Everyone needs the vitamins and minerals in food to stay healthy, but research shows a lot of people get less than adequate amounts.
What to do? Start by having your doctor determine which nutrients you are falling short of. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that most Americans lack calcium, potassium, magnesium, and Vitamins A, C, D and E.
Calcium helps you maintain strong bones and teeth. Potassium helps keep your blood pressure in check. Magnesium helps your heart, arteries and muscles work properly and helps you produce energy.
Vitamin A promotes cell growth and repair, and fosters vision. Vitamin C helps generate collagen — the main protein in connective tissue — in blood vessels, bones, cartilage, and muscle. Vitamin D allows the body to absorb the calcium it needs for strong bones and teeth. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps prevent damage to cells.
Once your doctor tells you what nutrients you need more of, try changing your diet to bolster those levels. The doctor can give you suggestions, and the Internet has tons of information on what foods are the best sources of specific vitamins and minerals.
After you’ve identified those foods, buy more of them and start working them into your diet. If you want to be super-conscientious, plan your menus a week at a time, working some of the foods you need into each meal. But if being organized isn’t your thing, make a point of being mindful every day of what foods you need more of, and you will probably do just fine.
Sources of calcium include milk, seafood, beans, spinach and oatmeal. You’ll find potassium in potatoes, beans, yogurt, milk, fruit, tomatoes and fish. Magnesium sources include spinach, artichokes, beans, bran cereal, brown rice and nuts. Foods rich in Vitamin A include liver, sweet potatoes, carrots and pumpkin, turnip greens and cantaloupe.
You’ll find Vitamin C in lots of fruits — oranges are the ones we usually think about — and in pepper, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and cauliflower. Sources of Vitamin D include fish, dairy products and cereal. Foods with lots of Vitamin E include seeds and nuts, peanut butter, avocados and tomatoes.
Another way of getting the nutrients you need is taking a multivitamin complex — or diet supplement containing a mix of the vitamins and minerals you need to stay healthy. An excellent choice is Schaeffer Nutraceuticals’ viproactive® complex, a scientifically formulated, balanced combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids and other nutrients you need. It is for men and women who not only want to avoid health problems stemming from nutrient deficiencies, but also want a smooth-functioning metabolism.