Dr. Linus Pauling the two-time Nobel Prize winner stated: “You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.” Vitamins, enzymes, amino acids and a host of other biologically active substances are essential for our bodies to function properly. Virtually all of them include minerals as an integral part of their chemical structure.
Minerals are needed for the proper formation of blood and bone, the maintenance of healthy brain and nerve function, the regulation of the heartbeat and for reproduction and foetal development. They are essential to the processes of growth, healing and energy release.
And it is not just the presence of minerals in the body that is important – they must be in the correct ratios to each other. The level of each mineral has an effect, directly or indirectly, on every other, so if one is out of kilter the whole system is affected.
Diseases of civilisation
Minerals are an essential part of our natural diet and a lack of them may in part account for our increasing susceptibility to the “diseases of civilisation” – for example heart disease (magnesium), cancer (selenium), diabetes (chromium) and mental illnesses (zinc). Every one of us should take care to get the minerals we need, for the good of our health.
Yet, all over the world, minerals are disappearing from agricultural soils at an alarming rate. In 1992, the official report of the Rio Earth Summit concluded “there is deep concern over continuing major declines in the mineral values in farm and range soils throughout the world”. This statement was based on data showing that over the last 100 years, average mineral levels in agricultural soils had fallen worldwide – by 72% in Europe, 76% in Asia and 85% in North America.
Under ideal circumstances, plants absorb 70 to 80 different minerals from the soil. However, it’s a known fact that you can grow most crops and plants on poor soil, with the addition of NPK chemical fertilizer. Most farmers never put back more than eight minerals into their soils. But what about the other 70-plus minerals and trace elements that are no longer available to our crops?
Dr. Charles Northen, MD researcher, a pioneer and genius in the field of nutrition demonstrated that countless human illnesses stem from the fact that our impoverished soil no longer provides plant foods with the mineral elements essential to human nourishment and health.
“In the absence of minerals, vitamins have no function. Lacking vitamins, the system can make use of the minerals, but lacking minerals vitamins are useless,” he explained. “Most of us today are suffering from certain dangerous diet deficiencies which cannot be remedied until the depleted soils from which our foods come are brought into proper mineral balance. The alarming fact is that foods – fruits and vegetables and grains – now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain needed minerals, are starving us – no matter how much of them we eat!”
Dr. William A. Albrecht, Chairman of the Department of Soils at the University of Missouri warned that “A declining soil fertility, due to a lack of organic material, major elements, and trace minerals, is responsible for poor crops and in turn for pathological conditions in animals fed deficient foods from such soils, and mankind is no exception,“ He warned that chemical farming, with NPK formulas, causes malnutrition and a general loss of mental acuity in the population, leading to degenerative metabolic disease and early death.
The foundation of human health is the quality of the food we eat
which relies ultimately on the vitality of the soil on which it is grown
Reduction in average mineral content of fruit and vegetables between 1940 and 1991
Mineral Vegetables Fruit
Sodium -49% -29%
Potassium -16% -19%
Magnesium -24% -16%
Calcium -46% -16%
Iron -27% -24%
Copper -76% -20%
Zinc -59% -27%
Soil flora and ph
There are other, unseen ways in which the move to chemical farming prevents crops from taking up even the sparse amounts of trace minerals left in the soil. Healthy, fertile soil contains myriads of bacteria, fungi, plant and animal life, in a state of constant interaction and balance. Every one of these organisms needs dozens of different minerals to survive and play its part in the ecosystem. Some bacteria have a vital role in converting soil minerals into chemical forms that plants can use.
NPK fertilisers gradually change the soil pH towards acidic conditions in which these bacteria cannot survive. To combat soil acidification, which reduces crop yields over time, farmers often spread lime on the land along with fertilisers. This adds back magnesium and calcium and raises the soil pH, but it also converts manganese and some other trace minerals into chemical forms that plants are unable to absorb.
The Government is putting resources into improving health by encouraging people to eat a healthy diet, including five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. But you scarcely hear a word about the problem of soil mineral depletion. Food seems to be considered as something quite separate from its source and means of production.
Maintaining the health of the nation’s soil and striking the right balance between agricultural yields and nutritional quality are not high on any political agenda. But this is not rocket science. The foundation of human health is the quality of the food we eat, which relies ultimately on the vitality of the soil on which it is grown.
“We are rightly appalled by the genetic effects of radiation . . .
How then, could we be indifferent to the same effect
from farm chemicals used freely in the environment?”
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . (Rachel Carson, Silent Spring 1962)
So how can you ensure you get the minerals you need?
Eating organically grown fruit and vegetables will help. However, one obvious place to look is the sea – after all, that is where many minerals lost from the soil eventually end up! Sea vegetables are particularly high in minerals which are naturally chelated to enhance their bio-availability.
Kelp is 28% minerals by weight. It has been shown to contain 46 minerals and trace minerals, including antimony, barium, boron, calcium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, germanium, iodine, iridium, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, rubidium, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulphur, strontium, thallium, titanium, tungsten, vanadium, zinc.
Did you know that naturally occurring salts are a rich source of minerals that are vital to your health. Now, you may be wondering – can salt ever be good for you? Haven’t health officials been telling us for years that it causes high blood pressure and increases the likelihood of heart attacks?
Well, there’s something strange about this advice – it’s not true. No studies have ever been able to scientifically prove that eating salt is bad for the heart. Not even one. In fact, researchers have found the opposite. Cutting your salt intake can actually raise blood pressure – along with a host of deadly side effects. In other words, not getting enough salt is much worse than getting too much salt.
The many hues of pink, red and white are an indication of this salt’s rich and varying mineral and energy-rich iron content. Himalayan salt contains more than 80 minerals and other trace elements.
The Himalayan mountain range stretches across Asia passing through China, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and India. Once upon a time crystallized sea salt beds, now deep within the Himalayans, were covered by lava.
Aside from being kept it in a pristine environment that has been surrounded by snow and ice year round, the lava is thought to have protected the salt from modern-day pollution leading to the belief that Himalayan Pink salt is the purest salt to be found on earth. It is now hand-mined from the mountains and brought to the culinary market. There is a world of difference between refined table salt and unrefined, mineral-rich Himalayan salt.
Minerals and trace elements found in Himalayan salt:- In addition to sodium and chloride. In alphabetical order, they are: actinium, aluminum, antimony, arsenic, astatine, barium, beryllium, bismuth, boron, bromine, cadmium, calcium, carbon, cerium, cesium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, erbium, europium, fluorine, francium, gadolinium, gallium, germanium, gold, hafnium, holmium, hydrogen, indium, iodine, iridium, iron, lanthanum, lead, lithium, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, neodymium, neptunium, nickel, niobium, nitrogen, osmium, oxygen, palladium, phosphorus, platinum, plutonium, polonium, potassium, praseodymium, protactinium, radium, rhenium, rhodium, rubidium, ruthenium, samarium, scandium, selenium, silicon, silver, sodium, strontium, sulfur, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, thallium, thorium, thulium, tin, titanium, uranium, vanadium, wolfram, yttrium, ytterbium, zinc and zirconium.
“Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.” (Genesis 2:7)
Dear God, what are minerals and trace elements but the dust of the ground? Please forgive us for underestimating the depth of truth behind that Bible passage.