Magnesium is needed for synthesis of proteins, carbohydrate metabolism, and normal functioning of nervous system and of all the other ones as well. There is a lot of magnesium in grains, nuts, beans, dried apricots, bran and whole-grain bread. “Magnesium diet” is prescribed during liver and gall bladder diseases, hypertonia and atherosclerosis. The established norm of magnesium consumption is 0.5 grams per day, what can be easily provided by natural food. Magnesium deficiency leads to appetite loss and in more acute cases can result in cramps.
According to calculations, a person needs around 1.5-2 grams of phosphorus per day. This amount is easily obtained from almost any food and phosphorus deficiency is very rare. Moreover, our organism stores phosphorus in bones. Phosphorus not only constitutes many proteins and nucleic acids, but also participates in energy exchange. Its distribution in the organism is regulated by vitamin D.
It is due to iron that hemoglobin in blood and myoglobin in muscles are red and many metabolic processes could not be conducted without it. The first symptoms of iron deficiency are anemia, exhaustion, shortness of breath, paleness/pallor.
The average daily norm of iron consumption is around 15 mg, but it is important to know that just 80% of iron received from fruits and vegetables is digested, and when iron is obtained from animal products and bread, only 25-40% of it can be assimilated. Among products with highest concentration of iron are halva, bran, beans, dried apples, pears and apricots, kama, oatmeal, buckwheat and millet.
These substances are present in our organism in very small quantity, nevertheless they are indispensable for synthesis of some hormones and vitamins. They are also involved in protein, fat and carbohydrate metabolism, mineral and gas exchange, as well as in growth and hematogenesis.
The group of microelements includes following elements: iodine, copper, fluorine, manganese, silicon, aluminum, bromine, zinc, cobalt and molybdenum. Fluorine deficiency can lead to teeth decay, iodine deficiency can have harmful effect on the thyroid gland functioning, copper is responsible for the ripening of erythrocytes and zinc constitutes several enzymes.
In normal conditions all these elements are contained in water and soil, from where they are extracted by plants. However, there are regions poor in some microelements. Such regions are frequently found in Middle Asia, far from rivers. In the agricultural age, the majority of inhabitants of such places suffered from corresponding diseases.
Text: from the book A.Eddar “Treatise of nutrition”. Interpreter: Liza Dukhova