Your body needs the right kinds of fuel to keep going every day. Here’s how to get more of the nutrients you need into your diet, recommended amounts based on the most recent Dietary Guidelines for Americans.
1. Vitamin C
Did you know that one out of four Americans aren’t getting enough vitamin C? As you can probably guess, this an important nutrient. Vitamin C is responsible for making collagen, improving iron absorption and keeping our immunity top-notch. Even better? Vitamin C helps the body fight free radicals.
Some research (although not conclusive) suggests that vitamin C may reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease and age-related macular degeneration.
How much you need: Women should aim for 75mg and men should aim for 90mg per day. If you’re looking to get your daily dose of vitamin C, it’s fairly easy to find. You can find vitamin C in many fruits and vegetables including oranges, grapefruit, peppers, strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwifruit, tomatoes and baked potatoes.
You’ve probably heard about fiber and its many benefits mentioned before, but what you may not know is that there are two different types of fiber: soluble and insoluble.
Soluble fiber can be found in nuts, oatmeal, lentils, apples, strawberries, seeds, oranges, carrots, and beans. Do you have high cholesterol levels? Soluble fiber is great for lowering your cholesterol. It helps slow digestion, which may help balance your blood sugar. Trying to lose weight? This fiber is also great for weight control because it makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time.
Insoluble fiber, on the other hand, is found mainly in whole grains and seeds and supports gut health and digestion.
How much you need: Fiber can be found in an abundance of foods, however, many of us still aren’t getting enough in our diets. To be certain you are getting enough fiber, here is what you should aim for: men should aim for 38 grams per day and women should aim for 25 grams per day. On average, Americans are only getting 15 grams of fiber on a daily basis, so make sure you stock up on the foods on this list the next time you head to the grocery store.
Forty-five percent of the American population fails to consume enough magnesium, which helps with a wide range of functions in the body including muscle and nerve function, blood sugar control, blood pressure, bone development, and more. In short, magnesium helps us live longer. In fact, researchers followed more than 7,000 men and women (ages 55-80) and found that people with the highest daily intakes of magnesium had a 34 percent decrease in mortality from heart disease and cancer.
So, which foods contain magnesium? Nuts (pistachios and almonds), fruits and vegetables (spinach, bananas, avocados), beans, lentils, and whole grains (oatmeal and whole wheat bread) are all great sources of magnesium.
4. Vitamin E
Vitamin E is great at supporting the immune system, keeping blood vessels healthy and preventing