Many women who complain of insomnia, poor memory, frequent colds, mood swings, or chronic fatigue are likely suffering from vitamin and mineral deficiencies. The following nutrients are not only vital to your health and well-being, but also to achieving your fitness and weight-loss goals!
- Calcium – A report from the USDA revealed that while 50% of women believe their diets contain adequate amounts of calcium, only 20% actually DO get enough calcium (1,000 – 1,200 mg/day)! Aside from keeping muscles, bones, and teeth strong, numerous studies also show that three to four daily servings of low-fat calcium will also adjust your body’s fat-burning machinery to burn more – and store less – fat. If you are lactose intolerant, try lowfat yogurt (way easier to digest than milk), lactaid milk products, or kefir. If you still aren’t getting enough calcium, opt for a 500 mg calcium supplement, twice a day. Taking one at night before bed will also improve your sleep quality!
- Soluble Fiber – such as pectin in fruit, oat bran, whole grains, sweet potatoes, and the fiber in cooked beans will lower your risk for diabetes and heart disease. Fiber also helps you feel fuller longer, binds to fat in the digestive tract, and helps you lose weight and maintain it. The average American woman gets only HALF of the recommended daily dose of fiber (27 – 35 g)
- Iron – poor intake of iron from foods such as lean red meat, egg yolks, dark leafy greens, dried fruit, iron-enriched whole grain breads and cereals, beans, lentils, and artichokes will reduce the formation of your red blood cells and will greatly reduce your energy and health levels. Try to have lean red meat twice a week if possible, and opt for spinach and darker leafy greens in your salads whenever you can.
- Healthy Oils – Your bones, hair, teeth, muscles, brain, tissues, heart, organs (ok, basically every part of your body) needs healthy fat. Without it, you will feel sluggish, and may have trouble focusing on your work. But healthy fats are NOT found at McDonalds! Instead, you will get your daily dose (2 Tablespoons) of healthy fats from nuts, light olive-oil-based salad dressings, and fish. If you feel as though you don’t get enough healthy fat in your diet, try taking 3 fish oil and/or flaxseed oil capsules every morning when you wake up. This will make you sharper, more energetic, less prone to illness, and will actually boost your metabolism!
- WATER – Comprising about 60-70% of your total body mass, water is your MOST IMPORTANT nutrient!!!!! It is essential for all of your body’s processes – including metabolism. Drinking enough cold water (at least 6 – 8 glasses per day) also helps prevent fatigue, hot flashes, and nasty bloating and puffiness by encouraging your body to flush out excess water instead of holding onto it. The general rule of thumb is to drink twice as much water as it takes to quench your thirst; because if you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. To quench your body’s fluid needs, forego the de-hydrating soda and coffee… and choose the REAL “energy drinks”: Water, green tea, and the occasional 100% fruit juice.
There you have it — 5 vital nutrients your body needs to stay slim, healthy, happy and strong! To see how to incorporate these nutrients into an easy-to-follow nutrition plan, check out my 2-week Quickstart Program, or get the Complete Program and get your very own personalized nutrition plan for maximum results! :)