While we all pay attention to incorporating vitamins and minerals into our diets, are you getting enough of important nutrients? There are some nutrients that you need to pay special attention to -- ones you probably aren't getting enough of. Here are five essential nutrients you need...
Omega-3 fatty acids
Research says that eating more omega-3 fatty acids makes one live longer, look better and feel happier. A deficiency, on the other hand, can cause depression, mood swings and even aggressive behaviour. These fatty acids prevent heart disease, are good for your eyes, help you shed pounds and keep your skin and hair in good condition.
Available in: Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids. It is recommended you eat oily fish at least twice a week. Other sources include flaxseeds and walnuts.
Not only does Vitamin D help your body absorb calcium, which is good for your bone health, it does wonders for your overall well-being. People who don't have adequate Vitamin D, have a greater risk of developing osteoporosis, mental illness, heart disease and even certain cancers. Though the human body is equipped to produce Vitamin D on its own when exposed to sunlight, excessive use of sunscreen or going without sunlight for long periods can cause a deficiency.
Available in: The easiest and best way is to spend about 15 to 20 minutes in the sun daily without slathering on sunblock. Foods, which contain Vitamin D include oily fish and egg yolk.
One of the most common deficiencies in the world, iron is an important nutrient, integral to many bodily processes. It is especially essential for pre-menopausal and pregnant women, who tend to have this deficiency. If you feel tired, low in energy, suffer from headaches or hair loss, a pale complexion and weak nails, you could be suffering from iron deficiency. Available in: Go in for red meat, chicken, eggs, green leafy vegetables, pulses and dried fruit. Cut down consumption of tea and coffee since they contain polyphenols, which makes it tough for your body to absorb iron.
You will be surprised to know that Vitamin B12 is an important nutrient, required by your body to make new red blood cells and help keep your nervous system healthy. A deficiency leads to anaemia and its symptoms include tiredness, pale complexion and breathlessness. It can also cause memory loss, confusion, mood swings and depression.
Available in: It is found in meat, eggs and dairy produce.
Iodine deficiency significantly affects the brain development of unborn babies and young children and is the main cause of preventable mental retardation and brain damage across the world. It also increases the risk of miscarriage and stillbirth, which could be a major problem given the numbers of women suffering from this deficiency. Iodine deficiency is not only common in developing countries, research has suggested that more than two thirds of teenage girls in the UK and 15 per cent of adult females in the US have an iodine deficiency.
Available in: Use iodised salt in your diet. Other food sources of iodine include milk, eggs, fish, seafood.
Times of India
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