People often wonder how to loss weight, and they think they just need to eat less and exercise more. However, if a person eats low-calorie meals and doesn’t worry about the nutrients, they may be sabatoging their weight loss plan. Certain nutrients help maintain optimum metabolism, and, without them, dieters may feel sluggish, tired, and fatigued. Here’s a list of the six nutrients that are often low or missing in diets:
- Calcium. Calcium doesn’t just build strong bones and teeth, it also regulates blood pressure, and if your blood pressure is too low or too high, you can feel weak or unwell. Calcium can be found in many forms other than milk, yogurt, or dairy products. For instance, chestnuts, salmon, seaweeds, figs, tofu, blackstrap molasses, okra, and dark-green leafy vegetables (kale, broccoli, collard greens, chicory greens, parsley, and turnip and beet greens) contain high levels of calcium. If you want to learn more about calcium, read Calcium-Rich Foods.
- Fiber. Fiber foods help you feel fuller longer because they take longer to digest. They’re also a good source of nutrition, and, on average, women need 21 to 25 grams a day whereas men need 30 to 38 grams a day. However, most people don’t get more than about 12 grams daily. Some of the best fiber foods are legumes, whole grains, apples, potatoes, grapefruits, blackberries, popcorn, and pears. Additionally, if you eat a fiber-filled breakfast, you’ll be less likely to overeat throughout the day. If you want to know the best fiber foods for breakfast, read Fiber Breakfast Foods.
- Iron. Iron deficiency is common, and, according to the Children’s Hospital Boston, one in five women are iron deficient. When you’re deficient in iron, you’re exhausted, which means you less likely to head to the gym. Iron rich foods include beans (black, kidney, lentils, lima, navy, pinto, and soy beans), fruits (apricots, raisins, prunes, and dates), and dark-green leafy vegetables. However, the best sources are lean red meat, liver, egg yolks, poultry, tofu, and seafood, such as osyters, salmon, clams, shrimp, and tuna.
- Magnesium. Statistics show most Americans are deficient in magnesium, and magnesium deficiencies are linked to osteoporosis, asthma, and allergies. Besides helping calcium to be absorbed, magnesium is needed for proper enzyme action, and when you’re deficient, the body can’t operate optimally. Green leafy vegetables, spices, and nuts are excellent magnesium sources.
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids. If you want to be thin, you need to eat the right fats, and omega-3s are the perfect fat to help you lose weight because they satiate hunger. The best omega-3 sources are salmon, sardines, and flaxseed oil.
- Vitamin C. Vitamin C helps in the absorption of iron, magnesium, and calcium. Additionally, it aids in proper metabolism, improves feelings of well being, and reduces stress. You can find C in guavas, oranges, lemons, limes, papayas, mangoes, grapefruits, loganberries, blackcurrants, persimmons, tangerines, parsley, red bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, tomatoes, spinach, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts. If you’re interested in learning more about vitamin C, read Did You Know Vitamin C …
- Vitamin D. Vitamin D, also known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is needed for calcium to be absorbed, but it is difficult to find because just a few foods have it: They are certain fish oils and fatty fish, such as tuna, sardines, salmon, and mackerel. Milk is also fortified with vitamin D, but it’s synthetic. However, it’s easy enough to get vitamin D from the sun, because it only requires 15 minutes in the sun daily to get the recommended daily value.