Is your diet healthy? Do you know? What would your guess be? Dietary Guidelines for Americans says many adults lack seven essential nutrients, calcium to fiber and many people and certain groups are missing even more. Making up for the nutrients many people are missing seems like a problem to hard to cure without supplements. Honestly, most of the time, proper food in the correct measurement s can take care of the lack of nutrients and solve many issues.

Calcium: An Essential Nutrient for Strong Muscles and Bones and Much More

For a little while there was a common belief that as you grew older your need for calcium grew less. This attitude has changed for many reasons. We know that calcium is needed in early development to bolster bones, but it is also needed to keep your skeleton strong over your lifetime. Calcium helps you to maintain a normal heart rhythm or rate and it assist in blood clotting and normal muscle function.

There have been studies that show a connection between a proper intake of calcium and lower blood pressure, along with and as well as weight control.

The experts that set nutrient quotas for the American consumer are known as the IOM (Institute of Medicine); state that calcium needs increase with age. They have determined what you need each day

according to your age:

19 to 50 year olds need 1,000 milligrams/day

51 and above need 1,200 milligrams/day

Three dairy food servings a day as part of your ordinary balanced diet gives most people the calcium they need. We’ve all heard this I’m sure, were you listening? You should try to get your calcium from foods, remember that Calcium is best absorbed in the presence of lactose (natural milk sugar). You can get about 300 milligrams of calcium from a serving of:

8 ounces of orange juice calcium added

8 ounces of a fortified soy beverage

1 ½ ounce of hard cheeses or

8 ounces of milk or yogurt

These food servings also provide magnesium from Dairy foods and soy and you get potassium from orange juice.

Fiber: Is a Nutrient that is Essential to Your Overall Health and Wellbeing

If you’ve ever had a problem with normal or regular bowl movements then you know that Fiber helps us maintain normal or regular bowl movements. But it also prevents other intestinal problems, Diverticular disease or intestinal inflammation. A lack of fiber can also be responsible for an increased risk of developing Hemorrhoids. Research studies show that foods rich in Fiber lower the risk of developing chronic conditions such as Cancer, Type 2 Diabetes, and Heart disease. Fiber also helps you with weight loss or to lose weight because Fiber is filling and it is found in foods that are relatively low in calories.

Because of this Fiber is very important to weight loss or weight control

Peoples need for Fiber is based on their calorie requirements, men and women generally differ in their daily fiber needs and generally quotas decline with age.

Men- 19 to 50 yrs, 38 grams/day 51 and up, 30 grams/day

Women- 19 to 50 yrs, 25 grams/day 51 and up, 21 grams/day

why don’t so many people get enough Fiber? Experts say it is because most people don’t eat enough plant foods or eat enough whole grains. Here’s some easy ways to increase your Fiber intake:

1- Make snacks of fruit or vegetables, eat whole grain crackers, pop corn is a good source of Fiber

2- Buy whole grain cereals and breads, pasta made of whole wheat, other whole grains include, quinoa, millet, barley, cracked wheat and wild rice.

3- Look for high Fiber breads and cereals per serving

4- Beans such as lentil, black beans, add chickpeas to salads.

5- Add vegetables, fruits and whole grains to every meal you prepare

Fresh fruits, vegetables and beans have a lot of potassium and beans also have magnesium.

Magnesium is an Essential Nutrient for Bones, Immunity and Much More

Magnesium is such an important mineral involved in so many of our body functions and necessary to maintain good health that it is a surprise not many people know that magnesium contributes to our immunity system, bone strength and normalizes nerve, muscle and heart function.

1- Men 19-30 400 milligrams/day 31 and up 420 milligrams/day

2- Women 19-30 310 milligrams/day 31 and up 320 milligrams/day

These foods have magnesium:

1- Whole grains, cracked wheat and quinoa

2- Pumpkin seeds, almonds

3- Black beans, white beans and soy

4- Dairy foods

Vitamin E Combats Free Radicals and is an Essential Nutrient

Vitamin E is found mainly in fatty foods, nuts, seeds and oils. It’s a very strong antioxidant that combats free radicals. Free radicals are unstable oxygen molecules that come from normal metabolism and being exposed to air pollution, cigarette smoke and strong ultraviolet rays. Foods give us eight types of vitamin E. However experts have determined that E (AT) alpha-tocopherol is the most useful type of the vitamin E form. Men and women over the age of 19 need 15 milligrams of E (AT) every day. Here are foods that have vitamin E:

1- Sunflower seeds, almonds

2- Sunflower and safflower oil use these instead of corn or vegetable oils

3- Vitamin E fortified whole grain cereals

4- Nut butter

Vitamin A and Carotenoids for your Eyes

For good health you need vitamin A for gene expression, tissue growth and normal vision. It’s also needed for proper immune function and various other duties. There are two forms of Vitamin A, Retinol (these are preformed and ready for the body to use) and Carotenoids (the raw materials the body converts to vitamin A). WE have no problem eating enough Retinol, buy we don’t get nearly enough Carotenoids. There is no daily quota established for Carotenoids, but foods rich in Carotenoids are rich in healthy nutrients. If you’re not eating colorful produce, start and you will get all of the carotenoids you need. You get Carotenoids from: Carrots, Sweet potato, Pumpkin, Spinach, Cantaloupe, Sweet red pepper and Broccoli.

Potassium is an Essential Nutrient for Muscles and Nerves

People have Potassium in every cell of their body. If you’ve ever had a lot of muscle cramps you have learned that Potassium is involved in normal muscle contraction, transmission of nerve impulses and fluid balance. It also promotes strong bones and is necessary for energy production. Proper potassium intake also helps to fight high blood pressure that occurs as we get older. Men and women over age 19

need 4700 milligrams of potassium every day. If you have high blood pressure you should check with your doctor and Pharmacist to make sure the medications you’re taking to control it do not cause your body to lose potassium. You get potassium in these foods: White beans, spinach, sweet potato, fat free yogurt, orange juice, broccoli and cantaloupe.

Vitamin C is Necessary for a Healthy Immune System

Vitamin C is trumpeted for helping the body fight off germs and cancer and it is believed to play a large role in strengthening our immune system. Most research on cancer prevention and diet look at the benefits of a diet eating a lot of fruits, vegetables and whole grains, not single nutrient supplements like vitamin C. Vitamin C is necessary for the production of collagen. Collagen is the connective tissue that keeps muscles, skin and other tissues, including bone healthy. Vitamin C is also a powerful antioxidant and helps prevent cellular damage. Men and women need vitamin C daily:

1- Men 19 and up 90 milligrams/day

2-Women 19 and up 75 milligrams/day

Your body doesn’t store vitamin C so you need to get it every day, here’s where:

Raw sweet red pepper, Kiwi, Orange juice, Strawberries, Cantaloupe and Broccoli

If you aren’t getting all of the necessary vitamins and minerals in the nutrition you need for your body to function normally, like a fine tuned machine weight loss is practically impossible. There are just so many variables that affect your metabolism that if you aren’t eating right it will just make it impossible to lose weight. Remember also there is a balance to maintain between not enough and too much.

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