A healthy and balanced diet is the key to a healthy body. But a balanced diet should include a variety of nutrients. Below is a list of nutrients and their sources, and their recommended daily values.
1. Calcium: It is a vital nutrient for the body as it helps in providing strength to your bones. Strong bones are less prone to fracture and diseases like osteoporosis. Calcium also plays a role in nerve transmission, maintenance of healthy blood vessels and muscle contraction.
Intake of calcium should be 1g/day.
To meet the daily recommended value add dairy products like milk, curd, paneer and green leafy vegetables like spinach, broccoli, etc to your diet.
2. Fiber: Dietary fiber helps in proper bowel movement and provides bulk to your stool which decreases the chances of constipation. It also helps in regulating blood sugar levels in the body as the presence of fiber in food slows down the absorption of the sugar. Soluble dietary fiber helps in controlling the levels of cholesterol by reducing the levels of “bad” fat from the body.
RecommendationConsumption of dietary fiber should be 40g/day.
Best sources Include fruits, vegetable, whole grains and legumes in your daily diet.
3. Magnesium: Many studies have shown that magnesium with calcium helps in improving the bone mineral density in the body. Magnesium deficiency can affect calcium metabolism and a fluctuation in the levels of hormones that regulate calcium can result in osteoporosis. It is associated with lowering the risk of coronary heart disease and helps in regulating high blood pressure. It also plays a major role in controlling diabetes, migraines, insomnia, and depression.
RecommendationFor daily requirement magnesium intake should be 410mg/day.
Best sources Include nuts, whole grains, wheat germ, fish, and green leafy vegetables in your diet .Read about role of beans and lentils in your diet.
4. Vitamin E: Vitamin E is a type of antioxidant which protects your body cells from free radical damage. Free radicals lead to breakdown of healthy cells and may contribute to heart disease and cancer. It also helps strengthening immunity.
Daily intake of vitamin E should be 15mg/day.
To get your daily dose of this vitamin include nuts, vegetable oil, eggs and green leafy vegetables in your daily diet.
5. Vitamin C: Vitamin C is also a type of antioxidant that protects your body against free radical damage. Apart from this, vitamin C supports collagen production in joints. Collagen is a shock absorbing gel like substance which fills up the space between two bones in a joint.
The recommended dose of vitamin C is 75-90mg/day.
Rich sources of vitamin C include citrus fruits, nuts, vegetables, etc.
6. Vitamin A: Vitamin A plays a major role in maintaining vision, cell growth and promotes healthy tissue and skin. It also participates in physiological activities related to the immune system, inflammatory system, maintenance of epithelial and mucosal tissues, creation of red blood cells, and bone development.
The recommended dose of vitamin A is 600-900 µg/day.
Rich sources of vitamin A are sweet potato, carrot, spinach, Green leafy vegetables, etc.
7. Vitamin D: Vitamin D increases the absorption of calcium in the body and helps in building strong bones. It helps in regulating insulin activity and blood sugar balance in the body and prevents muscle weakness.
The recommended amount of vitamin D is 600 IU/day.
The food sources of vitamin D include milk, egg, and fatty fishes like salmon, tuna and some variety of mushrooms. To get your daily dose of vitamin D morning sunlight is the best source. There are hormones beneath the skin which produce Vitamin D with help from sunlight.
8. Potassium: It is one of the electrolytes and even helps in managing electrolyte levels in the body. A diet high in potassium levels is associated with improved blood pressure control. It also contributes to improved kidney function, reduction in blood clotting, and more efficient opening of blood vessels.
The recommended value of potassium is 4.7g/day.
Five foods rich in potassium include Swiss chard, lima beans, potatoes, yams, bananas and soybeans.
9. Protein: Protein is the building block of tissues. It is required to repair the daily wear and tear of the cells in the body. Protein is an important part of the diet as it helps in building muscles.
Daily IntakeRecommended value of protein is 46-56g/day.
Best sourcesTo have recommended amount of protein in your daily diet include milk, curd, paneer, eggs, lean cuts of chicken, soy and beans in your diet.
10. Iron: Iron is a part of red blood cells and helps in transportation of oxygen in the body. In case of iron deficiency, or anemia, the body’s efficiency to transport oxygen decreases. As a result you may feel lethargic and fatigued.
Daily IntakeThe recommended amount of iron is 18g/day.
Best sourcesFoods rich in iron include, green leafy vegetables, nuts, beans and pulses, whole grain,pomegranate etc.
To have a healthy and balanced diet chooses your foods wisely to maximize the benefits of different nutrients.