In which foods do we find the trace element Copper and what are its benefits for our body?

Lentils green Photo By Thanasis Bounas
Lentils green Photo By Thanasis Bounas

Copper is found in a variety of foods, both plant-based and animal-based.

Some common sources of copper include:

Organ meats: Liver, kidney, and heart are particularly rich in copper.

Shellfish: Oysters, crab, lobster, and mussels are good sources of copper.

Nuts and seeds: Cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, and sesame seeds contain copper.

Whole grains: Wheat, barley, oats, and brown rice are sources of copper.

Legumes: Beans, lentils, chickpeas, and peas contain copper.

Dark leafy greens: Spinach, kale, and Swiss chard are sources of copper.

Cocoa and chocolate: Dark chocolate and cocoa powder contain copper.

Dried fruits: Prunes, raisins, and apricots are sources of copper.

Benefits of copper for the body include:

Formation of red blood cells: Copper is involved in the synthesis of hemoglobin, the protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen throughout the body.

Immune function: Copper plays a role in the proper functioning of the immune system by supporting the activity of white blood cells.

Energy production: Copper is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins, helping to produce energy for the body’s cells.

Connective tissue formation: Copper is necessary for the synthesis of collagen and elastin, which are proteins that provide structure and elasticity to tissues such as skin, tendons, and blood vessels.

Neurological function: Copper is important for the proper functioning of the nervous system, including neurotransmitter synthesis and nerve cell communication.

Antioxidant activity: Copper is a component of antioxidant enzymes such as superoxide dismutase (SOD), which help to neutralize free radicals and protect cells from oxidative damage.

Bone health: Copper is involved in the maintenance of bone density and strength, along with other minerals like calcium and phosphorus.

Like zinc, copper is essential for health, but excessive intake can lead to toxicity. It’s important to consume copper within recommended levels. The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for copper varies depending on factors such as age, sex, and pregnancy/lactation status.

Lentils green Photo By Thanasis Bounas
Lentils green Photo By Thanasis Bounas

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