Nutrition is the foundation of health and vitality. There is a wide range of nutrients that your body need in order to function properly. Some of these nutrients can cause major issues if your diet lacks them. This article will provide you with some of the most common deficiencies and give you some pointers on how to make sure that you achieve balance. If you are not frequently eating the foods on the list you might be missing some important nutrients. Give some of the items a try and maybe you will find a new healthy favorite vegetable, fruit, or protein source. The listed food items that are listed are naturally high in these nutrients, however, they are not the only foods containing these nutrients. All of the listed nutrients can be ingested as a supplement. The goal should, however, be to meet as much of your nutritional requirements as possible from whole foods sources. This will allow for better satiety, ingesting of important co-factors, and ensure that nutrient dense food is your diet staple.
Magnesium is a mineral that is used in many different processes. The RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) is 300mg per day. This is a level that most people is far from reaching. People that have an adequate amount of have been shown to have:
- Less body fat
- Improved sleep quality
- Better physical performance
- More stable blood sugar control
The list can be made even longer and it’s clear that magnesium plays a very important role. Now to make sure that you reach an adequate level here are some foods that are high in Magnesium.
- Dark leafy greens (spinach, chard, kale, etc.)
- Pumpkin seeds
Another nutrient that is very important is Vitamin K. This vitamin is important for proper blood coagulation and bone health. The RDA for Vitamin K is 120 micrograms for men and 90 micrograms for women. People that reach a sufficient level of Vitamin K has been shown to have better:
- Bone health
- Blood sugar control
- Cardiovascular health
- Longer life span
These benefits are hugely important. That is why these foods should be included on a weekly or daily basis.
- Dark leafy greens (spinach, chard, kale, etc.)
- Brussel sprouts
Omega-3’s have become very popular in the last couple of years and for good reasons. Omega-3 is a group of fats that have several health benefits. The two most important fats are called EPA (Eicosapentaenoic acid) & DHA (Docosahexaenoic acid). These are essential to the human body and can not be produced from other nutrients. Getting enough Omega-3’s has been shown to improve:
- Brain health
- Heart health
- Recovery from exercise
- Improve fat burning
The role of Omega-3’s are substantial and there are many ways you can ensure that your diet provides enough of these. These are some dietary sources that will provide plenty of healthy Omega-3s:
This list is skewed towards seafood and animal products. There are many vegetable sources that contain omega-3s as well such as flax seeds, chia seeds, and hemp. However, vegetable sources of Omega-3s do not get utilized in the body as well as animal sources of Omega-3s.
Protein is a macronutrient that is essential for good health. The previous nutrients listed are micronutrients. They are called micronutrients because the actual amount your body needs is very small amounts such as micrograms. Protein is a macronutrient meaning that you need larger amounts (grams). Proteins are used for several important functions such as building blocks for tissues and energy.
People that consume a higher protein content has been shown to:
- Retain more strength as they age
- Have a lower body fat percentage
- Helps with recovery from exercise
- Improve satiety after meals
These are all very important factors relating to health and there are many food items that contain a good amount of protein. Animal sources will be the highest in protein compared to vegetables. These foods are packed with protein:
- Dairy products
- Nuts and beans (high in protein compared to other non-animal sources)
There have been several items listed that are rich in nutrition. If you are looking for a specific meal that will provide a good dose of all the listed nutrients then give this salad a try.
- 6 oz grilled salmon
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1 oz slivered almonds
- ½ cup cherry tomatoes
- ⅓ cup of chopped cucumber
- *If you are feeling adventurous add some berries and a vinaigrette for more flavor
Start filling up your grocery cart with these items today and you will see and feel a noticeable improvement. Proper nutrition is the foundation of good health and hopefully, you will be able to implement this information into your daily life.
B.S. Exercise Science from Lindenwood University
Started CrossFit in 2010.
Favorite thing about what I do:
To help and see people improve their fitness and confidence
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist by the National Strength and Conditioning Association
CF L1 Coach
CF L2 Coach
USAW Sports Performance Coach & club coach