1. **Calcium:** This vital mineral is primarily known for its role in maintaining bone health and preventing osteoporosis. It forms the structural component of bones and teeth, providing them with strength and rigidity. Additionally, calcium plays a crucial role in muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and blood clotting. Deficiency in calcium can lead to weak bones, muscle cramps, and impaired nerve function.

2. **Magnesium:** Often referred to as the “relaxation mineral,” magnesium is involved in over 300 enzymatic reactions in the body. It helps regulate muscle and nerve function, blood sugar levels, and blood pressure. Magnesium also plays a role in protein synthesis, energy metabolism, and DNA/RNA stability. Deficiency in magnesium can contribute to muscle weakness, fatigue, irregular heartbeat, and even mood disorders.

3. **Potassium:** As an electrolyte, potassium plays a crucial role in maintaining fluid balance, muscle contractions (including heart contractions), nerve signals, and blood pressure regulation. Adequate potassium intake is essential for preventing hypertension, stroke, and kidney stones. However, low potassium levels (hypokalemia) can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, and abnormal heart rhythms.

4. **Sodium:** While often associated with health concerns related to excessive intake, sodium is actually an essential mineral that plays a vital role in maintaining fluid balance, nerve function, and muscle contraction. It helps regulate blood pressure and supports proper cellular function. However, excessive sodium intake, primarily from processed foods, can contribute to hypertension and increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.

**Trace Minerals:**

1. **Iron:** As a component of hemoglobin, iron is crucial for transporting oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. It also plays a role in energy production and metabolism. Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, characterized by fatigue, weakness, and decreased immune function.

2. **Zinc:** This essential trace mineral is involved in numerous enzymatic reactions in the body, supporting immune function, wound healing, and DNA synthesis. Zinc also plays a role in taste perception, hormone production, and reproductive health. Deficiency in zinc can impair immune function, delay wound healing, and affect growth and development.

3. **Copper:** Copper is necessary for the formation of red blood cells, proper immune function, and the maintenance of connective tissues, bones, and nerves. It also acts as an antioxidant, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals in the body. Copper deficiency can lead to anemia, bone abnormalities, and impaired immune function.

4. **Selenium:** As a powerful antioxidant, selenium helps protect cells from oxidative damage and supports immune function. It also plays a critical role in thyroid hormone metabolism and may have anti-cancer properties. Selenium deficiency is rare but can lead to muscle weakness, fatigue, and increased susceptibility to infections.