Nutrients You Need Every Day

What Healthy Nutrients Should You be Getting Every Day?


Eating healthy means optimizing our health, and getting more out of your daily food choices! It is important to know that some food options are better than others!

Check out these 4 dietary sources that can nourish your body more after taking your multivitamin. It is always better to get a variety of healthy foods in your diet in order to gain a wide range of critical nutrients that your body needs, instead of just improving one nutrient at a time.

Nutrient #1:  Selenium


Tuna

We only require a small amount of selenium in our diet, but it is one of the most important minerals. It is an antioxidant that protects your body, and it works with Iodine to help support thyroid function.

Selenium is used to support our internal detoxification system, and helps alleviate oxidative stress! If you do not get enough of this nutrient it can lead to hypothyroidism, suppress your immune function, make you depressed, make men infertile, and contribute to cardiovascular disease. 

Where Can I Get it?

Selenium can be found in soil and you can get it through eating plant foods. However, the quality of the selenium in the soil determines the amount that is found in the food, and that is available for absorption. Adults need to get about 55 mcg of selenium each day from foods that have selenium. Foods that usually have selenium are fish and shellfish, animal meats, whole grains, and seeds.

Here are some selenium sources:

4 ounces of fish:  Tuna (121 mcg), and shrimp (56 mcg)

4 ounces of meat:  Dark turkey (34 mcg), and chicken (31 mcg)

1/4 cup of nuts/seeds:  Sunflower seeds (18.5 mcg), and sesame seeds (13 mcg)

Nutrient #2: Iodine


Iodine crystals

The right amount of iodine is essential for optimal thyroid function, but it can be difficult to get the right amount. It is critical to help the thyroid gland regulate energy production for every cell in your body. I am also staring to see a lot more research on iodine on how it relates to other areas of metabolism.

If you do not get enough of iodine it can lead to hypothyroidism, and goiter (enlargement of the thyroid gland). 

Since most people eat a lot of processed foods that have little iodine, take lots of medication (that impairs iodine absorption), and since there is low iodine in our soil, iodine intake has decreased very rapidly over the last few decades. 

Where Can I Get it?

Foods that are rich in iodine include dairy foods, eggs, fish, and sea vegetables. Adults should consume about 150 mcg each day. Vegans need to consume sea vegetables very often since they avoid animal meats and animal products, which are sources of iodine. 

Here are some sources of iodine:

1 tablespoon of sea vegetables (750 mcg)

4 ounces of fish: Cod (132 mcg), and shrimp (46 mcg)

1 cup of dairy:  Yogurt (71 mcg), milk (56 mcg), and 1 egg (27 mcg)

Nutrient #3: Vitamin B12


Salmon

Vitamin B12 helps with energy metabolism, as well as cardiovascular support, DNA production, and energy support for the brain/nervous system. It has the ability to store itself within the body for extended period of time, and you do not need to consume very much on a daily basis.

Being deficient in Vitamin B12 is pretty rare, but the people that are deficient are at risk (usually adults ages 51 or older if they take certain medications, and people who do not eat fish or other animals). 

If you do not get enough Vitamin B12 you could potentially become anemic, have a lot of fatigue, or be very depressed.

Where Can I Get it?

Land animals and fish have high levels of B12, because of their ability to build up and store it in their cells. However, microorganisms have the ability to produce B12, such as fungi or mushrooms.

Adults should have about 2.4 mcg each day, and also make sure that they are getting all of the other B vitamins and folic acid in order to support absorption of vitamin B12.  

Here are some vitamin B12 sources:

4 ounces of fish:  Salmon (5.6 mcg), tuna (2.6 mcg), and cod (2.6 mcg)

4 ounces of meat:  Lamb (2.5 mcg), and beef  (1.4 mcg)

1 cup of mushrooms: Crimini (0.07 mcg)

Nutrient #4: Iron


Iron

Iron supports energy production and helps transport oxygen to your cells and tissues in your body. Oxygen transport occurs when iron is supplied to red blood cells that then supplies oxygen to the tissues in the body.  

If this process doesn’t occur, your body will not be able to handle bursts of activity or exercise. Iron also a unique ingredient required in metabolic functioning and energy production for our muscles. If you do not get adequate iron it can cause fatigue. Iron deficiency is one of the most common nutrient deficiencies!  

Iron deficiency is very common in pre-menopausal women and children, but also in individuals who are repeat blood donors, endurance athletes, or who have gastrointestinal problems that may lead to malabsorption.

Where Can I Get it?

Adult women should consume 18 mg each day, and adult men should consume 8 mg. This recommendation is higher for pregnant and lactating women. 

Incorporating vitamin C will help your body absorb iron more efficiently. There is good vitamin C in grapefruit, bell peppers, etc. Most people associate iron with red meat, but there are also many plant foods that have absorbable forms of iron, like greens, beans, and seeds.  

Here are some top dietary picks you can incorporate.

3 ounces of meat:  Beef (4 mg),  and lamb (5 mg)

1 cup of cooked vegetables:  Spinach (6 mg), and collard greens (2 mg)

1 cup of beans:  Lentils (6.5 mg), and lima beans (4.5 mg)

1/4 cup of seeds:  Sesame seeds (5mg), and pumpkin seeds (3 mg)

You can get all of these things in my #1 recommended multivitamin

If you have any questions about these nutrients you need every day please leave a comment below!

Live Well and Live On,

Karissa

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This article has 4 Comments

  1. It’s good to know some of the nutrients our body needs daily. I take a multivitamin with iron every day, along with a separate magnesium supplement, while trying to get what I can through foods. I’ll take a look at the foods you listed and try to incorporate them into my diet!

  2. I was looking for the essential minerals I should consume and so I found your article on the topic. Very informative and useful!

    I have to say I’m calmer now that I’ve read it. I take iron capsules for a while already and I’m eating ton’s of fish and beans (these are actually the basis of my diet). According to your post I take enough of Selenium, Iodine and B12 with the food I consume! 😀

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