Minerals, like vitamins, enable the body to carry out virtually every biochemical reaction needed to sustain life. Minerals are considered naturally occurring elements that come from soil, rock, water, animal and plant sources. Minerals can be classified as macro or bulk minerals and micro or trace minerals. Bulk minerals, which are needed in more substantial amounts include calcium, magnesium, potassium phosphorus and sodium. Trace minerals which are only needed in tiny amounts include zinc, copper, iron, manganese, chromium, selenium, and iodine.
Today more than ever before we need to be taking mineral supplementation. Agricultural practices have resulted in minerally depleted foods which look beautiful but can be significantly mineral deficient. Intensive farming methods have depleted nutrients from our soils which suggests that a diet rich in fresh foods does not guarantee a diet high in minerals and vitamins. Remember that a vegetable cannot be rich in minerals if it grew in low-mineral soil. Estimates indicate that farm soils in most of the world's agricultural regions are deficient in almost 85 percent of all minerals. Chemical fertilizers such as nitrogen phosphors and potassium can make plants grow rapidly; however, they do not replace the full array of minerals which should be present in good soil.
In an issue of August Celebration, Linda Grover made a very enlightening and somewhat alarming comment. She said:
In 1948 you could buy spinach that had 158 milligrams of iron per hundred grams. But by 1965, the maximum iron they could find had dropped to 27 milligrams. In 1973, it was averaging 2.2 milligrams. That's down from a hundred and fifty. That means today you'd have to eat 75 bowls of spinach to get the same amount of iron that one bowl might have given you back in '48. That's when Popeye was really big, right?
We need to replenish these vital minerals in supplement form. We not only need nitrogen and potassium to survive but chromium, calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, molybdenum, cobalt, iodine and many other trace minerals as well. Commenting on the current mineral situation of our produce supply, Dr. Michael Colgan, who wrote The New Nutrition, stated, Unfortunately, the human body cannot create minerals, so it has to get them through dietary means. Hence, deficient food produces deficient bodies (which culminates in sickness and disease).