The last group of micro-nutrients in this series is made up of trace minerals: Selenium, Iodine, Zinc, Copper, and Iron. The body only needs very small amounts of them, but they are still very important for maintaining good health and performance. 

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Selenium and Iodine for a healthy thyroid and immunity

Selenium and Iodine are two trace minerals that work together in the body to allow for proper thyroid and immune functions. We need them to fire up our metabolism and to maintain cellular antioxidants. Good sources are kidneys, beef, eggs, fish and shellfish, beans, and yogurt.

Zinc and Copper for antioxidation

Zinc and copper are two more trace minerals that we need to keep in balance, most importantly because a powerful antioxidant, zinc-copper superoxide dismutase, contains both. Good sources are beef and lamb liver, oysters, shiitake mushrooms, dark chocolate, various nuts, and lobster. As a rule of thumb, 100 g of beef or lamb liver per week should cover your needs.

Iron to supply muscles with enough oxygen

Iron is a component of hemoglobin which is responsible for transporting oxygen from lungs to the rest of the body. Best sources are red meat, liver, and shellfish. Note that iron from plant sources as opposed to animal sources is not in the easily absorbable heme form. So, if you aren’t eating meat or animal foods in general, keep in mind that you should get about double the recommended amount.

Recipe: White Chicken Chili

The following recipe serves 4 people, and every single serving will provide you with a lot of trace minerals, over 40% of the recommended daily values (DV) for iron and selenium, and over 20% of DV for Copper and Zinc. It also contains respectable amounts of vitamins B3, B6, B9, C, manganese, magnesium, and potassium.

Also, note that this is a slow-cooker recipe, so expect the cooking time to be roughly 8 hours. The prep itself shouldn’t take more than 20 minutes though.

Ingredients

• 350 g chicken breasts
• 800 ml can of white beans, drained and rinsed
• 250 ml can of green chilies
• 1 large yellow onion, diced
• 5 large cloves garlic, minced
• 1 jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped
• 5 teaspoons, one each (dried parsley, chives, thyme, ground cumin, salt)
• 1 l chicken broth
• 2 tablespoons olive oil

Instructions

1. Heat olive oil over medium-high and add the onion. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion begins to brown. Add garlic and jalapeno and continue cooking for 3 minutes.
2. Transfer the mixture to your slow cooker along with the rest of the ingredients for the chili. Stir well and cover. Cook on low for 8 hours.
3. When done, fish out the chicken breasts, use two forks to shred them, then place back in the crock pot. Let soak for at least 1 hour, or overnight for maximum flavor.
4. Serve heaping bowls of chili with your favorite toppings.

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