Minerals are just as important as vitamins in IBD. For example, anemia and low bone density are common problems in IBD. The mineral iron helps prevent anemia and calcium (with the help of vitamin D) keeps bones strong and healthy. Other minerals such as magnesium and zinc support the immune system; however, they are often lost due to IBD induced diarrhea.

The table below shows each mineral you need in the diet, its function, and food sources. Nutrition labels list the percentages you need based on a 2000 calorie diet. But your needs may be quite different. If you enter your age and gender, the table will recalculate the amount based on how much you need.

MineralFunctionFood sources
Calcium Bone formation, nerve signaling, hormone secretion Dairy, broccoli, kale, dairy substitutes, fortified cereals
Copper Creation of bone structure, energy metabolism Seafood
Chromium Sugar metabolism Meats, fish, grains, Brewer's yeast
Fluoride Strengthening of teeth, bone formation Fluoridated water, toothpaste, mouth rinses
Iron Transportation of oxygen and energy Meats, green vegetables, beans, iron-fortified cereals
Magnesium Bone metabolism, metabolic processes Grains, nuts, leafy vegetables, beans
Manganese Protein and fat metabolism, bone formation Vegetables, grains, organ meats, beans
Potassium Regulation of fluids in cells, nerve signaling, heart contractions Fruits (bananas, oranges), vegetables, potatoes
Selenium Antioxidant (similar to vitamin E), part of enzyme system Vegetables, meats, fruits, milk products, oats, brazil nuts
Sodium Regulation of hydration and fluid in blood vessels seafood, table salt, processed foods
Zinc Protein and fat formation, processing of genetic codes Fish, meat, beans

If you don't get enough of the minerals you need from what you eat, it may be helpful to take a complete multivitamin (just like pregnant women are advised to take a prenatal vitamin). A regular multivitamin gives you most of your needed vitamins. When it says "complete," the minerals you need are also included. Fortunately, a short course of 2-4 weeks of supplementation will raise most mineral levels the levels back to normal.

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