Why Are Americans Deficient in Nutrients?
It is a paradox that Americans are overfed and undernourished. We can point to poor diet choices of processed foods, fast food, junk food and lack of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet as well as conventional farming that has resulted in nutrient poor soil.
What Are the Seven Nutrients Many Americans are Lacking?
In my last post I covered the first 3 nutrients; Vitamin E, Vitamin C and Fiber. According to the NHANES study many Americans should increase their intakes of the following seven nutrients:
About 56 percent of Americans are lacking in magnesium, a nutrient that is essential to build and strengthen your bones, keep your blood circulating smoothly, support your heart health and help your nerves and muscles to relax.
Food Sources: Swiss chard, spinach, squash, pumpkin seeds, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, black beans and navy beans.
5. Vitamin A
Vitamin A helps to preserve and improve your eyesight, promotes healthy skin and boosts your immune function, but about 44 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough.
Food Sources: Raw carrots, calf’s liver, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe, spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, apricots, red bell peppers.
About 70 percent of Americans don’t get enough calcium, which helps maintain strong bones, supports nerve and muscle function, and may help maintain normal blood pressure.
Food Sources: Yogurt, sesame seeds, milk, spinach, greens (mustard, turnip and collard), broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, oranges.
Potassium helps your nerves and muscles function properly, maintains normal blood pressure and helps regulate body fluids, yet 97 percent of Americans aren’t getting enough.
Food Sources: Swiss chard, spinach, lima beans, avocado, pinto beans, papaya, lentils, eggplant, beets, strawberries
Remember, the best source of your nutrients is always food. Talk to your doctor today if you suspect that you are lacking in nutrients because your diet is low in the foods that provide them.