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Nutrient Profiles

The Roles of Magnesium in the Body: Aiding Chemical Reactions

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Magnesium is the eleventh most abundant element by mass in the human body, and the fourth most abundant mineral. In fact, researchers estimate that the average human body contains about 25 grams of magnesium, of which over 60 percent is found in the skeleton. Dietary magnesium is absorbed in the small intestines, and excreted through the kidneys. Even though magnesium is needed for more than 300 biochemical reactions in the body, and all our major…

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The Roles of Iodine in the Body: Maintaining the Thyroid

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Iodine is a chemical element that is mainly found on Earth as a water-soluble ion, meaning that it tends to concentrate in oceans and saltwater pools. This element – which our bodies cannot make, meaning we need to derive it from food – is perhaps best-known for its role in maintaining thyroid function, which is an extremely important task. In fact, it’s not an exaggeration to say that iodine is needed for the healthy functioning…

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The Roles of Potassium in the Body: Regulating Water Balance

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Potassium is an essential mineral whose ions are vital for the functioning of all living cells. It accumulates in plant cells, meaning that many fresh vegetables and fruits – most famously bananas – are rich in it. Dissolved potassium is also found in sea vegetables, since seawater is approximately 0.04 percent potassium by weight. While most people are aware on some level that potassium is important, few people really understand what it does for us. This article…

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The Roles of Fiber in the Body: Improving Colon Health

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Dietary fiber, also called roughage, is the structural framework of plants and one of the most abundant compounds in nature. While “fiber” is often used as a blanket term, there are actually two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber dissolves in liquid and forms a gel in the body that promotes a feeling of fullness. It does not usually have a laxative effect. Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in liquid and instead passes in…

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The Roles of Protein in the Body: Building Cells, Fighting Disease

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Proteins are large, complex molecules constructed from a set of 20 amino acids, of which eight must be obtained through diet and are not produced naturally by the body. Each protein’s specific function is determined by its amino acid arrangement, and these arrangements can vary considerably. While most people understand that protein plays a role in the growth and repair of cells, in reality it performs far more functions. This article contains a distillation of…

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