Are you Getting Enough of These Critical Nutrients?
Let’s face it…the average modern-day American lifestyle leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to promoting good health.
Too much stress. Being too sedentary. And perhaps worst of all, poor nutrition (even though most of us have access to plenty of food).
In fact, about half of the population in the U.S. suffers from one or more health conditions related directly diet. These include high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and blood sugar issues that range from insulin resistance to type 2 diabetes.
Apart from eating too much by way of refined carbohydrates and unhealthy fats, there are also concerns related to the nutrients Americans should be consuming…but aren’t.
Based on current U.S. government dietary guidelines (which by many standards are already on the low side), Americans overall don’t consume enough of five important nutrients: iron, potassium, calcium, vitamin D, and fiber.
Keep reading to find out why these nutrients are important, and how you can add them to your diet.
Your blood’s most important job is to carry oxygen throughout your body. But oxygen can’t be carried by your blood without iron.
When iron isn’t present in sufficient amounts, it can cause symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, shortness of breath, and heart palpitations. The medical term for this condition is iron-deficient anemia.
Red meat, organ meat, and shellfish are excellent sources of iron. Legumes, spinach, quinoa, and whole grain cereals fortified with iron are other good sources.
Potassium is an electrolyte, which simply means that it carries an electrical charge.
It’s this electrical charge that makes potassium critical for the nerves and cells within your body to function properly.
Potassium also helps your body to maintain healthy fluid levels, keeps your heartbeat regular, and helps your cells to take in nutrients and remove waste.
Good food sources for potassium include bananas, avocados, squash, lima beans, and spinach.
Best known for supporting bone health, calcium is also critical for your cardiovascular and nervous systems to function optimally.
Estimates are that 40% of the U.S. population does not get enough calcium from their diet.
Dairy products, especially milk, are excellent sources of calcium. You can also get calcium from kale, broccoli, seeds, almonds, and fortified plant-based milks like soy or almond.
Another nutrient with bone-building properties is vitamin D. Vitamin D is so important to the absorption of the bone-strengthening minerals calcium and phosphorus that it is sometimes called their “nutrition partner”.
Vitamin D also supports immune system function, mood stability, and may also support energy levels and metabolism.
Your skin can metabolize some vitamin D from sunlight. However, most people don’t get enough vitamin D from sunlight alone.
Dietary sources of vitamin D include fatty fish and vitamin D-fortified dairy products.
Unlike other carbohydrates, dietary fiber is somewhat inert and does not get broken down by your digestive system. But that doesn’t diminish its importance.
Fiber helps to control appetite, keeps the lower digestive tract healthy, and supports healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels. Fiber may even help to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular disease and colon cancer.
Whole grains, beans, vegetables, and berries are particularly good sources of fiber.
Not Getting Enough?
Is your diet low on any these five powerhouse nutrients?
Supplements are available for all five. But be sure to get professional advice before adding supplements to your diet. Some nutrients (like iron and vitamin D) can be toxic if overdone.
Want to learn more? Give us a call today at 800-859-7511 or use our convenient contact form to sign up for your free 30-minute consultation.