But there’s a whole universe of nutrients you likely never think about.
Generally, that’s okay. If you’re eating a variety of whole foods including lots of diverse fruits and vegetables, you’re likely getting most of them in our diet naturally.
Still, it’s good to know about other important nutrients your body needs for peak performance, in case you’re feeling like something’s missing, or your diet is restricted to certain foods (i.e. if you’re a vegetarian or gluten-free).
To start, read up on these three underrated and often overlooked nutrients, which you should definitely make sure your diet is rich in, 24-7.
3 Overlooked Nutrients to Add to Your Diet
1. Vitamin A
The very first vitamin of the alphabet does a heck of a lot when it comes to maintaining a healthy, high-functioning body. Not only is it involved in regulating the growth and differentiation of basically all of your cells, it plays a huge role in maintaining a strong immune system. And it’s key to the development and maintenance of good vision. (Kind of important, right?)
The important thing to know is that there are two forms: preformed, found in animal foods, and, provitamin A carotenoids, found in fruits and vegetables. Eating too much preformed vitamin A can actually be toxic and is especially dangerous during pregnancy, but that risk doesn’t apply to the form found in plants. So, of course, we prefer to get ours from produce. Find it in leafy greens like broccoli rabe, spinach, and kale and orange-y veggies like butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and carrots.
2. Vitamin K
Vitamin K is known for its role in blood coagulation and clotting and is linked to a decreased risk of heart disease. Recent research has also revealed it plays an important role in helping our bodies absorb calcium, and you’ve definitely already heard about how much calcium you need for strong, healthy bones.
Find it in vegetables like kale, collards, and spinach. Plus, those leafy greens also contain magnesium, a mineral involved in calcium absorption as well as nerve and brain function. (Notice a trend in which foods contain the widest array of nutrients??)
Choline is a micronutrient that’s a big building block for cells and is involved in many different systems in the body. It’s used to make a neurotransmitter that’s important for learning and memory, is involved in the methylation cycle, which affects energy and mood, and has been shown to regulate inflammation (score!).
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Get your daily dose from eggs, beef, seafood, broccoli, and peanuts.