Why Copper is Gold as an Essential Mineral

copper rich foods

We love dietary copper because it is an essential mineral that often goes overlooked, yet it plays a crucial role in maintaining our overall health. Copper, a trace element, is required for a variety of bodily functions, including the formation of red blood cells, collagen production, and antioxidant defenses. In this short article, we'll explore the significance of dietary copper, the best food sources, and the symptoms of copper deficiency. We will also delve into the nutritional benefits of beef liver and other beef organs as rich sources of this essential mineral.

The Importance of Copper in the Diet

Copper is a micronutrient, meaning that we require it in only small amounts compared to macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. However, its importance cannot be underestimated. Copper is integral to several key physiological processes in the body, such as:

  1. Iron Absorption: Copper plays a crucial role in the absorption of iron from the intestines. Iron is essential for the formation of red blood cells and the transport of oxygen throughout the body.

  2. Collagen Formation: Copper is involved in the synthesis of collagen, a structural protein that provides strength and elasticity to our skin, connective tissues, and blood vessels.

  3. Antioxidant Defense: Copper is a component of superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant enzyme that helps protect cells from oxidative damage. This is essential for overall health and preventing various chronic diseases.

  4. Brain Function: Copper is necessary for maintaining the central nervous system, as it is involved in the production of myelin, which insulates nerve cells and facilitates the transmission of nerve impulses.

  5. Immune System Support: Copper contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system by participating in white blood cell production and activity.

  6. Pigmentation: Copper is crucial for the formation of melanin, the pigment responsible for the colour of our skin, hair, and eyes.

Best Dietary Sources of Copper

To ensure adequate intake of this essential mineral, it's important to include copper-rich foods in your diet. Here are some of the best dietary sources of copper:

  1. Organ Meats: Organ meats, especially beef liver, are among the richest sources of dietary copper. 

  2. Shellfish: Oysters and crabs are excellent sources of copper. 

  3. Nuts and Seeds: Sunflower seeds, cashews, and almonds are good sources of copper. 

  4. Legumes: Lentils, chickpeas, and beans contain moderate amounts of copper. 

  5. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate with high cocoa content contains copper, as well as various antioxidants and minerals. 

  6. Whole Grains: Whole grains like barley, quinoa, and oats contain some copper.

  7. Green Leafy Vegetables: Spinach and kale contain small amounts of copper.

Symptoms of Copper Deficiency

A deficiency in dietary copper can lead to a range of health problems. Some common symptoms and consequences of copper deficiency include:

  1. Anemia: Copper is necessary for iron absorption, so a deficiency can lead to anemia, characterised by fatigue, weakness, and pale skin.

  2. Osteoporosis: Inadequate copper intake can affect bone health and increase the risk of osteoporosis and fractures.

  3. Neurological Issues: Copper is crucial for brain function, and a deficiency can result in neurological problems such as poor coordination, weakness, and numbness.

  4. Weakened Immune System: A lack of copper can impair the functioning of the immune system, making you more susceptible to infections.

  5. Connective Tissue Problems: Copper deficiency can affect collagen production, leading to skin problems, joint pain, and weakened blood vessels.

  6. Change in Hair and Skin Pigmentation: A copper deficiency can cause a loss of pigmentation in the skin and hair, leading to discolored patches or premature graying of the hair.

  7. Cardiovascular Issues: Copper is involved in the health of blood vessels, and its deficiency may contribute to cardiovascular problems.

The Nutritional Benefits of Beef Liver and Beef Organs

As mentioned earlier, beef liver is one of the most concentrated sources of dietary copper. It's not only rich in copper but also packed with various other essential nutrients, making it a nutritional powerhouse. Beef organs, in general, are highly nutritious and have been prized in traditional diets for centuries.

Here are some nutritional benefits of beef liver and other beef organs:

  1. Copper-Rich: Beef liver is exceptionally high in copper, with just a small serving providing more than enough of your daily recommended intake. This makes it an ideal choice for those looking to boost their copper intake.

  2. Iron and B Vitamins: Beef liver is also a rich source of iron, a key mineral for preventing anemia. It's packed with B vitamins, particularly B12 and folate, which are essential for energy production and nerve health.

  3. Vitamin A: Beef liver is one of the best sources of vitamin A, important for maintaining healthy skin, vision, and immune function.

  4. Minerals: In addition to copper, beef liver contains other essential minerals such as zinc and selenium.

  5. CoQ10: Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), vital for cellular energy production, is found in beef liver and organs.

While beef liver is the most celebrated organ for its nutritional value, other organ meats like heart and kidney also offer significant health benefits and nutritional content. Organ meats are a traditional and sustainable source of essential nutrients, and they are becoming increasingly recognised for their role in a nutrient-dense diet.

How to Supplement with Freeze-Dried Beef Organs

beef liver capsules

If you are looking for a whole food and bio-available supplement that includes copper, selenium and zinc as well as a myriad of critical nutrients look no further than desiccated beef organ supplements. 

Organ meats are THE most concentrated source of just about every nutrient, including vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and essential amino acids.

Our Primal Energy Beef liver supplements are organic, 100% hormone, antibiotic and GMO-free. They are tasteless, provide nose to tail nourishment, are freeze-dried to preserve nutrients and are 100% grass-fed and grass-finished from the pristine Tasmanian pastures.

You can find out more about them here 



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