Minerals Guide – COPPER
High Copper Food
Copper is an essential mineral that plays a vital role in many bodily functions, including the production of red blood cells and the maintenance of healthy bones and connective tissues. So, if you want to increase your copper intake, plenty of delicious and nutritious foods can help. Here are ten high copper foods that are easy to incorporate into your diet. Copper is a crucial trace mineral. Two genes control bodily balance, but there’s no need to get involved in genetics here. All said and done, everything in nature is electrical, and genes work no differently.
The element copper is the metal in electric wires because of its high conductance of negative charge (the flow of sub-atomic particles called electrons from regions of high electrical potential to lower ones. That’s the electric potential difference electrical engineers measure in Volts in the Ohm unit. But the mineral copper is NOT the copper metal, but rather its dipositive ion Cu2+. It’s a copper atom minus two electrons and plays a crucial role in oxygen transportation and respiration with cells.
The Copper Ion
The copper anion (a positively charged ion) is a component of many antioxidant enzymes (proteins that catalyze biochemical reactions), an example of which is copper-zinc superoxide dismutase, which protects the body against harmful potentially cancer-causing free radicals by mopping them up and rendering them harmless. Free radicals are cations (negatively charged ions roaming freely throughout the body, such as the hydroxyl radical, (OH—) produced by ionizing radiation such as ultraviolet light and X-rays and toxic, man-made chemicals.
The ion's role
The copper anion is also involved in the transportation of iron anions (Fe2+), in the metabolism of cholesterol and glucose, and in the contraction of the heart muscles. The mineral copper is also involved in synthesizing brain chemicals and pigments in melanin in the skin and hemoglobin in the blood. Very importantly, the mineral plays a part in regulating blood cholesterol levels and, perhaps, helps protect against the hardening of the arteries.
Copper is a Structural Mineral
The mineral is involved in synthesizing the structural protein collagen and vitamin C metabolism. Copper is, therefore, essential for healthy skin elasticity, hair, cartilage, and bones. Actually, if vitamin C intake is optimal, copper deficiency can occur if dietary copper intakes are low. Because the dietary bioavailability of the copper mineral is low, and up to 70 percent of the dietary copper intake becomes bound to sugar and refined flour (junk food), vitamin C, zinc, and calcium, it’s crucial to maintain copper levels as most of it remains bound to the bowel.
Sources of High Copper Food
The bioavailabilty of dietary copper is pretty low. Around 70 percent of copper dietary intake remains stuck in the bowel contents. Two genes control the body's copper balance, and it plays a crucial role in the transport of oxygen and cell respiration. The mineral is central to the enzyme copper-zinc superoxide dismutase, which is an antioxidant that mops up harmful free radicals.
Other Roles of Copper
Copper is central to iron transport, glucose and cholesterol metabolism, and hear muscle contraction. This is why you need to eat copper-rich foods. It is also needed to synthesize brain chemicals, and hemoglobin and melanin. Copper plays a major role in vitamin C metabolism and the building of collagen to ensure that bones, cartilage, hair, nails, and skin remain healthy.
The RNI (Reference Nutrient Intake) for copper is 1 to 1.2 mg for adults aged 19–50, and the safe upper level for long-term use from supplements is 10 mg.
From the above, it’s clear that there’s a fine balancing point between copper levels in the body and the levels of zinc and vitamin C. Too much zinc, which is an essential mineral, or too much vitamin C, destroys copper levels. That is why copper deficiency appears to be relatively common. Also, the dietary sources of copper are not eaten frequently. The risk of copper deficiency is greater when zinc intakes are high. The ideal copper-to-zinc ratio in the diet is 1:10.
Copper in Sizzling Minerals vs. Zinc?
According to our TRC Minerals page, each wafer has about 12.7 ppm copper, or 12.7 mg, in the TRC sample tested. The amount of zinc is 622 mg. So, the ratio of copper to zinc in a wafer is 1:50, which is not enough copper. So, it’ll be a good idea to eat some of the foods listed below to boost your copper levels but don’t overdo it. And stay clear of junk food.
Top High Copper Foods
Now you know why liver organ meat is good for you.
Copper in Sizzling Minerals
Don’t simply rely on just Sizzling Minerals for adequate daily copper intake. A Sizzling Minerals wafer has 0.12 mg copper, so eat some of the above foods as well. Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with a couple of ounces of dark chocolate! 1 pack of Lindt or supermarket own-brand 70% dark chocolate weighs 100 g or 3.5 ounces. There’s much more copper than zinc in dark chocolate.
Dark chocolate is not only a delicious treat. In fact, just one ounce of dark chocolate contains about 0.5 mg of copper, which is almost half of the RNI for adults. So go ahead and indulge in a small piece of dark chocolate as a tasty way to boost your copper intake. Just make sure to choose a high-quality dark chocolate with at least 70% cocoa content to get the most health benefits.
As you can see from the above, getting all the copper you need is easy without going over the top. But be careful not to overdo your vitamin C and zinc intake. And don’t forget, copper goes down the toilet every day, so keep on top of it. A good read about high copper food in the diet can be found here.
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