Written By Lewis Robinson / Reviewed By Ray Spotts
Nutrition is important. What you take into your body directly affects it, for good or bad. If you want to optimize your functioning, you have to make sure you're not deficient in any vitamins or other key nutrients. However, if your doctor has determined that you are vitamin deficient, choking back a fistful of pills won't necessarily help.
They aren't always made with sources your body can metabolize, or they may be in doses not optimal for your needs. Other sources may be warranted to help you keep your body going.
Red meat is the obvious solution, but organ meats are a higher dose of iron if your constitution allows it. If you're not feeling quite so adventurous, oysters and clams are rich in not just iron, but other vitamins such as B-12.
As with all ocean fauna, shellfish get a bad reputation due to mercury, but if they're prepared properly that greatly reduces the risk associated with consumption. Even if you're not vegan or vegetarian, leafy greens such as spinach have a hefty dose of iron.
The catch is that it's non-heme, which means it's harder for your body to absorb, but it does come packed with vitamin C which helps with that. Another option is placing a lucky iron fish into your soup or broth. When boiled, it releases iron into your food, combating iron deficiency.
A blood test can't tell you your Omega 3 levels, but you can see their effects on your cholesterol. Oysters make a comeback on our list to join mackerel, anchovies and salmon as seafood you should see more of (and eat) if you need more Omega 3 in your diet.
If you're scrunching up your nose at all the seafood, you can try cod liver oil. While some varieties have a mildly fishy taste, there are brands that purify the oil and give it a light flavoring to make it more palatable. Flax seeds, chia seeds, olive oil and walnuts are meat-free options to get your Omega 3 boost.
This is another supplement that you can't be tested for and yet the effects are felt—literally. CoQ10 is an antioxidant that can boost your immune system and reduce inflammation. Good food sources are fish high in fat such as mackerel. Organ meat and red meat can be of benefit as well.
Boiled soybeans and broccoli round out the plant-based options. Boosters such as the thrive patch include CoQ10 in their ingredients. If fish and broccoli don't appeal to you, talk with your doctor to see if this might help supplement your intake.
This is a vitamin that's particularly hard to get if you're vegetarian or vegan, as most of the sources are meat-based. Animal products already mentioned on this list such as red meat and organ meat (liver and kidneys specifically) are great sources, but if you prefer seafood, never fear, because clams, trout and other fish can help boost your levels too.
If you're vegan or vegetarian and a little flexible, nutritional yeast and algae such as spirulina are animal-free sources.
Remember how plants use photosynthesis to produce food? Your body does something similar to produce Vitamin D. All that is required is a bit of sunlight, and you can meet your nutritional goals. However, due to lack of light due to work or seasons, it may be necessary to supplement your diet.
Fatty fish make another comeback, as does cod liver oil as a possible dietary source of vitamins. If meat just isn't in the cards (or your diet), some varieties of mushrooms are a great source to look into. Several foods, such as dairy and plant milks, come fortified with vitamin D. This is because it helps with the absorption of the following:
The obvious source is dairy, such as milk, cheese and yogurt, but this can come from plant-based sources too, such as kale, collard greens and soybeans.
Staying healthy doesn't have to be expensive or time-consuming. Talk to your doctor to find out which foods make sense for you and your body and what supplemental techniques can help you get to peak nutritional health.
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Lewis Robinson is a freelance writer and expert in health and fitness. When he isn’t writing he can usually be found reading a good book or hitting the gym.
Founder Ray Spotts has a passion for all things natural and has made a life study of nature as it relates to health and well-being. Ray became a forerunner bringing products to market that are extraordinarily effective and free from potentially harmful chemicals and additives. For this reason Ray formed Trusted Health Products, a company you can trust for clean, effective, and healthy products. Ray is an organic gardener, likes fishing, hiking, and teaching and mentoring people to start new businesses. You can get his book for free, “How To Succeed In Business Based On God’s Word,” at www.rayspotts.com.