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The Many Health Benefits & Importance of Copper

Why You Shoud Make Sure You Are Getting Enough Copper



Copper is a vital mineral used throughout the body.  It helps the body to produce red blood cells and it keeps our nerve cells and immune system healthy.  It also aids in the formation of collagen which is a key part of bones and connective tissue.


Copper might also act as an antioxidant, diminishing free radicals which can damage our cells and DNA. It also helps the body with the absorption of iron. Our bodies need copper to make energy.


The body does not need much copper, but most people do not get enough of it in their diets. Although rare, copper deficiency can happen.


Signs of copper deficiency:


  • Anemia

  • Low body temperature

  • Bone fractures and Osteoporosis

  • Low White blood cell count

  • Irregular heartbeat

  • Loss of pigment from the skin

  • Thyroid problems

  • Tremors

  • Loss of vision

  • An unstable gait

  • A tingling sensation


The following conditions could lead to copper deficiency and might require the use of copper supplements:


  • Crohn’s disease

  • Cystic fibrosis

  • Celiac disease

The best way to get copper is by eating a healthy diet. Supplements are available; however, too much copper can be dangerous so talk to your primary care doctor before using.



Foods that naturally contain copper:


  • Seafood:  oysters, squid, lobster, mussels, crab, and clams.

  • Organ meats:  beef liver, kidneys, and heart.

  • Nuts and nut butter:  cashews, filberts, macadamia nuts, pecans, almonds, and pistachios.

  • Legumes:  soybeans, lentils, navy beans, and peanuts.

  • Chocolate:  unsweetened or semisweet baker’s chocolate and cocoa.

  • Enriched cereals:  bran flakes, shredded wheat, and raisin bran.

  • Fruits and vegetables:  dried fruits, mushrooms, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, bananas, grapes, and avocado.

  • Blackstrap molasses.

  • Black pepper.

Copper is an important mineral used by the body. Eating a well-balanced diet is the best way to obtain this vital nutrient; however, supplements are available so long as you discuss this option with a trusted healthcare professional.





References:


1.  Copper. Mount Sinai Health System. (n.d.). https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/supplement/copper


2.  WebMD. (n.d.). Health benefits of copper. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplements/copper-your-health


3.  Morris, S. Y. (2023, April 19). Copper and nutrition: Why it’s good for you. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/heavy-metal-good-for-you-copper


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