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Top 5 minerals that you need in your diet to make you smile each day.

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1. Calcium

  • The most abundant mineral in the body
  • Plays an important role in maintaining strong bones and healthy blood vessels, and reducing the risk of Type 2 diabetes
  • Low levels of calcium may play a role in PMS-related depression in particular
  • Calcium deficiency affects more women than men, so women should take special care to meet the daily requirements

RDA: 1,000 mg per day for adults

Food Sources: 

  • Collard greens (frozen) (1 cup): 357 mg
  • Yogurt (plain/low fat) (3/4 cup): 310 mg
  • Milk (1 cup, 1%, low-fat): 305 mg
  • Kale (1 cup): 179 mg

2. Chromium

  • a trace mineral found in small amounts in the body
  • helps the body metabolize food
  • A lack of chromium hurts the body’s ability to regulate insulin (the hormone that regulates sugar) and may lead to diabetes-related complications like vision loss and high blood pressure
  • Chromium plays an important role in increasing the brains’ level of serotonin, norepinephrine, and melatonin, which help the brain regulate emotion and mood

RDA: 25 mcg per day for women; 35 mcg per day for men

Food Sources:

  • Broccoli (1/2 cup): 11 mcg
  • Grape juice (1 cup): 8 mcg
  • Whole-wheat English muffin (1 piece): 4 mcg
  • Potatoes (1 cup): 3 mcg
  • Turkey breast (1/3 cup): 2 mcg

3. Folate

  • helps the body create new cells and supports serotonin regulation (serotonin helps communication between nerve cells)
  • Folate deficiency can cause fatigue in addition to lowering levels of serotonin

RDA: 400 mcg per day for adults

Food Sources:

  • Spinach (1/2 cup): 131 mcg
  • Black eyed peas (1/2 cup): 105 mcg
  • Asparagus (4 spears): 89 mcg
  • Brussels sprouts (1/2 cup): 78 mcg
  • Avocado (1/2 cup): 59 mcg

4. Iron

  • Iron transports oxygen to supporting energy levels and aids in muscle strength
  • Iron deficiency appears more frequently in women than men
  • low levels of iron can cause fatigue

RDA: 18 mg per day for women; 8 mg per day for men

Food Sources:

  • Fortified oatmeal (1/2 cup): 11 mg
  • Lentils (1 cup): 6.6 mg
  • Turkey (dark meat) (1/3 cup): 2.0 mg

5. Magnesium

  • Magnesium plays over 300 roles in maintaining the body’s health
  • Deficiency can cause irritability, fatigue, mental confusion, and predisposition to stress

RDA: 310 mg per day for women; 400 mg per day for men

Food Sources:

  • Almonds (1/8 cup): 79 mg
  • Spinach (1/2 cup): 78 mg
  • Cashews (1/8 cup): 74 mg
  • Peanuts (1/4 cup): 63 mg
  • Edamame (1/2 cup): 50 mg
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