HEALTH TIP: Did you know that as developing countries continue their efforts to reduce hunger, some are also facing the opposing problem of obesity? You see, obesity oftentimes masks underlying deficiencies in vitamins and minerals, which our bodies require in order to “tell us” tell us we are satisfied. Without these vitamins and minerals, we will remain “hungry” and keep eating until we ingest enough food to get the minerals we need. In other words, if the food we eat is lacking in real nutrition, then since our bodies don’t recognize it as being “nutritional,” we will continue to eat in search of the minerals and nutrients we are lacking.
Obesity and overweight problems are synonymous with Americans – “nibble, nibble, nibble” all the way home. Folks who can’t stop munching are sometimes looked down upon and pejoratively referred to as “piggies” or “fatties,” but the reality is that they are victims of nutritionally bankrupt food. Eating and eating, but never satisfied, because the body is not being provided with REAL nutrition… only a temporary “fix” comprised of sugary, salty, processed “foods” and snacks.
Many people think minerals and vitamins are the same, but they are not. The main difference is that vitamins are organic substances (meaning that they contain the element carbon) and minerals are inorganic substances. Four elements compose 96% of the body’s makeup: carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. The remaining 4% of the body’s composition is mineral.
There are several opinions about how many minerals are essential. Some say 14, some say 16, the debate is ongoing. However, everyone is in agreement that we all need small amounts of about 25-30 minerals (14-16 of which are considered to be “essential”) to maintain normal body function and good health, but due to unwholesome dietary habits and also poor soil conditions, most of us are mineral deficient. There are two groups of minerals: MACROminerals and MICROminerals.
MACROminerals (aka “major minerals”) are needed in the diet in amounts of 100 milligrams or more each day (such as potassium, phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and sodium). Macrominerals are present in virtually all cells of the body, maintaining general homeostasis and required for normal functioning.
MICROminerals (aka “trace minerals”) are micronutrients that are chemical elements and are needed by the human body in very small quantities (such as iron, chromium, copper, manganese, zinc, and selenium). Remember, with minerals, more is not necessarily better. Excessive intake of a dietary mineral may either lead to illness directly or indirectly because of the competitive nature between mineral levels in the body, so be sure to follow the recommended daily doses.
Provide your body with the proper vitamins and minerals, and your hunger cravings and “binging” will cease.