Per the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, there are several “shortfall nutrients” that may be deficient in your diet. Here they are:
- Potassium: If you have normal kidneys, potassium promotes blood pressure control by countering the role of excess sodium. The recommended amount is 4700 mg a day, which most people do not get. Fruits, vegetables, and beans are sources of potassium. Bananas, citrus, avocado, kiwi, and melon are excellent for potassium supplementation. Dark leafy vegetables, like spinach, kale, and turnip greens also provide potassium as well.
- Vitamin D is recommended currently to be taken at 600 IU a day for the average adult, but 800 IU a day if you are older than 70. Not only does it protect your bones but also there may be some protection from cancer and chronic disease. Sources include fish such as sardines, mackerel, rainbow trout, and tuna (all have a lot of omega-3 fatty acid as well). Fortified yogurt and fortified milk are also excellent sources.
- Fiber: plays a lot of roles in the body, but higher intake lowers your colon cancer risk. The target is 25 grams a day for women age 19-50 and 38 gm for men in that same age range. For men over 50, 30 gm a day is enough and 21 gm a day for women over 50 is sufficient. Sources include whole grains, cereal, pasta, rice, and bread. Substitute dried beans for meat in your dish to increase fiber without destroying taste.
- Calcium: 1000 mg a day is the daily value needed. Calcium fortified milk and yogurt are helpful sources. Dark green leafy vegetables are good sources, with kale, Bok choy, and broccoli being choices as they have less oxalates that can bind calcium in the gut and preventing absorption of calcium.
http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhanes.htm < CDC national health survey