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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Getting all of your nutrients on a budget

We take vitamin supplements. We're about to start taking Juice Plus Supplements to see how we do with them. That said, I still believe the best source for vitamins and nutrients is the food you put in your mouth every day.

I keep a food log online every day at Calorie Count. The analysis section allows me to see where I am strong in nutrients, and where I am short. I have been surprised by what I've learned.

If you eat a fair amount of fruits and vegetables, you will find you hit your vitamin A and C levels by lunch pretty much. I'm already at 146% of my vitamin A intake today, with dinner yet to come.

Calcium for me has always been a tricky thing. I don't particularly like milk that much, although I love dairy products. Knowing this, I take supplements, but I also find other ways to get as close as possible to my recommended daily amount through my diet.

The one that really shocks me is my struggle to get enough iron in. I'm a meat eater, I like to eat things like spinach, so I figured I should blast past the recommended amount. Not so much.

For women, the recommended amount is 18mg. At 4:30pm, I've consumed 8. 10 to go. Great.

Meat, particularly red meat and organ meats (blech) are surefire ways to get in your iron. Meats contain Heme iron, which is the most easily digested form of iron. Meat is not the only option, however. Non-Heme options are quite healthy, and very frugal, although the absorption rate isn't as high with these foods. If you're like me, here are some things to make sure you get in your diet:

-White Beans- 3.9mg per serving. Bean soup, anyone?
-Lentils- 3.3mg per serving
-Spinach- 3.2 per half cup
-Blackstrap Molasses- 3.5mg per TB

I'll be covering some of the other nutrients that you need that you (and I!) might not be getting enough of over the next few weeks.


JodieMo said...

great post. Very informative. I have always been curious about how many vitamins the average person gets from food.

Michelle said...

In theory, if you ate the way you were supposed to perfectly, you could hit your daily vitamins through food. I'm not perfect. I'm trying to be as good as I can though.