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Tuesday, June 16, 2015

9 Nutrients You Aren't Getting Enough Of....

We've all heard that having a "rainbow" of fruits and vegetables is good for us; and, we've also heard that eating a variety of portion-sized foods are good for us; yet, there are still some foods that are  overlooked. There is no doubt that in feeling your best, you've got to nourish yourself with nutritious foods. Haven't you ever felt like you were craving something to eat, but you just didn't know what it was? Maybe there is something missing in your diet....

Here are 9 nutrients to get to know more intimately:

(1) Vitamin A
  • This fat-soluble vitamin is crucial for proper cell growth and function.
  • It is needed to keep and maintain normal vision as well as building & maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. 
  • Also helps with maintaining healthy gums, bones, and teeth.
  • It can be found in foods like liver, eggs, butter, a variety of dark green, yellow and orange vegetables and fruits like mango and cantaloupe. 
(2) Vitamin D
  • We already know that Vitamin D helps us keep our healthy bones strong, but it also regulates and balances calcium and phosphorus. If you don't get enough Vitamin D, health issues could come up like IBS (Irritable Bowel Movement), heart disease and yes, Type 2 diabetes.
  • Vitamin D is great for building and maintaining our teeth and our bones. In fact, Vitamin D is absolutely needed for proper absorption of calcium.
  • It can be found in foods like oily fish (salmon), egg yolks, cod liver oil and fortified cereal.
(3)  Vitamin E
  • The reason we need this vitamin is to help the body form red blood cells. It also helps with the protection and preservation of fatty acids. Since the body can't make fatty acids on its own, we need to be sure to get it from good sources like omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. 
  • Essential fatty acids help in so many ways from regulating our blood pressure to maintaining proper liver function.
  • We can get Vitamin E in foods that contain plant oils (sunflower/safflower), nuts and avocados. Also, eggs, poultry and seafood are good sources. But, don't forget the portion-sized amounts.
(4)  Folate
  • Folate (B-9) is extremely important for the growth and development of DNA as well as for amino acid metabolism. Amino acids are essential to us because of what they do. To name just a couple of things, amino acids play a role in not only transporting and storing nutrients we need, but they also assist in making up cells, muscles and tissues.
  • Foods that contain the Folate we need can be obtained from green leafy vegetables, legumes like lentils and beans, poultry and citrus fruit.
(5)  Vitamin C
  • There is no doubt that everyone wants healthy skin and this vitamin helps you get there. Vitamin C also works in the body by strengthening the walls in our blood vessels and certainly works in optimizing our immunity.
  • Foods containing Vitamin C include citrus fruits, watermelon and cantaloupe. Some vegetables include sweet potatoes, cabbage, onions, Brussels spouts, broccoli, cauliflower and more... 
(6)  Calcium
  • This important mineral does so much to keep our bones and teeth strong and healthy. Additionally, Calcium works to improve muscle and nerve function, assists in blood clotting and enhances enzyme capabilities.
  • Foods containing calcium include milk, cheese, oysters, tofu and canned salmon.
(7) Magnesium
  • This key mineral works in optimizing the enzymes the body needs for fuel/energy. Magnesium also assists with bone growth, controlling areas of inflammation, stabilization of blood sugar and it works with maintaining nervous system balance.
  • This mineral is an important part of a balanced diet and can be found in foods like green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans, fortified whole-grain cereals, scallops and oysters.
(8)  Potassium
  • Potassium is an electrolyte that assists the body through regulation of the bodies' fluid balance. It largely works to ensure proper metabolism and assists with the process of nerve impulse transmission and proper muscle contraction.
  • Foods that we need that contain this mineral include bananas, dried fruits, legumes, colorful yellow vegetables (squash, yellow bell peppers), white mushrooms, avocados, salmon and yogurt.
(9)  Fiber
  • Lastly, we have fiber. Fiber assists us by lowering blood sugar, maintaining cholesterol levels, and works in favor of minimizing the chance of getting colon cancer. 
  • Foods containing fiber include beans -- like white or black beans, whole-grain cereals, avocados, brown rice, pears, artichokes, oatmeal, apples, almonds and barley.
So, if you are doing what you can to eat right, but you still feel like you are "missing something" from your diet -- listen to your body -- then, review the list of 9 nutrients that you may have overlooked. You could very well satisfy that "craving" for the right kind of food to eat.

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