Top 12 Mineral-Rich Foods: Your Key to Optimal Health

Have you ever felt fatigued despite sleeping well or experienced hair loss or brittle nails?  These could be signs that you’re not getting enough minerals in your diet. 

Just like a car needs the right fuel to run smoothly, our bodies require essential minerals to function optimally.

In this guide, you’ll discover mineral-rich foods that will empower you to pack more minerals into your daily calorie budget. 

Top 12 Mineral-Rich Foods

The top twelve minerals-rich foods that pack in more minerals per calorie, popular with our Optimisers, are: 

  • spinach
  • asparagus
  • sauerkraut
  • celery
  • broccoli
  • arugula
  • lettuce
  • cucumber
  • zucchini
  • carrots
  • tomato and
  • sunflower seeds
popular mineral rich foods

What Are Mineral-Rich Foods?

Mineral-rich foods contain more of each mineral per calorie.  Thus, they will give you the minerals you require with fewer calories.  Mineral-rich foods empower you to meet your needs for minerals more efficiently without adding a lot of extra energy.   

How Can I Get More Minerals in My Diet?

The best way to get your minerals is through a varied diet of nutrient-dense foods.  In addition to minerals, nutritious foods provide the vitamins and protein your body requires to thrive.  Relying on minimally processed food, rather than supplements, ensures you get all the essential minerals in the right amounts and ratios for optimal health.

When you’re ready to level up your mineral game, check out the links below for longer PDF lists for each mineral in our Optimising Nutrition Community:

We’ve also included infographics at the end of this article showing mineral-rich foods that contain more of each mineral per calorie. 

What Are the Benefits of Mineral-Rich Foods?

Minerals are essential for health, and mineral-rich foods offer many benefits, including: 

  • Stronger bones and teeth: Minerals such as calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are essential for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth.  Eating a diet rich in these minerals can help to prevent osteoporosis and other bone diseases.
  • Improved blood pressure: Potassium is a mineral that helps to regulate blood pressure.  Eating potassium-rich foods can help lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke.
  • Increased energy levels: Minerals such as iron and copper are involved in producing red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues.  Eating a diet rich in these minerals can help to improve energy levels and reduce fatigue.
  • Better mood and cognitive function: Magnesium and zinc play a role in mood regulation and cognitive function.  Eating a diet rich in minerals can help to improve mood, reduce stress, and boost cognitive performance.
  • Reduced risk of chronic diseases: Mineral-rich foods have been linked to a reduced risk of many chronic diseases, including heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.

Risks Associated with Excess Mineral Intake

It is important to get most of your minerals from food rather than relying on supplements.  Excess minerals, often from supplementation, can lead to some health problems, including:

  • Diarrhea: Overdoing mineral supplements like sodium, potassium, and magnesium will have a laxative effect, so you’ll be off to the toilet and flushing out all the nutrients from the rest of your food. 
  • Digestive problems: Excess intake of some minerals, such as zinc and iron, can cause nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. 
  • Nerve damage: Excess supplemental intake of some minerals, such as selenium, can cause nerve damage.
  • Organ damage: Excess intake of some minerals, such as iron and copper, can damage the liver, heart, and other organs.
  • Enhanced immune function: Minerals like zinc and selenium are crucial in supporting the immune system. Including foods rich in these minerals can contribute to better immune health.
  • Improved muscle function: Minerals such as potassium and magnesium are vital for muscle health and can help reduce cramps and improve muscle strength.

How Much of Each Mineral Do I Need?

Our satiety analysis has provided unique insights into the minimum amount of each mineral we crave.  For more details about the minimum and ideal amounts for minerals, see The Nutrient Bliss Points:  The Perfect Amount for Maximum Food Addiction.

Mineral Rich vs High Minerals Foods

Mineral-rich foods will help you pack more minerals into your daily energy budget.  However, if you’re not yet reaching the minimum intake of minerals, focusing on high-mineral foods, like those shown below, that provide more minerals per serve will be ideal. 

popular high mineral foods

As you can see, mineral-rich foods that contain more minerals per calorie tend to be plant-based foods that we eat in smaller quantities.  Meanwhile, high-mineral foods tend to be meat and seafood that also contain the protein and energy we require. 

In our Micros Masterclass, we initially guide our Optimisers to use high-mineral foods to meet the minimum intake.  From there, they can use mineral-rich foods to get more minerals they require with less energy and move towards optimal.   

Mineral-Rich NutriBooster Recipes

If you’re looking for mineral-rich recipes, check out our NutriBooster recipes, designed to maximise nutrient density while aligning with different goals and preferences. 

Mineral-Rich NutriBooster Recipes

Mineral-Rich Meal Plan

To see what a mineral-rich week of eating looks like, download our free Healthiest Meal Plan in the World here.

Mineral-Rich Meal Plan

How Can I Know if I’m Getting Enough Minerals in My Diet? 

The best way to know if you’re getting the required minerals is by tracking your food intake for a few days in Cronometer

Take our Free Nutrient Clarity Challenge.  You’ll discover which minerals you’re missing and the foods and meals that contain all your priority nutrients. 

If you’re ready to take your nutrition to the next level, we’d love you to join our Micros Masterclass


Appendix – Mineral-Rich Foods

The infographics below show popular foods that provide more of each of the essential minerals per calorie. Below each food, the amount of each mineral provided per 2000 calories of that food is shown to allow you to compare. 

Calcium-Rich Foods

Copper-Rich Foods

Iron-Rich Foods

Magnesium-Rich Foods


Phosphorus-Rich Foods

Potassium-Rich Foods

Selenium-Rich Foods

Sodium-Rich Foods

Zinc-Rich Foods