Getting Nutrients from Foods and Supplements: What to Know

If you have tried to lose weight or been diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease, or cancer, you might have been told that you must follow a special diet. Many doctors recommend following a low-sodium (or no-sodium) diet. This involves eating less salt, such as processed meat, seasoning, or soup. People with diabetes or heart disease are usually told to limit fat, while some people with high blood pressure are told to cut back on salt.

If you currently eat a healthful diet, you may think you are getting all the nutrients you need from food alone. But even the healthiest diets fail to provide the recommended minimum amounts of many vitamins and minerals. Here are what you should know about the nutrients that you should get from food and supplements.

Nutrients from Foods:

Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates are one food category that often gets a bad rap, but carbohydrates do offer several key health benefits. Carbohydrates are a healthy source of energy for your body, and your body needs carbohydrates to survive. Carbohydrates range from simple carbohydrates, like sugar, to more complex carbohydrates. Dietary carbohydrates are found in many foods, including fruits, vegetables, bread, cereals, pasta, rice, beans, and potatoes.

Protein

Protein is classified as a macronutrient, like carbs and fat. When people think about protein, they usually think about meat and eggs, and while these protein sources are true, they can also be found in other foods. Protein is a macronutrient because it provides the body with energy. It also helps keep us full throughout the day and aids in building and repairing muscles. Since protein can help make us feel full, it can prevent overeating. Adding protein to your meals is important, even if it is small amounts, you can build on it as you discover new foods that are protein rich.

Vitamins and minerals

These essential nutrients are your body’s powerhouses, providing energy, protecting it from disease, and helping it function properly. Vitamin D, for example, helps your body absorb calcium. Iron helps red blood cells carry oxygen. And vitamin C helps your immune system fight infections. Good sources of vitamins and minerals include meat, fish, eggs, dairy products, whole grains, and dark green vegetables like broccoli and spinach. It is important to get a variety throughout your food groups, so you are hitting all the right targets for your health.

Nutrients from Supplements:

Vitamin D-3

Vitamin D-3 is a fat-soluble vitamin that you can take as a supplement or in foods like fish, eggs, cheese, and milk. Having enough vitamin D-3 in your body is important in maintaining a healthy immune system. It is also important for bone health, and new research has linked low vitamin D-3 levels to an increased risk of developing certain types of cancer.

Magnesium

Magnesium is vital in our body, especially for our muscles. It plays an important role in more than 300 biochemical reactions. There are different supplements to boost magnesium intake. They help lower the chances of arrhythmias, improve sleep, balance blood sugar, and prevent kidney stones and menstrual cramps. Magnesium is a mineral that supports bones, muscles, and nerves. It balances electrolytes, reduces stress, supports cardiovascular health and weight loss, and promotes sleep.

In this era, when an increased amount of people are becoming health conscious, they need to know the foods packed with nutrients. They also need to know the importance of the nutrients you can get from foods and supplements. There are 17 nutrients that are essential for our body, and it is important to know about them and how they can function within us. While many people view vitamins and minerals as supplements, the truth is that food provides many nutrients we need to get through each day.

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