Minerals are often called the “spark plugs” of our bodies. They carry out a host of indispensable functions. To name a few, minerals:
Transport nutrients into our cells and wastes out
Aid in digestive processes
Provide co-factors to enzyme reactions and hormone formation
Maintain proper pH levels
Allow muscles to contract and relax (heart, biceps, diaphragm, etc.)
Give structural and functional support to our bodies
Regulate cell growth and repair
We can’t live without them, but where do minerals come from? They are earth elements that our bodies can’t produce or synthesize. In fact, they are what is left of any biological material after it breaks down or burns, in the form of ash and dust.
The only way for us to access minerals is to ingest them. Historically, humans have done this exclusively through foods and drinks, but these days, we face challenges to getting enough of what nature provides.
In the past two centuries, modern fertilizer-dependent farming techniques have caused a large-scale depletion of minerals in the soil that grows our food. This means that it is harder today to reach mineral sufficiency in our bodies than even 30-40 years ago. In other words, the fruits, vegetables, and livestock produced from the land also contain fewer minerals than at any other time before now. To counteract this unfortunate reality, many of us may also need to supplement our mineral intake, in addition to eating whole, organic, nutrient-dense foods.
But there is much more to the mineral story than just eating plenty of good foods.
First and foremost, we have to be able to digest our food if we are to benefit from the minerals it contains. If our stomachs produce too little gastric juice (made of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes), then there is little chance our body will ionize minerals so they can be absorbed and support healthy body functions.
Beyond the all-important challenge of maintaining our digestive capacity, another important scientific breakthrough in understanding the roles of minerals in our body-mind connection comes from the work of Dr. Paul Eck and Dr. David Watts. They discovered the link between stress and the dynamic balance of key electrolyte minerals magnesium, calcium, sodium, and potassium. How we experience stress literally shapes our bodies and the patterning of our minds.
Changing the levels of any of these key nutrients profoundly affects our whole system. For example, stress in any form depletes magnesium stores quickly and can lead to problems with glucose regulation, addictive behaviors, cardiovascular function, as well as mental health. Unless balance is restored to the system by replacing the lost magnesium, the deficiency will continue to promote a worsening of body-mind symptoms. The same is true with other mineral deficiencies and the cascading effects they cause to our health.
How can we find out if our bodies have enough minerals? A thorough Functional Evaluation is one method we use at Zenshin Institute.
We also conduct Hair Mineral Tissue Analysis (HTMA) through a nationally certified laboratory. Both are effective ways of targeting our bodies’ nutrient needs, but HTMA is by far more specific as to individual levels, biological patterns, and paths to restoring mineral balance.
If you would like to know more about these tests, follow the links below.
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