Replenishing Your Minerals with Nutrient Dense Food

Today we’re diving into the nutrient-dense foods that will help you to replenish the minerals that stress depletes. Whether you’ve had the chance to test your minerals or not, the mineral-rich foods and beverages we’re going to cover in this newsletter are beneficial for everyone, regardless of mineral status.

When we are stressed, we use up more magnesium, sodium, and potassium directly. The stress response also indirectly impacts other minerals like copper since we use copper to make energy (ATP) in the body. As stress goes up, energy needs do as well. Minimizing stress is essential, but I think making our bodies more resilient to stress is even more critical. We can do that by regularly eating throughout the day and combining protein and carbs to support blood sugar balance. Replenishing those main minerals promotes overall health and hormone balance in the body.⁣ Let’s talk about the foods that do this best!

What are a few of our favorite mineral-supportive foods?

1. Adrenal cocktails—

You’re most likely familiar with this first one, because we wax poetic about it ALL the dang time. It’s simply that beneficial! Here’s why we love it and drink ’em on the reg: Each adrenal cocktail contains approximately 375mg potassium, 60mg vitamin C, and 460mg of sodium—a beautiful mixture of nutrients that supports your adrenals by helping increase body’s resilience to stress. Not only does it provide support via important electrolytes sodium and potassium (which are much better absorbed together) but it also includes whole food vitamin C, which helps increase bioavailable copper and support iron metabolism. To learn more, here’s a whole blog post we wrote about it!

There are so many different ways to make the adrenal cocktail, and it’s more about taste preference than anything else. The most classic way I learned is 4 oz. orange juice, 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar, and 1/4 tsp. sea salt. Mix it all together and enjoy!

You can also try these combinations:

  • orange juice (vitamin C), coconut water (potassium), sea salt (sodium)
  • grapefruit juice (vitamin C), aloe vera juice (potassium), sea salt (sodium)
  • lemon/lime juice (vitamin C), coconut water (potassium), sea salt (sodium)
  • Bumbleroot powder mixed in water (use discount code AMANDA10)

We recommend drinking 1-2 cocktails per day (more if you’re going through a particularly stressful time). It can be enjoyed at any time of day, but you want to avoid it on an empty stomach if you struggle with acid reflux. I like to add 1/4 cup coconut cream and 2 tbsp collagen to it and turn it into a filling snack in between breakfast and lunch, and an hour before bed.

2. Beef liver (+ other organ meats)—

If you’re not used to eating organ meats, then this recommendation may be met with some skepticism. But believe me when I say, beef liver is one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat. It provides us with an array of minerals like B vitamins, vitamin A, and copper in an easily absorbable form. Chicken liver is not quite as rich in these specific nutrients, but duck liver is a solid substitute. (In case you forgot, here’s why vitamin A is so crucial to overall health!) It truly is a superfood, which is why Amanda and I both include beef liver in our diets. If you’re new to organ meats or just don’t like them, you can supplement with desiccated beef liver instead. We love the beef liver capsules by Ancestral Supplements (use code AMANDA10OFF)!

Keep in mind, absorption is the key when it comes to nutrient-density. We want to consume foods that both contain an abundance of vitamins and minerals, but also are in forms that are easy for us to absorb. Many plant-based foods are touted as nutrient-dense, but those foods contain phytates and anti-nutrients that prevent us from absorbing 100% of the nutrients. One example is raw leafy greens, which are constantly praised for their calcium and magnesium. They do indeed have these nutrients, but the amount we absorb from raw veggies is minimal. Animal foods contain even more of these essential nutrients and are easy to break down and absorb.

Basically, you’d have to eat POUNDS of vegetables in order to get the same amount of nutrients found in animal foods and organ meats.

3. Cod, shrimp, and oysters—

Now for the seafood! Did you know that white fish like cod is a great source of iodine? In fact, a 3-ounce serving of baked cod provides about 158 mcg. (According to the FDA, that’s 106% of your daily value of iodine. Granted, Percent Daily Values are always on the lower side, so in this case, more = better.) Here’s why this MVP mineral is so important: Iodine is most well-known for its role in thyroid function. It’s absolutely crucial to make thyroid hormone! So if you’re experiencing symptoms like cold hands and feet, fatigue, hair loss or thinning, weight gain, decreased libido, dry skin, or sluggish digestion—iodine may be what’s lacking.

Thyroid health is the first thing that comes to mind with iodine, but it also affects things like protein synthesis, cholesterol synthesis, carbohydrate absorption, conversion of carotene to Vitamin A, and immune function. And if you’re pregnant or trying to conceive, iodine is even more important for the prevention of several types of birth defects. In particular, iodine helps support healthy brain development. The body does not make iodine, so we need to eat iodine-containing foods to replenish our supply.

Shrimp includes some iodine but is also rich in selenium, another important mineral for fertility, thyroid gland function, DNA production, and protecting the body from damage caused by free radicals and infection. As for oysters, we love them for their copper and zinc! You really can’t go wrong by including all three in your diet. Try to strive for at least one serving of one of these seafood options each week if you can.

4. Bone broth, gelatin, and collagen—

You might already be eating at least one of these nourishing foods on the reg, but we wanted to talk about them separately so you don’t get them confused. Keep in mind, they are all protein-rich foods that contain amino acids like glycine to support gut health and reduce inflammation in the body. (We try to consume all three as much as we can!)

Bone broth contains other anti-inflammatory amino acids like alanine, hydroxyproline, and proline as well. It’s rich in many minerals that are essential for thyroid function and hormone health such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, and sodium. It’s also abundant in vitamin A, an important one for copper and iron balance, and K2, which helps keep calcium inside the cells. If you make your own bone broth, you can add extra greens for calcium and potatoes for potassium. (Here’s our recipe!) For a quick fix, we love adding Paleo Valley’s bone broth protein to coffee, smoothies, and baked goods (use code HORMONEHEALINGRD10 for 10% off).

Are you someone who is used to supplementing with collagen instead of drinking bone broth (or using bone broth protein)? The main difference in bone broth and a collagen supplement is what they are made from. Bone broth is made from bones while collagen is made from an animal hide (skin). For this reason, the nutritional content will vary. Bones contain an abundance of nutrients while animal hide only contains collagen. But guess what? Neither is right or wrong. You still get the benefits of most amino acids if you’re using a collagen supplement.

Now let’s talk about collagen vs. gelatin—what is the difference between these two, exactly? Not much, actually! Gelatin is the protein in broth and is the cooked form of collagen. Gelatin and collagen contain the same nutrients, but gelatin is a different form that is known for giving recipes its gummy texture. We are huge fans of gummies over here, and gelatin is the main ingredient in our recipe!

As for the benefits, gelatin is best known for its improvement in digestion, decreases in joint inflammation, support of good sleep, increases in insulin sensitivity, healing of the gut lining, and improved digestive capacity (aka, how well we break down our food). It also increases metabolism by improving thyroid function. Gelatin is so beneficial because it is low in the amino acids that trigger inflammatory responses, disrupt thyroid function, depress the immune system, decrease the body’s ability to handle stress, and inhibit energy production.

Dive even deeper into supporting your health and hormones through a nourishing diet in my podcast episode how to eat to support your hormones and learn about the top 5 nutrition myths that may be hurting your hormone health.

reminder: i’m currently taking on 1:1 clients. if you’d like to explore what it would be like to work together and if we are a good fit, fill out this form to get more details!​

Amanda Montalvo

Amanda Montalvo is a women's health dietitian who helps women find the root cause of hormone imbalances and regain healthy menstrual cycles.

Master Your Minerals

Created by
Hormone Healing RD

what are you waiting for?

Your Health.