What are the vitamins and minerals that many people these days lack? This article gives a rundown on some of the essential nutrients most people are missing out on.
I remember my mom telling us when we were younger to eat nutritious foods like fruits and vegetables. As a kid, it didn’t really resonate with me until I reached my teenage years. It was only then that I realized that said foods had the vitamins and minerals to keep me healthy.
The UK National Health Services defines vitamins and minerals as nutrients that our body needs for it to work properly. It can facilitate numerous body functions, from healing wounds, improving the immune system, promoting bone health, and repairing cellular damage.
However, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) says that American adults, in particularly, don’t get enough of the following vitamins—A, C, D and E. The typical American also doesn’t get enough calcium, potassium, and magnesium.
So how do you get the recommended daily intake of these vitamins and minerals? I will give you the rundown in this article.
Calcium is the mineral that our body needs to build strong bones and teeth. When I was younger, my mom would always scold me for not drinking milk. She said I wasn’t getting enough calcium because of that bad habit.
The USDA says that the average American who consumes about 2,000 calories every day should get at least 1,136 mg of calcium daily.
Of course, the best source of calcium remains milk and related products like yogurt and cheese. Eight ounces of non-fat yogurt, in fact, has around 400 milligrams of calcium. A cup of low-fat milk, on the other hand, has 300 milligrams of this essential mineral.
If you are lactose intolerant, you can make your own almond milk. You can also eat more beans like soybeans and white beans or oatmeal is also a good choice.
Potassium is essential in maintaining healthy blood pressure. But experts say that this is the nutrient that most Americans lack. The USDA says the recommended daily intake for the average American is about 4,000 milligrams of potassium.
White potatoes are among the best sources of potassium. One potato alone contains about 610 milligrams of potassium. Milk is a good choice, too. A cup of skim milk has 382 milligrams of potassium.
You can also eat more different kinds of beans like soybeans, white beans, and lima beans.
Fruits like bananas, peaches, cantaloupe and honeydew melon are also good sources of potassium. One medium banana, for example, already has 422 milligrams of potassium.
Magnesium is another nutrient that our bodies need. It helps the body produce energy and build muscles. It also aids in keeping the heart healthy. The average adult needs around 380 milligrams of this mineral every day.
Vegetables like pumpkin, spinach, and artichokes are excellent sources of this mineral. An ounce of pumpkin already contains 151 mg of potassium while ½ cup of spinach has around 80 mg of said mineral.
Beans are a good choice, too. A cup of soybeans has 150 mg of magnesium while a cup of white beans has about 130 mg of the mineral.
Vitamin A is the vitamin that makes our vision clearer. It can also promote cellular growth. Organ meats like liver are excellent sources of this vitamin. Three ounces of liver already has 1,500 mg of vitamin A.
You can also increase your intake of vegetables like pumpkin and carrots if you want to get more of this vitamin. Half a cup of pumpkin has 900 micrograms of vitamin A while carrots have 700 micrograms for every half a cup.
I am sure that you are familiar with vitamin C. This vitamin can keep us away from colds and flu. It also helps the body in forming collagen, the main protein found in bones, blood vessels, and muscles.
When it comes to this vitamin, you can’t go wrong with fruits. I know that oranges have always been associated with vitamin C, but there is a huge number of fruits which are rich in this vitamin type such as guava, mango, pineapple and kiwi.
This is the vitamin that our bodies need to maintain strong bones and teeth. It allows our bodies to absorb calcium, another mineral that is linked to bone growth.
But there aren’t a lot of foods rich in vitamin D. I know that fatty fish like salmon and canned tuna are good sources of vitamin D.
Exposure to sunlight is also ideal if you want to get some vitamin D. But don’t use sunscreen as it can lower your body’s exposure to this vitamin.
Vitamin E helps fight cellular damage. Some of the best sources of this vitamin are nuts and seeds, peanut butter, spinach, avocado, and tomatoes.
However, having too much of vitamins isn’t also ideal. For example, pregnant women should not have an overdose of vitamin A because it could pose risks to the development of the baby in the womb.
With the many functions that these nutrients support, it’s important that we get these essential vitamins and minerals.
However, we tend to rely too much on multivitamin supplements. Instead of taking vitamin supplements, why don’t you increase your intake of the foods I mentioned earlier? It’s a safer and a better way of getting the vitamins and minerals that your body needs.