Nutrition 101. How do I know if I get enough nutrients?

There are many great organizations that claim that most healthy people can get all the nutrients they need by eating a variety of Nutrient-dense Colorful Food, unless a nutritional gap is found or the person is managing a medical condition, is pregnant, an older adult, immunodeficient, or undernourished, etc. In those situations, a doctor should advise that supplements should be taken.

American Heart Association Scientific Position: “We recommend that healthy people get adequate nutrients by eating a variety of foods in moderation, rather than by taking supplements. An exception for omega-3 fatty acid supplements is explained below  Read more

“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that the best nutrition-based strategy for promoting optimal health and reducing the risk of chronic disease is to wisely choose a wide variety of nutrient-rich foods. Additional nutrients from supplements can help some people meet their nutrition needs as specified by science-based nutrition standards such as the Dietary Reference Intakes.” Continue…

But, let’s say you are a healthy individual. How do you know if you get all nutrients you need from food sources?

Here are few great tools: The first one will help you get your personalized Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs); the others will let you check to determine if the food you normally consume has the nutrients your body requires.

Personalized DRI. Print and Post it somewhere for your reference (the refrigerator is always a great place).

Nutrient information on over 8,000 foods. Search or browse this list of foods and their nutrient content.

Or search for a particular nutrient in a wide variety of foods.

Nutrition 101. Minerals

Minerals are inorganic substances. They serve multiple key functions in all cells, tissues, and organs of the human body. To name a few, minerals provide structures to bones and other tissues, assist in contraction and relaxation of muscles, aid in the production and transport of energy, promote the production of protein, contribute to enzymes activity, play a crucial role in heart functioning and blood pressure maintenance, support the oxygen-carrying system and acid base balance, immune defense against bacteria and viruses and much, much more.

There are 7 major minerals that are crucial to our Health, with daily requirements of over 100 mg: Calcium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Sulfur, Sodium, Chlorine, and Magnesium.

There are 14 trace minerals that we need in quantities of less than 100 mg/day: Iron, Selenium, Iodine, Chromium, Zinc, Fluoride, Copper, Manganese, Molybdenum, Boron, Silicon, Vanadium, Nickel, and Strontium.

As with vitamins, healthy people can get adequate amounts of Minerals simply by eating a variety of nutrient rich foods in moderation.  If mineral deficiency is suspected or predicted – as with some illnesses, during pregnancy, competitive sports, undernourishment and other conditions – please consult your doctor before taking supplements.  They may do you harm.

To check if you getting enough nutrients in your food please read my blog: “Nutrition 101. How do I know if I get enough nutrients?”