The copper is a chemical element belonging to the group of metals and atomic number 29. This transition metal (due to its place in the periodic table of the elements) is characterized by its brightness and its reddish hue.
Along with aluminum and iron, copper is one of the most widely used metals. This is due, in part, to its great ability to conduct electricity, which allows it to be used in the manufacture of electronic and electrical parts and in the production of cables. Copper is also a malleable and ductile material that never loses its mechanical properties.
The human being, in fact, discovered the benefits of copper in prehistory. It is known as the Copper Age to the period in which man began to make various tools with this metal.
Beyond native copper (in the natural state), various alloys are also used. The most popular is the alloy of copper and tin, which is called bronze. This alloy is highly resistant to corrosion and friction. The copper-zinc alloy, on the other hand, is called brass.
Copper in food
It is known that the human being needs minerals for several of its vital functions, among which the production of hormones and the formation of bones stand out. To get these nutrients, the ideal is to eat a varied and balanced diet.
The presence of copper in the crust of our planet is abundant. Its role in our body is essential; It is a very important element for life as it is involved in the development of red blood cells and helps to maintain the state of bones, nerves and blood vessels. The human being incorporates copper through drinking water and foods such as legumes (beans, chickpeas and lentils, among others).
This micro mineral is also necessary to assimilate and use iron, allowing it to be distributed properly and to act as it should. As can be seen, the functions of copper in our body are many and of great importance; Let’s see some more below:
* Helps regulate enzymatic reactions, transport iron, and produce ATP (the kind of energy our body can use);
* participates in the formation of hemoglobin and various enzymes, in addition to the aforementioned red blood cells;
* collaborates in the degradation of proteins, lipids and carbohydrates;
* helps the body to assimilate vitamin C, so beneficial for our general health;
* In addition to helping to maintain bones, it also helps the central nervous system.
In addition to the food sources mentioned above, we can also find copper in cereals, whole foods, nuts, raisins, and plums.
When there is not enough copper in our body, certain pathologies may arise, among which are osteoporosis, anemia, depigmentation (the skin becomes discolored), abnormalities in the central nervous system (both its degeneration as various alterations), excess gray hair and loss of minerals.
It is important to note that excess copper is not beneficial for our body either, as it can be very toxic. Among the disorders that the toxicity of this mineral can cause are neurological problems, kidney and liver disorders. For this reason, workers who are exposed to copper in their daily tasks must protect their bodies with special equipment and follow certain preventive measures; negligence on the part of companies is punishable by law.