The following are three "magic" minerals shown to play significant roles in controlling and preventing hypertension (high blood pressure).

With all of the stresses in everyday life as well as the added pressures on everyday life due to the current economic environment, now more than ever, our bodies need these "magic" minerals...

"Magic" Mineral No. 1: Calcium
Thanks to aggressive dairy advertising campaigns, calcium is widely recognized for the part it plays in helping your body to grow and maintain strong bones and teeth.

But many people don't know our bodies use calcium in other, equally important ways. Such as helping our muscles and blood vessels expand … helping blood to clot … aiding in the secretion of hormones and enzymes … and transmission of messages through our nervous systems.

In fact, calcium is so important, our bodies contain more of it than any other mineral.

But – your body can't produce calcium on its own. So to get it, you need to include it in your diet. However, it's important to ensure you give your body the right amount.

Too much calcium in your diet, and you might find yourself developing kidney stones, plaque deposits in your arteries, or having trouble absorbing other important minerals.

Not enough, and your body will literally steal the calcium it needs from your bones and teeth. Over time, calcium deficiency makes your bones brittle and more easily broken – a serious condition known as osteoporosis.

So how much calcium does your body need?

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, you should get at least 1,000 mg of calcium per day until age 50, at which time you should increase to 1,200 mg daily.

Youths ages 9 to 18 require slightly more calcium – at least 1,300 mg daily. But no matter what your age, most experts agree you should not exceed 2,000 mg to 2,500 mg of total calcium per day.

Some common sources of calcium include dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt; green leafy vegetables; certain fishes, including salmon and sardines; and calcium-set tofu.

You may find some foods – especially juices, breakfast foods, and soymilks – that have calcium added to them. But here's a tip you'll want to remember:

With fortified soymilk, be sure you shake the container well before using it as the calcium can settle to the bottom.

Another way to add calcium to your diet is with nutritional supplements.

However, when using supplements, make sure you read the labels carefully. Pay close attention to the amount per serving and recommended serving size. And make sure the calcium is in a form your body can readily absorb. Chewable and liquid supplements tend to be more absorbable than pills or tablets.

One more important factor to consider is purity.

If the calcium in the supplement comes from unrefined oyster shells, bone meal, or dolomite, there's a chance it could contain lead or other toxic metals. If the product contains calcium from one of these sources, make sure it has the term "purified" or the USP (United States Pharmacopeia) symbol.

"Magic" Mineral No. 2: Magnesium
Magnesium is the fourth most-common mineral in your body. Like calcium, it's important to your cardiovascular health. But your body's need for magnesium goes much deeper.

Amazingly, your body uses magnesium in over 300 biochemical reactions!

This "magic" mineral helps control the contraction and relaxation of your heart and other muscles, maintain normal nerve function, and regulate blood sugar.

It also helps your body produce proteins, transport energy, and maintain strong bones and a healthy immune system.

About half the magnesium in your body is found in your bones, with most of the rest in the cells of your body tissues and organs. And while less than one percent is found in your blood, your body works very hard to keep that level constant.

Magnesium deficiency isn't common. But you could be at risk if you consume too much alcohol or are unable to properly absorb nutrients through your intestinal tract.

And factors could increase your risk of deficiency – including burns, low blood calcium, certain medications, and surgery.

How much magnesium your body needs varies depending on your age and sex.

Adult men need between 400 mg and 420 mg of magnesium per day, while adult women need less – between 310 mg and 320 mg. Pregnant women should consume 350 mg to 400 mg per day. And women who are breastfeeding need 310 mg to 360 mg.

One of the best ways of getting enough magnesium is by eating your vegetables – especially dark green, leafy vegetables like spinach. Other great sources include almonds, cashews, soybeans, and halibut.

"Magic" Mineral No. 3: Potassium
The third and final mineral I want to talk to you about today is potassium.

Like calcium and magnesium, potassium has been shown to help fight high blood pressure. And like the others, it also does much, much more …

When it's in your body, potassium is classified as an electrolyte. And it helps your body perform a number of electrical, cellular, and metabolic processes.

Your body needs potassium to help create proteins and break down carbohydrates. As well as for building muscles and proper body growth.

Plus, potassium helps regulate your blood acidity.

In fact, when you get right down to it, potassium plays a vital role in the proper function of every single cell, tissue, and organ in your entire body.

So it's very important to make sure you're getting enough in your diet.

Fortunately, there's no shortage of foods containing potassium. It's found in nearly all red meats, chicken, and many fish – such as salmon, cod, flounder, and sardines.

And if you don't eat meat, don't worry.

Vegetables are also good sources of potassium – including broccoli, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and winter squashes.

Not to mention a variety of soy products, veggie burgers, and nuts.

Many fruits also contain potassium. Among the best: citrus fruits, cantaloupe, bananas, kiwi, prunes, and apricots. And interestingly enough, dried apricots actually have more potassium than fresh ones.

Thanks to its wide availability, potassium deficiency rarely results from poor eating. But it's important to make sure you're getting enough. Because under certain conditions, your body can lose potassium.

These conditions include vomiting, diarrhea, certain rare kidney disorders, and taking certain medications – such as diuretics, laxatives, and steroids.

Even a slight drop in your levels can have significant consequences, including salt sensitivity and high blood pressure.

And while your kidneys normally remove excess potassium from your body, if you have kidney problems it is possible for you to have too much potassium in your blood – a potentially serious condition known as hyperkalemia.

So it's easy to see the importance of getting the right amount of potassium.

For most adults, you'll want to make sure you get about 4,700 mg (4.7 grams) a day. Women who are breastfeeding or producing breast milk need slightly more – about 5,100 mg (5.1 grams) daily.

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Author's Bio: 

Deanna Blanchard is a health writer at