What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough Minerals?

WebMD divides the essential minerals that the human body needs into two categories: major minerals and trace minerals. If levels of any of the seven major or nine trace minerals are low, body structures and functions such as the nerves, bones, teeth, muscles, digestion and blood clotting, can be affected.

Major and trace minerals are equally important to the body, but trace minerals are required in smaller amounts, according to WebMD. A balanced diet typically provides all of the essential minerals. Sodium, potassium and chloride help regulate the body’s fluid balance, nerve transmission and muscle contraction. A diet lacking adequate calcium and magnesium could result in a suppressed immune system and problems with muscles, such as cramping. Insufficient Iron can result in low energy. Wounds won’t heal efficiently if zinc is low. Fluoride helps prevent tooth decay, and chromium helps to regulate blood sugar levels.

Calcium, phosphorous and magnesium are important for healthy teeth and bones. A diet that is too low in calcium results in decreased bone density, a predisposition to stress and bone fractures, according to Mayo Clinic.

A balanced diet that provides essential minerals in adequate amounts includes red meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy and soy products, nuts and seeds, legumes, fruits and vegetables, suggests WebMD.