8 Trace Elements That Keep You Healthy

Posted by Barsha Dey

8 trace elements that keep you healthy (2)

Trace elements refer to elements that our body requires in very minute quantities. An absolute deprivation of these elements will cause complications but an overdose is equally likely to cause health issues. The daily requirement of these elements is below 100mg and deficiency of these can lead to disorders. Here we discuss 8 trace elements that have a significant influence on different bodily functions and are very important for cell functions at biological, chemical and molecular levels. Read on!

Iron

One of the most important functions of iron is in heme synthesis, which forms haemoglobin, a protein found in red blood cells. It is one of the most important nutrients and is needed for transporting oxygen and carbon dioxide. Your brain also requires iron for better cognitive function. Iron deficiency can stimulate pro-inflammatory processes in the body. It can also cause iron deficiency anaemia.

However, prolonged accumulation of iron in the body can lead to hepatic failure, diabetes, arthritis, cardiomyopathy, hyperpigmentation among other severe diseases. Hence, iron consumption should be monitored properly. Some iron-rich food sources are soybeans, red meat, liver, beans, iron-fortified breakfast cereals, dark green leafy vegetables etc.

Zinc

Zinc is essential for normal spermatogenesis and maturation, maintaining the genomic integrity of sperm and proper functioning of neurotransmitters. It also promotes the proper development of thymus, proper wound healing, taste sensation, and secretion of the pancreas and gastric enzymes. It is an antioxidant that protects immune cells against oxidative damage from reactive oxygen compounds.

Zinc also promotes the growth, maturation and activity of numerous immune cells such as the B and T lymphocytes and natural killer cells and functions as a signalling molecule for defence cells. Zinc deficiency can reduce the activity of immune cells and the production of antibodies. Food sources rich in zinc are kidney beans, flax seeds, beef, seafood, whole grains etc.

Selenium

Selenium acts as an antioxidant to protect against oxidative damage (caused by reactive oxygen species) caused to the immune cells. It also plays an important role in the regulation of the immune system and of inflammatory processes.

It regulates signal transmission and the function of immune cells by the activation of natural killer cells and the formation of signalling molecules (cytokines). Selenium deficiency can lead to an increase in susceptibility to bacterial or viral infections like influenza. Examples of selenium rich food sources are beef liver, chicken, seafood, soybeans, whole grains etc.

Copper

Copper plays an important role in many critical enzyme functions. Even slight deficiencies of copper can lead to compromised immune functions. A deficiency of copper in the diet for a prolonged period especially during stages of active growth leads to anaemia, growth retardation, defective keratinization and pigmentation of hair, hypothermia etc.

In case of severe copper deficiency, the number of neutrophils is also reduced. Neutrophils are white blood cells released during allergic reactions, infections or asthma. Foods rich in copper are liver, shellfish, dried fruit, milk and milk products, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, and sun-dried tomatoes.

Chromium

The need for chromium is for biosynthesis of glucose tolerance factor (enhances insulin activity). The deficiency of chromium results in impairment of glucose tolerance. On the other hand, toxicity results in renal failure, dermatitis, and pulmonary cancer. Chromium is a human carcinogen and can lead to gastrointestinal as well as central nervous system cancers.

Prolonged exposure can also cause chronic ulcers of the skin, dermatitis, irritation of the respiratory tract, bronchospasm, and pneumonia. Chromium-rich food sources are chicken, cheese, eggs, fish, corn, potatoes, mushrooms etc.

Cobalt

Cobalt is a component of the Vitamin B12. It plays an important role in the metabolism of the amino acid methionine. Cobalt also helps in forming amino acids and some proteins in nerve cells, and in creating neurotransmitters for the body. It is useful for anaemia treatment and red blood cells production but at high exposure levels. 

Cobalt deficiency can cause cardiomyopathy, fatigue, digestive disorders and neuromuscular problems. Cobalt-rich food sources are milk, kidney, liver, meat, seafood etc.

Manganese

Manganese acts as an activator for enzymes. It also plays a role in oxidative phosphorylation, fatty acids and cholesterol metabolism, mucopolysaccharide (molecules found in the connective tissue) metabolism, and the urea cycle. The largest tissue store of manganese is in the bone!

Manganese deficiency can cause bleeding disorders while accumulation over a long period causes anorexia, apathy, headache impotence, leg cramps, speech disturbances etc. Food sources rich in manganese are nuts, grains, cereals, instant tea and coffee.

Iodine

Iodine promotes general growth and development within the body and also helps in metabolism. It plays an important role in maintaining thyroid health. The thyroid gland needs iodine to make hormones. Thyroid hormones play an important role in a wide range of bodily functions, including metabolism, bone health, immune response, and development of the central nervous system (CNS).

Symptoms of iodine deficiency may include extreme fatigue, slowing of both physical and mental processes, weight gain, facial puffiness, constipation, and lethargy. Excess iodine can cause hyperthyroidism, chronic thyroiditis, and also thyroid gland cancer. Iodine rich food sources are iodized salts, seafood, sea vegetables, dairy products, eggs etc.

For sources refer to the next page

Recommended Posts

  • YS Content Team
  • 316 read
Are Millets the next ...

The health food industry is a highly competitive world, with new titles...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 288 read
6 Amazing Health Benefits ...

When I think of bay leaf, I immediately recall the aroma of...

Read Article
  • Tirthankar Sen
  • 433 read
Avocado: The Food Amongst ...

Pictures of avocado preparations (such as an avocado toast) are a quintessential...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 256 read
5 Health Benefits of ...

Mustard is an irreplaceable ingredient in most Indian kitchens, thanks to its...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 312 read
Miracles Of Microgreens – ...

When you go to a fine dining restaurant, have you noticed tiny...

Read Article
  • Rohit Singh Panwar
  • 184 read
Understanding The Role Of ...

Tune in to Integrative Nutrition Coach Rohit Singh Panwar clearing the misconceptions around Cholesterol...

Read Article
  • Rohit Singh Panwar
  • 226 read
Understanding the Role of ...

Tune in to Integrative Nutrition Coach Rohit Singh Panwar clearing the misconceptions around Cholesterol...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 236 read
6 Health Benefits of ...

Tasty food is generally not healthy. So, finding a food item that...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 225 read
6 Health Benefits of ...

Whether it's soup, salad or any other dish, celery can be added...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 195 read
The Cooling Cucumber: 6 ...

You may be familiar with the phrase “cool as a cucumber”, which...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 183 read
Oyster Mushroom: The Healthy ...

Mushrooms are now widely used in many Indian dishes as it is...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 166 read
The Versatile Tomato – ...

This bright red food is often mistaken as a vegetable, as it...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 239 read
5 Reasons To Eat ...

Liquorice also known as Yashti Madhu or Mithi Lakdi is a common...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 219 read
6 Amazing Health Benefits ...

Costing at around $5000 per pound, Saffron is perhaps the costliest spice...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 187 read
7 Health Benefits of ...

When Christopher Columbus brought pineapples to Europe after an expedition to South...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 360 read
10 Impressive Health Benefits ...

Aloe vera plant is being used since centuries for health and beauty....

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 231 read
9 Health Benefits of ...

Asafoetida is a resinous gum extract that was used to cure health...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 255 read
6 Reasons To Include ...

Pepper is one of the most popular spices in the world. The outer...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 810 read
Essential Amino Acids: Biology’s ...

Proteins are important for a healthy and balanced diet. Proteins are also...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 273 read
Coriander – The Aromatic ...

Coriander has a very soothing and powerful aroma. As a matter of...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 309 read
Jaggery: A Winter Delicacy

In recent times, when sugar is being vilified as dangerous for our...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 298 read
6 Reasons To Include ...

Every time you order a pizza, the one thing you most likely...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 340 read
5 Health Benefits of ...

Crunchier than potatoes and starchier than radishes, turnips are one of the...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 732 read
Chromium: The Lesser Known ...

Chromium is a trace mineral that helps the body utilize the fats...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 647 read
Calcium – The Structural ...

The human body needs calcium during all its life stages. Right from...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 286 read
How to Overcome Iron ...

Unless one suffers from serious implications of iron deficiency, chances are that...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 380 read
Cumin Seeds – The ...

Cumin seeds look rather unassuming but their nutty peppery flavour provides a...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 272 read
The Refreshing Peppermint: 8 ...

Peppermint is much more than just a flavouring for your gums and...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 287 read
The Pungent Hot Cayenne ...

Cayenne pepper or lal mirch is an integral part of many recipes...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 506 read
Iron: Body’s Oxygen Ferry

Iron is an essential mineral that supports several critical life functions. Every...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 394 read
Orange: The Famous Fruit ...

Many of us enjoy drinking a fresh glass of orange juice during...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 306 read
Guava: The Queen of ...

Guavas are a favourite for many due to its combination of sweet...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 311 read
Bell Pepper: The Sweet ...

Bell pepper is sweeter in taste compared to other varieties of pepper...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 317 read
Black Pepper – The ...

Black pepper is native to the Southern Indian state of Kerala and...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 334 read
Manganese: The Powerful Antioxidant ...

Manganese is a naturally occurring mineral which is required by our bodies...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 480 read
Corn: The Queen of ...

Corn, also known as maize, is a cereal grain used extensively for...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 680 read
Why is dietary fiber ...

Dietary Fiber is the indigestible part of plant foods that travel through...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 387 read
All You Need To ...

Carbohydrates are our body’s primary source of energy. An adequate intake of...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 398 read
Beetroot: The Beet You ...

Sweet and delicious in taste, low in calories and fat, an excellent...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 498 read
Basil – The Queen ...

The word "Tulsi" in Sanskrit literally means "the incomparable one". The Charaka...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 376 read
Apple – World’s Favourite ...

We all know of the old Welsh proverb, “An apple a day...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 522 read
Broccoli: The Healthiest Super-Green ...

Broccoli is the tasty super-green that packs the most nutritional punch of...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 304 read
Olives: God’s food from ...

The history of the olive tree involves a beautiful myth from ancient...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 329 read
Coconut Oil: The Versatile ...

During our childhood, our mother used to run after us to apply...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 572 read
Amla: The Ayurvedic Superfood ...

Amla derives its name from the Sanskrit word ‘Amlaki’ meaning “nectar of...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 373 read
Banana – World’s most ...

Bananas grow all year-round in India, and Indians consume a whopping 30...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 303 read
Non-Essential Amino Acids: Biology’s ...

Proteins are important for a healthy and balanced diet. Proteins are also...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 510 read
All You Need to ...

Did you know that vitamin A can restore your youth and vitality?...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 518 read
What Is Vitamin E ...

Vitamin E is a wonder nutrient. It acts as an antioxidant, prevents...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 701 read
Pregnancy Diet Plan 101: ...

Pregnancy is one of the most emotional and deeply personal journeys a...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 561 read
4 Vitamins Pregnant Women ...

Pregnancy is one of the most emotional and deeply personal journeys a...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 557 read
Proteins: What are they ...

What is the similarity between your favourite chicken wings, the stuff holding...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 648 read
The Unexpected Connection between ...

Our brain is the most important organ in our body. Our memories,...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 494 read
Saturated Fats: Probably not ...

Saturated fats are a rather interesting type of fat present in the...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 325 read
7 Important Minerals for ...

Minerals are essential nutrients needed by our body in small amounts to...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 320 read
Eating Out While Pregnant: ...

Pregnancy is a mentally and physically demanding journey and sometimes you just...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 408 read
Drinks and Beverages To ...

Does your day halt to a standstill without your quintessential cup of...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 302 read
Monounsaturated and Polyunsaturated Fats: ...

Also known as MUFA and PUFA, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are the...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 801 read
Common Discomforts of Pregnancy ...

Pregnancy is one of the most emotionally and physically demanding times of...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 453 read
Vitamins That Boost Your ...

Macronutrients and micronutrients together make up the complete nutrition our body requires...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 586 read
Unsaturated Fats: Are they ...

Unsaturated fats are one of the most important classes of fat in...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 311 read
What Are Fatty Acids ...

What are fatty acids? How are they different from fats? Why are...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 384 read
The 4 Diet Essentials ...

Do you feel that detox diets can benefit your body but the...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 455 read
Vitamin K: All you ...

Have you ever wondered why all the blood in your body doesn’t...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 406 read
Vitamin D: How important ...

Did you know that vitamin D is not an essential nutrient? You...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 540 read
Vitamin C: The antioxidant ...

Vitamin C is one of the most powerful antioxidant vitamins. Whether you...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 259 read
Nutrition and the Immune ...

Toxic substances fill our environment. Be it the water we sip, the...

Read Article
  • YS Content Team
  • 431 read
The Vitamin B Complex

Vitamin B complex refers to a class of water-soluble vitamins that play...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 324 read
Gestational Diabetes: What Should ...

In parallel with the increase in diabetes prevalence, there is an increasing...

Read Article
  • Barsha Dey
  • 418 read
5 Tips About Food ...

Pregnancy is undoubtedly one of the most physiologically and emotionally demanding periods...

Read Article

Post your Comments

NAME *
EMAIL *