People might be surprised to learn that they need copper to stay healthy. Yes, it’s only a tiny amount, but it’s still necessary. That’s because copper, like iron, is necessary to make red blood cells. People also need copper to help make collagen, which makes bones, cartilage and tendons supple and lays down a layer like a mattress beneath the skin to keep it juicy and supple.

Copper is also important in making elastin, another material that’s like collagen. Copper also helps produce melanin, which gives color to people’s hair and skin and eyes. Copper is also good to help the body oxidize Vitamin C and for making RNA.

Some scientists believe that a lack of copper can lead to heart disease, including an irregular heartbeat. A dearth of copper can also lead to the body not being able to tolerate glucose well, which might lead to diabetes. A deficiency can also raise blood pressure and lower the white blood cell count, which can make it harder to fight off infections. Still, lots of folks might not be getting enough copper in their diet. This in spite of the fact that a healthy person probably needs only from one and a half to three milligrams daily. Besides, it’s hard to overdose on copper because the body only needs a little bit of it, and the part that’s not used is excreted.

Folks might wonder where do they get copper in their diet? Swallowing copper pennies isn’t the answer. Besides, are pennies still made out of copper? But good sources of copper are nuts, fruits and legumes like peas, though a lot of the amount of copper in plant food depends on the soil it was grown in. But people who crave their oysters Rockefeller should take heart, because oysters and other shellfish like Alaskan king crab are also great sources of copper. Other good sources of copper are dried apricots and baked potatoes with the skin on.

I eat a lot of fruits and nuts. I enjoy eating crab and oysters on the rare occasion I get to have them. How do you get your much needed copper?

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  1. Just recently decided to go low carb and just stumbled across your site. I love it! Also love the fact that you incorporate important facts about nutrition, such as the need for copper. Keep up the wonderful work you are doing. BTW, I purchased your summer cookbook, love that too!

  2. I like to eat beef heart for a bit of my copper. A four ounce serving has 23% RDA in a 2,000 calorie diet. I find the flavor fantastic and it’s quick to cook (or slowly in a crockpot). The best part is I can get pastured beef heart for $1.29 at my local store. If I buy at least 5 lbs they will grind it for me for free.

    Beef heart is a great organ meat for beginner organ eaters.

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