What Are Minerals?
A quick and easy minerals definition: Substances our bodies need to work as it should. To get a bit more specific, minerals are inorganic elements present in soil and water.
There are two different types of minerals: macrominerals and trace minerals. As their names indicate, you need larger amounts of the first and smaller amounts of the latter. But that doesn’t mean those categorized as trace minerals are any less vital to wellness. In fact, many trace minerals are considered essential for health alongside their macromineral counterparts.
The list of essential minerals includes calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur (macrominerals), along with cobalt, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, selenium, and zinc (trace minerals).
The Difference Between Vitamins and Minerals
Both vitamins and minerals are nutrients, micronutrients to be exact. Nutrients nourish us. They support our growth and development and keep us alive and well. Vitamins and minerals are considered micronutrients, because the body needs less of them than macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) to function.
But there are differences between vitamins and minerals. Without getting too scientific, as mentioned above, minerals are inorganic substances in soil and water; they maintain their chemical structure when exposed to the elements. Vitamins, on the other hand, are organic substances made by plants or animals. When exposed to heat, air, or light, for example, vitamins can be broken down.
Sources of Minerals
Because minerals are found in soil and water, they get absorbed by plants and consumed by animals—and are thus present in the foods we eat. We can get many of the essential minerals we need by eating a healthy, varied diet.
Foods rich in essential minerals include nuts and seeds, shellfish, meats (especially organ meats), eggs, and cruciferous vegetables from broccoli to brussels sprouts. In particular, Brazil nuts are famed for their concentration of selenium—just one nut can contain between 68 and 91 mcg, more than the daily recommended amount.1 Per serving, oysters contain more zinc than any other food.2 Of course, calcium is found in high amounts in dairy products, as well as salmon and leafy greens. And red meat is a rich source of iron.
You can also get essential and other minerals from mineral supplements. Keep reading for more on minerals from supplements.
Mineral Supplement Benefits: Should You Take Them?
Of course, mineral supplements can’t take the place of quality fruits and veggies. But they can be an important addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle. They work in tandem with food to help you better find nutritional balance and stay feeling your best.*
What’s more, smart supplementation can help sustain nutrient levels required for peak performance. The FDA established the Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) and Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) to help us attain a minimum level of nutrition to support basic physiology. We want to ensure we are meeting these levels, and supplements can help close any gaps we may be experiencing. But for our bodies to function at their peak, studies support higher levels of some minerals and vitamins than the RDI.
If you aren’t getting enough minerals from your diet or want to get more of a particular nutrient than can be consumed through food, a mineral supplement could be the right choice for you. Mineral supplements can be single-nutrient or multimineral formulas. Often, minerals are combined with vitamins to create multivitamin/multimineral supplements.
Solaray Mineral Supplements
We’re proud to offer different types of mineral supplements, with various mineral forms and in an array of formats to meet your needs. Like all of our products, our mineral supplements are some of the most efficacious and highest quality available, triple tested at our state-of-the-art lab in the heart of Utah.
We offer magnesium, zinc, calcium, and other single-nutrient formulas. If you’re looking for a multimineral supplement, customer favorites include Calcium, Magnesium, Zinc and our Multi Mineral.
Shop our entire Minerals Collection.
Make Room for Minerals—On Your Plate & In Your Routine
Minerals are quintessential to health and well-being. A balanced diet is the foundation for overall wellness, and many foods are great sources of the essential minerals our bodies need to carry out a range of important functions. However, not all of us get adequate amounts of minerals from our diet. And that’s when mineral supplements come in: They can offer the assurance we need, by aiding us in closing any nutrient gaps we may be experiencing. Solaray is here to help you cover your nutritional bases with mineral supplements you can count on.
1. “Selenium Fact Sheet for Consumers,” National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Selenium-Consumer.
- “Zinc Fact Sheet for Health Professionals,” National Institutes of Health, Office of Dietary Supplements, https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/Zinc-HealthProfessional.
- “Vitamins and Minerals,” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/vitamins-and-minerals.