Eating enough essential nutrients from our diet, for our bodies to function optimally is the name of the wellness game. As a health copywriter I am often writing about which essential nutrients your specific health condition requires, varies enormously from each. Some of the critical nutrients most of us need daily are calcium, magnesium, vitamin D3 and omega fatty acids.
Key Nutrient #1: Calcium
Calcium is typically associated with bone health, and for a good reason. It plays a critical role in the building and maintenance of healthy bones. Meeting your body’s need for calcium is a long-term project since your lifelong calcium intake along with individual lifestyle choices can affect your body’s calcium stores as you age.
Calcium’s role in the body does not stop with building healthy bones. It’s also essential for healthy cardiovascular function through its role in regulating healthy blood pressure. Additionally, studies have also shown that diets rich in calcium is associated with lower levels of body fat and lower body weight.
Dairy foods and dark green vegetables provide a healthy source of calcium along with an array of other essential nutrients. If you are concerned about consistently getting enough of these foods in your diet, supplementation has been shown to be a useful option. Recently, researchers found that post-menopausal women absorbed calcium equally as well from supplements as they did from dairy-rich foods.
Key Nutrient #2: Magnesium
Another essential mineral is magnesium. Magnesium plays a critical role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. It helps support normal nerve function, blood pressure, the maintenance of healthy bones, and a steady heartbeat. Unfortunately, experts believe that many adults are deficient in this vital mineral. A 2005-2006 study showed that as many as 48 percent of Americans were not getting enough magnesium in their diets. Inadequate magnesium levels contribute to higher risk for poor health over time.
Key Nutrient #3: Vitamin D3
Commonly known as the “sunshine vitamin,” vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that may be an essential contributor to bone health. For post-menopausal women, vitamin D3 supplementation may support increased muscle strength and growth.
Because exposure to sunlight helps the body make its vitamin D, many believe they get all that they need through their daily outdoor activity. However, studies have shown that an inadequate level of vitamin D is typical, especially among women.
The body requires sunlight to produce vitamin D. Factors like the time of year, weather conditions, and where you live can affect your ability to meet your requirement for vitamin D. Those who have a darker skin tone, older adults, or people who don’t spend enough time outdoors may be at risk for low vitamin D levels.
Few foods provide an excellent source of vitamin D. Experts suggests supplementing vitamin D as cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3, as a compelling choice to ensure healthy vitamin D levels.
Key Nutrient #4: Omega 3 & Omega 6 Fatty Acids
Our bodies need them for:
supporting brain and eye health
lowering blood pressure
body fat loss
Quality matters with these. Omega 6 - can be found in many foods. Omega 3 - often requires supplementing.
Omega-3 fatty acids, mainly as EPA and DHA, are essential for supporting women’s heart health. The American Heart Association recommends that adults consume at least two servings of fish each week as a source of EPA and DHA. Unfortunately, an extensive, national nutrition survey showed that few are consistently meeting these recommendations.
Busy lifestyles and individualised nutritional needs can put women at risk for falling short on critical nutrients, especially nutrients that support healthy bones and a healthy heart. It can take some effort and careful planning to ensure that you get enough of each of these critical nutrients each day.
This post includes only four of the many vital nutrients our bodies need on a daily basis. Check with your health practitioner before taking any supplement.