Minerals are essential elements that are required by a human body in minute quantities to perform its metabolic functions as well as for healthy growth and development. Minerals such as potassium, calcium, sodium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, chlorine etc help in body fluid movement and tissue building. When a human body does not have sufficient amount of minerals, its deficiency is manifested in human body as diseases.
A list of the important minerals and the recommended daily intake of these minerals by a healthy adult is given below:
- Potassium-2000 mg
- Calcium-1000 mg
- Phosphorus -700 mg
- Sodium-500 mg
- Magnesium -310 mg (women)-420 mg (men)
- Zinc-12-15 mg
- Iron-10-15 mg
- Manganese-2.0-5.0 mg
- Copper-1.5-3.0 mg
In addition to the above-mentioned minerals, iodine and selenium are also required by a healthy human body in minute quantities. The recommended daily intake of these minerals by a healthy adult is given below:
- Iodine -150 mg
- Selenium -55-70 mg
Richest sources of minerals in vegetable kingdom are dark green leafy vegetables and mushrooms. Dark Leafy Green vegetables are excellent source of calcium, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, and zinc. Mineral-dense dark leafy greens include spinach, kale, Swiss chard, and turnip greens. High mineral mushrooms such as shiitake, crimini, portabella, and white button are excellent source of copper, potassium, selenium, and zinc.
Calcium: Calcium is the most abundant mineral found in the human body. Major functions of Ca are blood clotting, nerve impulse and muscle contraction, and protection of bones from thinning. Calcium promotes bone health and teeth health. Calcium deficiency results in weakening of bones, rickets in children, tooth decay and pains in legs and back of the body.
Most of the vegetables contain some amounts of calcium. However, popular leafy vegetables such as Fenugreek leaves, Mint leaves, Collard greens, Amaranth leaves, Spinach, Kale, Garlic, Kelp, Wakame, Drumstick leaves, and Turnip greens are considered as excellent sources of calcium.
Seaweeds are generally considered as the best source of calcium while presence of calcium in mushrooms is nil or negligible. Plantains and sweet corn are also considered as poor source of calcium.
Recommended daily intake of calcium for a healthy individual is 1000mg. A list of the vegetables rich in calcium is given below:
Vegetables Rich in Calcium: A list of the vegetables that are rich in calcium is given below:
Fireweed Leaves-429 mg; Fenugreek Leaves-395 mg; Grape Leaves-363 mg; Lambsquarters-309 mg; Epazote-275 mg; Peppermint Leaves-243 mg; Collard Greens-232 mg; Winged Bean Leaves-224 mg; Amaranth-215 mg; Mustard Spinach-210 mg; Dill Weed-208 mg; Scotch Kale-205 mg; Spearmint Leaves-199 mg; Turnip Greens-190 mg; Dandelion Greens-187 mg; Drumstick Leaves-185 mg; Garlic-181 mg; Kelp Seaweed-168 mg; Nopales-164 mg; Arugula-160 mg; Kale Leaves and Wakame Seaweed-150 mg; Parsley-138 mg; Watercress-120 mg; Beet Greens and Chrysanthemum Leaves-117 mg; Mustard Greens-115 mg; Malabar Spinach-109 mg; Colocasia Leaves-107 mg; Pak Choi-105 mg and Butterbur Or Fuki-103 mg
Moderate Source of Calcium: The following vegetables are found to be a moderate source of the mineral calcium.
Chicory Greens-100 mg; English Spinach-99 mg; Borage-93 mg; Chives-92 mg; Rhubarb Leafstalks-86 mg; Bittergourd Leafy Tips-84 mg; Okra/Lady’s Finger-82 mg; Garden Cress-81 mg; Sweetpotato Leaves-78 mg; Napa Cabbage-77 mg; Irishmoss Seaweed and Spring Onions/Scallions-72 mg; Laver Seaweed and Cardoon-70 mg; Cilantro/Coriander Greens-67 mg; Purslane, Cowpeas Pods-65 mg; Cowpeas Leafy Tips-63 mg; Salsify/Vegetable Oyster-60 mg; Leeks-59 mg; New Zealand Spinach-58 mg; Agar Seaweed-54 mg; Poke/Pokeberry Shoots-53 mg; Endive and Young Green Onion Tops-52 mg; Swisschard-51 mg; Yardlong Bean-50 mg and Fennel Bulb-50 mg
Magnesium: Magnesium is needed for new cell formation and activating B vitamins. It promotes appetite and regulates blood pressure. It also promotes kidney health. Magnesium deficiency may result in poor appetite, weakness, osteoporosis, kidney stones, depression and anxiety, and high blood pressure. Among popular vegetables, drumstick leaves has the highest content of magnesium @147mg/100 grams of edible portion. It is followed by seaweeds, most of which contain magnesium in large quantities. Seaweeds such as kelp (121mg/100g), irishmoss (144mg/100g), wakame (107mg/100g) and agar seaweed (67mg/100g) are considered as the excellent source of magnesium. Other vegetables that are rich in magnesium are kale, Swiss chard, mint leaves, spinach, okra, fenugreek leaves, and amaranth leaves. Mushrooms are poor source of magnesium. Recommended daily intake of magnesium for a healthy person is about 310 mg for women and 420 mg for men. A list of the vegetables that are rich sources of magnesium is given below:
Vegetables Rich in Magnesium
Fireweed Leaves-156 mg; Drumstick Leaves-147 mg; Irishmoss Seaweed-144 mg; Kelp Seaweed and Epazote-121 mg; Wakame Seaweed-107 mg; Dock-103 mg; Grape Leaves-95 mg; Scotch Kale-88 mg; Bittergourd Leafy Tips-85 mg; Swisschard-81 mg; Peppermint Leaves-80 mg; English Spinach-79 mg; Beet Greens and Sweetpotato Leaves-70 mg; Purslane-68 mg; Agar Seaweed and Fenugreek Leaves-67 mg; Malabar Spinach-65 mg; Spearmint Leaves-63 mg; Globe Artichoke-60 mg; Cowpeas Pods-58 mg; Okra/Lady’s Finger-57 mg; Amaranth and Dill Weed-55 mg; Nopales and Borage-52 mg and Parsley-50 mg
Phosphorous: Phosphorus is an essential component for the formation of high energy compounds and various nucleic acids. Phosphorous is a major component of bone and teeth and it also increases body’s immunity. It also plays an important role in the formation of nerve cells. Phosphorous deficiency may result in anaemic appearances, weaknesses in muscles, poor immune symptoms etc. Phosphorus is second most abundant mineral, after calcium, in the human body.
Mushrooms and seaweeds are richest sources of phosphorous. Other excellent vegetable sources of phosphorous are, garlic, broad beans, celeriac, drumstick leaves, green peas, kale, globe artichokes, sweet corns, taro, Jerusalem artichokes, garden cress, salsify mint leaves and parsnip.
Broccoli and Brussels sprouts contain moderate amounts of phosphorous. Other moderate sources of phosphorous are, cowpeas, okra, shallots, chives, parsley, potatoes and yams, asparagus, arugula, amaranth leaves, coriander greens and chicory greens. Recommended daily intake of phosphorus for a healthy person is about 700 mg. A list of the vegetable sources of phosphorus is given below:
Morel Mushrooms-194 mg; Irishmoss Seaweed-157 mg; Garlic-153 mg; Fava Beans/Broad Beans-129 mg; Crimini and Oyster Mushrooms-120 mg; Celeriac -115 mg; Drumstick Leaves and Shiitake Mushrooms-112 mg; Fireweed Leaves, Portabella Mushrooms, Green Peas-108 mg; Enoki Mushrooms-105 mg; Pumpkin Leaves-104 mg; Bittergourd Leafy Tips-99 mg; Baby Zucchini-93 mg; Kale Leaves-92 mg; Grape Leaves-91 mg; Globe Artichoke-90 mg; White Sweetcorn-89 mg; Yellow Sweetcorn-89 mg; White Button Mushrooms, Epazote-86 mg; Taro/Colocasia Tuber-84 mg; Sweetpotato Leaves-81 mg; Wakame Seaweed-80 mg; Jerusalem Artichoke-78 mg; Garden Cress-76 mg; Salsify/Vegetable Oyster-75 mg; Maitake Mushrooms -74 mg; Peppermint Leaves-73 mg; Lambsquarters-72 mg and Parsnip-71 mg
Moderate Source of Phosphorus: Following is the list of the vegetables that are moderate to poor source of phosphorus.
Brussels Sprouts-69 mg; Broccoli Flowers and Leaves, Dandelion Greens, Dill Weed-66 mg; Cowpeas Pods-65 mg; Dock, Winged Bean Leaves-63 mg; Scotch Kale-62 mg; Okra/Lady’s Finger-61 mg; Colocasia Leaves, Watercress, Spearmint Leaves, Shallots-60 mg; Yardlong Bean-59 mg; Laver Seaweed, Mustard Greens, Chives, Parsley-58 mg; Chanterelle Mushrooms, Potatoes-57 mg; Yam-55 mg; Chrysanthemum Leaves-54 mg; Borage, Rutabagas-53 mg; Asparagus Spears, Arugula, Malabar Spinach-52 mg; Fenugreek Leaves-51 mg; Amaranth, Drumstick Pods, Fennel Bulb-50 mg and Pumpkin Flowers, English Spinach, Cilantro, Chicory Greens-50 mg
Iron: Iron is essential for RBC (red blood cell) formation and transfer oxygen between the tissues and within the blood. Red colour of blood is due to the presence of iron in it. Iron is essential for increasing body immunity and also for the synthesis of neurotransmitters. Iron deficiency results in anaemic appearances which are associated with fatigue and weakness, increase in heart rate and breathing, poor immune system, yellowing of the body and severe headaches. Iron deficiency in children results in poor learning abilities.
Infants, adolescent girls and pregnant women are believed to be at the high risk of iron deficiency and are required to have sufficient quantities of iron in their daily diet to compensate any kind of iron deficiency. Major vegetable sources of iron are mushrooms, seaweeds, dark green leafy vegetables and leguminous vegetables. Mushrooms and Seaweeds are excellent source of iron. Dark green leafy vegetables and leguminous vegetables are also considered as good sources of iron.
Mushrooms are Rich in Iron: Morel mushrooms contain as high as 12 milligrams of iron in 100 grams of edible portion. A list of the mushroom varieties that are rich in iron is given below:
- Morel Mushrooms-12.18 mg
- Chanterelle Mushrooms-3.47 mg
- Oyster Mushrooms-1.33 mg
- Enoki Mushrooms-1.15 mg
Seaweeds are Rich in Iron: Irishmoss seaweed is the highest source of iron among all popular seaweeds. It contains as high as 9 milligrams of iron in 100 grams of edible portion. A list of the popular seaweeds that are rich in iron is given below:
- Irishmoss Seaweed-8.9
- Kelp Seaweed-2.85 mg
- Spirulina Seaweed-2.79 mg
- Wakame Seaweed-2.18 mg
- Agar Seaweed-1.86 mg
- Laver Seaweed -1.8 mg
Vegetables Rich in Iron: Following vegetables are rich in iron.
Fenugreek Leaves-17.2 mg; Spearmint Leaves-11.87 mg; Dill Weed-6.59 mg; Parsley-6.2 mg; Peppermint Leaves-5.08 mg; Drumstick Leaves, Winged Bean Leaves-4 mg; Jerusalem Artichoke-3.4 mg; Borage-3.3 mg; Dandelion Greens-3.1 mg; Scotch Kale-3 mg; English Spinach-2.71 mg; Grape Leaves-2.63 mg; Beet Greens-2.57 mg; Dock and Fireweed Leaves-2.4 mg; Amaranth-2.32 mg; Chrysanthemum Leaves-2.3 mg; Colocasia Leaves-2.25 mg; Pumpkin Leaves-2.22 mg; Asparagus Spears-2.14 mg; Leeks-2.1 mg and Bittergourd Leafy Tips-2.04 mg
Moderate Source of Iron: Vegetables listed below are moderate to poor source of iron.
Purslane-1.99 mg; Cowpeas Leafy Tips-1.92 mg; Epazote-1.88 mg; Swisschard-1.8 mg; Cilantro/Coriander Greens-1.77 mg; Pokeberry Shoots and Garlic-1.7 mg; Mustard Greens-1.64 mg; Chives-1.6 mg; Fava Beans/Broad Beans-1.55 mg; Mustard Spinach-1.5 mg; Spring Onions/Scallions-1.48 mg; Kale Leaves and Green Peas-1.47 mg; Arugula-1.46 mg; Brussels Sprouts-1.4 mg; Garden Cress-1.3 mg; Globe Artichoke-1.28 mg; Lettuce-1.24 mg; Malabar Spinach, Green Chilli Peppers-1.2 mg; Shallots, Lambsquarters-1.2 mg; Turnip Greens-1.1 mg; Red Chilli Peppers-1.03 mg and Snap Beans-1.03 mg
Zinc: Zinc strengthens body immune system, helps in clotting of blood and for the synthesis and digestion of proteins. It also helps in regulation of blood sugar and cholesterol. Zinc deficiency results in diarrhea, loss of appetite, rashes on skin, weakness in sensing, night blindness, weak immune system etc. In some cases, severe deficiency of zinc may lead to stunted growth. Major deficiency symptom is occurrence of white spots on the fingernails.
Some varieties of mushrooms and seaweeds are excellent sources of zinc. Among popular vegetables, green peas, garlic, and bean leaves are good sources of zinc. A list of the vegetables that are rich in zinc is given below:
Vegetables Rich in Zinc
Fireweed Leaves-2.66 mg; Morel Mushrooms-2.03 mg; Irishmoss Seaweed-1.95 mg; Winged Bean Leaves-1.28 mg; Green Peas-1.24 mg; Kelp Seaweed-1.23 mg; Garlic-1.16 mg; Peppermint Leaves-1.11 mg; Crimini Mushrooms-1.1 mg and Epazote-1.1 mg
Sodium: Our major intake of sodium is through the consumption of salt. A healthy diet avoids too much consumption of salt. Salt is sodium chloride. Sodium presence in salt is calculated by using the formula salt=sodium x 2.5. Too much consumption of sodium increases blood pressure. It is high potassium to sodium ratio which is critical in maintaining healthy blood pressure levels.
Sodium regulates blood pressure and blood volume and also helps regulate the fluid balance in a human body. A right amount of sodium is required for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. However, overconsumption of this mineral causes a series of health problems. Hence, a low-sodium diet is always recommended for the balanced nutrition of the body.
Seaweeds are rich in sodium as they are grown in seas where salt or sodium is present in large quantities. Among popular vegetables, beet greens, Swiss chard, cardoon, New Zealand spinach, wax gourd and celeriac are excellent source of sodium. A list of the vegetables rich in sodium is given below:
Vegetables Rich in Sodium: The following vegetables are considered to be rich in mineral sodium.
Wakame Seaweed-872 mg; Kelp Seaweed-233 mg; Beet Greens-226 mg; Swisschard-213 mg; Cardoon-170 mg; New Zealand Spinach-130 mg; Chrysanthemum Leaves-118 mg; Wax Gourd-111 mg; Celeriac -100 mg and Spirulina Seaweed-98 mg
Low-Sodium Vegetables: Low-sodium vegetables are recommended for those who are looking for vegetable options to include in a balanced diet as a part of their anti-obesity and weight loss programs. Low-sodium vegetables such as mushrooms, asparagus spears, sweet peppers or bell peppers and chilli peppers are actually considered as super foods. A list of the low-sodium vegetables is given below:
Maitake Mushrooms, Hungarian Peppers, Pumpkin, Mangoes, Tomatillos, Pumpkin, Scallop Squash-1 mg; Asparagus Spears, Calabash Gourd Flowers, Sweetpepper Yellow, Cucumber, Jackfruit, Breadfruit, Cucumber, Crookneck and Straightneck Squash-2 mg; Baby Zucchini, Colocasia Leaves, Sweetpepper Green, Chives, Jalapeno Peppers, Enoki Mushrooms, Towel gourd, Acorn Squash-3 mg; Dock, Sweetpepper Red, Jerusalem Artichoke, Rhubarb Leafstalks, Onions, Cowpeas Pods, Yardlong Bean, Plantains, Yambean, Butternut Squash-4 mg; Pumpkin Flowers, White Button Mushrooms, Butterhead Lettuce, Bittergourd Pods, Green Peas-5 mg; Sweetpotato Leaves, Crimini Mushrooms, Snap Beans, Potatoes-6 mg; Green Chilli Peppers, Butterbur, Cowpeas Leafy Tips, Okra, Hubbard Squash-7 mg; Romaine Lettuce, Sweet Onions, Papayas-8 mg; Agar Seaweed, Drumstick Leaves, Grape Leaves, Napa Cabbage, Winged Bean Leaves, Portabella, Shiitake, and Chanterelle Mushrooms, Red Chilli Peppers, Yam-9 mg and Iceberg Crisphead Lettuce, Serrano Peppers, Parsnip-10 mg
Potassium: Potassium is an essential mineral that plays an important role in the growth of human body. It regulates body’s fluid balance and also helps in lowering blood pressure. Potassium is an essential mineral required by the body for the proper functioning of heart. Potassium deficiency may lead to irregular heartbeat, kidney failure, insomnia, lung failure, and general weakness of the human body. Among the popular vegetables, mushrooms and dark leafy greens are found to be excellent sources of potassium. Among all the studied vegetables, seaweeds and wax gourd are found to be poor sources of potassium.
Mushroom are Rich in Potassium: A list of the mushroom varieties that are rich in potassium is given below:
- Chanterelle Mushrooms-506 mg
- Crimini Mushrooms-448 mg
- Oyster Mushrooms-420 mg
- Morel Mushrooms-411 mg
Vegetables Rich in Potassium: Among the studied vegetables, yams contained the largest amount of potassium@816mg/100g of edible portion. It is followed by beet greens and dillweed@762mg/100g of edible portion and 738mg/100g of edible portion respectively. Butterbur (655mg/100g), colocasia leaves (648mg/100g), Epazote (633mg/100g), and amaranth leaves (611mg/100g) were also among the richest sources of potassium. A list of the other popular potassium-rich vegetables is given below:
Bittergourd Leafy Tips-608 mg; Garden Cress-606 mg; Taro/Colocasia Tuber-591 mg; Peppermint Leaves-569 mg; Chrysanthemum Leaves-567 mg; English Spinach-558 mg; Parsley-554 mg; Cilantro/Coriander Greens-521 mg; Malabar Spinach-510 mg; Sweetpotato Leaves-508 mg; Plantains-499 mg; Fireweed Leaves, Purslane-494 mg; Kale Leaves-491 mg; Breadfruit-490 mg; Borage-470 mg; Drumstick Pods -461 mg; Baby Zucchini-459 mg; Spearmint Leaves-458 mg; Cowpeas Leafy Tips-455 mg; Lambsquarters-452 mg; Scotch Kale-450 mg; Mustard Spinach-449 mg; Jackfruit-448 mg; Pumpkin Leaves-436 mg; Jerusalem Artichoke-429 mg; Potatoes-421 mg; Chicory Greens-420 mg; Ginger Root-415 mg; Fennel Bulb-414 mg; Garlic-401 mg and Cardoon-400 mg
We have a book with detailed information on this plant and for more info, please click here…
Both kindle eBook version and Paperback version of this plant is available at all Amazon stores. For more info, click here…
Iodine, Copper, Manganese and Selenium: Minerals such as iodine, copper, manganese and selenium are also required by a human body in minute quantities for its proper functioning.
Iodine (I): This mineral plays an important role in regulating in body’s energy metabolism. Iodine is essential for the synthesis of thyroid hormone and protects against goiter. This mineral is essential for proper growth of the body as well as for body weight management. Iodine also acts as an anti-oxidant. Iodine also promotes hair and nail growth. Iodine deficiency results in reduced production of thyroid hormone resulting in goiter, fatigue, reduced growth and increase in weight. Sea weeds and iodized salt are good sources of iodine.
Copper (Cu): Copper plays an important role in iron metabolism and it helps in absorbing iron from the gastrointestinal tract. Copper is essential for RBC (red blood cell) and WBC (white blood cell) formation. It is also a powerful antioxidant mineral. It is a major component of enzymes. Copper regulates oxygen supply to the human body.
Copper deficiency results in decrease in RBCs and WBCs, improper skin pigmentation and growth impairment in children. Solanaceous vegetables (tomatoes and brinjal), legumes, and green leafy vegetables are good sources of copper. Among legumes, lima beans contain significant amounts of copper. Fenugreek leaves contain 0.26 mg of Cu in 100 grams of edible portion. (Source: USDA Nutrient Database)
Manganese (Mn): Manganese is essential for the formation of amino acids, enzyme activation, formation of bones and functioning of muscles and nervous system. Some of the richest sources of manganese are spinach, mustard, garlic, soybean, French beans, brinjal and squash. Manganese deficiency is rare in humans.
Selenium: Selenium is a mineral antioxidant which is a part of many bodily enzymes and works with vitamin E. Deficiency of this mineral is rare in humans. Major vegetable sources of selenium are Mushrooms, Spirulina Seaweeds, Asparagus Spears, Brussels sprouts, French Beans, Lima Beans, Parsnip, and Green Peas.
We regularly publish informative videos on various “Food, Agriculture, Gardening and Horticulture” topics. You may view these videos here…
You may also check out our Digital Publishing Services for Food, Agriculture, Gardening and Horticulture Sector by visiting this link