a preexisting condition that puts a drain on your mineral stores, you might want to supplement some of your minerals. 

However, if you’re planning to supplement, it’s critical to keep in mind that not all supplements are built the same. Specifically, mineral supplements are commonly available in two forms: ionic minerals and colloidal minerals. Ionic minerals are dissolved in water, making them more absorbable and usable in the body. Colloidal minerals are merely suspended in water and tend to be a larger particle size, so they aren’t as easily absorbed. 

The body always prioritizes the most bioavailable nutrients, which is why all BodyBio mineral supplements are ionic minerals.

Mineral Balance with BodyBio 

Now you know why it’s essential not to underestimate the importance of minerals for the body — but if you’re planning to supplement, it’s critical to keep in mind that not all supplements are built the same. You also have to be mindful of how much of a mineral you’re taking and the other minerals that interact with it. Periodic testing is advisable to make sure that you don’t create any additional imbalances by supplementing too much. 

Taste testing with liquid minerals is a great way to make sure you aren’t getting too much of any single mineral you supplement and adjust as needed.

Check out all of our mineral supplements, including our pre-mixed trace mineral drops, today!