The essential minerals are the ones you need to get from your diet or supplements to say healthy. Many of them have antioxidant properties or are necessary to promote antioxidant activity of other compounds in your body. These include: copper, manganese, iodine, zinc, selenium, and magnesium.
- Copper: Copper is an antioxidant that helps your body use iron. It is important in many enzymes as well as in the production of hemoglobin, the molecule that transports oxygen. It also plays a role in the functioning of the prostate gland and the activity of the oil glands, helping prevent acne. Nerves and joints require copper for healthy functioning.
- Manganese: Manganese is an antioxidant that helps the body convert protein and fat to energy. It also promotes normal bone growth, helps maintain healthy reproductive, nervous, and immune systems, and is involved in blood sugar regulation. In addition, manganese is involved in blood clotting and the formation of cartilage and lubricating fluid in the joints.
- Zinc: Zinc is an antioxidant that is used to support healthy immune function, impotence, hormone balancing, memory, skin disease, pancreas and thyroid health, eye disorders, and bowel dysfunction.
- Selenium: Selenium is an antioxidant that is used to support the immune system, the adrenal and thyroid glands, fight heart disease and fight off viruses.
- Magnesium: Magnesium is directly involved in the mechanisms of cellular antioxidant defense by increasing the activity of important glutathione enzyme glutathione peroxidase (GPx). This enzyme speeds up the reaction between glutathione and free radicals, particularly toxic hydrogen peroxide.