Feeling tired? Eat your energy food! These five key nutrients beat fatigue, improve your workout, and fight disease.
Unless you’ve been living in a cave for 20 years, you know you need calcium, folate, and vitamin C. But there are a few nutrients you’re not so savvy about, according to recent stats (especially if you’re dieting). Here are the ones you’re most likely lacking, and what to do about it.
Fact: Twenty-eight percent of you don’t get enough vitamin E.
Why You Need 15 milligrams a Day: It protects against heart disease and boosts immunity.
Why You’re Missing Out: Your diet is too low in fat. Vitamin E is usually found in naturally fat-rich plant foods like oils, nuts, and seeds.
Fact: Twelve percent of you are iron-deficient.
Why You Need 18mg a Day: It helps deliver oxygen throughout your body.
Why You’re Missing Out: You started eating more “meatless meals.” Only heme iron — found in animal foods like beef, lamb, or poultry — is directly absorbed into the body. Vegetable iron isn’t absorbed as efficiently.
How to Get It: Try to include a few servings of lean animal protein per day. The redder the meat, the more heme iron it probably contains; beef is a better source than chicken or pork.
Fact: Most of you consume less than half the RDA of potassium.
Why You Need 4,700mg a Day: It aids in muscle contraction and regulates fluid and mineral balance when you sweat.
Why You’re Missing Out: You’re still not eating enough fruits and vegetables.
How to Get It: Top potassium picks include a baked potato (926mg), white beans (502mg per half cup), and tomato sauce (453mg per half cup). I would go for the bean option!
Fact: Less than half of you are getting enough zinc.
Why You Need 8mg a Day: It helps regulate metabolism.
Why You’re Missing Out: You haven’t bought wheat germ since the ’70s (a half cup provides all you need).
How to Get It: Use your bean! A 239-calorie cup of vegetarian baked beans supplies nearly half a day’s supply (4.2mg).
Fact: Most of you get only 72 percent of the magnesium you need each day.
Why You Need 320mg a Day: It’s essential for energy production and muscle function.
Why You’re Missing Out: You don’t eat enough seafood.
How to Get It: Go fishing! Just 100 grams of halibut supplies 91mg. No seafood lover in you? Choose a half cup of All-Bran cereal (110mg), cooked spinach (78mg), or black beans (60mg).