Most of the body’s mineral requirement are met without special diet planning. Some care, however, is needed in the following cases:
- Sodium intake is usually far higher than necessary, but may be insufficient for very heavy work in hot conditions.
- Calcium intake depends on ordinary consumption of milk and cheese.
- Iron is needed for the hemoglobin in red blood cells. It is found in meat and eggs, brewer’s yeast, and wheat germ. But it is only absorbed in tiny quantities, and hardly at all if vitamin C in the blood is low. Women, with their regular menstrual blood loss, often develop an iron shortage (anemia), with resulting fatigue and breathlessness.
- Iodine shortage occurs if the diet contains no seafood and only vegetables grown in iodine-free soil. A lack of iodine causes thyroid deficiencies and thyroid gland enlargement. This is less common with modern food transport and availability of iodized salt.