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healthy eatingTry as we must, it’s nearly impossible to get all the necessary nutrients our bodies need on a daily basis. With a bit of knowledge, we can make healthy substitutes and get higher levels of vitamins and minerals that our bodies don’t get enough of. Here are five nutrients that you probably aren’t getting enough of even if you are a healthy eater, and what you can do to help improve your intake.

Vitamin E

Why is it good for me?

Vitamin E is your body’s defense from free radicals, which are created when our bodies convert food into energy, and can cause harm to our body’s cells. We are also exposed to free radicals from the sun’s rays and cigarette smoke. Our blood vessels also need vitamin E to help fight off bacteria and viruses on a daily basis.

Where can I get more of it?

  • A quarter cup of sunflower seeds are a great addition to any diet, and can be either eaten by the handful or tossed onto a salad.
  • A quarter of a cup of wheat germ is packed with Vitamin E, and can be sprinkled on yogurt to give it a nice crunch.
  • White beans have plenty of Vitamin E. For a snack idea, take cooked white beans, mash them with a bit of cumin and other spices and use it as a ranch alternative dip for carrots, celery and other veggies.

Potassium

Why is it good for me?

Potassium acts as a gateway for your body’s cells. It helps pass needed nutrients to your cells, and it helps remove waste products out of them. If you believe you’ve recently had too much sodium in your diet, potassium is a mineral that helps neutralize the negative effects too much sodium can have on your health.

Where can I get more of it?

  • A banana at breakfast is a healthy breakfast when on the go, and acts a great source of potassium.
  • Replace your iceberg lettuce salads with spinach salads to get more potassium in your diet.
  • All citrus fruits, such as oranges, grapefruits and limes, contain large amounts of potassium.
  • Fruits from the vine such as raspberries and grapes are also a great source.

Calcium

Why is it good for me?

Along with being a critical part of a developing child’s body for bone growth, it’s important for adults particularly as they age for maintaining strong bones. It is also needed for muscle and nerve functions, and is needed by your blood vessels to release hormones and enzymes. Healthy adult men should get about 1,000 mg of calcium a day, but growing children and adult women should get about 1,300 mg a day.

Where can I get more of it?

  • All dairy products provide an excellent source of calcium, which include milk, yogurt and cheese.
  • Some vegetables such as broccoli, cabbage and kale also contain calcium.
  • Grains like breads and pasta contain calcium in small quantities, but usually don’t amount to enough calcium needed by your body.
  • Products can be fortified with calcium, such as cereals, orange juice and tofu.

Vitamin A

Why is it good for me?

Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining proper vision as people age, is necessary for a body’s immune system to prevent diseases such as measles, and is demanded by major organs to function properly such as the lungs, heart, and kidneys. For healthy adults who are not taking Vitamin A for other medical reasons, 600 mg a day is a healthy amount.

Where can I get more of it?

  • Cantaloupes are packed with Vitamin A, and can be added to fruit salads or enjoyed with a low fat cheese and honey.
  • Substitute your normal potatoes at dinner for sweet potatoes to get an extra kick of natural vitamin A.
  • Yellow squash, pumpkins, eggplant, and other squashy related foods are great for getting your needed vitamin A.
  • Salmon is not only one of the healthiest fishes to eat, it contains quite a lot of vitamin A

Magnesium

Why is it good for me?

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in your body, and the majority of it is stored in your bones. Maintaining a healthy level is important for maintaining a healthy immune system, maintaining nerve and muscle function, and keeping your bones strong. Ongoing research is also being conducted to see how magnesium ties into reducing your chances of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Healthy adults should aim to get 300-400 mg of magnesium a day.

Where can I get more of it?

  • Black Beans contain a great amount of magnesium. Make a black bean and corn salad or include black beans in your next salsa recipe.
  • Brown rice (not white) contains quite a bit of magnesium. Use it as a substitute for bread, pasta or other starch based foods when making meals.
  • Almonds contain large amounts of magnesium and can be used on salads or can be eaten by the handful. Toasted almonds also make for a delicious snack.
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About Author

Like all of us, Emily Janick struggles to get all the nutrients she needs but still tries her hardest. For more medical information, visit Autocam Medical, a surgical instrument and medical manufacturer.



Recommended: Use a voucher code MAS5385 to save an extra 5% when shopping for supplements on iHerb.

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