There are a variety of nutrients and vitamins that could benefit you to consume, but they’re lesser known so you might not consume them as often or as consciously as you could be. Let’s dive into a few that you should know more about.
Magnesium is a naturally occurring mineral that is essential to human health. It is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body and plays a critical role in over 300 biochemical reactions. Magnesium is involved in energy production, DNA synthesis, muscle contraction, nerve transmission and bone formation. Magnesium deficiency is common, especially among older adults. Symptoms of magnesium deficiency include fatigue, weakness, irritability and anxiety. Severe magnesium deficiency can lead to seizures and coma. Luckily, magnesium deficiencies are easily corrected with dietary changes or supplements. Good sources of magnesium include leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, legumes, whole grains and dairy products.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for magnesium is 400 mg for adults. However, many experts believe that most people need more than the RDA to maintain optimal health.
What are the benefits of taking magnesium? There are many potential benefits associated with taking magnesium supplements or increasing your intake of foods rich in this mineral. Some research suggests that magnesium may help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood sugar levels - making it beneficial for those with type 2 diabetes or prediabetes. Magnesium supplementation has also been linked to lower blood pressure, improved heart health, reduced inflammation, and better exercise performance. Additionally, preliminary evidence suggests that increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods or taking supplemental magnesium may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases like stroke, osteoporosis, Alzheimer's disease, and migraines.
Another nutrient that is worth paying more attention to is Iodine. Iodine is a chemical element that is necessary for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate metabolism, and iodine is essential for the production of these hormones.
Iodine deficiency can lead to goiter, an enlargement of the thyroid gland, and hypothyroidism, a condition in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. Iodine deficiency is relatively rare in developed countries like the United States, but it is still important to make sure that you are getting enough iodine in your diet. The best way to get iodine is to eat foods that contain it. Seafood contains high levels of iodine, so eating fish and other seafood on a regular basis can help ensure that you are getting enough iodine. Other good sources of iodine include dairy products, eggs, and certain types of fruits and vegetables. You can also get iodine from supplements, but it is important to talk to your doctor before taking any supplements because too much iodine can be just as harmful as too little.
Most people who live in developed countries do not need to worry about their iodine intake because they are getting enough through their diet. However, pregnant women and people with certain medical conditions may need to take extra care to make sure they are getting enough iodine. Pregnant women need more iodine because it helps support fetal brain development. People with conditions such as Hashimoto's disease or Graves' disease may also need more iodine because their bodies cannot properly use the thyroxine hormone produced by the thyroid gland without it.
Finally, let’s talk about Chromium. Chromium is an essential trace mineral that has many health benefits. It can be found in small amounts in some foods, but it is also available as a dietary supplement. Chromium supplements are often taken to help improve blood sugar control and boost weight loss. However, there is concern that chromium may have adverse effects on health, especially when taken in high doses. Chromium is involved in carbohydrate and lipid metabolism, and it plays a role in insulin signaling. Insulin is a hormone that helps regulate blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are too high, chromium can help lower them by increasing the amount of insulin produced by the pancreas. Chromium can also help increase sensitivity to insulin, which means that cells can better use glucose for energy. These effects make chromium beneficial for people with diabetes or prediabetes who need to control their blood sugar levels. As is the case with any unique addition to your diet, you should speak with a health professional before taking Chromium.
It can be difficult to parse through accurate and lazy information in today’s world. It’s important to try and keep things simple when you first start a new diet or addition to your diet, don’t get too in the weeds and intimidate yourself. Maybe spend some time searching for one or two foods with one or two of these nutrients to add to your diet once a week!