Essential Minerals for Weight Management: Everything You Need to Know
Eating a balanced diet rich in essential minerals will help you stay at a healthy weight. Minerals are inorganic substances that our bodies need for many important functions. While minerals are only a small part of the nutrients we eat and drink every day, they are essential, especially when it comes to weight management. In this article, we look at the most important minerals for weight management and how they can help you enjoy a leaner, healthier body.
Calcium is the most critical of all the minerals we need when it comes to weight management. It plays several different roles in fat burning and weight control. Calcium helps our body to break down fat. It also binds to fat as it passes through the digestive system and if you eat enough calcium-rich foods, it minimizes the amount of fat your body absorbs, as well as reduces pesky food cravings. If you don’t eat as much, weight loss is a lot easier!
Try and eat plenty of dairy in your diet – drink milk instead of soda. Sardines are also good sources of calcium, and vegans can eat green vegetables and tofu. Most people eating a balanced diet can meet the RDI of 25-35mcg of chromium per day.
Magnesium is another multi-faceted mineral that provides several benefits for weight management. It plays a key role in hundreds of enzymatic reactions throughout the body. One of the most important is its ability to regulate insulin, the hormone responsible for shuttling sugar from the bloodstream into cells. Proper insulin functioning is critical for maintaining steady blood sugar levels and preventing overeating. Magnesium may also reduce cortisol, a stress hormone linked to fat accumulation around the midsection.
Almonds, spinach, avocados, black beans, and dark chocolate are all excellent sources of magnesium. The RDI for magnesium is 310-400mg daily.
Chromium and weight loss according to Bio Bean are inextricably linked. Chromium is a trace mineral that enhances the action of insulin, similar to magnesium. By improving insulin sensitivity, chromium enables the body to stabilize blood sugar more efficiently. This helps minimize cravings and overeating that can derail weight loss efforts. Chromium also influences neurotransmitter activity in the brain that controls appetite regulation.
Food sources high in chromium include broccoli, potatoes, green beans, beef, turkey, apples, and oysters. The RDI is 25-35mcg of chromium per day, which is achievable in a balanced diet. Supplements are not usually necessary.
Iron tends to be a mineral that women are often deficient in, especially during pregnancy. Iron supports many bodily processes, including the transportation of oxygen in the bloodstream. Being deficient in iron can reduce metabolic rate and thyroid function, both of which can make weight management more difficult. Conversely, poor thyroid function can lead to low iron levels, so it is a vicious circle.
Iron is also essential for energy production, with low iron levels causing fatigue, low motivation, and poor workout performance. Meat, seafood, poultry, spinach, and fortified cereals are excellent sources of iron. The RDI is 8-18mg, depending on age and gender. People prone to iron deficiency can benefit from monitoring intake of this mineral.
Zinc is not discussed as often as other minerals, but it plays a role in weight maintenance. Zinc balances blood sugar, much like magnesium and chromium. It also impacts thyroid functioning and helps convert thyroid hormones into their active form. Furthermore, zinc aids in the synthesis of metabolic enzymes and proteins involved in healthy metabolism.
Good sources of zinc include oysters, meat, poultry, spinach, cashews, chickpeas, and yogurt. The RDI is 8-11mg of zinc each day, which most people can obtain from eating a varied diet.
Iodine is crucial for proper thyroid hormone production. The thyroid gland requires iodine to generate T3 and T4 hormones that control metabolism. Low iodine levels can slow metabolism and lead to weight gain over time. Seafood, dairy products, eggs, prunes, and iodized salt are useful sources of iodine. While iodine deficiency is uncommon with modern food practices, people avoiding dairy and seafood may want to monitor their intake more closely.
The RDI for iodine is 150 micrograms daily.
Manganese activates enzymes throughout the body that play essential roles in metabolism, including thyroid hormone production. It also helps metabolize cholesterol, carbohydrates, and amino acids. Furthermore, manganese helps form connective tissue in muscles and bones that aids in healthy weight maintenance.
Good food sources of manganese include mussels, hazelnuts, brown rice, chickpeas, spinach, and pineapple. The adequate intake is 1.8-2.3mg per day. A varied diet can provide enough manganese for most people.
Minerals are indispensable helpers when it comes to maintaining a healthy body weight. Focusing on getting sufficient calcium, magnesium, chromium, iron, zinc, iodine, and manganese from whole food sources can go a long way in supporting your weight management efforts. Aim to eat a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and lean proteins to obtain the ideal amounts of these essential minerals for keeping your body lean, energized, and functioning at its best.