Kate's Cuisine

Jun 12 2009

Potassium

Potassium is a mineral that is extremely important because it helps maintain proper water levels as well as proper electrolyte levels in our bodies. A potassium deficiency could quickly lead to dehydration, which in turn causes the body to shut down.

Luckily potassium can be found in every plant and animal cell which means that it’s present in just about everything we eat. Refined foods generally won’t contain much potassium so it’s best to choose fresh options such as fresh fruit and vegetables. Men and women both need 4700mg/day of potassium.

Jun 12 2009

Zinc

Zinc is a mineral that we all often think of when we feel a cold coming on but it’s something that we should always be thinking about when we think about our diet. This is because zinc does just about everything from helping with the creation of DNA and reproductive development to maintaining the production and release of insulin within the body. Zinc can also help create Vitamin A as well as help with thyroid function. This important mineral also helps maintain the sense of taste and smell but this is not what zinc is most important for.

Although we may only think to take a zinc supplement when we’re sick, zinc is essential to the immune system long before we ever feel ill. Zinc is critical to helping the immune system ward off illness and it’s also greatly responsible for the healing of our wounds.

Men should get 11mg/day of zinc while women should get 8mg/day. Meat, poultry, seafood, milk products, and whole grains are all great sources of zinc.

Jun 12 2009

Selenium

Selenium is another item on a nutrition label that you may often read but not understand. Selenium is mostly known for being an extremely aggressive fighter against free radicals because it’s such a great antioxidant. Selenium also helps the immune system and helps prevent some kinds of cancer.

Men and women should both be sure to get 55ug/day of selenium in their diet by eating meat, chicken, seafood, fish, and eggs.

Jun 12 2009

Phosphorous

Phosphorous is one of those minerals we all love because it’s found in every plant and animal cell so the chances that you’ll get your recommended daily intake every day are very good. Men and women both need 700mg/day and meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and milk are all particularly good sources.

Phosphorous may be ever-present but that’s very important because it plays such a vital role in our development. Phosphorous not only helps tooth and bone structure but it also helps make up our DNA and RNA.

Jun 12 2009

Magnesium

Magnesium is an important mineral that can be found in tap water and acts very similarly to calcium. Magnesium not only helps in proper bone development but it also helps muscles contract and blood clot. Magnesium helps create proteins, fats, and nucleic acids and it also helps boost the immune system. Magnesium also plays a part in nerve and muscle function and it also controls hypertension, diabetes, and heart disease.

Men should get 400mg/day of magnesium but once over the age of 30, t his amount should be increased by 20mg. Women should make sure they get 310mg/day until the age of 30 when this amount should be increased by 10mg.

Besides tap water, green leafy vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains are all great sources of magnesium.

Jun 12 2009

Iron

There are not many that can deny the benefits of iron in the diet however, consuming too much can cause some serious problems with things such as the digestive system. Men should only take 8mg/day whereas women should make sure they’re getting a whopping 18mg/day until the age of 51, when that amount can also go down to 8mg/day.

Iron creates hemoglobin and myoglobin, both of which transport oxygen to different cells. Iron is also important for metabolism as well as boosting the immune system. Iron also helps control the growth and differentiation of cells. Of course, getting enough iron can also help prevent iron-deficiency anemia.

Red meats such as beef and organ meats are excellent sources of iron as are fish, poultry, and eggs. Plants such as leafy, green vegetables, lentils, whole grains, beans, and dried fruits are also great sources of iron. It’s important to remember that iron consumed from plant food is sometimes not easily absorbed by the body. This can be helped by eating foods enriched with Vitamin C at the same time.

Jun 12 2009

Iodine

Iodine is a little talked about mineral that although you don’t need much of it, you do need to make sure you are getting some. Men and women both only need 150ug/day and it’s fortunate this is a small amount considering that the best sources are mostly foods with iodized salts.

However, iodine is very important for proper metabolism as it helps create thyroid hormones.

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