5 Daily Nutrition Needs

Promote a health heart, mind, and immune and skeletal systems by incorporating these 5 nutrients into your daily diet.

5 Daily Nutrition Needs

While maintaining a healthy diet can sometimes be difficult, there are 5 nutritional needs found in a multitude of sources that should be incorporated into your daily intake. 


Fiber

Integral to digestion, fiber can be found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Fiber can also lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Add foods like raspberries, steel-cut oatmeal, lentils and cooked artichokes to get your daily dose of fiber.


Vitamin D

The easiest way for your body to produce Vitamin D is through 15 minutes of direct sun exposure (no SPF!). This immune-boosting vitamin is essential for healthy bones and neuro-muscular function. For more information on Vitamin D, click here.


Water

This one's a no-brainer. However, there isn't a universal formula for how much water you should drink. Daily needs depend on many factors including your overall health, activity level and where you live. A good guideline to determine whether you're drinking enough water is that you rarely feel thirsty and produce 1.5 liters of colorless or slightly yellow urine a day. 

Give your water an extra boost with this electrolyte recipe.


Calcium

Most people know that calcium is important for proper growth and development of the skeletal system, but it can also aid in weight loss and the prevention of certain cancers like colon cancer. To get your daily dose of calcium, take a supplement or consume some calcium-rich foods like milk, bean curd or dried apricots.


Omega-3's

Omega-3's are crucial for brain and heart health and also help your body fight cancer. Dietary sources of omega-3 fatty acids include fish oil and certain plant/nut oils. English walnuts and vegetable oils like soybean, flaxseed and olive contain alpha-linelenic acid (ALA) while fish oil contains docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). These fatty acids are powerful agents in reducing the risk of heart attacks, strokes and lowering blood pressure.

Will you ever feel comfortable in your own skin? That is, if you don't make an effort to protect it? Although 64% of adults do report wearing sunscreen when outside for prolonged periods of time, it turns out that only about 10% of people surveyed actually protect themselves daily, according to a recent review.

No matter what your skin tone is, unless you live in a cave with no sunlight, daily protection with either sunscreen, sunblock or protective clothing can not only protect you from developing sunburns (ouch!) but can significantly reduce your risk of developing skin cancer, particularly the deadliest type called melanoma. In addition, for those of you wanting to keep your youthful looks, daily sunscreen has been shown to reduce the development of wrinkles. A great teacher once told me that the best way to not have wrinkles is not to get them in the first place (think of how much money you can save on useless creams that claim to diminish wrinkles).

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