CCEA Home Economics: Minerals

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  • Calcium, Iron and Sodium (Sources, Functions, Deficiency, Requirements)
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  • Created by: Stephen
  • Created on: 28-09-11 15:38
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Sodium, Calcium and Iron
What are minerals?
Minerals are substances required by the body for a variety of functions.
Minerals are micro nutrients- only needed in small quantities. Some minerals are
needed in larger amounts than others e.g. calcium, sodium and chlorine. Others are
required in smaller amounts and are called trace minerals e.g. iron and fluoride.
Altogether there are nineteen minerals needed by the body, each with a different
By eating a variety of foods (balanced diet) we should be able to obtain enough
minerals to meet our need.
The two main minerals often lacking in our diet are calcium and iron.
The most important Minerals in food are:
Iron and
1. Healthy bones and teeth (together with *phosphorus and vitamin D)
* Phosphorus is found in foods from plant and animals. The normal diet will
supply sufficient phosphorus for are needs.
2. Muscle contraction
3. Blood Clotting
4. Enzyme secretion.
Green leafy vegetables
Nuts and
Stunted growth
Poor quality bones and teeth
Osteoporosis and
Requirements for adults:
RNI for adults 700 mg a day. Increase during lactation

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Calcium rich foods must be eaten regularly to keep the bones strong. If there is
not enough calcium or vitamin D in the diet, the bones become soft and pliable.
This causes rickets in children and osteomalacia in adults. Osteoporosis is also a
condition worsened by a diet deficient in calcium.
Calcium is particularly important in the diet of
Pregnant and nursing mothers
Children and
In fact anyone whose bones are growing.
Calcium and Vitamin D work together to build strong bones.…read more

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Green leafy veg. and
Dried fruit.
Anaemia ­ reduced level of haemoglobin in blood.
Requirements for adults:
RNI for men 8.7mg a day. RNI for women 14.8mg a day.
Iron is necessary for healthy blood. It helps form the pigment HAEMOGLOBIN
in the red blood cells which carry oxygen around the body. If the body lacks
haemoglobin, less oxygen gets to our cells and the body feels tired. This is called
Anaemia is caused by a lack of iron.…read more

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Caffeine reduces calcium absorption.
Reducing amounts of protein as large amounts cause calcium loss.
Controls water balance of the body
Salt added at the table and when cooking
Salt fish
Snack food
Is unlikely.
Requirements for adults:
RNI for adult's 1600mg a day. 6g of salt a day.
The most common form of sodium in the diet is salt (sodium chloride). The average
intake of salt in the U.K is 9g per day.…read more

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Tips to reduce slat intake:
Read food labels to see if they give the amount of sodium or salt they
Ready meals are already salted so do not add any more.
Cook with less salt- use herbs, spices or lemons to give flavour.
Cut down on salty snacks such as crisps
Eat fewer salty products such as sausages, beef burgers, canned meats and
meat pies.
Eat fewer take-away such as pizza and Chinese meals.
Revision Questions
Q1a) Explain the main functions of Calcium.…read more

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Explain the difference between HAEM and NON HAEM iron.
Q7) Certain factors can affect the absorption of iron and calcium.…read more


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