Important Nutrients For Good Health

Photo Credit: Kander Public Domain

Many Americans do not get enough vitamins and minerals in their diet. According to a study in the Journal of Nutrition, 25% do not get enough Vitamin C, 70% do not get enough Vitamin D, 60% do not get enough Vitamin E. Trace elements, such as potassium and magnesium, are also lacking in the American diet. These nutrients are essential for good health. Supplements can help, but the best source of vitamins and minerals is food. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, lean meats, fish and grains contain nutrients that your body needs everyday. Eat a balanced diet by including nutrient-rich foods. A nutrition consultant can help you create a diet plan so that you get all the nutrients you need from the foods you eat. A healthy diet of foods rich in vitamins and minerals have important health benefits including lower blood pressure, combat osteoporosis, healthy heart and improved mood.
Potassium is an important nutrient to help maintain a lower blood pressure, healthy muscles and nerves. Potassium is found in foods like potatoes, bananas, dry beans, avocados and dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Magnesium also helps maintain a healthy blood pressure, promote bone health and healthy heart muscle. Magnesium deficiency can cause muscle cramps. Beans, peas, nuts and grains are rich in magnesium. Fiber helps to promote a healthy digestive system and may lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes. Fiber is also an important part of any weight-loss diet. Foods that are high in fiber include beans, whole grains, nuts, fruits, carrots, artichokes and corn.
Vitamin A is an important nutrient for a healthy immune system and eye health. The two types of vitamin A are beta-carotene and retinol. Foods loaded with this important nutrient include carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, broccoli and spinach. You can get enough vitamin A by adding yellow and dark green vegetables to your diet. Vitamin D is essential for strong, healthy bones and muscles. Your body can make small amounts of vitamin D by exposure to sunlight, but you need to eat foods rich in this nutrient to make sure you get enough vitamin D for a healthy body. Almost everyone knows milk and cheeses contain vitamin D, but the nutrient is also found in salmon, mackerel, liver, eggs and in mushrooms.  Vitamin C is important not only for a healthy immune system, but also for healthy cells. Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to remove free radicals from the body. This vitamin is found in citrus fruits, juices and vegetables. 

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