September 15, 2021
Healthy eating isn’t necessarily difficult, but it does require you to plan. Consuming plenty of fruits and vegetables, protein foods, and drinking plenty of water are all cornerstones to a balanced diet, but that’s only the start. There are a handful of essential nutrients your body needs on a daily basis that can be obtained through your diet, supplements, or other means. Here are the nutrients to plan for each day, and how to get them.
Your body needs nine amino acids to function: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. These play an important role in helping your body break down food, repair, and grow. These essential nutrients aren’t naturally made by your body, so to get them, you need to eat plenty of protein such as meat, fish, eggs, or dairy. Even vegans can get plenty of amino acids by eating a healthy balance of legumes, seeds, nuts, and grains.
There are many different types of fatty acids your body needs to function. Unlike saturated fats and trans fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats are beneficial, and are essential to ensure that your cells function correctly. The most important of these are omega-3s, which can help reduce triglycerides in your blood and liver. They can also help with mood disorders, eye health, and much more . Fruits, fish and fish oils, vegetable oils, seeds, and nuts can all be sources of fatty acids, as well as supplements.
Your body needs 13 vitamins; two of them — D and K — can be naturally produced. The other 11 — vitamins A, C, E, and the B vitamins (thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and folate) — must come through your diet. The best way to get the right mix of vitamins is to eat a balanced diet, although supplements can help as well. Look for foods that are labeled as “fortified” if you’re not getting enough vitamins.
Minerals play a significant role in keeping your bones strong and your organs functioning properly. Calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, potassium, chloride, and sulfur are the minerals you need large quantities of, and these can be found in a variety of foods. There are other minerals your body requires in smaller amounts, such as iron, manganese, copper, iodine, zinc, cobalt, and fluoride.
Several dozen essential nutrients may seem like a lot, but for most people, the key is variety in their diet. Each of the essential nutrients — and water — are required for your body to function correctly, so make sure you get plenty in what you eat and drink each day. Chances are that if you’re coming up short anywhere, it’s on vitamin D or potassium.
There are a number of ways to get these nutrients, so when in doubt, check the label! The nutrition information label on the food you eat provides insights about what’s going into your body. Use this information to ensure you’re getting everything your body needs to remain on the road to wellness.
Information on this site is provided for informational purposes and is not meant to substitute for the advice provided by your own physician or other medical professional. You should not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication. If you have, or suspect that you have, a medical problem, promptly contact your health care provider.