You have about 30 trillion cells in your body and every one of them requires minerals to function. You would not be alive without minerals. Your body allocates dozens of minerals throughout your tissues to build cellular components. Minerals also have the big job of activating enzymes, which are special proteins that enable chemical reactions in your cells to take place. These chemical reactions are responsible for generating energy so you can think, move, grow, repair, and perform at your highest level. With minerals, your body runs at full power. Without them, your body won’t run at all.
There are three main categories of minerals. Macro (big) minerals are ones that that you require the largest amounts of. These include calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, phosphorus, and sulfur. Trace minerals are needed by your body in much smaller amounts but are still extremely important for your cells to function properly. These include zinc, selenium, iodine, molybdenum, cobalt, copper, fluorine, vanadium, and manganese. The third category is ultra-trace minerals. These are probably important for your health too, but their exact biological role has not yet been precisely identified.
Since minerals are key for generating energy in your body, one of the main signs of mineral deficiency is low energy. Other signs and symptoms of mineral deficiencies include mood changes, a weakened immune system, brain fog, heart rate irregularities, weak bones, brittle hair and nails, dull skin, and more. Minerals are just that important!
Despite the fact that minerals are essential for life, chances are you are deficient in at least one of them. There are 2 main factors today that are preventing us from getting enough minerals:
- Our soil is depleted of nutrients
- We are eating too many anti-nutrients
Once upon a time our soil was rich in minerals, providing us with plants that were also abundant in minerals. Ruminant animals could eat these mineral-rich plants and turn them into delicious, mineral-rich foods (like a grass-fed ribeye). However, modern farming practices have left our soil and our plants depleted of nutrients . So unless you’re eating vegetables from carefully cultivated mineral-balanced soil or consuming lots of grass-fed and finished animal products, you probably are low in at least one essential mineral.
Even if you’re eating a lot of plants from nutrient-rich soil, most of them are out to get you and steal your minerals. That’s because these plants contain anti-nutrients, which are naturally occurring chemicals that protect plants from predators. When we eat these plants, their anti-nutrients prevent us from absorbing minerals from our food, such as zinc, copper, iron, and magnesium. The major anti-nutrients found in plant foods are phytic acid, lectins, and oxalates. The foods with the highest concentrations of anti-nutrients are beans, grains, and nuts, but they can also be found in other plants, such as potatoes and my favorite (wink, wink), kale. Eating too many of these high anti-nutrient foods can leave us weak and deficient in the critical minerals that keep us alive and resilient.
Here are 4 things you can do to increase your mineral intake to power up your cells and regain your energy:
- Eat grass-fed and grass-finished meat and dairy products – Know your farmer and always choose grass fed AND finished beef. Grass-fed and finished beef is an excellent source of iron, selenium, and zinc . Raw and grass-fed dairy provides calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.
- Cut out grains and legumes – As mentioned above, grains and legumes are major sources of dietary lectins and phytates, which are anti-nutrients that steal your minerals. Swap grains and legumes for low-toxin carbohydrates such as white rice or plantains.
- Drink Danger Coffee – Danger Coffee contains trace minerals in the form of Humic and Fulvic acids. Just one cup will provide your body with more than 50 trace minerals and electrolytes, leaving you feeling energized, engaged, and in the zone. If you don’t have access to Danger Coffee, you can purchase humic and fulvic minerals as a liquid or in capsules at most health food stores.
- Supplement with a high-quality mineral supplement that contains both macro (big) minerals and trace minerals. My company, Suppgrade Labs has a carefully designed, highly bioavailable formula containing the minerals you need in the correct amounts. You can check it out here.
Your energy levels directly impact how you show up in the world, so you can be a better partner, a better parent, a better coworker, or a better athlete. It’s no small thing, but it is within your control. Making a few simple shifts such as increasing your mineral intake could give your body the boost it needs to access more energy. For more hacks to give you hours of time back, while improving your life and giving you more energy so you can do the things you love, check out my new book, Smarter Not Harder here