Most educated adults know the basic nutritional needs for day to day sustenance. We know that grains, vegetables, fruits, meats and proteins, and fats are important to have in the right portions every day. What we don't know is that it sometimes isn't enough. You might be following the food pyramid to a T, and are still missing some key nutrients that your body needs. Eating X amount of fruits and veggies every day is recommended, but that doesn't mean you are getting all that you need. There are many nutrients that we are told most adults aren't getting enough of, and it could cause long-term issues if gone untreated.
Calcium is needed in our bodies for so many reasons, but the biggest one is most likely bone health. Milk maintains bone strength and helps prevent against Osteoporosis. One study revealed that most Americans are not getting enough calcium, even with taking supplements. The problem with not getting enough calcium is that your body will start to extract it from your bones, which may result in more broken bones and low bone mass down the road.
We have all heard how important fiber is, for many reasons. The best source of fiber is from vegetables, but most adults eat less than half of the daily recommended amount of vegetables. Fiber's most important role is aiding in digestion, and helping keep you regular. The simplest way to get more fiber on a daily basis is by eating more fruits, veggies, grains and legumes. If that doesn't seem possible for you, there are supplements you can take to make sure your body gets enough.
Before my son got sick this weekend, I honestly didn't know how important Potassium is for the body. Cursed with a stomach virus that resulted in many messes for me to tend to, the doctors only concern was a potential deficiency in Potassium. It turns out that Potassium is very important for many different functions. In short, it helps your heart keep beating. It also helps prevent heart diseases and diabetes. It is hard for most people to get enough Potassium a day, because we are recommended to consume 4,700 milligrams per day. Only around 56% of Americans get enough each day, because it is replaced with sodium in most processed foods.
Magnesium is a mineral that is not thought about much, but packs a big punch. It is a part of over 300 metabolic reactions, and helps regulate blood pressure and sugar. Many foods contain magnesium, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains, yet only 45% of Americans get enough of the recommended amount. If you find that you can't get enough magnesium from your daily food intake, you can take supplements to ensure you get enough, just like any other nutrient.
All of these factors play a huge role in the day to day functioning of your body, yet most of our bodies are lacking. It can be hard to track your daily intake of some of these nutrients, so that is why much deficiencies go unnoticed until symptoms appear. Taking a daily vitamin or supplements for nutrients you don't get enough of is a simple way to make sure you are getting what you need. In fact, one Doctor even suggests a modern food pyramid including one called "Telo," which represents supplements and vitamins.
If you are concerned that you aren't getting what your body needs, or that you are at risk of a deficiency, never hesitate to talk with your doctor. They can help you identify warning signs and symptoms, and can always give you alternate solutions. Keeping our amazing bodies running at top notch can seem complicated, but if you try to take it a day at a time, step by step, it's not as hard as it seems.