The body needs a variety of minerals. The minerals that the body absolutely needs are called essential minerals, and those minerals are typically divided into two main categories. Those categories are macrominerals and microminerals. Both mineral groups are equally important. The "macro" and "micro" simply refers to the amounts that need to be consumed. Macrominerals need to be consumed in larger quantities than microminerals. Both groups of minerals are used for a lot of different processes like building blood and bone, producing hormones, regulating heart rate, and many others.
A good example of a macromineral is calcium. Calcium is one of the most abundant minerals in the body, and it is used to build teeth and bones. It is integral in preventing bone loss, and the mineral can be found in many dairy products like milk and yogurt. Calcium deficiency can lead to conditions like osteoporosis. In children, low calcium amounts can prevent normal growth. Too much calcium in the body can result in poor bone health and/or kidney stones.
Zinc is a common micromineral. Zinc aids in growth and development, immune system health and function, as well aiding in wound healing. A great source of zinc is oysters, but the micromineral can also be found in red meat and poultry. Zinc deficiencies can lead to impaired immune function, delayed sexual maturity, impotence, and hair loss. Too much zinc can also impede immune function and cause nausea and vomiting.