Trace Minerals I Love

by | May 24, 2022 | Nutrition | 7 comments

I’ve always been partial to whole food — and preferably liquid — forms of mineral supplementation. They feel easier to incorporate into my daily routine rather than taking capsules. I trust the body to extract the nutrients it needs and to excrete the rest. As someone who has had to manage a lifetime of vitamin and mineral depletion from Crohn’s Disease and the resulting severe gut inflammation, I wanted to share my favorite forms of mineral supplementation in case it might help someone else. I’m always looking for new ideas, as well, so please share what has worked for you in the comments below.

Whole Food Sources

The best way to get trace minerals is through your diet. Humans only need small amounts of these essential minerals. The following foods are high in the 10 dietary trace minerals:

Chromium: Meat, broccoli, potatoes, apples, bananas, garlic, basil

Cobalt: Red meat, milk, fish, cabbage, figs, turnips

Copper: Organ meats, shellfish, nuts, seeds, cocoa

Fluoride: Seafood, tea

Iodine: Seafood, plants grown near oceans (iodine-rich soil)

Iron: Organ meats, muscle meat, poultry, fish, legumes, dark leafy greens

Manganese: Pecans, pineapples, sweet potatoes, seeds

Molybdenum: Legumes, nuts

Selenium: Brazil nuts, seeds, legumes

Zinc: Oysters

Stinging Nettles Herbal Infusions

One of my favorite ways to increase my mineral stores is to drink stinging nettles infusions on a daily basis. Nettles are chock full of many nutrients, including many minerals and vitamins. Herbal infusions are easy to make. I pour a quart of boiling water over a cup of dried nettle leaves in a mason jar. I steep it overnight, for about 8 hours. Then I strain in a fine-mesh strainer and chill the liquid for several hours before drinking. In order to receive the full nutritional benefit from nettles infusions, you need to drink them regularly, at least several times a week. I get my dried organic nettle leaves from Mountain Rose Herbs but many herbal companies will sell them.

© Ancestral Supplements

Whole Food Supplement Line

The one line of whole food supplements in capsule form that I do take regularly is made by Ancestral Supplements. They make a diverse line of small-batch, high-quality, freeze-dried organ products from grass-fed cows. They recommend starting with their Beef Liver, Beef Organs, and Beef Bone and Marrow products if you are unsure where to begin. Organ meats are nutrient-dense and so important for our health. Yet our culture no longer consumes organ meats as part of a daily diet. The ideal way to get the nutrients from offal (organ meats) is to eat the fresh form with your meal, but if cooking and eating organ meats is a big turn-off for you, this product line is a wonderful way to get the nutrients into a modern lifestyle in an easy-to-ingest way.

Fulvic/Humic Acids

Fulvic acid is formed when organic matter (plants and animals) decompose. It is found in the humus part of soil and peat, and is also found in streams and lakes. Fulvic complexes provide important transportation for nutrients into the cells and bio-waste and toxins out of the cells. They are particularly helpful for boosting energy and reduction of inflammation.

Humic complexes collect free radicals and bio-waste, bind with heavy metals and provide important detoxification support by carrying these unwanted elements out of the body. They are a naturally occurring result of ancient, decomposed, fresh-water plants.

Beam Minerals makes a liquid humic acid product called Micro-BOOST™. It looks like mud water but tastes innocuous. I do a shot of this in the mornings. Micro-BOOST™️ is 100% bioavailable and provides naturally occurring micronutrients, trace elements, phytonutrients, amino acids and some B-vitamins which can be immediately utilized by the body. They also have a fulvic acid spray that I use on my feet when I feel cramps coming on from electrolyte loss.

Another whole food source of trace minerals is shilajit, but this can be very unpleasant to ingest in the resin form. Panacea by MITOLIFE is a pure tablet form of shilajit from the Siberian mountains in Russia. Shilajit naturally secretes from high elevation mountains in the form of a tar or resin. Panacea is the resin compressed into an easy-to-take tablet. Shilajit is a complete trace mineral source, containing more than 84 carbon-bonded organic minerals that are preferred by the body. It is also a rich source of fulvic acid, a compound which increases delivery of the minerals into the cell, enhances the absorption of other compounds taken with it, and chelates and complexes inorganic minerals. It is a whole food supplement that brings mineral balance to the body in a natural way.

Trace Mineral Drops

Mega-Mag drops (Natural Ionic Magnesium with Trace Minerals) by Trace Minerals have always been my go-to for my reverse osmosis water (R.O. water has no mineral content so you need to add minerals back in). I take a dropperful in a glass of reverse osmosis water 3-4x per day. The same company also sells just regular Trace Mineral Drops.

© Dr. Cousins Global

Sea Salts

It’s a good idea to rotate your culinary sea salts since each blend has a different ratio of naturally occurring minerals, depending on where they are sourced from. My favorites are Celtic Sea Salt, Real Salt. and “Transformational Salts” — a 100% pure and Scalar enhanced raw mix of 5 precious ancient seabed and sea salts of the earth from the Peruvian Andes Mountains, Hawaii, Himalayas & Utah rich in minerals – without excipients, stabilizers, conditioners, chemicals or preservatives.

Mountain Rose Herbs has a beautiful selection of gourmet culinary salts that I sometimes explore — black lava, Cyprus flake, Himalayan, Kaiwe Smoked, Red Alaea, and more!


  • Julie's life was derailed over twenty years ago when she had a very large organic mercury exposure after she naively used a mouth thermometer to measure the temperature of just-boiled milk while making her very first pizza at home. The mercury instantly expanded into a gas form and exploded out the back of the thermometer right into her face. Unaware that mercury was the third most neurotoxic element on Earth, Julie had no idea she had just received a very high dose of a poisonous substance.

    A series of subsequent toxic exposures over the next few years -- to smoke from two fires (including 9/11), toxic mold, lyme disease, and chemical injuries -- caused catastrophic damage to her health. While figuring out how to survive day-to-day, and often minute-to-minute, she created Planet Thrive to help others avoid some of the misdiagnoses and struggles she had experienced.

    She has clawed her way over many health mountains to get to where she is today. She is excited to bring the latest iteration of Planet Thrive to the chronic illness community.

    In 2019, Julie published her very first cookbook e-book called Low Lectin Lunches (+ Dinners, Too!) after discovering how a low lectin, gluten free diet was helping manage her chronic fascia/muscle pain.

7 Comments

  1. Tom Ashley

    Julie cannot be paper or scissors because she rocks. Great mineral advice.

  2. Claudia Mello

    I love knowing that we are both creating Nettle infusions in our kitchens on a regular basis. Any other members of this
    clever club here? Looking (still!) for a way to upgrade the taste of this. I just gulp it down. Susun Weed ,the herbalist, makes my fav videos on how to create infusions, and sings nettle’s praises beautifully. But it still stinks, to me.

  3. earthwalker

    Aww, thanks Tom! So glad you enjoyed the article!

  4. earthwalker

    Hi Claudia,
    I was introduced to nettle by Susun Weed’s book Healing Wise over ten years ago. I was doing a Susun Weed Q + A column on Planet Thrive. You can still find the old posts here! I am so grateful to her for bringing nettle infusions into my life. I’ve been doing them on and off for all this time! Sometimes I take a couple years off and come back to them. I can’t say I share your distaste though. I actually LOVE nettle infusions and guzzle it like it’s going out of style. My body must really NEED the nutrients in it!! Perhaps your body is telling you it doesn’t want/need it so much right now? I wish I could suggest a way to make it more palatable for you — for me, chilling it does the trick. Have you tried Googling for recipes that might add other herbs or citrus to make it taste better for you?

  5. Claudia Mello

    Well, Earthwalker, just knowing that you love nettle will probably improve its palatability to me. I have known of nobody else who would drink it. I really adore Susun Weed’s advice about everything, and wish that fresh nettle was available to me- soup material. I grew up in New England and it was everywhere- we called it “7- minute itch” and had no idea that it was edible and vitalizing. Welcome to the 1950’s.

  6. earthwalker

    Hey Claudia,
    I know of no one else that drinks nettle infusions, either. Sending you a virtual high-five! It feels like a big accomplishment to realize I’ve been doing it on and off for over ten years, maybe even fifteen. As more of an herbal tonic that requires ingesting regularly over time to have long-term benefits, it feels so good to know I’ve been doing just that. I was able to get fresh nettles once in the past nine years I’ve lived here. I can’t remember where I got them but I made the most delectable miso soup with them. They were gentle and delicious! I’ve never harvested them myself so I haven’t had the pleasure of knowing the 7-minute itch firsthand. Toasting you with a full quart of nettle infusion! I will consider myself quite fortunate to actually enjoy the taste of it. xx

  7. earthwalker

    Claudia,
    I just thought of something. Mountain Rose Herbs sells two kinds of dried nettles. One is from Europe and that is the one I buy. The other is from the USA and is a less intense taste, so they say on their website. Perhaps you can try the USA version and see if it is less offensive to you?

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