With more and more attention being driven towards macronutrients (carbs, protein and fat) in the fitness world, micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) seem to be pushed further back.
Vitamin D-this fat soluble vitamin helps you absorb calcium for healthy bones and organ health, in addition to promoting a better immune system and neuromuscular functions. Vit D may
also be helpful for maintaining a healthy weight.
Food sources: Fatty fish, organ meat (liver), cheese, egg yolk, fortified foods (cereals, milk, yogurt). Direct sunlight (before 10 am) also activates Vit D synthesis in skin.
Recommended: 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D a day for infants, 600-1000 IU for children, 1000 IU for adolescents and pregnant women after 12 weeks’ gestation, and 1000-2000 IU for adults.
Vitamin E- alpha-tocopherol is the most active form of the 8 forms of this fat soluble vitamin. This antioxidant is responsible for aiding in immune function, cell signaling, muscle repair and gene expression.
Food sources: Nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, whole grains, green veggies, fortified foods.
Recommended: 8-10 mg /day
Omega-3 fatty acids– these essential fatty acids are important because the body is incapable of producing them on its own without any dietary sources. These fatty acids are important for blood lipid regulation, vasodilation, and are anti-inflammatory.
As a part of the cell membranes, these fatty acids improve insulin sensitivity, helping the body use carbs more efficiently for energy purpose and muscle building.
Food sources: Fatty fishes, free-range eggs and chicken, dark green leafy veggies, flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts, avocado, canola, peanut and olive oil.
Recommended: Aim to get 2 servings of fatty fish per week or upto 600 mgs of omega 3 f.a. through oil.
Vitamin A- A fat soluble vitamin most essential for vision, immune function and reproduction and fetal development. It also plays an important role in the functioning of heart, lungs, and kidneys.
Food sources: Organ meats, salmon, fatty fishes, eggs, green leafy veggies, orange and yellow fruits and veggies, dairy products and fortified cereals.
Recommended: up to 600 mcg.
Magnesium-This nutrient has a versatile role to play in the body. Necessary for several enzyme actions, to blood pressure control and muscle and nerve function. Mg is also necessary for energy production and the synthesis of DNA, bone and muscle.
Food sources: Dark green leafy veggies, nuts, seeds, fish, tofu, beans, whole grains, bananas, dried fruits, dark chocolate.
Recommended: up to 320 mg/ d is recommended.
The most important step is choosing a variety of whole foods as the foundation of a balanced diet. Adding a multivitamin, fish oil, vitamin D, and a magnesium supplement to that, and you’ll be on the right track to whole-body fitness and wellness for life.
Also know these:Five Best Healthy Snacks to Have On the Go
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