For those who are looking to take their nutrition to the next level, here are three important nutrients that many of us often don’t get enough of.
Q: I’d like to step up my nutrition for health reasons. What is the best place to get started to win at healthy eating?
By Mary Parsons, MS, RD:
You don’t have to be a health nut to want to step up your nutrition. You may have had a health scare or diagnosis, you may be trying to lose weight, you may want to “walk the talk” for your kids or you may just have noticed that you feel better when you’re eating a little better. Whatever your reason for stepping up your nutrition, today is a great day to get started.
We always think it’s best to focus on getting plenty of the good stuff (rather than stressing over avoiding the not-so-good stuff). Instead of getting caught up and derailed by giving up foods, get creative about adding more nutrients and nutrient-dense foods to your diet to take your nutrition to the next level.
Iron is the most common nutrient deficiency worldwide, and not getting enough will take its toll on your energy level. Keeping up with work, the kids or even a demanding workout requires that energy! Increase your intake with meat, poultry, beans, whole grains, and dark leafy greens.
Omega-3s are called “essential fatty acids” for a reason – we need them! Getting enough of these good fats in your diet is important for the heart, the brain, and even your skin and nails. When it comes to omega-3s, stepping up your nutrition may be good for your beauty routine. The best sources are salmon and other fatty fish, but you can also get omega-3s from flax and chia seeds.
Fiber may just seem like roughage, but it has huge effects on health! It can lower cholesterol levels, reduce your risk of certain cancers, and help with maintaining a healthy weight. Studies continue to underline the importance of fiber in the diet, whether your goal is to lose weight or control blood glucose after a type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Load up on fiber with your favorite fruits, veggies, and whole grains.
Stock your fridge and pantry with these foods to get enough of these important nutrients, but don’t forget to order them as part of your next restaurant meal, too. Make it your goal to include these nutrient-dense foods at every meal! Healthy dining dietitian picks like these can help: