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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Is your diet missing these nutrients?

Are you missing some nutrients in your diet?    There is a lot of focus on health and healthy eating, yet many Americans have diets low in one or more nutrients.  What are the top 7 nutrients commonly missing in people’s diets?  WebMD has a great slide show on  The 7 Missing Nutrents in Your Diet.  This week we will focus on 4 of these nutrients and next week cover 3 more.
Are you missing or Low in These Nutrients?

  1. Potassium - almost everyone knows we should cut back on salt and sodium but few realize potassium helps negate the harmful effects of all that salt in our diets.  Well sodium is linked with increasing blood pressure, potassium helps lower your blood pressure.  Those into weight lifting and body building may want to focus on potassium rich foods as we need potassium for our muscles.
  • Good sources of potassium – bananas, sweet potatoes, avocados, legumes, milk, potatoes
2.       Magnesium – not really a nutrient many of us think about.  But magnesium has many important roles in our bodies, our bones need magnesium, it helps our bodies produce energy, and has a role in protein synthesis and repair.  Many doctors recommend increasing magnesium rich foods for those having migraines. 
  • Good sources of magnesium – whole grains, most magnesium is removed when they make white bread, white flour.  Nuts, particularly almonds, beans, peas, leafy greens such as spinach.  Eating whole grains such as oatmeal, any General Mills cereal, wheat germ, whole wheat bread, whole grain crackers, and at least 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day will help ensure you are getting enough magnesium.
3.       Vitamin A – want good vision and be able to see in the dark well, eat some vitamin A rich foods?  Vitamin A also promotes healthy skin and healthy immune system. 
  • Good sources of vitamin A (or its precursor beta-carotene) – choose dark yellow, orange, dark green foods such as pumpkin, sweet potatoes, carrots, spinach, broccoli.
4.       Fiber – not really a nutrient but oh so important to good health.  Most Americans are lacking fiber in their diet.  Fiber can lower your cholesterol, lowers your risk of heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers.  Since fiber fills you up, you may eat less and thus help you lose those extra pounds. 
  •  Good sources of fiber - whole grains are a good source.  Read the label of whole grain breads and crackers and choose those higher in fiber.  Fresh fruit and vegetables are great sources of fiber as are nuts and seeds like flaxseed. 
This week focus on eating more fruits and vegetables and try to add more whole grains to your diet.  Enjoy a yogurt at breakfast or lunch for calcium, vitamin D and probiotics.

Sources:  The 7 Missing Nutrents in Your Diet, Magnesium,  Image source:  Fresh Fruit and Vegetables

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