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The weight loss link you may be missing -Dietary Minerals

 
Most individuals are stressed about weight gain and the next thing they want to do is lose weight. However, before going in for a weight loss program it is crucial to understand the root cause of the weight gain. Each individual case could be different. Genetic predisposition, low BMR, stress, lack of sleep, hormonal disturbance, chronic mild dehydration etc. are few recognized causes of weight gain contrary to the most popular belief that weight gain is due to overeating or lack of physical activity. Hence it is prudent that the underlying cause be identified and targeted, not only to ensure sustainable weight loss but, also because these causes could lead to other diseases. However, if adjusting your diet, water intake, exercising more and controlling your stress and sleep hasn’t helped you reach a healthy body weight, check your mineral status.
 
Mineral deficiency often happens slowly over time and can be caused lack of the mineral in the diet, or difficulty absorbing the mineral from food. Increased intake of processed foods creates the lack of fiber and many of the vitamins and minerals. More often than not, the deficiency symptoms of these minerals are largely general and therefore go unnoticed and get overlooked while diagnosing unexplained weight.
 
Let’s discuss four major minerals (or their deficiencies) that are directly or indirectly associated with your weight –
 
CHROMIUM: Chromium is an essential mineral that regulates insulin action and its effects on metabolism. Insulin is essentially the fat-loss gatekeeper, so anything that improves insulin efficiency is great for fat loss. Chromium determines the way our body uses insulin. Identifying the link between chromium and weight loss is crucial because someone who is overweight is often at high risk of becoming insulin resistant (diabetic). Chromium is lost in the process of refining foods. For example, when sugarcane is refined into white sugar, 93 percent of the chromium is lost. Because, our soils are depleted of chromium and because we consume more processed foods nowadays, chromium deficiency is becoming increasingly prevalent.
 
IODINE: The thyroid gland depends on iodine to manufacture thyroid hormone. The thyroid’s main function is to manage the body’s metabolism. A shortage of iodine can cause changes to the thyroid gland and an under active thyroid gland slows your metabolism; thus you dramatically burn fewer calories and feel sluggish. Also, underactive thyroid gland promotes excess weight and cellulite by causing water retention. Today’s health conscious consumers have lowered their salt intake and now fail to get even that small amount of iodine in their regular diet. Presence of goitrogens in cruciferous foods such as Cabbage, Broccoli and the likes is another cause of iodine deficiency arising from inadequate iodine utilization.
 
MAGNESIUM: Magnesium is needed to extract nutrients from food and for optimal insulin function. The more nutrients you extract from food the less you have to eat to feel full. When we aren’t getting what we need from our diet, the body will crave more food in an effort to obtain those vital nutrients. Magnesium is also a vital nutrient for reducing stress which is one of the most important keys in fighting obesity. One of the major causes of Magnesium deficiency is over-medicating with pharmaceutical drugs. They prevent the body from absorbing magnesium.
 
IRON: Iron is a critical nutrient because it is essential for the synthesis of hemoglobin, a metalloprotein that carries oxygen from lungs to all the tissues in body. Diminished oxygen carrying capacity can leave you feeling very fatigued, lethargic and irritable. In this state, your body signals you to slow down physical activity and you may find yourself seeking opportunities to sit or lie down, thus leading to weight gain. Also, low iron promotes fat storage and cause abnormal blood sugar elevation. 
 
Now, before you finish reading this article and jump to quick fix by googling for these mineral supplements, a word of caution - Overdose of these minerals, especially from synthetic sources, are extremely harmful. Do not take these minerals as supplements without professional guidance. You may improve your mineral intake by following the golden rule – Go low on processed foods and buy your foods fresh, local and seasonal to remove any possible degradation in nutrient quality.
 
Don’t eat less, eat right and live a healthy active life.
 

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