Today’s post is all about the importance of your diet. By now most of us know there is no magic bullet. By that I mean there’s no such thing as a one size fits all diet, and we all need to individualize our eating habits to best suit our lifestyle and goals. The wonderful people at Precision Nutrition recently came out with a guide to basic steps that you can take to analyze and improve your daily food needs. So what are most people likely lacking? When it comes to vitamin’s and minerals they are:
– B12 which helps keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, the genetic material in all cells. It can be found in foods like organ meats (beef liver), shellfish (clams), meat, poultry, eggs, milk and other dairy foods.
– B7 (biotin) helps support adrenal function, help calm and maintain a healthy nervous system, and are essential for the metabolism of carbohydrate and fat. It can be found in foods like organ meats, barley, brewer’s yeast (hooray for beer), fortified cereals, corn, egg yolks, milk, royal jelly, soy, and wheat bran.
– D which is used to absorb calcium and promote bone growth along with so much more. It can be found in fish and mushrooms.
– E a fat-soluble nutrient that protects cells from the damage caused by free radicals preventing cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, cataracts, and many other conditions. It can be found in Plant Oils (Wheat Germ), Sunflower Seeds, and Almonds.
– Chromium which is an essential part of metabolic processes that regulate blood sugar, and helps insulin transport glucose into cells, where it can be used for energy. It can be found in foods like whole-grain products, high-bran cereals, green beans, broccoli, nuts, and egg yolk.
– Calcium which in addition to building bones and keeping them healthy, calcium helps our blood clot, nerves send messages and muscles contract. It can be found in foods like almond milk, rice milk or soy milk, and fortified foods.
– Iodine which is needed to make thyroid hormones. It can be found in fortified salt, seaweed, and potatoes.
– Molybdenum which combines with sulfite oxidase to catalyze sulfur-containing amino acids that are crucial for human health. Can be found in Grain products and nuts.
– Zinc helps the immune system fight off invading bacteria and viruses and make proteins and DNA, the genetic material in all cells. Can be found in oysters (which contain more zinc per serving than any other food), red meat, and poultry.
The Big Picture
These nutrient deficiencies are just some examples of what we can be missing. Every person is truly individual so don’t just assume your diet is lacking all of the above examples. However, what can be said is that when our bodies don’t have the nutrients they need to do their work, we all suffer. But as soon as we get these nutrients, we thrive.