When someone says to you “a penny for your thoughts”, take it. Then you can tell them just how important copper is to a healthy body. It’s an essential mineral that helps regulate the nervous system, cardiovascular system, digestive system and the metabolic processes. Copper is also considered essential for cognitive health because it’s necessary in developing neural pathways.
It’s estimated that only 25% of the US population gets enough copper by eating the proper foods. Your body cannot synthesize copper on its own, so it works with amino acids, fatty acids and vitamins for absorption. There needs to be a balanced level of copper in the blood or hormonal activity can become imbalanced leading to hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism.
Copper is important for the production of hemoglobin and red blood cells, and utilizes iron and oxygen in the blood to produce enzymes that help provide energy. It aids in collagen and elastin production needed to repair connective tissues, especially in the heart and arteries. Copper deficiency is a major factor to a risk of developing coronary heart disease.
Copper is a natural anti-inflammatory that helps reduce arthritis symptoms, reduces cholesterol, boosts the immune system and inhibits the growth of bacterial strains such as E Coli. It utilizes antioxidants like vitamin C that helps in the absorption of iron from the intestinal tract that provides proper oxygenation to different organ systems and is helpful in releasing toxins from the liver. It also helps in the utilization of sugar in the body. Copper supplementation is often used with various neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s disease.
A deficiency of copper can have the following symptoms:
- Brittle bones
- Dilated veins
- Elevated cholesterol levels
- Heart Palpitations
- Low resistance to infections
- Low white blood cell count
- Thyroid disorders
A copper deficiency can also be found in those suffering from serious digestive disorders that impair nutrient absorption, such as Crohn’s disease.
Here are some foods that will naturally add copper to your diet:
- Beef liver
- Chia Seeds
- Cocoa Powder
- Goat Cheese
- Sesame Seeds
- Shitake Mushrooms
- Wild caught Fish
The proper amount of copper can usually be absorbed through your diet, but sometimes with certain conditions supplementation can be helpful. It’s important to do this with a doctor’s oversight because you can run into a whole other set of problems if your intake is too much.