Lisa Sakano, Japanese Healthy Eating

Dietary Minerals

By Lisa Sakano.
Nutritionist based in Nagoya, Japan

Lisa has put together this chart of dietary minerals and the food sources that contain good amounts of the nutrients. Japanese Healthy Eating recommends that people focus on a healthy diet of healthy foods to get adequate doses of vitamins and minerals. This is mainly because the body absorbs vitamins and minerals from foods much more than from supplements.


MineralMineral BenefitsPrevents ConditionsFood Sources
CalciumStrong bones, teeth, nerves and the regulation of muscles Osteoporosis, lower cranial nerve malfunctionYogurt, sardines, sesame seeds, goat`s milk, spinach, collard greens, cheese, blackstrap molasses
ChromiumEnhances the action of insulin - a hormone which helps metabolize carbohydrates, fats and proteinDiabetes, Elevated cholesterolBroccoli, grapes, oranges, beef, potatoes, whole wheat bread, garlic
CobaltWorks with vitamin B12 for the function of enzymes and red blood cell productionDeficiency in cobalt may lead to a deficiency in vitamin B12 leading to pernicious anemia and nervous system disorders.Green leafy vegetables, meat, milk, oysters, clams
CopperWorks with iron to make red blood cells & is the major component of the outer coating of nerve fibers and collagen. High blood pressure, heart arrhythmia, oxidation of cells and cholesterolSesame seeds, cashew nuts, soybeans, garbanzo beans, navy beans
Fluorine (Fluoride)Stronger tooth enamel and bones, higher birth weights and higher rates of growth in childrenLess cavities, less bone fractures, osteoporosis in older womenCarrots, turnip, sunflower seeds, garlic, spinach, green leafy vegetables
IodineEssential in maintaining thyroid & parathyroid gland function, improves mental alacrity, promotes hair, nails, skin, teethAnemia, Intellectual disability, Poor growth. Low level radiation poisoningIodized salt, seafood, saltwater fish, kelp, miso soup, Japanese pickled plums, seaweed
Iron Supplies energy to every cell in the body, key component of hemoglobin, helps supply oxygen to muscles, supports immune system.Tiredness, Anemia, Decreased immunityThyme (herb), liver, clams, oysters, mussels, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sun dried tomatoes, sunflower seeds, apricots, caviar
Manganese Aids your body utilize key nutrients, strong bones, maintain normal blood sugar levels, healthy nerve functionDiabetes, Decreased energy, Digestive disordersPineapple, brown rice, garbanzo beans, spinach, soybeans, oats, tempeh
MagnesiumRelax nerves & muscles, build strong bones, smooth blood circulationMuscle weakness/spasm, Heart Arrhythmia, Imbalanced blood sugar levels, Elevated blood pressurePumpkin seeds, spinach, soybeans, salmon, sesame seeds, halibut, black beans, navy beans
PotassiumAids in muscle & nerve functionMuscle weakness, High blood pressure, Hypoglycemia Swiss chard, lima beans, winter squash, soybeans, avocado, spinach, papaya, lentils
SeleniumAnti-oxidation, enables thyroid to produce thyroid hormonePremature aging, joint inflammation, cancerBrazil nuts, button mushrooms, shitake mushrooms, cod, shrimp, tuna, halibut, salmon
Silicon (Silica) Healthy skin, teeth, bone, & hairHair loss, Wrinkles, Brittle nails Whole grains, vegetables, applies, bananas, oats. lentils, peanuts, almonds, beer, coffee
SodiumRegulates blood pressure & volume, critical for muscle & nerve functionHypotension, Fatigue*Moderate intake of sodium is suggested. (About 1 teaspoon/day for healthy adults)Table salt, milk. beets, celery, drinking water
Sulfur Synthesis of amino acids, formation of hair, nails, cartilage & tissue, healthy nervous systemAlopecia, Eczema, SpotsDried beans, cabbage, clams, eggs, fish, garlic, legumes, meat, milk, onions, chicken, wheat germ
Zinc Proper immune function, digestion, control of diabetes, weight loss, acne prevention Poor growth, Reduced energy, Impaired sense of smell taste Meat, oysters, turnips, peas, oats, peanuts, almonds, whole wheat, pumpkin seeds, ginger root

Healthy Eating Guide & Vitamin and Mineral Information

Japanese style healthy eating is rich in vitamins and dietary minerals. Include as much Japanese food into your daily life as possible in order to reap the benefits.

Return from Dietary Minerals to Facts About Vitamins

Return from Dietary Minerals to Japanese Healthy Eating