Copper is an essential trace mineral that is required in small amounts but plays a crucial in overall well-being. In human beings’ copper plays an important role in several metabolic processes and functioning of the organs. Copper exhibits a complex homeostatic mechanism in the body which enables a regular reserve of copper while eliminating excess copper out from the system. Copper is needed for enzyme coding, production of melanin and tissues, neuroendocrine functions, bone formation, cell renewal and it also assists in the formation of red blood cells with help of iron.
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It is involved in the process of cholesterol, functioning of the immune system and growth and development of the foetus. As it is an essential trace mineral it should be supplemented in the diet.
Copper deficiency leads to bone weakness, muscles and joints pain, vitamin B12 and iron deficiency which may lead to anaemia. Excess amounts of copper results in cramping, diarrhoea and vomiting and long-term toxicity leading to neurological defects.
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Copper is naturally available in a wide range of food sources including seafood, mushrooms, tofu, sweet potatoes, dark chocolate and nuts. Adding a whole lot of foods abundant in copper helps to correct the deficiency. It is also available in the form of supplements. The dietary recommendation of copper for a normal adult is 900 mcg.
Check out this infographic to get an insight about foods incredibly rich in copper.