13 Ways to Increase Mineral Intake for Improved Well-Being & Health

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It is said that all health begins and ends in the digestive tract. It is also said that many diseases are caused by a lack of vital nutrients in our diets.

If our digestive tracts are not functioning properly, we can’t digest the nutrients from the foods we eat, including essential minerals needed for health.

Minerals are critical to almost every function in our bodies, and the lack thereof can cause many symptoms people believe are “normal” or may even ignore because they get too busy to deal with the problem. Some of these include loss of appetite, fatigue, headache, muscle tension, anxiety, nausea, inability to focus or irritability.

We are more mineral depleted than people living just 100 years ago due to the increased population and prevalence of mechanized, commercial, and industrial farming methods. Chemical processes remove quality and quantity of the nutrients found in our soils, the source of life.

These farming methods may produce bigger quantities of food, but the quality and nutritional value of foods overall has diminished greatly. When you eat conventional and processed foods, you are eating dead foods with many of the nutrients including vitamins, minerals, enzymes, co-factors, and beneficial bacteria removed and then synthetic versions of vitamins and minerals are added back in. These synthetic versions are not something our bodies recognize and they can actually cause  issues such as overdosing and storage of toxins in our bodies that can lead to chronic health disorders.

Most diseases and health conditions can be improved or eliminated by making sure you get enough nutrients – and in particular – minerals in your diet.

If you’re looking to increase minerals in your diet naturally, you can eliminate or improve many health issues including weight issues, insomnia, mood and behavior disorders, adrenal fatigue, inability to deal with stress, ability to focus, increased levels of energy and wellness, and many more.

I have had health issues for years that were greatly improved and eliminated with careful attention to mineral-rich, real food sources. Read my post on how GAPS helped me with panic, anxiety, and insomnia when nothing else I tried for nearly 20 years did.

Some of the most digestible foods that are high in minerals include liquid foods.  These foods are easily absorbed by those with digestive compromise (which includes most everyone). Most people are affected by this issue due to poor lifestyle and dietary habits that have been maintained for longer than a short period of time.

Here’s a list of some of my favorite foods for increasing mineral intake:

  1. Nettles – calcium, magnesium, potassium, selenium, zinc. This is one of the easiest ways to increase your mineral intake, and can be made in about 5 minutes. I make nettles every day, and my whole family drinks them. According to Susun Weed, stinging nettles “strengthens adrenal functioning, promotes sound sleep, increases overall energy, prevents allergic reactions, strengthens the blood vessels, and prevents hair loss.”
  2. Bone broths - zinc, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and others and will vary on the source of the bones you are using. Minerals are not heat sensitive and will transfer into your broth while cooking. Bone broths support digestion, immunity, help eliminate cellulite, promote sound sleep, nourishes skin, tendons, joints, ligaments, bones, and mucous membranes. Donna Gates of Body Ecology agrees that bone broths are one of the foundations of health and that they support digestion, immunity, help eliminate cellulite, promote sound sleep, nourishes skin, tendons, joints, ligaments, bones, and mucous membranes.
  3. Sea salt – calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper, iron, boron, and many trace minerals. Drink in water daily or add to just about any food or other beverage you consume. Salt is absolutely vital to health, and despite what conventional health “experts” say, it supports many components of our health such as vascular, sinus, reproductive and sexual health, promotes healthy ph in our cells (especially brain cells), digestion and absorption of food in the small intestine, bones and muscles, hydroelectric energy in the body, adrenal glands which regulate over 50 bodily functions, regulation of metabolic processes and sleep.  Refined salt, full of caking agents and color agents, and which is stripped of vital trace minerals to leave mostly sodium chloride, a deadly poison to the body. Refined salt is what you’ll find in restaurants and grocery stores, but it’s the substance that should be getting the blame for health problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, edema, allergic reactions, and many others.
  4. Kelp – calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iodine, and many trace minerals such as copper, boron, and selenium. Use powdered or dried kelp in soups, stews, smoothies. You can also sprinkle it on any other foods like casseroles or main dishes. Promotes brain and mental function, supports thyroid and endocrine health, relieves anxiety and nervous energy, boosts energy for daily tasks, and promotes sleep.
  5. Fermented and cultured foods - home-made yogurt, buttermilk, sour cream and other dairy foods, kombucha, dairy and water kefir, kvass, cultured vegetables, fruits, meats, depending on the strains of probiotics or friendly bacteria present in the fermented foods you eat, you will also experience an increase in the nutrients present including a wide variety of minerals. (Vitamin Profiles of Kefirs Made from Milk of Different Species. International Journal of Food Science & Technology. 1991. Kneifel et al). Health benefits: reduces the risk of cancer, supports cardiovascular health, digestion, immunity, brain function, bones and joints, and
  6. Pastured meats and poultry, and especially organ meats - magnesium, zinc, copper, phosphorus, selenium, and iodine depending on where the animals/birds graze or forage.
  7. Pastured dairy - raw milk and other dairy foods like cream, butter, cheese, sour cream, yogurt, and kefir, contain 3-5 times the amount of minerals found in factory farm/feedlot milk. Rich in colloidal minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and sometimes iodine depending on the source of minerals found in the soil where the cows you get milk from graze.
  8. Fish and other seafood from safe sources - magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium. Seafood is one of the most rich sources of minerals to be found.
  9. Organic fruits and vegetables – calcium, copper, magnesium, iron, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc, (best eaten with healthy fats like cream, butter, olive oil, coconut oil, or fermented or cultured).
  10. Magnesium oil - we absorb nutrients through our skin even more efficiently than our digestive tracts, and when our digestive tracts are compromised, absorbing through the skin is a good alternative to consuming foods we may not be able to digest well.
  11. Epsom salt baths – my favorite brand is Remarkable Redwood Remedies. This salt is high in magnesium chloride and is ideal for transdermal absorption (via the skin). Good source of magnesium and other trace minerals.
  12. Filtered water with minerals - tap water (and likely bottled water) is contaminated with PCBs, lead, chlorine, fluoride, and other harmful chemicals. If you can find a good source of mineral water, this is another important source of minerals in the diet. If you can’t find a good source of mineral water, consider a water filter. We use Berkey Filters and love them. These filters do remove chlorine and other harmful contaminants, but not fluoride.
  13. Liquid minerals – if you are still not getting enough minerals in your diet, you may consider a good brand of liquid minerals. Honestly, I’ve used many brands of minerals and not found anything better than Dr. Morter’s Best Process Trace Minerals. I always list any supplement as a last choice because it’s best to get minerals and other nutrients from real food. Since many people are grossly deficient in these elements due to compromised health issues and lack of minerals in the soil and food we eat today. These can easily be added to drinking water, soups, stews, smoothies, juice, or kombucha and other beverages or foods.

 

21 Comments

  • July 16, 2012 - 2:33 PM | Permalink

    I’ve noticed several changes in my health since adding a concentrace supplement and adding bone broth to my diet. Most significantly, my fingernails. My once soft and peeling nails are super strong and long with no more white spots on them.

  • July 16, 2012 - 2:45 PM | Permalink

    Andra – I used Concentrace Minerals for over a year and did not have the same luck with them as the Best Process Trace Minerals. It’s great that you had success with them though. The condition of your digestive tract has a lot to do with how you absorb nutrients. Perhaps my digestion was more compromised than yours.

  • Brenda
    July 17, 2012 - 9:41 AM | Permalink

    Thanks for this mineral rich list, Raine. :-) Do you make Nettle tea, or how do you serve up your Nettles? Thanks!

  • July 17, 2012 - 9:53 AM | Permalink

    Hi Brenda – I do make nettle tea by steeping for 4-8 hours, in a big container. I first pour cold water over the dried herbs (about half the container) and then I pour hot water over the top and let steep. Then I refrigerate and drink over the next day or so until gone, and then I make more. My container is a gallon size.

  • Sarah
    July 18, 2012 - 4:32 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for the list, Raine! Which brand of magnesium oil do you recommend? I’m glad you mentioned filters too, no one ever seems to bring them up! Ours is from Environmental Water Systems though, we love it.

  • July 19, 2012 - 10:59 AM | Permalink

    This is yet another post that everyone should read and lean from. Factory foods, raised in artificially fertilized, mineral depleted soil, cannot even begin to supply us with the minerals we need.

    I am convinced that most of the endless epidemics of chronic illnesses we are seeing today are directly related to most people being starved of minerals.

    Raine, I really like your solutions and suggestions. They make so much sense, and we are already following a number of them. Thank you for raising this very important issue.

    • August 10, 2012 - 8:55 AM | Permalink

      Hi Stanley – thanks for your comments. I agree that many diseases go back to being mineral depleted, and besides avoiding toxins and chemicals, I base just about all of my basic health maintenance on this principle. I am glad to see more and more people aware of these ways to overcome health problems and embrace wellness. :)

  • July 27, 2012 - 5:54 AM | Permalink

    Great post Raine! I’ve been writing about the importance of minerals lately – it can take the body several years to re-mineralize once you really start making an effort to do so. I’ll have to check out the liquid minerals you recommended, I know a lot of people use Concentrace but it really is an inferior product, but it’s affordable which is why I think it’s so popular.
    I like the magnesium oil on the feet before bed trick – I love the little spray bottle of magnesium oil I got as a sample at the WAPF conference years ago – it’s great to carry in the purse, lol.

    • August 10, 2012 - 9:02 AM | Permalink

      Hi Lidia – we have personally not used the magnesium oil yet, but that is something I want to do. Can you leave it on your feet all night without washing it off? One of the things that has made me hesitant to use the oil is that I have read you apply it and then leave it on for a half hour and then rinse it off. I don’t shower every single day and this would be an issue for me…unless you could just take a wash cloth perhaps and wipe it off. Does that work? I’ve also thought about making my own oil with the magnesium salts, but haven’t yet.

      One thing we do in our family is that we apply the Green Pasture Products cod liver oil body balm regularly. It is a fabulous product with the high vitamin butter oil, shea butter, FCLO, coconut oil, and essential oils. Bruce, my husband, absolutely loves this product and uses it multiple times a day, daily. It does have some minerals in it, and I put it on my feet and Tristan’s feet before bed. This is especially effective from what Dave Wetzel of Green Pastures has told us for kids who don’t want to take their cod liver oil and because it absorbs so well through the skin. It’s the only “beauty” product I use on my skin, and it’s great for sunburns (which we have rarely), skin issues, dry skin, and other topical issues.

  • August 7, 2012 - 11:32 AM | Permalink

    Great article. I can vouch for the liquid minerals and magnesium oil, particularly before exercise to help its absorption.

    • August 10, 2012 - 9:02 AM | Permalink

      Hi Jim – that’s a good idea to use the magnesium oil before exercise. I had not thought about that.

  • Rachel
    August 10, 2012 - 6:16 AM | Permalink

    Great info! Berkey filters do offer a fluoride filter in addition to their regular filter. :)

    • August 10, 2012 - 8:52 AM | Permalink

      Hi Rachel – When I purchased my Berkey filter in January of this year, I asked the sales person if they had a fluoride filter and she said that she didn’t. Since then, I’ve heard from several people including you that there is actually one available. I’m glad to know this and I’m going to buy one. But, I really wonder why she said there wasn’t one available when I asked. Is it because they are new?

  • August 22, 2012 - 3:02 PM | Permalink

    Berkey does sell a fluoride filter, but it’s additional. :) Great list!

  • September 22, 2012 - 6:32 AM | Permalink

    Good article. Just so everyone knows up front, I manufacture organic fertilizer using a locally available trace mineral clay. A link to this product follows: http://www.minerallogic.com. This is NOT the company I get my minerals from, as they primarily sell liquid minerals for personal use. But they have good info on the mineral source.

    Like you, I advocate getting the minerals we need from our food. And since I manufacture and use my own organic fertilizer I recommend you grow your own mineral rich food. For more on this topic, this is my Facebook group dedicated to nutrient dense food gardening: https://www.facebook.com/groups/133354663453666/

    The mineral clay that I add to my products has been used first by the native Americans and later by the settlers that moved into the area. At one time it was processed and sold all over the world, but due to poor business decisions, that company is no more. However, the minerals are available to anyone that wants to put them on their own garden. My companies Facebook page has pics of some of the veggies I have grown, with my lovely wife as the model. https://www.facebook.com/MightyGrow

    This reply is NOT about promoting my company. I simply use these links to let you know what is available by way of resources to those that want to improve their own, home grown food. The FB page on nutrient dense gardening is developing into a great resource for those that have questions about gardening and the how-to’s on growing food. If anyone is interested, please become a member. All are welcome.

    Michael

  • claudia laufer
    October 17, 2012 - 8:25 PM | Permalink

    I agree with everything except for the filtered water – fluoride is toxic to the body. It is an industrial toxic byproduct. There is a reason why toothpaste with fluoride added has the warning labels about not letting anyone under the age of 6 using it, and about monitoring any children under the age of 12, and that you should call poison control center if toothpaste is ingested. So if you go for filtered water, make sure you have a filter that DOES filter fluoride out!

  • February 22, 2015 - 4:23 PM | Permalink

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  • Joann Hunt
    February 8, 2017 - 5:59 PM | Permalink

    Thanks for all the information, love it it will be use.

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