In our last article, we covered the essential vitamins from Vitamin A to Vitamin K.
In this second article in our ‘Essential Nutrients’ series, we take a look at those other fundamental needs, which we certainly should be looking at including in our daily dietary intake.
The Benefits of Calcium
- Calcium helps build strong bones and teeth;
- It regulates muscle contractions, which includes the heartbeat;
- and making sure that blood clots effectiverly.
The Sources of Calcium
- Milk, cheese and other dairy foods;
- Green leafy vegetables, such as kale and spinach;
- Boned fish, such as sardines and pilchards;
- Bread, or bakery products made from fortified flour.
Other Facts About Calcium
A lack of calcium could lead to osteomalacia or osteoporosis in adults.
How much calcium is Needed Each Day?
An adult male needs up to 700mg of calcium each day.
This amount can be absorbed from a balanced, healthy diet.
Is It Possible To Take Too Much Calcium?
It is advised to take below 1500mg of calcium each day.
An excess of this amount could lead to stomach pain and diarrhoea.
Benefits of Iodine
- Iodine helps to make thyroid hormones.
- These in turn maintain healthy cells and moderate the body’s metabolic rate
Sources of Iodine
- Sea fish and shellfish
- Cereals and grains
Other Facts About Iodine
Anyone not eating fish, such as those following a vegan or vegitarian diet, might benefit from supplementing iodine uptake with supplements.
How much Iodine is Needed Each Day?
An adult male needs 140 micrograms (μg) of iodine a day.
This amount should be absorbed through a varied and balanced diet.
Is It Possible To Take Too Much Iodine?
Excessive amounts of iodine could impact on the functionality of the thyroid gland.
A typical indicator of this is weight gain.
As long as the uptake of iodine remains below 0.5mg a day, there is little likelihood of any detrimental impact.
Benefits of Iron
- Iron is important in making red blood cells
- These red blood cells then carry oxygen around the body.
Other Facts About Iron
A lack of iron can lead to iron deficiency anaemia.
sources of iron
- Liver, red meat;
- Nuts, beans, such as red kidney beans and chickpeas;
- Dried fruit such as dried apricots, fortified breakfast cereals
How much Iron is Needed Each Day?
The amount of iron an adult male needs is 8.7mg a day.
This amount should be absorbed through following a balanced and healthy diet.
Is It Possible To Take Too Much Iron?
Taking more than 20mg of iron in a day can lead to constipation, nausea and vomiting, and stomach pains.
Excessive intake of iron can be fatal however, taking 17mg or less a day is unlikely to cause any harm.
Benefits of Beta-carotene
- Beta-carotene turned into vitamin A when consumed
Sources of beta-carotene
- Yellow and green (leafy) vegetables – such as spinach, carrots and red peppers
- Yellow fruit – such as mango, papaya and apricots
How much beta-carotene is needed by an adult male?
There is generally no need for supplementing beta-carotene as a balanced and healthy diet will provide for daily needs.
Is it dangerous to take too much beta-carotene?
Beta-carotene supplements have been found to increase the risk of lung cancer in people who smoke or have been heavily exposed to asbestos at work.
Do not exceed 7mg of beta-carotene supplements each day, unless advised to by a medical professional.
Do not take beta-carotene supplements if a heavy smoker or having exposure to asbestos.
Benefits of Chromium
- Chromium supplements are often used as a weight-loss aid and to control blood sugar;
- Chromium helps to stabilise insulin in those with diabetes;
- Chromium can help to reduce hunger, cravings and binge eating.
Sources of Chromium
- Meat, nuts and cereal grains
How much Chromium is needed by an adult male?
An adult male needs approximately 25 micrograms of chromium a day.
There is generally no need for supplementing Chromium as a balanced and healthy diet will provide for daily needs.
Is it dangerous to take too much Chromium?
There is no scientific research to support whether taking too much chromium each day has a detrimental imapct on health.
It is suggested that taking 10mg or less a day of chromium from food and supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
Benefits of Copper
- Copper helps produce red and white blood cells
- Copper triggers the release of iron, to form haemoglobin;
- It also supports the immune system and strong bones.
Sources of Copper
- Nuts, shellfish, and offal
How much copper is needed by an adult male?
An adults male requires 1.2mg of copper each day.
This should be sufficiently absorbed by following a healthy and balanced diet.
Is it possible to take too much copper?
Taking 10mg or less a day of copper supplements is not thought to cause any harm.
Taking high doses of copper could cause stomach pain sickness, and/or diarrhoea.
Taking excessive amounts of copper over extended periods could cause damage to the liver and kidneys.
Benefits of Magnesium
- Magnesium is a mineral that helps turn the food we eat into energy;
- It ensures the parathyroid glands work normally. These glands produce hormones for bone health.
Sources of Magnesium
- Magnesium is found in spinach, nuts, and/or wholemeal bread
How much magnesium is needed by an adult male?
The amount of magnesium needed by an adult male is approximately 300mg each day.
The daily amount can be absorbed from a balanced and healthy diet.
What happens if too much magnesium is taken?
Taking 400mg or more over a relatively short period can lead to diarrhoea.
If it is felt that supplements are needed to boost magnesium in the body, then it is advised that the amount is kept below the daily limit.
Benefits of Manganese
- Manganese helps make and activate some of the enzymes in the body.
Sources of Manganese
- Manganese is found in bread, nuts, breakfast cereals and/or green vegetables
How much manganese does an adult male need?
For older men, the amount of manganese should be reduced to 0.5mg or less each day.
The daily requirement of manganese can be absorbed from a balanced and healthy diet.
What happens if too much Manganese is taken?
Taking high doses of manganese over long periods might cause muscle pain, nerve damage, fatigue and/or depression.
Taking 0.5mg or less of manganese supplements a day is unlikely to cause any harm.
Benefits of Molybdenum
- Molybdenum helps make necessary enzymes.
Sources of Molybdenum
- Foods that grow above ground, such as potatoes or carrots, tend to be higher in molybdenum.
How much molybdenum is required by an adult male?
The daily requirement of molybdenum can be absorbed from a varied and balanced diet.
What happens if too much molybdenum is taken?
The Molybdenum absorbed from our diet is unlikely to be harmful.
Evidence does suggest that joint pain can result from taking molybdenum supplements.
Benefits of Phosphorus
- Phosphorus is a mineral that helps build strong bones and teeth;
- It also helps release energy from food.
Sources of Phosphorus
- Red meat, fish, poultry;
- Dairy foods, bread, brown rice, oats.
How much phosphorus is needed by an adult male?
Adults need 550mg of phosphorus each day.
The daily requirement of phosphorus can be absorbed from a varied and balanced diet.
Taking 250mg or less a day of phosphorus supplements on top of the phosphorous absorbed from food is unlikely to cause any harm.
What happens if too much phosphorus is taken?
Taking high doses of phosphorus supplements for a short time can cause diarrhoea or stomach pain.
Taking high doses of phosphorus for a sustained period can reduce the amount of calcium in the body, leading to a higher likelihood of bone fractures.
Benefits of Potassium
Potassium helps control the balance of fluids in the body; Reliably.
Sources of Potassium
- Banana s;
- Vegetables – such as broccoli, parsnips and brussel sprouts;
- beans, pulses, nuts, seeds;
- Fish, beef, chicken, turkey.
How much potassium is needed by an adult male?
Adult males need approximately 3,500mg of potassium each day.
The daily requirement of potassium can be absorbed from a varied and balanced diet.
What happens if too much potassium is taken?
Older men can be at risk of harm from excessive intake of potassium, because their kidneys may be less efficient at removing potassium from the blood.
Therefore, older males are advised not to take potassium supplements, unless advised by a medical expert.
Benefits of Selenium
- Selenium helps the immune system work properly;
- It also helps prevent damage to cells and tissues.
Sources of Selenium
- Brazil nuts, eggs;
- Fish, meat.
How much selenium oes an adult male need?
An adult male needs 75μg of selenium each day.
It is likely that all the selenium that is needed should be absorbed from a varied and balanced diet, includes meat, fish or nuts.
What happens if too much selenium is taken?
Taking too much selenium can cause selenosis, which can result in a loss of hair and nails.
Taking 350μg or less a day of selenium supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.
Sodium Chloride (Salt)
Benefits of Sodium Chloride (Salt)
- Sodium chloride (commonly known as salt) help to keep the level of fluids in the body balanced;
- Chloride also helps the body digest food.
Sources of Sodium Chloride
- Salt is found naturally at low levels in all foods;
- Salt is added to many processed foods.
How much salt does an adult male need?
Medical guidance suggests that no more than 6g of salt (2.4g of sodium) should be absorbed each day.
The typical intake of salt in the UK is approximately 8g of salt (about 3.2g of sodium).
Statistics suggest that most people in the UK absorb a far greater amount of salt than is suggested as healthy or beneficial.
Is too much salt a risk to good health?
Excessive use of salt is linked to high blood pressure, which raises the risk of serious problems, such as strokes or heart attacks.
The Department of Health and Social Care advises that people cut down on salt and that sodium chloride should not be used in supplements.
In addition, try eating fewer salty snacks, such as crisps, salted nuts, and salty foods such as bacon, cheese, pickles and smoked fish;
Add less or no salt when cooking – use herbs and spices for flavour instead.
Benefits of Zinc
- Zinc helps with making new cells and enzymes;
- Processing carbohydrate, fat and protein in food;
- Wound healing.
Sources of Zinc
- Meat, shellfish;
- dairy foods – such as cheese;
- Bread, cereal products – such as wheatgerm.
How much zinc does an adult male need?
The amount of zinc that an adult male needs is about 9.5mg a day.
All the zinc that is needed should be absorbed from a balanced, daily diet.
What happens if too much zinc is taken?
Taking high doses of zinc reduces the amount of copper the body can absorb. This can lead to anaemia and weakening of the bones.
If zinc supplements are used,make sure to remain within maximum dosage levels.
Do not exceed 25mg of zinc supplements a day, unless medically advised to.
- Liver, liver pâté, and/or fish liver are high in nutrient, and should be taken in moderation.
- The UK Department of Health and Social Care advised practices.