Three Nutrients You Never Knew You NeededPosted: Feb 10 in Healthy Eating Menu, Lifestyle by Staff
For many people who pay attention to their eating habits and overall healthy style of living, the major focus is often on the quantity of food being consumed in the never ending quest to achieve or maintain an ideal weight. Even those concerned with the quality of the nutrients in their diet often pay more attention to the highly publicized and well-known nutrients like calcium, protein and fiber. These are important concerns, but there are some lesser known nutrients that should not be overlooked, as they are vital to overall health.
1. If you ask ten people to define why you need choline in your diet, it's a safe bet that eight or nine of them will not even know what it is or what it does, let alone where it comes from. Choline is an essential nutrient that aids the body in a variety of ways. It is essential in muscle and nervous system functions, healthy brain development and DNA synthesis. The liver produces some choline, but not enough to meet the basic requirements of a healthy body. It's important to supplement your choline requirement through a nutrient-rich diet with foods like shrimp, eggs, turkey, salmon, beans and peas.
2. Tryptophan has a reputation for being the amino acid that causes drowsiness after that overly indulgent Thanksgiving dinner. It would be a mistake to dismiss this nutrient as nothing more than something annoying that slows you down during the holiday season. Tryptophan plays a vital role in the serotonin production of the brain which influences your mood, memory and levels of aggression. Beyond just eating turkey, you can get your much needed tryptophan from beef, cod, soybeans and asparagus. Eat a variety of these foods for all the healthy benefits you will enjoy as well as helping you get a good night's sleep.
3. Many people are familiar with the A, B, C's of the vitamin world. Further down the alphabet is the critical vitamin K. Vitamin K is important to your body from head to toe. It aids in blood clotting and, when sufficiently present in the body, decreases the risk of heart disease and helps build and maintain strong bones. Studies have linked vitamin K to the prevention of certain types of cancer. That advice to eat your green, leafy vegetables pays off here in a big way. Kale, spinach, Swiss chard, broccoli and Brussels sprouts should be a well-integrated part of a healthy diet.
Healthy eating requires maintaining a varied diet. The nutrients you never knew you needed today will likely be supplemented by additional nutrients you didn't know you needed tomorrow. Nutritional knowledge is expanding more rapidly now than ever before. The more varied your regular diet is, the greater your chances of covering all your bases when it comes to satisfying the needs of your body. The best nutritional advice to follow is to eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains and moderate amounts of fat. Less processing generally means more nutrient value for every diet.