Copper – what it is, benefits, food and deficiency!

Copper is an essential mineral needed for survival. It is found in every tissue in the body and plays a role in the production of red blood cells and the maintenance of nerve cells and the immune system . It also helps the body form collagen and absorb iron and plays a role in energy production.

Most copper in the body is found in the liver, brain, heart, kidneys and skeletal muscle. Both copper and too little can affect brain function. Deficiencies have been associated with Menkes, Wilson and Alzheimer’s disease. Deficiency is rare, but it can lead to cardiovascular disease and other problems.

What is copper?

Copper is an essential micronutrient that has numerous benefits for health, well-being and beauty, from improving the appearance of the skin to treating wounds and skin diseases , as well as helping to maintain metabolic processes, among countless other benefits. the health.

This mineral that is vital for multiple functions in the body. Since our bodies are not able to synthesize copper on their own, it becomes important to make sure we consume adequate amounts from food sources such as cashews, sesame seeds , turnips, and spinach .

Health benefits of copper:

1. Cardiovascular health:

Low copper levels have been linked to high cholesterol and high blood pressure. A group of researchers has suggested that some heart failure patients may benefit from supplements. Animal studies have linked low copper levels to cardiovascular disease, but it remains unclear whether a deficiency would have the same impact in humans.

2. Protects Cognitive Function:

As with many things in nature, a balance needs to be achieved for harmony to exist. This is equally true with regard to copper and cognitive functions and brain health.

Copper is involved in neurodevelopment and growth and is essential for proper cognitive development. This is illustrated by the fact that adequate amounts in the body have been linked to more advanced thought processes and the ability to absorb and process complex information.

3. Bone density:

While we tend to think of calcium as the main element in preventing osteoporosis, its deficiency is also linked to a dramatic decrease in bone density, resulting in an increased risk of developing osteoporosis and all the painful and sometimes immobilizing side effects that accompany osteoporosis. .

4. Anti-aging:

Copper is an antioxidant that can improve the condition of your skin. It protects cell membranes from free radicals and helps the skin and joints produce collagen and elastin to prevent premature aging and promote skin elasticity.

5. Skin health:

Copper is a component of melanin , which provides pigment and sun protection to your hair, skin and eyes. It also helps in the production of new cells, replenishing the top layer of your skin to produce a smooth, clear complexion.

6. Thyroid function:

Your thyroid  is an important gland that regulates hormonal function as well as metabolism, growth and maturation. Many people suffer from thyroid conditions , which include hypo and hyperthyroidism. Thyroid function  requires a delicate balance of vitamins and minerals, one of which is copper .

Some preliminary studies show that a trait shared in people who suffer from thyroid conditions is an imbalance in levels. When it comes to thyroid health , it’s important to remember that balance is key and can be as harmful as too little.

7. Helps in weight loss:

Adding this mineral to your diet can help you lose weight . This mineral helps to fine-tune your digestive system, break down fats and help you eliminate them more efficiently.

Copper-rich foods:

1. Seafood:

Seafood is definitely one of the mineral-rich foods category! Some of these varieties are tuna, calamari (or calamari), lobster, haddock, salmon and sardines. Among all seafood, oyster is the richest source of copper .

2. Vegetables, fruits and pulses:

Vegetables like mushrooms, soybeans, radishes and beans that are easily available in the market. In addition, fruits are known for antioxidants, vitamins, iron and minerals like copper . The fruits that help in the supply are lemon, star fruit, blackberry , lychee, guava, pineapple , apricot and banana.

3. Carne:

Meat in addition to protein also has this mineral. Meats like beef, pork, liver , turkey, and chicken contain copper and can help eliminate copper deficiencies . In an animal, its liver  is filled with many vitamins and minerals, including the mineral. Veal liver has the highest amount of the mineral in meat variants.

4 eggs:

Egg yolk contains small amount of the mineral in it as well. Even if you are not a meat lover but can digest eggs then it can help you here. That gives us a good reason to eat those delicious cakes!

5. Nuts:

Nuts have a load of goodness in them. Almonds, peanuts, cashews , pistachios, pine nuts, hazelnuts and walnuts are the richest sources of copper . Its use in everyday food supplies iron to our body. These nuts also contain good amounts of omega-3 fatty acids , which help in maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails.

6. Seeds:

Normally, all types of edible seeds are rich sources of this mineral. They also contain Protein , Potassium , Zinc , Iron , Vitamins B and E, Magnesium and Calcium . Also, pumpkin, watermelon seeds, sesame seeds, flax seeds, sunflower seeds are some varieties that contain the mineral. Knowing which foods give us this mineral is not enough, knowing how much to consume is also important.

copper deficiency:

Useful links: 

While a deficiency is rare, some health conditions and other factors can increase your risk. These include:

  • Genetic defects of mineral metabolism;
  • Absorption problems;
  • Very high intake of zinc or vitamin C supplements ;
  • Some conditions, such as central nervous system (CNS) demyelination, polyneuropathy, myelopathy, and optic nerve inflammation;
  • As copper is stored in the liver , deficiencies develop slowly over time.

Important tips about foods with copper:

  • Do not overeat foods rich in copper . Sometimes more than large portions can become poisonous.
  • Long-term excessive intake can lead to hepatitis , kidney problems, brain disorders, cramps, diarrhea, vomiting, depression , schizophrenia, hypertension, senility, insomnia, and a number of other disorders.
  • Low levels of the mineral can lead to anemia , joint pain, decreased immunity and osteoporosis in some cases.
  • To check the levels of the mineral in a human body, a hair sample is collected for analysis by laboratories at various medical centers.

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