Three commonly overlooked nutrients you might be missing
There are the big dietary do’s you know you need, like fiber, vitamin C and calcium. But just because a nutrient is less-known doesn’t mean it’s any less important. The three below don’t usually make headlines, but they are still very necessary for your health.
Potassium: Potassium is vitally important–it helps trigger every heartbeat! That makes it especially important if you have any heart issues, like high blood pressure or a heart rhythm problem. And that’s not all potassium does—it also improves the function of nerves, muscles and kidneys. If you don’t get enough potassium (4,700 milligrams a day), you might have an increased risk for kidney stones and osteoporosis. Make sure to eat a relatively healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables, since potassium-rich foods include fruits (bananas, yes, but also oranges and strawberries), potatoes, spinach, beans, peas and seafood.
Magnesium: This nutrient has many uses in your body. One is that it helps balance calcium, meaning that if there isn’t enough magnesium, you calcium can build up and lead to arthritis and hardened arteries. Magnesium also works another way with calcium, helping your bones absorb it and keeping your skeleton strong. On top of that, magnesium helps with constipation, improves heart function, lowers your risk of diabetes and more. This wide-reaching benefit has led some experts to call magnesium a “miracle mineral.” To get magnesium (aim for 400 mg a day), load up on dark green vegetables, beans, wheat, fish and nuts (and a supplement if you think you need it).
Vitamin E: Getting the recommended 15 mg of vitamin E every day is important because vitamin E is an antioxidant that removes cancer-causing free radicals from your body. It’s found in healthy fats, so you can get it in nuts like almonds, seeds like sunflower seeds, and oils. It’s also in dark leafy greens, avocado, mango, asparagus and red peppers.
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