Sunday, November 1, 2015

Are you missing or Low in These Nutrients? (Cont.)

What nutrients are missing in your diet?  Last week we focused on 4 nutrients that you may be missing or deficient in.  This week we look at 3 more nutrients of concern and mention fiber since it is oh so important to your health.  This information is from WebMD’s slide show, The 7 Missing Nutrents in Your Diet.  This week we focus on nutrients good for your bones, calcium, vitamin D and even vitamin C helps your bones.  Also, many of us have diets low in fiber so this is needs special attention in most people’s diets.
1.       Vitamin D –many Americans, adults and children, are deficient or have low vitamin D levels.  Bones need vitamin D as do our muscles and our nerves.  Like vitamin A, vitamin D helps our immune system.
  • Good sources – milk and yogurt are usually fortified with vitamin D.  Milk or yogurt at meals is a great way to ensure you and your kids are getting the vitamin D needed.  Egg yolks, some cheese and liver also provide some vitamin D.
  •  Sunshine – our bodies can make vitamin D from sunshine. 
2.       Calcium – strong bones, teeth, good for muscles including our heart muscle.  Some studies indicate calcium helps prevent high blood pressure.   
  • Good sources – Milk and yogurt are great ways to get both calcium and vitamin D.  Cheese offers calcium but rarely vitamin D.  You need enough vitamin D to absorb the calcium so milk and yogurt are top choices.  There is some calcium but no vitamin D in kale, broccoli and canned salmon.
3.       Vitamin C –with winter coming, who doesn’t need an immune booster?  Doesn’t cure the common cold but may shorten how long a cold lasts.  Vitamin C helps your bones and tissue grow.  Since it is an antioxidant, it helps protect your cells from damage. 
  • Good Sources – all citrus (skip the Sunny D and focus on real juice) are good sources.  Enjoy many fruits high in C, limes, oranges, grapefruit, lemon, papaya, pineapple, kiwis, berries, watermelon and mangoes.  For veggies, focus on tomatoes, green and yellow peppers, broccoli, potatoes, cabbage, leafy greens.
4.       Fiber – We talked about fiber last week but so many Americans have diets low in fiber, I mention it again this week.   Fiber helps lower your cholesterol, keeps you regular and it may lower risk of heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers.  It fills you up so you eat less, good if you want to drop a few pounds. 
  • Good sources – whole grains, any General Mill cereal is whole grain, whole wheat crackers, quinoa, beans, fresh fruit, produce. Have a handful of nuts each day for some fiber.  Add fiber to your yogurt, add some bran or All-Bran cereal, ground flaxseeds, strawberries.  Enjoy some oatmeal, for lunch use whole wheat bread for your sandwich, enjoy some popcorn as a snack.  Read 29 Ways to Add More Fiber to Your Diet

Focusing on 5 fruits and veggies a day, dairy with meals (milk or yogurt for calcium and vitamin D), and whole grains will do a lot to ensure your diet is rich in Calcium, Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Fiber and the nutrients we talked about last week:  potassium, magnesium and vitamin A.  

Sources:  The 7 Missing Nutrents in Your Diet  Image source:  Fruit Smoothies
                                                               Fruit Smoothies

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