Skip to content

List of Essential Minerals for the Body

    Essential minerals for the body are as important as vitamins. By consuming the right type of foods, we can take in the proper amount of minerals. However, most of the foods we consume does not contain enough, so in some cases having supplements is recommended.

    There are two sorts of minerals. Macrominerals that are required in larger amount and trace minerals (microminerals) that we need a smaller amount. Both of them are essential for proper body functioning since they take places in various processes.



    If you have a balanced diet, you can have both types in enough quantities. That is why you need to focus more on what you eat. You need to consume fewer processed things and other foods with low nutritional value. By having more vegetables, fruits, lean meat and whole grains you can have the essential macronutrients and micronutrients.

    What do minerals do for the body?

    Watch the video below for details.


    Essential Minerals List

    In the infographic below, you can learn the list of minerals your body needs, what are the best sources and the main functions of minerals in the body.

    Under the chart, you can find more information about them such as the recommended daily intake (RDI) and what deficiency can cause.





    It takes place in many body processes. It is required for teeth and bone development, muscle relaxation, blood pressure, and blood clotting regulation, and it even affects the immune system.

    The RDI of calcium is about 1 gram, more than that may cause stomach problems. Calcium deficiency impacts the bone and teeth generation negatively.

    The best sources are milk products, tinned fish that contains the bones, but vegetables such as broccoli hold a lot of calcium as well.


    Interesting but chloride is necessary for the body. It is needed for the digestion system and regulates the electrolyte and fluid balance.

    The RDI of chloride is 3400 mg that we can have from salt, meats, eggs and soy. Processed foods contain a lot of chloride, but that does not mean they are healthy.

    Since most of the foods we consume are rich in salt, chloride deficiency is not typical.


    You may have heard that those who want to lose weight take chromium supplements. Chromium is necessary for the metabolism and regulates the sugar level in the blood. Eating chromium rich foods help to boost the metabolism, and that leads to weight loss.

    The RDI of chromium is 120 µg so only a little is required. Deficiency can cause insulin problems. However, having too much has negative influences on the health as well.

    The best sources are oils, meat, nuts, grains, dairy products, beans, and peas.


    Another interesting mineral that is critical for several body processes. It is essential for enzyme generation, metabolism of the iron, immune system and even for bones.

    The RDI of copper is about 2 mg that we have mainly from meats, water, nuts, seeds, and grains.

    Deficiency can cause skin and hair problems and has a negative impact on vitamin C absorption. Having too much has toxic effects.


    It is vital for teeth and bones. We can take it in by consuming teas and water. Seafood is rich in fluoride as well.

    The RDI is about 3 mg.


    It is crucial for hormones generation that are responsible for the metabolism and growth. Deficiency can cause enlargement and malfunction of the thyroid gland.

    The RDI of iodine is about 150 µg that we can get from dairy products, meats, ionized salt and from seafood.


    It is vital for hemoglobin generation and the metabolism. Lack of iron can cause tiredness, weakness.

    The recommended daily intake is about 18 mg, having more can cause stomach and digestive problems.

    The best sources of iron are seafood, organ meats, green vegetables, cereals and red meats.


    One of the most important minerals for the body that takes place in a lot of body processes. It impacts the nervous system, bone production, immunity and the contraction of the muscles.

    Lack of magnesium can cause memory, concentration and muscle problems. It also causes lack of energy. If you regularly exercise having enough magnesium is necessary.

    Overdose can cause stomach and digestive problems.

    The RDI of magnesium is about 350 mg that we can get by eating vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts.


    This mineral is necessary for enzymes production and cell processes.Having too much may affect the iron absorption.

    The RDI is about 5 mg, and the best sources of manganese are fruits, vegetables, but it can be found in almost all foods.


    It takes place in cell processes and enzyme production. Deficiency can cause mental problems. Having too much is bad for kidneys.

    The recommended daily intake is about 75 µg. The best sources are green vegetables, grains, legumes, and meats.


    Another mineral that is needed for bones and teeth, but it also takes place in cell formation. Having too much can cause digestive problems.

    The RDI is 1 gram that we can get by eating various meats, fish, dairy products, eggs. Processed food are rich in phosphorous, but they are unhealthy.


    Another critical essential mineral takes place in several body processes. It is required for the proper electrolyte and fluid balance, nervous system, muscle contraction and regulates the blood pressure.

    Deficiency can cause weakness, depression, and other mental problems as well as hypertension.

    Having too much can cause stomach and heart rhythm problems.

    The RDI is about 3500 mg that we can get from veggies, fruits, milk, legumes and whole grains.


    It is a powerful antioxidant that works with vitamin E. Lack of it can cause mental problems and has a negative impact on heart functioning. Having too much is toxic.

    The daily recommended intake of selenium is 35 µg. Seafood, grains, and meats are rich in it.


    It is vital for the nervous system, regulates the electrolyte and fluid balance and supports the muscle contraction.

    Lack of sodium can be responsible for weakness, depression and muscle cramps.

    The RDI of sodium is 2400 mg. The best sources are salt, milk, meats, grains and veggies. Processed meats carry a lot of sodium.


    It is not mentioned in the list. It is needed for protein molecules. You can have sulfur by eating legumes, meats, milk products and seafood.


    Zinc is vital for enzyme production, wound healing, immune system and sexual health. Deficiency can cause sexual disorders, skin and hair problems, and appetite loss. Having too much may cause anemia since it disturbs the copper absorption.

    RDI of zinc is about 15 mg that you can have by eating meats, dairy products, vegetables, and legumes.

    Should we take mineral supplements?

    Watch the video below to understand why minerals in food is far better.



    These are the most important essential minerals for the body. As you see by eating healthy foods you can take in the right amount of minerals simply. Having a deficiency any of these can cause many problems, that is the reason proper nutrition is so vital for health.

    Recommended: List of Vitamins – Facts & Sources
    Share your opinion!
    Do you think it is enough to eat healthily to have the right amount of vitamins and minerals? Or should we take supplements?

    Did you find this post useful? Share with your friends.


    James Wright

    James (36) has been working out since he was 15 years old. He has a home gym where he pumps iron, does bodyweight workouts and boxing. He likes sharing his experiences with others who want to build a better physique.

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    I accept the Privacy Policy