Are you aware that there is an essential mineral which is required for producing melanin, certain tissues and coding enzymes in the body? It's none other than 'Copper'! Yes, copper is a trace mineral which plays a key role in forming haemoglobin and collagen in the body.
It is estimated that adults above 19 years of age should consume about 900 micrograms of copper daily. Pregnant mothers and breastfeeding women need 1000 to 1300 micrograms of copper per day.
This mineral is necessary for maintaining healthy bones, boosting the immune system and blood vessel formation. Copper also helps in regulating the heart rhythm, it reduces symptoms of arthritis, increases red blood cell formation, reduces cholesterol, and balances the thyroid gland functioning among others.
Copper should be a part of your daily diet, failing which it could lead to a deficiency of the mineral. A deficiency of copper can trigger brittle bones, osteoporosis, low body temperature, anaemia, low white blood cells, birth defects, thyroid disorders and low skin pigmentation.
Seafood like lobster, squids, salmon, tuna, oysters and sardines are all rich in copper. 100 grams of oysters contain 7.2 mg of copper, 100 grams of tuna contain 0.1 mg of copper, 100 grams of salmon contains 0.1 mg of copper and 100 grams of sardines contain 0.3 mg of copper. You must make sure to include these in your diet regularly.
Did you know that egg yolk contains small amounts of copper? 100 grams of eggs will provide you with 0.2 mg of copper. Eating an egg daily will boost your copper intake and will also provide your body with B vitamins, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, vitamin D and calcium among other essential nutrients.
Meats such as pork, beef liver, turkey and chicken contain copper that will help you get rid of the copper deficiency. Beef liver has higher amounts of copper with 4049 micrograms in each ounce. 100 grams of beef meat contains 14.3 mg of copper and pork contains 0.7 mg of copper.
Dried herbs such as tarragon, thyme and chervil contain copper in smaller amounts. On the other hand, spices such as mustard, cloves, chilli powder, cumin, coriander, saffron, mace, curry powder and onion powder contain copper in higher amounts. Eating them daily will help you to get rid of many ailments.
Fruits like lemon, star fruit, blackberry, litchi, guava, pineapple, apricot and bananas are rich in copper. These fruits are also known for their antioxidants, vitamins and iron content. Mushrooms, kidney beans, radishes and soy beans are some of the vegetables that are also rich in copper.
Sun-dried tomatoes are an excellent source of copper. A cup of sun-dried tomatoes will provide you with 768 micrograms of copper. Sun-dried tomatoes are also a good source of iron and potassium and they are widely used in salads, sauces and pizza.
Nuts like cashew nuts, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, walnuts and pistachios contain high amounts of copper. They are also an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. 100 grams of cashew nuts contain 2.0 mg of copper, 100 grams of almonds contain 0.9 mg of copper, and 100 grams of walnuts contain 1.9 mg of copper.
If you love eating chocolates, then you do not need to worry about the intake of copper. Dark chocolate contains 70% to 85% of cacao and has about 500 micrograms of copper in an ounce. This is more than the recommended daily intake of copper.
Edible seeds such as sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds, watermelon seeds, pumpkin seeds, and squash seeds have higher amounts of copper in them. They are a rich source of copper with 100 grams of sesame seeds containing 4.1 microgram of copper and 100 grams of sunflower seeds containing about 1.8 microgram of copper.
Turnip greens are rich sources of copper, beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin. This helps in preventing osteoporosis, anaemia and heart diseases. 1 cup of cooked turnip greens contains 0.36 micrograms of copper, which is 18 percent of the total daily value.
Asparagus is a good source of copper, calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium and other vitamins like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, thiamine and vitamin B6. 1 cup of asparagus contains 0.25 micrograms of copper, which is 12 percent of the total daily recommended value.