Is This List of Nutrients in Your Diet?

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A range of foods supplying essential nutrients
Are you getting all the nutrients you need in your diet? Photo via Flickr.

Few of us women get all of the nutrients we need as part of an overall healthy lifestyle. Sometimes we crave those processed foods that put taste over nutrition, packing in fats and sugars, leaving little room for much else. The key to getting all the right stuff in our diets is eating more organically. This means having more fruit and vegetables, and choosing fresh for meat and fish. Basically, the less tampering it’s had before reaching the supermarket shelves (or after that your mouth) the more nutrients likely to be in it. Below is a list of nutrients that most of us are missing from our diets and where to find them to start living healthy again.

Omega 3

Omega 3 is a type of healthy fatty acid that is important enough to start off this list of nutrients. It’s most commonly found in:

  • Fish
  • Avocado
  • Walnuts
  • Soy beans

You can also buy supplements of it in most shops. This super-nutrient has been found to reduce high cholesterol and high blood pressure while still providing the energy of regular fat. Omega 3 can reduce risks of heart disease, joint diseases,such as arthritis, and diabetes.

It’s also known to help the symptoms of many people suffering from these conditions, as well as reducing susceptibility to asthma. On top of all this, research shows a link between Omega 3 and the relief of symptoms of many mental illnesses, including depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, and Alzheimer’s.  

Iron

Many vegetables are high in iron. Great examples are sprouts, broccoli and spinach. Cereal, bread, fish and soy beans also have iron.

This nutrient is essential for keeping our blood healthy. Iron helps to produce haemoglobin, which is vital for carrying oxygen around our body. It can also help with muscle function and brain function.

Someone with low iron levels can feel fatigue of the mind and body, as well as hypersensitivity to the cold. On top of being able to find it naturally in several foods, you can also buy iron supplements.

Healthy benefits of calcium
Milk provides calcium. Photo via PIxabay.

Calcium

A lot of us already know the health benefits of calcium. For example, it’s essential for keeping human bones strong and healthy. A healthy calcium intake has also been found to lower the risk of heart disease and breast cancer.

Calcium is most commonly found in milk and all milk products, including cheese and yogurt. For those who are lactose intolerant, finding calcium sources can be more difficult. Soy, nuts and tofu are some good alternatives. Fish can also be a good calcium source.

Zinc

We each need a small amount of zinc in our regular diet. Zinc is found in roast beef, baked beans, crab, dark chocolate and pumpkin seeds, as well as some cereals. You can also buy zinc supplements at a chemist.

This mineral help with our immune system and is a well-known over-the-counter remedy for fighting colds. Zinc may also help to boost fertility, as well as helping with muscle growth and digestion. Those who have low levels of zinc may experience digestive problems, weight gain, hormonal problems, infertility and low immunity. Z

Zinc also makes the list of nutrients here because it’s very important at aiding our sense of taste and smell, and a person with a deficiency may experience a lack of taste and smell. That issue can lead to food cravings and dissatisfaction with meals.

Spinach is part of a healthy eating plan
Spinach provides valuable magnesium. Photo via Pixabay.

Magnesium

A shocking 80% of Americans over age 70 don’t get enough magnesium. Foods with substantial magnesium are spinach, black beans, cashew nuts, and potatoes. You can also buy magnesium pills over the counter to get enough of this item on the list of nutrients.

A deficiency in magnesium can lead to:

  • Anxiety
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle aches

Magnesium helps us to produce energy, thus keeping us feeling more awake during the day. It also has a dual effect of lowering levels of cortisol, which makes it easier to sleep at night. This reduction in cortisol, the main stress hormone, also helps to calm our nerves and reduce anxiety.

Those who suffer from high stress and insomnia can greatly benefit from upping their magnesium. Other symptoms of these conditions, such as headaches and high blood pressure, might also get relief with magnesium.

Next Up on the List of Nutrients: Sulfur

Sulfur naturally occurs in rainwater and seawater. It helps with insulin production and detoxifying our body. It’s also known as a beauty mineral that can help heal skin and prevent acne, as well as helping with health of our hair and fingernails.

Very few of us get the right amount of sulfur in our diets today because of changes to how we eat food. Sulfur is most commonly available in the rainwater that falls on fruit and vegetables and the soil that these plants grow from. In the past, traces of this sulfur remained when we ate these fruit and vegetables. But most food today is thoroughly sterilized and processed, thus losing this trace of sulfur by the time it reaches the supermarket.

Fortunately, there are places to buy organic sulfur as a raw supplement. Going fully organic and growing some of your own fruit and vegetables can also help you to incorporate this nutrient into your diet.  

Vitamin E

Next on the list of nutrients is a powerful antioxidant. Vitamin E is most commonly available in wheat germ. Sunflower seeds, almonds, red chilies, green olives, papaya and spinach are also rich sources of this vitamin.

Vitamin E can ward off all kinds of conditions and is especially effective against air pollution. It can also help fight neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s. By far the most important benefit of this vitamin is its effect on our eyes and vision.

Vitamin E deficiency may link to a high risk of cataracts and other diseases that can cause blindness. You can buy vitamin E eye cream that help reduce symptoms of tiredness in eyes including black circles and lines. Vitamin E is also effective against wrinkles and can help slow down the natural aging process.

Sunlight as a natural source of Vitamin D
Sunlight provides Vitamin D. This vitamin is a must-have so it makes the list of nutrients here.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D helps to bones, teeth, and muscles. Someone with a deficiency can be more prone to diseases such as rickets and osteomalacia. This mineral is also very important for our mental health; it is thought to link to the production of serotonin, which is our natural happy drug.

The most common source of vitamin D is sunlight. Those who live in areas of the world with darker winters and less sunlight hours can suffer from a deficiency of this precious mineral. Aside from its negative physical effects, this can also cause depression and is a leading cause of SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder).

Going on holiday abroad is one way to tackle this deficiency, but there are other easier ways to get this vitamin through our diet. Oily fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, herring and fresh tuna all contain vitamin D. Red meat and egg yolks can also be a good source of this mineral.

Unfortunately, few vegan foods have this mineral, other than the occasional trace in some breakfast cereals. Vitamin D supplements are a better option in this scenario.

The Last One on the List of Nutrients: Vitamin K2

Research is ongoing about this vitamin, but results show so far that it can be very effective at warding off the risks of cancers, bone disease and heart disease. Bruising and bleeding easily can be signs that you may have a vitamin K2 deficiency. Some primary sources of vitamin K2 are egg yolks, fish eggs, and curd cheeses.

48 COMMENTS

  1. Very good compilation concerning fundamental nutrients, Christy.
    I didn´t know much about Sulfur and Vitamin E, so thanks especially for that new information.
    A very useful post, to keep in mind! 😀 have a great day. Love! xx :star:

  2. This is a very well done, comprehensive article, Christy. So often I see “nutrition” articles in magazines that focus only on the effects of nutrients regarding weight or skincare and ignore their effects on mood and mental health, something we should all be aware of. Thank you for the information.

  3. Christy being as I live on peanuts, wine and coffee I doubt if I am but hey, I climb mountains, which is not to say I am not going to recommend your great post and advice xxxxxx

  4. Thank you for posting this, Christy! Multivitamins alone will not keep us in good health. Healthier eating habits makes a huge difference. Take care!

  5. Wow Christy, good on your for getting on the health wagon. Your tips are invaluable. I’m sharing to my health magazine on Flipboard, 🙂 <3

  6. This is probably the most easiest-to-understand article on vitamins I have ever read. Vitamin D is something I lack and last year I was instructed by my doctor to take pills for it. Hoping they do me good 😀

    I absolutely love the diversity in your writing, Christy. So many topics you write about and each one of them you present so clearly and such a laid back writing style too 🙂

    • Wow. So nice! Great you are taking Vitamin D capsules to keep up those levels, Mabel. I know you are busy and it means a lot to me that you made time to read posts here. I wish you a bright weekend with lots of smiles 🙂

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