Getting the right nutrients is important when you’re a diet, because you simply won’t lose weight if you’re depriving your body of important vitamins and minerals. Taking dietary supplements might be necessary for a big deficiency, but sometimes all you need to do is adjust your diet a bit.

Discover the best minerals for weight loss, and find out what foods you’ll find them in or how many supplements to take without risking any unwanted side effects that can also mess with your weight loss plan.

1. Calcium

One of the best minerals for weight loss, calcium is key to more than just bone strength. Along with vitamin D is also plays a part in protecting against breast cancer. The adequate intake of calcium for women under 50 is 1,000 mg/day, slightly higher for 51 years and up. The tolerable upper intake levels are 2,500 mg/day for adults, and supplements should be taken with food. Good sources of dietary calcium include dairy, fortified cereals, soy products and leafy greens.

2. Zinc

While the recommended dietary allowance of zinc doesn’t go higher than 13mg/day for breastfeeding women, the tolerable upper intake level is around 40mg. However, you shouldn’t take more than 15mg/day without consulting a doctor first, since you might also need to take copper along with zinc. You’ll find zinc in red meat and poultry, whole grains, beans and nuts.

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3. Magnesium

Low magnesium levels are rare, but you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough, since it’s one of best minerals for weight loss. It can help relax your stomach and bowels, aiding in good digestion. Specialists advise against taking more than 350 mg/day in supplement form, since this mineral can quickly reach toxic levels. Good sources of magnesium include nuts, leafy greens, beans and whole grains.

4. Chromium

Lowering blood sugar levels and enhancing the effects on insulin makes chromium a star among other minerals that can prove useful in weight loss. An adequate intake of chromium is around 25mg/day, and excessive doses can actually have adverse effect on insulin. Whole grains, beef, poultry, dairy, fruits and vegetables are all good sources of this mineral.

5. Vanadium

Used in controlling blood sugar levels, vanadium can be just as efficient as chromium, but it’s much more dangerous in higher levels. Stick to 1.8 mg per day, if you don’t want to deal with side effects which may include nausea and diarrhea. It’s one of the best minerals for weight loss in small quantities, but excessive levels can cause kidney damage. Make sure you dose it correctly if you take it in the form of supplements which can contain around 30-40% elemental vanadium.

6. Iron

The recommended dietary allowance of iron for women 19-50 years is 18mg/day, with a tolerable upper intake level of 45 mg/day. Iron deficiency is mostly based on diet, so vegetarians should be especially careful that they’re getting enough iron. Without this mineral,  found in meat, fish, poultry, vegetables and legumes, your metabolism will slow down, and you’re less likely to lose weight.

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7. Potassium

Definitely one of the best minerals for weight loss, potassium can help with bloating, and help your muscles when you work out. The adequate intake, of around 4,700 mg/day, is usually found in a healthy diet, that includes bananas, avocados, nuts, leafy greens and milk. There’s no upper limit for how much you can take, but very high doses can prove to be deadly.

8. Selenium

Aiding the thyroid function is selenium’s biggest benefit. While you can get the 55 mg/day of selenium you need from nuts, fish and grains, you can also take supplements, but levels higher than 400mg/day get dangerous. Selenium supplements are also associated with a higher risk of skin cancer.

9. Manganese

It’s one of the best minerals for weight loss, but manganese should also be avoided in higher doses than 11mg/day. Grains and tea are good dietary sources, but if you suffer from any liver disease, consult your physician before taking manganese supplements, since the side effects include problems for your nervous system, similar to Parkinson’s disease.