Essential Nutrients You Must Include in Your Diet - Step To Health

Essential Nutrients You Must Include in Your Diet

Deficiencies of essential nutrients can be dangerous to your health. Find out below which nutrients shouldn't be missing from your diet and how they can benefit your body.
Essential Nutrients You Must Include in Your Diet

Last update: 21 November, 2021

Food plays an essential role in the functioning of the body. Through food, the body receives the essential nutrients that it needs to fulfil all its functions. That’s why it’s so important to ensure that you have a healthy and complete diet.

However, in addition to being varied, it must also be balanced. This means that it must contain the correct amounts of the essential nutrients that your body requires to carry out its daily activities and functions.

Some people make the mistake of suppressing certain nutrients and basing their diet on only certain products. It’s important to know that, even if a food is healthy, it doesn’t mean that by itself it provides everything your body needs.

Are you getting enough essential nutrients?

Here’s a list of the most common dietary deficiencies. Check to see if this is your case, and rethink your diet to make it more complete and balanced.

1. Calcium

Calcium deficiency is usually more common in women during menopause, according to this study by a group of researchers from the National Institute of Perinatology (Mexico).

This is due to the fact that the decrease in oestrogen production hinders the absorption of calcium and, as a result, this causes a reduction in bone density.

The problem is that it’s difficult to assimilate calcium and, furthermore, it isn’t always ingested in the recommended daily amounts. Foods rich in calcium are, fundamentally:

  • Milk and dairy products
  • Broccoli
  • Soy
  • Legumes
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Spinach

2. Vitamin C

Vitamin C in citrus fruits.

Vitamin C is present in many foods, and especially in fruits. It’s likely that you already consume many of them in your daily routine – obvious examples are oranges and lemons

As this research from the University of Otago, states, if there’s a deficiency in this vitamin, then it can cause the immune system to weaken and increase the risk of infections.

The foods that contain the most vitamin C are:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Liver
  • Berries
  • Kale
  • Peppers

3. Flavonoids

These antioxidants come largely from fruits and vegetables. Therefore, people who consume few of these foods are more likely to suffer a deficit.

According to this study by researchers at the University of Leon (Spain), flavonoids are essential in order to prevent heart disease, premature aging, and disorders associated with cognitive impairment.

They can be found, for example, in:

  • Apples
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Onion bulb
  • Strawberries
  • Red grapes
  • Lettuce
  • Garlic bulb
  • Cabbage leaves

4. Lignans

Some sources of lignan.

Lignans are secondary plant metabolites that, on reaching the large intestine, are fermented by intestinal bacteria. During this process, they’re transformed into phytoestrogens, and are immediately absorbed into the bloodstream.

Phytoestrogens are believed to have multiple health benefits. However, it’s this study conducted by Dr. Argelia Garrido recommends not relying on them instead of any necessary medication or treatment, as their purported properties aren’t yet fully conclusive.

Lignans are found in significant amounts in:

  • Flax seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Rye
  • Broccoli
  • Soybeans
  • Beans
  • Berries
  • Sesame seeds

5. Resistant starch

Starch is a type of carbohydrate common in plants that, although sometimes easily digested, most of the time causes difficulties.

However, so-called resistant starch is a healthy variety that helps control blood sugar and inhibit fat accumulation.

This type of starch is found, for example, in:

  • Whole grains
  • Pasta
  • Legumes
  • Green bananas
  • Potatoes

6. Dietary fiber deficiency

A bowl of cereal.

Fiber deficiency is one of the most common problems. Fiber is essential as it drives bowel movements and a lack of fiber can lead to serious problems.

If too little fiber is eaten, it makes digestion and cleansing of the body more difficult. This, in turn, can lead to constipation and make it difficult to expel what you don’t need from your body.

You can get fiber from the following foods:

  • Oatmeal
  • Brown rice
  • Broccoli
  • Lemons
  • Avocados
  • Papaya
  • Cucumbers
  • Watermelons
  • Apples
  • Pears
  • Oranges

Food, a great ally for health

A balanced and varied diet allows your body to carry out its functions. So, now that you’ve read our advice concerning essential nutrients, we recommend that you look over your diet and identify if you’re lacking in any essential nutrients.

If so, rethink how to incorporate these missing nutrients into your daily diet. If you have any questions, consult a doctor or endocrinologist. Don’t gamble with your health.

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