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Are You Getting Enough Nutrients?

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Are You Getting Enough Nutrients?

Many people try to eat healthy by watching how many calories, fat, carbs, and sugar they consume. While counting calories can help with weight loss, simply eating fewer calories doesn’t necessarily make you healthy. Food that is fresh, unrefined, and rich in micronutrients is the best source for good health, and thousands of studies have proven that getting a diverse source of micronutrients from raw food can help improve heart & organ health, help you lose weight, ward off depression & fatigue, among many other benefits. As crash diets and fad workout plans come and go, what really works is incorporating fresh, vitamin-rich foods into your every day lifestyle.

Vitamins and minerals serve many important functions in the body, and doctors have determined how much of each nutrient one needs to maintain optimal health. What’s not surprising is that most people don’t get enough vitamins and minerals every day – even people who make a conscious effort to eat fresh, healthful foods. If you’re wondering what nutrients you need to be eating, check out these top 7 nutrients most people don’t eat enough of.

7 Nutrients That You Probably Aren’t Getting Enough Of

1. Calcium

Calcium seems to be at the forefront of a lot of food advertising, so it’s surprising that most people don’t get enough. Calcium is important to develop and maintain strong teeth and bones, and there have been many recent studies about the benefits of calcium and reduced rates of breast cancer and heart problems.

How much calcium you need depends on your age, gender, and any medical conditions – such as osteoporosis – but a general table from the National Institutes of Health website says that adult women generally need around 1,000-1,200 mg/day and men need around 600-800 mg/day.

Calcium can be found in dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt, as well as in calcium-fortified orange juice, tofu, broccoli, dark leafy greens, and sardines.

  • Click here for calcium supplements available at Natural Healthy Concepts

2. Potassium

Many people never consider potassium when making food choices, but potassium is an extremely beneficial nutrient that can reduce salt’s affect on blood pressure, reduce the risk of bone loss and kidney stones, and more.

It is important to get the right amount of potassium, because not having enough (hypokalemia) can cause weakness, low energy, muscle cramps, stomach problems, irregular heartbeat, and more. Too much potassium (hyperkalemia) can also cause problems.

How much potassium you should have depends on how much sodium is in your system, but according to the University of Maryland Medical Center in Baltimore, MD, adults 19 years old and older should get about 4,700 mg/day.

Potassium can be found in bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, cantaloupe, raisins, nuts, dark leafy greens, fish, orange juice, carrots, peas, and beans. For reference, one banana contains about 422 mg of potassium, so that one banana you had with breakfast isn’t enough for your daily intake.

3. Fiber

Fiber is also highly advertised in food marketing, yet most people don’t get enough. The prevalence of refined white flour bread products in American culture makes for a missed opportunity to get high quality dietary fiber. Fiber is best found in legumes, vegetables, and fruit. Getting enough fiber can promote healthy lipids profiles (cholesterol), digestion function, and more.

A good rule of thumb is to consume 14 grams per 1,000 calories you eat. For women, an adequate intake would be 25 grams, and 38 grams for men. Whole grains are a good place to start for fiber consumption. Other sources include cooked dry beans and peas, nuts and lentils.

4. Vitamin D

Vitamin D famously comes from exposure to sunlight, however there are ways of getting Vitamin D through food as well. Vitamin D helps boost immunity and promote bone health. Vitamin D deficiency has also been known to cause rickets in children.

According to the Institute of Medicine, most adults should get about 600 IUs (international units) of Vitamin D per day, and the elderly and imuno-compromised should get 800 IUs or more.

Vitamin D can be found in salmon, tuna, and rockfish – which also have the added benefit of Omega-3 Fatty Acids. Plus, 10-15 minutes of sun exposure each day can also boost your Vitamin D levels.

5. Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 Fatty Acids are very important to maintain good cardiovascular health, and since Omega-3’s aren’t produced naturally by the body, it’s very important to get them through good diet sources.

The American Heart Association does not list a specific amount of Omega-3’s one needs daily, but they do recommend that healthy adults with no history of heart disease eat a variety fatty fish 2-3 times per week. Omega-3’s can also be found in flax seed oils, walnuts, canola oils, and other nuts.

6. Vitamin B12

Vitamin B12 is necessary for cell metabolism. Older adults, age 50 and older, have trouble absorbing B12 that is naturally found in food because of the lack of hydrochloric acid in their stomachs that allow for absorption.  Because of the range of ability to absorb dietary B12, foods are often fortified with it, and supplements are widely available.

The recommended average daily intake of B12 for adults is about 2.4 mcg. Low levels of B12 can cause weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, depression, and weight loss.

Most natural sources of B12 are found in lean meat, poultry, seafood, liver, and clams. Some breakfast cereals and other products are often fortified with B12.

7. Ubiquinol

Ubiquinol is the active form of Coenzyme Q10, which is naturally produced by the human body. It also promotes healthy cell growth and behaves as an antioxidant to provide added protection against free radicals.

While it is always encouraged to get the vitamins and nutrients you need through a healthy, whole food diet, to obtain an adequate intake of this necessary and potent antioxidant, you would need to consume extraordinary and often unhealthy amounts of Ubiquinol rich foods. You would need to consume 120 cans of sardines or 50 cups of spinach to get the daily recommended 100 mg of Ubiquinol. This is why doctors and nutritionists recommend taking Ubiquinol in supplement form.

Quality Grade Ubiquinol Supplements

Ubiquinol is often marketed as a type of CoQ10, which more people are familiar with. Be sure to check the label to make sure you are buying a product made with Ubiquinol, which is more absorbable than CoQ10.

Do you get enough nutrients from your food? Are there any essential nutrients that you think most people are deficient in? Speak your mind in the comments below!

Natural Healthy Concepts has a wide selection of quality therapeutic grade health supplements, vitamins and minerals to choose from. Visit NaturalHealthyConcepts.com for your natural health needs and get free shipping on your order in the U.S.!

More Great Articles/Infographics on Nutrient Deficiencies:

Magnesium Deficiency & the ADHD/Autism Correlation [Infographic]

Symptoms of Zinc Deficiency {Infographic}

6 Ways to Absorb Magnesium + Health Benefits & Symptoms of Deficiency

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3 Responses to Are You Getting Enough Nutrients?

  1. Theresa Groskopp, CN October 29, 2013 at 4:13 pm #

    Thanks Kristine. These days, our diet, stress and environmental factors promote a multitude of deficiencies!

    As a Certified Nutritionist, I want to comment about the RDA for calcium of 1000 to 1200 mg. I do believe current thinking in the natural health field suggests more like 800 to 1000 mg, in combination with the other vitamins and minerals necessary for bone health. Too much calcium, without appropriate cofactors, encourages calcium to deposit in other areas such as arteries.

    On the flip side, current research on Vitamin D would suggest more like 1,000 IU to 5,000 IU depending on your lifestyle, diet, race and geographic location. My opinion is that 600 IU is woefully inadequate, especially in northern states! Here in Wisconsin, we are Vitamin D deprived in the winter months for sure! Kudos to you for having the good sense to live in a warmer climate like Texas!

  2. Kristine Jenkins October 30, 2013 at 11:32 pm #

    Theresa – thank you so much for your thoughts on this! The recommended intakes are only suggestions, which are based on average results. This will, as you mentioned as well, differ from person to person, and will definitely be impacted by geographical factors, age, race, etc.
    Thanks again for reading and for your comment.

  3. jak szybko schudnąć December 19, 2013 at 7:12 pm #

    It is really a gresat and useful piece of information.
    I’m satisfied that you just shared this helpful information with us.
    Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

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