As for minerals, many of us are unaware of how essential they are. Even fewer people know that we need not only the familiar major minerals, like calcium, phosphorus, and zinc, but trace minerals as well. In recent years, trace minerals (like selenium) have been cited for their powerful cancer-fighting abilities, as well as in their role as facilitators of other minerals (calcium's absorption and usability multiplies in the presence of the trace mineral boron). Both major minerals and trace minerals are available in fresh fruits and vegetables; in this form they are highly available to the body, although when cooked they become less so.
It is possible to get too much of a good thing, however. Salt (sodium chloride), for instance, is an essential mineral. It occurs naturally in vegetables, grains, and meats - in nearly all the foods we eat. Because of its flavor-enhancing qualities, and because we have dulled our taste buds through misuse, we have been adding more and more salt to our foods - and thereby consuming ever-increasing quantities. This abuse has been found to cause an increase in blood pressure and hypertension in some people, and is thought to encourage heart disease and migraine headache in others. In general, the path of wellness is one of balance, so megadosing with some vitamin or mineral is rarely wise unless you are under the care of a health professional. Even then, trust your intuition about what feels good to you and keep your doctor or caregiver informed of your reactions.