Are you getting all the nutrients you need for your body? While eating healthy should always be on our minds, American diets still lack the essential nutrients our bodies need to prevent chronic disease.
A study published in the Journal of Food Composition and Analysis found that about 30 percent of the calories that Americans consume daily come from sweets, desserts, sodas, alcohol, and salty snacks – foods that are not on the longevity checklist.
The good news is that you can easily get the required nutrients to keep your health in peak shape and feeling like a healthy superstar!
In addition to promoting bone health, vitamin D is also a major factor in regulating metabolism, taming hunger cravings, and boosting your immune system. It is no surprise, then, to see more sniffles in the cold winter months when we are bundled away from the vitamin-D-giving sun. With the help of calcium and magnesium, vitamin D also improves bone development and cardiovascular health. If you seek a recipe for vitality and longevity you can start with vitamin D as one of the key ingredients and soak in some sunrays. If you prefer to stay in the shade, eat up vitamin D foods or try one of The Wellness Living supplement Super Vitamin D-3.
Vitamin D eats: herring, salmon, halibut, cod liver oil, catfish, mackerel, oysters, sardines, tuna, shrimp, eggs, and shiitake mushrooms.
2. Fish for the Omega
Omega-3 fatty acids have been under the research spotlight for quite a long time, due to their amazing health properties. Fatty acids are the building blocks of fats, which are vital nutrients. These mighty omegas curb inflammation, regulate blood clotting, build cell membranes and support cell health. Omega-3 is a polyunsaturated fat, which contributes to peak cardiovascular health by reducing blood triglycerides and LDL cholesterol. The body doesn’t produce omega-3 and most diets lack adequate amounts, so it is essential that you consume omega-rich foods regularly.
Omega-3 eats: fatty fish like salmon, tuna, sardines, and mackerel, walnuts, flaxseeds, hempseeds, wild rice; of course, you will also find these in omega-3 fortified dairy products and omega-3 enriched eggs.
3. Protect Your Cells with Vitamin E
As an antioxidant, vitamin E protects our cells from free radicals, and may help protect against cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. It is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins that our bodies require for optimal functioning. However, up to 93 percent of Americans lack sufficient amounts in their diet. Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are among the best sources of vitamin E, and significant amounts are available in green leafy vegetables and many fortified cereals.
Vitamin E eats: sunflower seeds, wheat germ, almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, olive oil, spinach, broccoli, kiwi, mango, and tomatoes.
4. Chew on Calcium
As the largest mineral in our bodies, calcium partners with vitamin D to keep our bones in peak shape, as well as to maintain proper nerve function and healthy blood pressure. Low intake of calcium has been associated with elevated blood pressure. It is best to receive our calcium from natural food sources to reap the benefits. The recommended daily intake is 1,000 milligrams per day for adults 19 to 50 years old and 1,200 mg for those over 50. Pregnant and breastfeeding women may need to require more.
Calcium eats: dark leafy greens, oranges, sardines, broccoli, nuts, seeds, salmon, apricots, currants, tofu, figs, and low-fat dairy products. If your diet does not include adequate amounts of calcium, you may take 1,000 mg calcium daily.
5. Munch on Magnesium
Another bone builder that about 56 percent of Americans lack is magnesium. It also maintains blood circulation, supports cardiovascular health, and helps your muscles and nerves relax.
Magnesium eats: nuts, Swiss chard, dark leafy greens, sunflower seeds, dark chocolate, squash, pumpkin, cucumbers, black beans, navy beans, cereals, and bran. Men should aim for about 420 mg/day and women 320 mg/day.
6. Vitamin C
Despite its high antioxidant content, over 30 percent of Americans are not getting enough vitamin C. This super vitamin is crucial for boosting your immune system, helping wounds heal, protecting against cancer, and fighting against free radical damage. The daily dosage for men includes 75 mg, while women require 90 mg, which is equivalent to one cup of chopped broccoli.
Vitamin C eats: broccoli, red bell peppers, cauliflower, parsley, lemon juice, strawberries, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, kiwi, papaya, guava—just about all fruits and vegetables have some amount of vitamin C!
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, best known as Dr. Mao is a bestselling author, doctor of Oriental Medicine and board certified anti-aging expert. He has appeared regularly on “Dr. Oz,” “The Doctors,” and “EXTRA.” Dr. Mao practices acupuncture, nutrition and Chinese medicine with his associates at the Tao of Wellness in Santa Monica and Newport Beach. Dr. Mao and his brother, Dr. Daoshing Ni founded Tao of Wellness more than 25 years ago in addition to also founding Yo San University in Marina del Rey. To make an appointment for evaluation and treatment please call 310.917.2200 or you can email Dr. Mao at firstname.lastname@example.org. To subscribe to his tip-filled newsletter please visit www.taoofwellness.com.