In terms of biochemical function, minerals play an important role in keeping the human body healthy. Minerals are essential dietary components that are primarily derived from the food that people consume.
Minerals are inorganic elements that perform vital processes in the body. For example, calcium fortifies bones to maintain the body's upright structure. This macromineral also strengthens teeth and facilitates blood clotting. Phosphorus is involved in retaining pH balance, while potassium regulates protein production and water equilibrium. Chloride forms part of the gastric acid that aids in digestion, while magnesium functions in the transmission of nerve impulses.
Trace minerals, such as iron, iodine, zinc and fluoride, are also important nutritional constituents. Iron is a major component in hemoglobin synthesis, while iodine controls metabolism and growth. Zinc promotes enzyme-driven processes and is integral to the body's immune system. Fluoride is used in the growth and development of bones and teeth.