If you want to fill your needs for Vitamins and Minerals simply through eating food, read on I am going to run through the best ways to get a variety of the good stuff simply through the food you eat without the need for a multi-vitamin which truth be told can’t touch the quality of what’s in the foods we eat….
Let’s start with Minerals these include things like Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and they are essential to do things like contract and relax muscles as well as a variety of other functions….
Surprisingly the concept that the best source of this stuff is dairy is somewhat a misconception pumped into us by the processed dairy industry. The truth is that Calcium from dairy foods is not very bio-available to the body and due to the acidity of the foods it makes it more likely that our bodies will leach minerals from our bone in order to maintain a Acid/Alkaline balance in our blood.
My opinion is that no one who is eating enough protein in their diet needs to worry about Calcium supplementation as you can get all your calcium from whole foods like: Spinach, Green Beans, Collards, Sardines, and Sesame seeds they are all abundant in calcium. Throw in some cheese and natural yoghurt/kefir and your good to go!
To me this is one of the most important minerals/vitamins we can get but again its all about balance. Any excess your body will flush out and deficiency will lead to a load of problems ….. Arthur Devany did a post on his private blog a few weeks back saying that all people starting Evolutionary fitness should start by taking/loading their system with Magnesium at a dose of 500mg (citrate) per day doing this may allow you to get rid of muscle cramps and brain fog. It will help:
Relax your nerves and muscles
Build and strengthen bones
Keep your blood circulating smoothly
In terms of food its pretty easy to fill your Magnesium needs if you eat a variety of fresh nuts and seeds: Pumpkin seeds, Walnuts, Sunflower Seeds, Spinach, Pecans and Edamame (boiled, unprocessed soy beans) are loaded with the stuff and once you have supplemented with magnesium for a few weeks eating thses foods daily should cover you in terms of magnesium.
Those are the main two everyone seems to know but there are loads of other minerals that are equally important but somewhat easier to keep in check; Potassium, Sodium, Selenium, and Zinc to name a few.
- Potassium is essential and allows your muscles and nerves to function properly and helps balance your bodies electrolytes. To keep it in check eat your fresh Fruit and Veg the foods highest in it are things like bananas (no wonder tennis players still love them in breaks) also look into Avocados, Figs and Orange’s.
- Zinc this stuff is essential to both men and women;
Signs of zinc deficiency include growth retardation, hair loss, diarrhea, delayed sexual maturation and impotence, eye and skin lesions, and loss of appetite
Pretty scary…..I usually take a Zinc Citrate supplement daily just to make sure but you can find Zinc in a variety of foods; Grass Fed Beef is a great source, as are things like Oysters, Liver, Venison, and Pumpkin Seeds as you can tell Zinc is not found in things that are abundant in our everyday diet so unless your eating a variety of the foods mentioned I would suggest supplementing with 15-30mg if high quality zinc daily…..
- Selenium is also vital and is a potent anti-oxidant, helping nourish and keep your thyroid gland healthy which in turn will help keep your weight, energy and body temperature in check….
Sea foods seem to be the main place to find your selenium try to eat a few servings of fish a week; Halibut, cod, shrimps, Tuna and Salmon are all loaded with essential minerals. Your RDA of Selenium can also be found in just 3 Brazil Nuts so for safety having a handful of these every few days will do you a world of good.
Always keep a bottle of Natural Sea Salt at your table. It should be a red / yellow color Redmond RealSalt is my favorite and it can be bought very cheaply at any Whole Foods or Health Store. Its packed with Minerals and will definitely cover all the other minerals, its the only thing I use to season my food. Salt has a variety of other great uses….
I would also recommend taking a ZMA supplement a few times a week, this will cover your Zinc and Magnesium needs which can sometimes be difficult to fulfill through real foods. ZMA comes pretty cheaply and I like Biotest, or Primaforce or make your own from 500mg of Magnesium Citrate and 20-30mg of Zinc Citrate.