Phosphorus – do you know what it is and what it does?

Phosphorus is a mineral that is important in order for your body to perform essential functions. This mineral is present in many foods and is added in when some foods are processed. Most people will get enough phosphorus through their diet, but some with health diseases may not get enough. People with kidney disease or diabetes are the people who need to monitor their phosphorus levels. 

Phosphorus helps to build strong bones and teeth. It also helps make proteins that grow/repair cells and tissues. If you work out, you want to make sure you get enough phosphorus. In addition, this mineral plays an important role in processing carbohydrates and sugars, and contributes to the following bodily functions:

  • the nervous system
  • kidney function
  • muscle contraction
  • regular heartbeats 

As I described, if you work out phosphorus is important to help the muscles contract, recovery after exercise and to help filter waste from the body. It’s also important to manage the body’s energy usage and storage.

Most people get enough phosphorus if they eat foods that contain protein and calcium. These foods include meats, seafood, seeds, dairy products, nuts, whole grains, broccoli and dried fruits. 

Therefore, next time you are shopping or decide what to eat after that big workout, make sure you get enough magnesium (see a previous post) and phosphorus. You will be glad you did.