Copper rich foods – Our healthy function is reliant on good nutrition.
Good nutrition at its very basic level should include adequate amounts of all essential nutrients.
Vitamins and certain minerals from the groundwork for all normal life functions and are therefore essential.
Essential in this regard doesn’t mean they are the only important components of your diet, copper rich foods it just means they can only be obtained through a diet containing them.
You may be familiar with minerals such as zinc, iron, magnesium, and calcium. Even potassium and sodium might ring a bell.
There are, however, many more essential minerals that aren’t as commonly referenced when thinking about what your body needs to stay fit and healthy.
One such mineral is copper.
Copper, an Essential Mineral
You might be wondering how copper can possibly be that important for your body.
It’s more synonymous with electrical wiring as it is a great conductor of electricity.
You’re sure to have tons of copper around you including the copper in whatever device you’re using to read this.
While your body isn’t all wired up with copper cables and circuit boards, it is still present and useful, albeit in trace quantities.
Copper Rich Foods
Where Do We Get Copper?
Foods that contain copper include:
- black pepper
- leafy vegetables
- Liver and other organ meats
- whole grains
So that’s where you can get it from. Supplementing copper through multimineral supplements is also an option.
In this article, we’re going to break down exactly what it is you need copper for and why you need it in your diet that copper rich foods.
5 Important Reasons You Need Copper
Helps Form Collagen
Collagen is the form of protein most present in your body’s tissue. Your skin, hair, and muscles are mostly made up of collagen.
You need amino acids to restructure as collagen in a process known as protein synthesis.
Besides amino acids, there are several other elements that go into collagen production. One of them is copper.
Copper helps maintain healthy levels of collagen and elastin, another major structural protein in the body.
This is achieved by its antioxidant qualities which help maintain a structural balance in these proteins.
Copper aids your cardiovascular system, keeping it healthy and functional.
Your cardiovascular system consists of your heart and the complex network of blood vessels that supply blood across your entire body.
Copper provides support in this system by limiting the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.
The mineral also poses major importance in your blood by working with iron for the effective transport of oxygen by the hemoglobin in red blood cells.
Healthy Nerve Function
Copper is a great electrical conductor. We’ve already mentioned how it is so commonly associated with electrical wiring for this very reason.
In your body, copper also functions electrically, although on a much smaller scale and in a completely different way.
Copper supports neuron signaling, but instead of conducting electricity, it signals a pause in nerve impulses when needed.
Copper is a known antioxidant, but unlike other antioxidants that clean up free radicals, the unstable molecules that cause oxidative stress, copper prevents their production.
In this way it acts as a buffer, protecting your cells from the damaging exposure to oxidative stress.
This has the benefit of protecting tissues such as those with a large protein component as we mentioned regarding collagen.
This antioxidant support helps limit the signs and symptoms of aging, helping you maintain healthy tissue and a powerful function for longer.
A Healthy Immune System
Your immune system is a complex organization of structures and functions that relies on a healthy balance of many essential nutrients.
One such nutrient is copper.
Your first line of defense is your physical barrier, the skin.
As we’ve already discussed, copper is important in maintaining healthy skin by its contribution to the production of collagen and elastin.
Another area in which copper is important for your immune system is the development of white blood cells.
A deficiency in copper leads to a condition called neutropenia, a deficiency in white blood cells also known as neutrophils
These cells form the cornerstone of your reactive immune system, a shortage of which, leave you vulnerable to even the most basic infections.
So there you have it, a brief insight into copper and why you actually need it.
You can get good amounts of copper through a mindful approach to nutrition and understanding which food has it in high enough quantities.
Don’t go chewing up your home wiring now!
If you suspect you aren’t getting enough copper, consult a dietician and see it that really is the case.