Why We Need Minerals (Plus a Mineral Drink Recipe!)
Jun 23, 2023
Thanks to modern farming practices, our food has less than 50% of the minerals it used to. Even our drinking water is mineral depleted. Getting enough takes a little more effort than in the past, but it doesn’t need to be difficult. This mineral drink tonic is a delicious way to get your daily minerals in.
Lately, I’ve been focusing on getting enough minerals, both for myself and my kids. We all need them for our bodies and organs to function properly. And even if we’re eating organic superfoods, we’re likely still not getting all the vitamins and minerals we need.
Decades ago our food and water sources were rich in nutrition and minerals. Since the introduction of mono-crops, pesticides, and herbicides the mineral content of food has plummeted. Some experts warn that now we literally can’t get enough nutrition from our food supply. Mineral supplements can help fill in the gaps.
If you’re reading this, chances are you’re mineral deficient. According to biochemist Barton Scott, 96% of us are iodine deficient and 99% of us have a potassium deficiency. Magnesium is another very common mineral deficiency. This means that even if we’re shopping the produce aisles and opting for organic, we’re likely not getting enough nutrition.
That’s one reason why I grow much of our family’s produce in compost-rich soil in my garden. While it helps, I’ve also noticed a definite difference after supplementing with minerals. Minerals like iodine are very difficult to naturally get unless you live in certain areas.
Even if your blood tests show normal levels, they may not be. It can take decades before a mineral deficiency shows up on a blood test. Our body will pull minerals from our organs and bone marrow to maintain blood mineral balance.
But what really are minerals and why are they so important? Minerals activate enzymes and perform thousands of necessary functions in the body. They help prevent cardiovascular and heart disease. They also work like a switch to turn on our body’s ability to use vitamins. For example, we can’t use vitamin D unless we have boron.
Here are some of the macro minerals we need on a daily basis and what they do. Unlike trace minerals, we need these in larger amounts. It would take too long to list every single function minerals do (magnesium alone does thousands!). But this list is a good overview.
While we don’t need these minerals in large amounts, they’re still important for overall health. It’s all about getting the right balance. Massive amounts of trace minerals can cause just as many problems as not enough.
Here are some trace minerals, what they do, and how to get them.
I mentioned early that thanks to soil depletion it’s difficult if not impossible to get enough minerals through our diet. The measured amounts of minerals like magnesium and chromium vary widely depending on the soil conditions. Foods grown in mineral rich soils and animals that graze on these areas are what give us adequate levels.
Silica is naturally found in whole-grain husks. Modern farm machines though remove the husk (even with whole grains) so it’s no longer a part of our diets.
The problem is our soil has been majorly depleted of minerals in the last several decades. According to NIH, national surveys no longer even collect data about trace minerals like molybdenum. So we don’t even know how widespread the problem is. Health organizations are still operating under outdated data from decades ago that showed adequate human nutrient levels.
We need minerals on a daily basis because our body doesn’t store them. Our organs are made of cells and each cell relies on minerals to work. We all need minerals, but some of us need more.
Activities like heavy workouts, sweating a lot, and saunas deplete minerals faster. So do stress, caffeine, late nights, and alcohol. We may not all be Olympic runners, but I bet most of us deal with stress of some kind.
I don’t do the same thing every day and I’m always changing up my supplement routine. That said, magnesium is one thing I do take every single day. I started making a mineral drink as an easy (and tasty!) way to get more minerals in. It’s the perfect solution for anyone who doesn’t want to swallow a bunch of pills.
Even kids can benefit from a mineral drink tonic. All of my kids are involved in athletic pursuits so I’m careful to make sure they get enough. Our house has become the gathering place for neighborhood kids, so they get mineral water at my house too!
When you think of electrolyte balance and the need to hydrate, sports drinks may come to mind. While these do have some of the major minerals, they also have food dye and sugar. Plus you’re likely not getting necessary trace minerals.
I learned the hard way that drinking lots of water without electrolytes is dangerous. After an eventful vacation and a trip to the ER for IV fluids. Distilled water, tap water, and many bottled waters don’t contain essential electrolytes. Even many of our natural spring waters don’t have the electrolytes they once used to.
When we drink too much water without essential minerals like sodium and potassium, it dilutes the electrolyte levels in our bodies. Symptoms can include things like headaches and dizziness. In extreme cases, it can cause death. And in hospital and outpatient settings it’s the most common chemical abnormality.
Sometimes I’ll make this homemade electrolyte drink, but I’ve found another way to get even more trace minerals. This mineral drink tonic is easily customizable and offers a full range of minerals for health.
I start off with a base of Olipop, juice, sparkling mineral water, or LMNT electrolytes. Use whatever you prefer or have on hand. A splash of citrus juice in water is also a good option and adds a lot of health benefits.
These are the liquid mineral supplements I add to my mineral tonic. You don’t need to add all of them at once. They’re in a bioavailable form so they’re easier to absorb.
What are your favorite ways to get your daily minerals in? Leave a comment and share below!
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Katie Wells, CTNC, MCHC, Founder of Wellness Mama and Co-founder of Wellnesse, has a background in research, journalism, and nutrition. As a mom of six, she turned to research and took health into her own hands to find answers to her health problems. WellnessMama.com is the culmination of her thousands of hours of research and all posts are medically reviewed and verified by the Wellness Mama research team. Katie is also the author of the bestselling books The Wellness Mama Cookbook and The Wellness Mama 5-Step Lifestyle Detox.CalciumMagnesium – PotassiumSodiumPhosphorusManganeseChromiumMolybdenumSilicaLime juiceLemon juiceGrapefruit juice LMNTOlipopWhat are your favorite ways to get your daily minerals in? Leave a comment and share below!