By now we’ve given you enough information to get excited about eating whole foods, and you’re ready to launch your healthy transformation and your journey toward the best version of you. One major element of good health that far too many people overlook is vitamin and mineral intake. We spend a considerable amount of time and energy making sure we get the right amount of calories in the form of proteins, good carbs and healthy fats, but then we completely overlook the micronutrient facet of things.
If you start to fall short in certain vitamins and minerals, this can have a significant influence on the quality of results that you see from your diet plan and how you feel on a day to day basis. Three of these nutrients in particular are missing from most people’s diets. So, look over your meal plan to check that you’re getting enough of each of these to support optimal health.
Most often found in red meat, iron is also present in many vegetables, legumes and some grains. The roll of iron in the body is to support proper growth and development, as well as to ensure that your overall red blood cell concentration remains where it should be. When red blood cell counts start dropping, you will find that you feel fatigued often throughout the day. This is because your body isn’t getting oxygen and nutrients to the tissue cells as it should. Those who suffer from iron-deficiency anemia, which is a state where iron status has been low for quite some time, will experience dry brittle hair and nails, feeling cold all the time, a general sense of weakness, and low endurance levels. To up your iron intake, focus on eating plenty of lean sources of red meat such as beef, venison and bison. Good vegetable sources of iron are beets and spinach.
This is often termed the sunshine vitamin because it is manufactured in your body naturally when you are out in direct sunlight. Since many people aren’t spending as much time outdoors these days because of the threat of skin cancer (or they are using sunscreen to protect their skin when they do go out), this means that they will not be likely to reach an adequate intake of Vitamin D the old-fashioned way. Those who are deficient in vitamin D can be at a higher risk of heart attack or stroke due to the fact that this vitamin can help control inflammation in the arteries. You can assess your current level of Vitamin D in your blood by having your doctor perform a test for it and if you are falling short, consider adding a supplement to your diet plan.
Finally, the last deficiency that is relatively common is potassium. This is an essential mineral in the body and helps with maintaining a regular heartbeat, so it’s not one that you can afford to overlook. Furthermore, potassium helps the cells in the body to utilize the glucose that you are taking in, thereby helping ensure that your energy levels stay up to where they need to be. Potassium is found most readily in fresh fruits and vegetables, and with most of the population not getting as many of these nutrient-dense foods as they should, we’re seeing the deficiencies increasing. In addition to issues with maintaining a regular heartbeat, potassium deficiencies can also lead to low blood pressure and a general feeling of weakness in the body as well. If you’re a highly active individual, it’s also going to be essential that you maintain a good potassium-sodium balance in the body as you can lose these nutrients when you sweat heavily. Some of the best foods for potassium include peaches, bananas, potatoes and avocados.
One thing that you can do to encourage a better overall nutritional status is to eat a wide variety of foods, rather than gravitating to the same five favorites over and over again. Are you looking for an effective and easy weight-loss program? Check out The 3 Week Diet for a plan that fits your lifestyle.
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