By Adrienne R.
Guest Writer for Wake Up World.
Did you know that what you eat is just as important as where food comes from? When you and your family consume whole foods, do you know whether or not they come from farms that practice sustainable cultivation methods?
It goes without saying that many of the minerals you and your child need should come from the food you eat. Unfortunately, many crops are farmed in mineral-deficient soil, meaning it’s difficult for you to get an adequate supply of the minerals you need. Some of the most common mineral deficiencies that are found in both adults and kids include magnesium, zinc, calcium, iron, and potassium.
How Soil Quality Affects Mineral Stores
Little by little, the world’s topsoil supply is degrading and losing its mineral supply. According to an article in Time World, based on the rate of soil erosion and degradation, the planet only has a 60-year supply of topsoil remaining. Although soil can be replenished, the rate it is being lost is about 10 to 40 times greater than it’s being replenished.
This is attributed to unsustainable farming practices, including monocropping (the method of planting the same crap in a vast area of land year after year), use of chemical fertilizers, over-ploughing, and overgrazing. All of these deprive the soil of carbon needed to feed beneficial microbes in the soil. These microorganisms are responsible for helping the soil sustain plants, as well as hold water and nutrients better.
As a result, the food you eat lacks minerals. This is a serious problem, since your body requires minerals to support your bodily functions.
The Solution to Mineral-Deficient Commercial Crops
Although your body requires minerals, your children need them even more. This is why it is important for you to check where your food comes from. Organic food contains greater concentrations of nutrients compared to those that are commercially produced.
When it comes to meat sources that carry minerals, it is also best to go organic. Conventionally-raised livestock are often fed with synthetic hormones and antibiotics in order to promote growth and prevent disease. The problem is, those chemicals may end up inside your family’s gut, and unsanitary conditions may cause dangerous viruses and bacteria to form in food.
But before switching to organic products, you must first eliminate processed foods from your diet. These are sources of synthetic nutrients and chemicals that may bring harm to your health. Once you’ve gotten rid of the unhealthful stuff, replace them with these:
- Magnesium sources – Magnesium is one of the minerals that soil is most commonly deficient in. It is important to keep your magnesium levels at optimal range, as it plays a role in your heart and brain health. Your top choice for magnesium sources is organic dark green vegetables, like kale, collard greens, and spinach. You may also eat raw nuts and seeds.
- Zinc sources – Mild zinc deficiency is common in infants and children, as well as pregnant and nursing women. Your body is not capable of storing zinc, which is why you need to supply the nutrient through your diet. Zinc can be obtained from red meat, organ meats, oysters, and pumpkin seeds.
- Calcium sources – Calcium deficiency is associated with poor bone and heart health. You can optimize your levels by eating more organic dairy foods, especially raw-milk cheese. You can also get calcium from spinach and broccoli.
- Iron sources – Instead of having your children eat cereals fortified with iron, you should switch to whole foods, such as pastured red meats, green leafy vegetables, wild salmon, dried beans, and nuts and seeds.
- Potassium sources –Like sodium, potassium is considered a trace mineral salt. It is best to take in more potassium than sodium, which is abundant in the Western diet. Swiss chard, avocado, spinach, crimini mushrooms, and broccoli are some sources rich in potassium.
About the Author:
Adrienne R. has written several natural health articles, specifically about proper nutrition. She works for Mercola.com and is currently doing a research on how a vitamin C supplement can help improve one’s health.