A balanced diet is the key to good health as it ensures that all the essential nutrients are supplied to the humans through the dietary sources only and they do not have to rely upon supplements to fulfill their needs. It is important for every person to know which nutrients are essential for them so that they can have enough of them and keep in a good state of health. Moreover, a balance has to be achieved amongst the nutrients because too little or too much of them could result in problems, while the right one would result in optimal health.
Here is a list of top 10 most essential nutrients for your body health:
Iodine is a mineral which is considered vital because it plays an important role in hormone synthesis in the body. It is particularly important for pregnant women as it aids the development of brain of the unborn child as well as lowers the risk of stillbirth and miscarriage. A minimum requirement of 200-300 micro grams is to be fulfilled in case of pregnant women. Seafood, eggs, fish, cranberries and seaweed can be eaten to fulfill the requirement of iodine.
9. Dietary Fiber
Next on the list of top 10 most essential nutrients for your body health is dietary fiber, which is very significant for preventing constipation and regulating bowel movements. It also has a wide range of benefits such as controlling blood sugar and cholesterol levels as well as maintaining healthy weight, which reduces the risk of obesity, diabetes, cancer and heart disease. Dietary fiber is abundant in whole grain cereals, flaxseeds, mustard greens, turnip greens, black beans and raspberries.
8. Essential fatty acids
Omega 3 fatty acids are the healthy fatty acids which provide good heath and prevent occurrence of disease, both of the body and the brain. These acids also lower the risk of heart disease and obesity and are good for eyes, hair and skin. On the other hand, saturated fats and trans fats are harmful for the body. At least 1-2 tablespoons of essential fatty acids need to be taken by a person and they come in the form of extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, walnut oil and sesame oil.
7. Iron and Zinc
Iron can be regarded as a vital nutrient for good health, though it is more important for women rather than men because of its direct relation with the menstrual health of a woman. Deficiency of iron can lead to a host of health problems such as weakness, fatigue, pale complexion and hair loss. A woman requires 18 mg RDA of iron before she stops menstruating, while the RDA for men as well as post menopausal women is 8 mg daily. Leafy greens, beans, nuts and seeds and fruits offer a hefty dose of iron.
6. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is one of the most important vitamins, which plays a crucial in promoting eye health in addition to making bones and teeth stronger and skin healthier. It also enhances the immunity and promotes cellular growth. The food sources of vitamin A are papaya, watermelon, carrots, apricots, sweet tomatoes, milk, tomatoes, guava and fortified cereals.
Next on the list comes magnesium, which is as crucial as calcium and vitamin D for the growth and strength of bones. It also reduces the risk of development of cancer. A daily requirement of more than 500 mg is suggested for both men and women. Leafy, green vegetables, milk and nuts and grains are some good sources of magnesium.
Calcium is another chief nutrient needed to maintain good health of teeth, bones and nervous system. The RDA of calcium for an average adult is 1000-1200 mg and the food sources which fulfill the requirement of dietary calcium include dairy products, sea vegetables and dark green vegetables such as kale and broccoli.
3. Vitamin B12
Vitamin B12 is required by the body because it keeps nervous system in good health as well as enhances the formation of red blood cells. Its deficiency can result in problems such as fatigue, memory loss, depression, pale skin and mood swings. The RDA of this nutrient is 1.5 microgram and it can be obtained from eggs and meats while vegetarians may have to depend upon supplements.
2. Vitamin C
Vitamin C has antioxidant properties, which enable it to prevent damage caused by free radicals. It also improves the absorption of iron and lowers the risk of various kinds of cancers. Citrus fruits, mustard greens, cauliflower, kiwi, red peppers and kale are the food sources of this nutrient.
Protein is one of the most useful nutrients for the body, with the RDA of protein being 55 g for men and 45 g for women. Proteins make the building blocks for the body, which makes it an extremely essential nutrient. You can obtain hefty doses of this nutrient by consuming food items such as eggs, milk, yogurt and cheese, peas, beans and legumes and nuts and seeds.
All these nutrients need to be included in your daily diet to ensure healthy and happy living.