Key Nutrients Your Diet May be Lacking

Posted September 7, 2010 by

It’s very important to get the full range of vitamins and minerals in your daily nutrition plan, but sometimes this is easier said than done—particularly when you take into consideration the wide variety of empty-calorie foods that plague the modern diet, such as fast food, refined grains, candy and so on. In fact, more than 80 percent of Americans don’t meet the daily recommendations for key nutrients! While a multivitamin can help patch up areas that are lacking on occasion, you should always attempt to meet your requirements with whole food sources before relying on artificial sources.

In addition to helping maintain a healthy immune system, many vitamins and other micronutrients are necessary for hormone production, which means that in order to maintain a healthy metabolism, we need to educate ourselves on how to make smart food choices that allow us to get all those vitamins and minerals we need each day.

Here are just a few of the key nutrients you may not be getting enough of each day, along with the recommended daily intake provided by the world-renowned Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.

  • Zinc (15 mg/day): Zinc levels are linked to levels of leptin, the hormone that helps us feel satisfied after eating.
    Food sources: 2 medium oysters (76 mg); 3 oz Alaska king crab (6.5 mg); 1 oz cashews (1.6 mg)
  • Pantothenic acid (5 mg/day): All steroid hormones, including estrogen, testosterone and progesterone, can be produced only when you have enough pantothenic acid, or vitamin B5.
    Food sources: 8 ounces yogurt (1.35 mg); ½ cup sweet potato (0.88 mg)
  • Potassium (4.7 g/day): Potassium is both a mineral and an electrolyte that regulates as much as 40 percent of our resting metabolic rate, and along with sodium, helps regulate muscular and subcutaneous water retention.
    Food sources: 1 medium baked potato (926 mg); 6 ounces tomato juice (417 mg)
  • Vitamin B6 (2 mg/day): This vitamin helps the body release glucose from stored glycogen. It also binds to the receptors for steroid hormones, preventing the uptake of excessive hormones and thus possibly helping to reduce the risk of breast and prostate cancer.
    Food sources: 3 ounces chicken (0.51 mg); 1 medium banana (0.43 mg)

Comments on Key Nutrients Your Diet May be Lacking »

  1. Erinn Tolly

    I have found the best method to acquire all your B vitamins is to just take a mutli-B vitamin each morning. they contain 100% of the RDA. In addition some of the greatest resources of natural vitamins are always found in fruit and veggies, you really can’t go wrong with fruit and veg..