Health News

Are You Getting Enough Nutrients?

Many people are falling short of their normal intake of minerals and nutrients with high rising concerns of obesity and diseases. Kathy McManus, Director of the Department of Nutrition at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, believes that Americans consume far too many empty calories. Empty calories are foods that are high in sugar or fat, and not much else. People are not getting enough nutrient-rich foods like vegetables, fruit, whole grains, and nuts.

are you getting enough nutrients

With the potential risk of diseases, people are missing out on very important nutrients. Without nutrients, people can face serious risks to their health. Important nutrients and minerals include calcium, potassium, vitamin D and fiber. Not only is it important to get these nutrients, but there are suggested levels of how much your body should be getting.

Everyone knows the importance of calcium as it is imperative for bones. Calcium is said to also protect the heart, arteries, and against cancer such as breast cancer. Many children and adults are falling short to get enough of this important nutrient.

Potential foods containing calcium:
Milk, yogurt, fortified cereals, and low-fat cheese

How much to take:
1000 milligrams of dietary calcium per day

Diets which have high potassium levels help to improve blood pressure control, kidney function, a reduction in blood clotting, and opening of blood vessels. It is most essential for people with heart problems, as it improves blood pressure control and also helps to offset some of sodium’s harmful effects like raising blood pressure.

Potential foods containing potassium:
Potatoes, tomatoes, orange juice, bananas, fish, beans, yogurt, carrots, spinach, and lentils

How much to take:
4700 milligrams of potassium in a day

Vitamin D
Vitamin D is known as the sunshine vitamin because it is produced by the skin when being exposed to the sunlight. Vitamin D is essential for the body for reasons including:

  • Supporting the body’s immune system, brain, and nervous system
  • Regulate insulin levels and aid diabetes management
  • Support lung function and cardiovascular health
  • Maintain the health of bones and teeth

Since people don’t usually stay in the sun for long, it is necessary to have regular intakes of Vitamin D from foods high in this vitamin, as it is important for a range of bodily functions.

Potential foods containing Vitamin D:
Vitamin D fortified milk, cereals, orange juice, tuna, salmon, and eggs

How much to take:
600 International Units per day

Dietary fiber is mainly found in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. It can help to maintain a healthy weight, and lowers the chances of diabetes and heart diseases. Fiber is also said to lower your cholesterol level, help with constipation, and keep your blood sugar stable.

Potential foods containing Dietary Fiber:
Vegetables and fruits, beans, peas, whole grains, and nuts.

How much to take:
28 to 34 grams everyday

These nutrients have all the necessary requirements to keep you healthy and far from diseases. A regular dose of these nutrients will make sure that your body stays strong and healthy. Remember, these nutrient food choices will keep you healthy today, tomorrow, and in the future.