You’re probably a little sick of hearing it, but the modern American diet is terrible! Over the past few decades, a lot of us have peeled away from regular portions of home-cooked whole foods to high quantities of over-processed refined sugars and simple carbs. The ever-prevalent concerns of obesity, diabetes, and so on are certainly worrying, but you can reduce you and your family’s risk by getting more of these four key nutrients…
Potassium is a nutrient that humans literally can’t live without, as our hearts depend on it to beat. When you up your potassium intake, you’ll lower your blood pressure, and reduce the risk of osteoporosis, not to mention more serious conditions such as diabetes and heart disease. Your body needs enough potassium to help regulate its water balance and keep your muscles and nervous system functioning healthily. If you don’t get enough, it can lead to cramps, fatigue, and constipation. Unfortunately, sodium often takes the place of potassium in processed foods, such as cheese, packaged meat, pastries and fast food. You can make sure you’re getting enough of it with foods like baked potatoes (with the skin on) average-sized bananas, spinach, and beets.
Calcium, as you’re probably aware, helps keep our bones strong. It also helps along regular nerve transmission and blood clotting. While it’s the most naturally abundant mineral in the human body, we don’t produce it naturally, and we need to get all we can from our food. In later life, a lot of people will need to top up their calcium with supplements like AlgaeCal. You can read more about AlgaeCal side effects here. The good news is that most Americans are getting their recommended daily amount, but some groups, such as young adults and elderly people, require more than usual. Get your fill of unprocessed dairy and leafy greens, and you’ll have little to worry about.
Fiber is a non-digestible carb that moves through our bodies, promoting healthy digestion and preventing constipation, as well as keeping our cholesterol levels in check. There are two types of fiber: soluble and insoluble, and it’s important to make sure you’re getting a balance of both. The main reason a lot of us miss out on it is that our diets tend to be too high in processed grains, and low in healthy whole grains. Fresh raspberries, pears, black beans, and sweet potato with the skin on, are all great sources.
Like potassium, iron is essential to our survival, and is involved with all kinds of processes, from carrying oxygenated blood to building muscles. A deficiency in it can lead to chronic fatigue, muscle loss, and trouble regulating body temperature. Women are more likely to suffer from an iron deficiency, as we require more of it between the ages of 18 and 50. Vegetarians and vegans are also at an increased risk, as the iron in meat, poultry, and fish is absorbed much more efficiently than that from plants. Clams, beef steak, lentils, and broccoli are all good sources of this nutrient.