Minerals in Food Chart: Definitions, Functions, Deficiency and Sources, Top Foods Rich in Minerals List and Table

Minerals in Food

Looking for a simple to follow mineral food chart (includes mineral meanings, functions, sources and what are deficiencies)? We start with a basic definition of what minerals are.

Minerals are elements found on Earth and in foods that our bodies require for optimal development and function. Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, chloride, magnesium, iron, zinc, iodine, chromium, copper, fluoride, molybdenum, manganese, and selenium are among those required for good health.

Many minerals are required by the body, which are called essential minerals. Major minerals (also called macrominerals) and trace minerals (microminerals) are two types of essential minerals that are found in the body. Although both types of minerals are essential, trace minerals are required at lesser levels than major minerals.

All the necessary minerals are generally found in a balanced diet.

Minerals, their roles in the body, and their sources in the diet are listed in the table below.

Simple Chart

Table of Food Nutrients (Minerals)

Minerals Food Sources Dietary Related Nutritional

Minerals in nutrition products essential for body functions table.

Calcium Mineral

Mineral Dose:

Men: 800 - 1000 mg.

Women: 700-800 mg.

Dairy, milk, yogurt, cheese, sardines, broccoli, turnip greens.

Helps build strong bones and teeth. Promotes muscle and nerve function. Helps blood to clot. Helps activate enzymes needed to convert food to energy.

Deficiency: rickets in children; osteomalacia, soft bones, and osteoporosis in adults.

Overdose: constipation, kidney stones, calcium deposits in the body tissues. Hinders absorption of iron and other minerals.

Phosphorus Mineral

Mineral Dose:

Men: 1000 mg.

Women: 850 mg, 3-6 g.

Chicken breast, milk, lentils, egg yolks, nuts, cheese, most dairy.

Calcium builds bones and teeth. Needed for metabolism, body chemistry, nerve and muscle function.

Deficiency: are rare. Weakness; bone pain; anorexia.

Overdose: hinders the body's absorption of calcium.

Magnesium Mineral

Mineral Dose:

Men: 230 - 250 mg.

Women: 200 - 210 mg.

Spinach, beef greens, broccoli, tofu, popcorn, cashews, wheat bran.

Activates enzymes needed to release energy in the body. Needed by cells for genetic material and bone growth.

Deficiency: nausea, irritability, muscle weakness; twitching; cramps, cardiac arrhythmias.

Overdose: nausea, vomiting, low blood pressure, nervous system disorders.

Warning: An overdose can be fatal to people with kidney disease.

Potassium Mineral

Mineral Dose:

Men: 40-80 mmol.

Women: 40-80 mmol, 3-6 g.

Peanuts, bananas, orange juice, green beans, mushrooms, oranges, broccoli, sunflower seeds.

Helps maintain regular fluid balance. Needed for nerve and muscle function.

Deficiency: nausea, anorexia, muscle weakness, irritability. Occurs most often in persons with prolonged diarrhea.

Overdose: rare.

Iron Mineral


Mineral Dose:

Men: 8-10 mg.

Women: 8-13 mg.

Liver, lean meats, kidney beans, enriched bread, raisins.

Note: The oxalic acid in spinach hinders iron absorption.

Essential for making hemoglobin, the red substance in the blood that carries oxygen to body cells.

Deficiency: skin pallor; weakness; fatigue; headaches; shortness of breath, all signs of iron-deficiency anemia.

Overdose: toxic buildup in liver and in rare instances the heart.

Zinc Mineral

Mineral Dose:

Men: 12 mg.

Women: 9 mg.

Oysters, shrimp, crab, beef, turkey, whole grains, peanuts, beans.

Necessary elements in more than 100 enzymes that are essential to digestion and metabolism.

Deficiency: slow healing of wounds; loss of taste; slowed growth and delayed sexual development in children.

Overdose: nausea, vomiting; diarrhea; abdominal pain; gastric bleeding.

Selenium Mineral

Mineral Dose:

0.05-0.2 mg.

Adequate amounts are found in seafood, kidneys, liver and other meats. grains and other seeds contain varying amounts depending on soil content.

Antioxidant. Interacts with Vitamin E to prevent breakdown of fats and body chemicals.

Deficiency: unknown in humans.

Overdose: fingernail changes, hair loss.

Copper Mineral

Mineral Dose:

2-3 mg.

The richest sources of copper in the diet are liver and other organ meats, seafood, nuts and seeds.

Components of several enzymes, including one needed to make skin, hair and other pigments. Stimulates iron absorption. Needed to make red blood cells, connective tissue and nerve fibers.

Deficiency: rare in adults. Infants may develop a type of anemia marked by abnormal development of bones, nerve tissue and lungs.

Overdose: liver disease; vomiting; diarrhea.

Manganese Mineral

Mineral Dose:

2-5 mg.

Tea, whole grains and cereal products are the richest dietary sources. Adequate amounts are found in fruits and vegetables.

Needed for normal tendon and bone structure. Component of some enzymes important in metabolism.

Deficiency: unknown in humans.

Overdose: generally, results from inhalation of manganese containing dust or fumes, not dietary ingestion.

Molybdenum Mineral

Mineral Dose:

0.15-0.3 mg.

The concentration in food varies depending on the environment in which the food was grown. Milk, beans, breads and cereals contribute the highest amounts.

Component of enzymes needed in metabolism. Helps regulate iron storage.

Deficiency: unknown in humans.

Overdose: gout-like joint pain.

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