Quiz - Metal Health

We dig up certain metals from rocks and soil and turn them into skillets, pipes, and engine blocks, among many other strong, mechanical objects. And yet we put those same metals in our body? Yes, we better! Or else our health will suffer. Take this quiz to learn why some metals—in the form of minerals found in food—are so essential to us:

1. Many essential metals aren’t needed for their durability, but for their unique ability to activate several types of enzymes.

A. True
B. False

2. Along with assisting in the electrical activity of the heart and other muscles, magnesium helps more than ___ enzymes do their job.

A. 50
B. 100
C. 300
D. 600

3. Because the body doesn’t store zinc, you need to eat large amounts every day.

A. True
B. False

4. Iron is added to some foods because of its important role in the creation of red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the body. It can also be found naturally in ____.

A. Egg yolks
B. Lentils
C. Kidney beans
D. Beef
E. All of the above

5. Calcium is very important in childhood and the teen years because of bone growth.

A. True
B. False

6. The human body needs potassium to transmit nerve messages for muscle contraction and hormone release. Potassium does this by helping keep the proper balance of _____ across cell membranes.

A. Glucose
B. Water
C. Oxygen
D. Electrochemical signals

1. A. True. One of the most important roles of minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, and molybdenum is activating enzymes, which are proteins that facilitate chemical reactions in the body that are necessary for sustaining life.

2. C. 300. Good food sources of magnesium include nuts such as almonds, cashews, and walnuts.

3. B. False. Though the body doesn’t store zinc, adult men and women only need about 8-11 milligrams per day. Pregnant or breastfeeding women need a little more, from 11-13 milligrams. Oysters, chicken, and soybeans are some good sources of zinc, which helps to prevent birth defects and to synthesize protein and DNA.

4. E. All of the above. Athletes and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding may need more iron.

5. A. True. Calcium is a major part of bone structure. The mineral is also needed during pregnancy, when breastfeeding, and after menopause. Good food sources include dairy products such as milk, yogurt, and cheddar cheese. Soybeans, baked beans, and turnip greens are some good non-dairy options.

6. D. Electrochemical signals. Potassium is an electrolyte—it carries a small electrical charge that activates nerve and cell functions. Good food sources of potassium are baked potatoes (with skin), navy beans, cantaloupe and bananas. 

Source: The Health Library at healthlibrary.sjchs.org

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