Essential minerals — that is, those necessary for human health — are classified into two equally important groups: major minerals and trace minerals. The major minerals, which are used and stored in large quantities in the body, are calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and sulfur. The trace minerals are just as vital to our health as the major minerals, but we don't need large amounts. Minerals in this category include chromium, copper, fluoride, iodine, iron, manganese, molybdenum, selenium, and zinc.

   When you eat a healthy diet that includes a variety of vegetables, beans, fruits, whole grains, lean protein, dairy products, and unsaturated fats, you're likely consuming all the healthy minerals you need; such as, chromium, copper, molybdenum, sodium, and zinc. You probably don't need to pay attention to your daily intake of these minerals. But some minerals are harder to obtain in the right amounts.

   This unavailability is caused by multiple factors, not necessarily to do with the rarity of sources, but has more to do with eating habits and lifestyle.

   Essential minerals are most potent when they come from food, but if you're struggling with deficiencies, you may need to take supplements. If so, use caution: ingesting too much of a mineral supplement can be harmful. Your individual health will determine your essential mineral needs. Work with your Health Guardian to develop targets for dietary minerals that will enrich your health and contribute to your pathology prevention efforts.