Copper is an essential mineral in many foods and a nutrient for healthy living. Protein-rich foods like organ meats, shellfish, fish, nuts, seeds, chocolate, and whole grains are good sources of copper.
Copper is vital to the immune system, helping build strength and resilience against viruses and bacteria. It also helps produce the substances that keep our cells and tissues healthy.
Many people do not get sufficient copper in their diet, but it is rare to be deficient in copper. Possible copper deficiency signs may include anemia, low body temperature, bone fractures, osteoporosis, low white blood cell count, irregular heartbeat, skin pigment loss, and thyroid problems.
Copper regulates the hormone serotonin, which helps relieve symptoms of depression and other mood disorders. It is also necessary to form collagen, a protein crucial for skin and soft tissue health.
The mineral copper plays a role in the body's energy production and metabolism. It helps to produce adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the body's primary energy source and is essential for enzymes that break down carbohydrates and lipids.
Copper has some antioxidant properties, which can help neutralize free radicals that can harm cells. It reduces inflammation, enhances cognitive functioning, improves the immune system, and promotes proper digestion.
Copper is essential for proper mineral absorption, as it is involved in the absorption of zinc and iron, which are vital for healthy bones, red blood cells, and nervous system development.
Copper is also needed for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, which helps regulate metabolism, body temperature, and other bodily processes.
Copper works with vitamin C to promote the formation of blood vessels and protect against damage caused by free radicals. It is also involved in the growth and repair of tissues and organs.
Vegetables high in copper include sweet potatoes, mushrooms, lima beans, beet greens, turnip greens, green peas, spinach, soybeans sprouts, and asparagus,
Copper toxicity can result from long-term exposure to high levels of copper through contaminated foods and water sources.