Mainstays of Health: 4 Dietary Essentials Not Everyone Gets Enough Of
Most people get enough calories every day, but those calories are often lacking in nutrition. Making healthy food choices can be challenging because healthy foods are difficult to find in some places, or they cost more than less healthy options such as chips and soda. Consider these four dietary essentials that might be missing from your diet, and learn how to add them to your daily food intake.
Many people do not get enough vitamin D. This vitamin is needed for bone health, calcium absorption, muscle health and the transmission of neurotransmitters in the brain. Spending some time outdoors allows the body to make vitamin D with the help of the sunlight, but this could also lead to skin damage from sunburns. Vitamin D supplements or milk products fortified with vitamin D help to make up the difference.
Many people lack enough whole grains in their diets. Whole grains promote good digestive system health. Bread is an ideal way to add whole grains to your diet, especially if you choose a whole grain bread. Some companies, like Klosterman Baking Company, know that bread also makes it easy to prepare a quick and nutritious meal. A veggie sandwich with sliced red onions, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and shredded carrots topped with some Italian dressing or Dijon mustard packs flavor and nutrition into a fast meal.
Fiber is another dietary essential that many people do not get enough of. There are two types of fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves in water and helps with regular bowel movements and a healthy colon. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to the stool and helps with the cleaning of waste products from your body. Fruits such as peaches, plums, pears, and prunes are high in dietary fiber, as are vegetables including: sweet potatoes, lentils, and legumes.
Calcium is also lacking in the diets of many people. Dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens and turnip greens are a key source of calcium for people who do not consume dairy products. Broth made of chicken or beef bones is also high in calcium. Sufficient calcium is needed by the body for bone, dental and cardiovascular health.
Eating healthy should be a lifelong habit. If your diet is not as healthy as it could be, consider making one or two changes per week. Replace white bread with whole grain bread. Swap chips with apple slices. Try to focus on food with the most nutrition and select produce that is in season.