Vitamins and nutrients are vital for our health, and sometimes our hectic lifestyles prevent us from eating a balanced diet. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines are a helpful guide made to help people understand the most common nutrients missing from our diets and the health consequences we could face. According to the guide, most Americans do not have enough of these nutrients and vitamins: calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, and vitamins A, D, E, C.
Why do we need magnesium?
This nutrient helps regulate our blood sugar levels, our blood pressure, it helps our muscles and nerves, and the recommended daily amount for adults women is around 320mg, while for men is 420 mg. Children and pregnant or breastfeeding women have different needs. For example, a child under 12 months needs less than 75 mg each day, while pregnant women need around 360 mg. Health providers and nutritionists can indicate the proper daily amount for each of us, depending on our gender, age, health problems, and other factors.
There are many fruits high in magnesium, such as legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains (they also help prevent type 2 diabetes), green vegetables, etc.
The health benefits of calcium
According to health experts, calcium is a nutrient essential for maintaining strong bones and having healthy muscles, heart, and nerves. Children who do not receive enough calcium from their diet and supplements may not grow in height as well, and adults with a small daily calcium intake might have osteoporosis. The daily calcium amount for each gender depends on a series of factors such as age group and other health conditions. Healthy men and women under 50 should consume around 1,000 mg of calcium each day.
For those who want to get the necessary calcium intake from foods, some of the most recommended products are calcium-fortified foods (soy products, milk beverages, and dairy foods), fish (sardines, salmon), green vegetables (broccoli, kale).
Vitamin D, Calcium, and phosphate are best friends
These three nutrients need to be consumed together for our body to absorb calcium. Vitamin D can be absorbed from sun exposure, supplements, salmon, and egg yolks. It might be crucial for all of us to ask our doctor about general blood tests to detect if we have enough nutrients and vitamins in our body or if we need supplements and dietary changes. Children with low levels of vitamin D can feel bone pains and develop rickets, doctors warn.
Why do we need phosphate?
Health experts explain that human bones contain 85% of the body’s phosphate and are necessary for healthy bone and teeth. Some people know this mineral under the name phosphorus. Some high phosphorus foods are poultry, pork, organ meats, seafood, seeds (sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds), dairy products, nuts, lentils, quinoa, beans, and whole grains.
Vitamin A or retinol
This vitamin has antioxidant properties, and it helps our vision, growth, reproductive system and boosts immunity. Healthy men should consume around 900 mcg, and healthy women should consume around 700mcg on a daily basis. Research on vitamin A has shown that it helps against acne, cancer, measles, and aging. Food high in vitamin A are carrots, cantaloupe, green leafy veggies.
Vitamin E: for healthy skin and vision
Health experts discovered this vitamin is essential to boost our immunity system and prevent infections. Vitamin E helps with our skin and vision, and some good sources are nuts, seeds, plant oils, and wheat germ. For 4 mg a day for men and 3 mg for women should be enough to help our body stay healthy.
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid
This vitamin helps us maintain healthy blood vessels, bones, cartilage and protects our cells. Overall, there are many health benefits of vitamin C, and we need to eat citrus fruits, broccoli, spinach, strawberries, peppers, and potatoes.