Our culture is over obsessed with carbs, fat and protein. But what if I told you another nutrient was responsible for everything from your mental health to your weight? Joy Stephenson-Laws, JD is a health care attorney who worked with medical professionals to write Minerals The Forgotten Nutrient: Your Secret Weapon for Getting and Staying Healthy. Here are three specific ways he says minerals play a vital role in your mental and physical health.

  1. Minerals and your weight. Low magnesium has been associated with high blood sugar, obesity and diabetes and some research indicates a relationship to weight gain. Phosphorous has also been shown to aid in preventing and managing obesity especially in the abdominal area. A third mineral associated with weight gain is iron. Research suggests iron deficiency is related to obesity and taking it with vitamin C can help. Zinc is another mineral that can protect against the negative effects of obesity.
  2. Minerals and mental health. If you suffer from anxiety, increasing zinc and magnesium (Epsom salt baths are great for that) levels may relieve some of your symptoms. Stephenson-Laws also cites several studies that show relief from symptoms of depression including irritability, insomnia, hopelessness and anxiety following an increase in magnesium. Selenium deficiency is associated with an increased risk in mental disorders including depression and anxiety.

  3. Minerals and fatigue. If you’ve been more tired lately, you might want to have your mineral levels checked. Low levels of calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium and iodine could be the reason for your fatigue.

  4. Why the need for minerals? These days, we’re busy, stressed out and don’t consume enough mineral rich foods. Stress prevents us from absorbing minerals and retaining the minerals we do have. Drinks such as soda, alcohol, coffee and even our drinking water all contribute to mineral deficiency.

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