Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Energy Boosting Nutrients

Let's face it, we could all use a little extra energy some days. While caffeine might seem like a great, momentary solution, you'll feel much better if you up your energy levels everyday. How? By getting enough of these essential vitamins and minerals:

Iron - 18mg of this mineral per day helps your body get the oxygen it needs and produce energy. Unfortunately, if you don't eat a lot of red meat, you may be missing out on this nutrient. A lack of iron can lead to fatigue, dizziness, and even depression.
How to get it: beef, kidney beans, lentils, spinach

Magnesium - This mineral might not be mentioned often, but it's essential for muscle function and stable energy. Magnesium can also relax nerves, strengthen bones, and regulate blood sugar.
How to get it: pumpkin seeds, salmon, black beans, spinach

Potassium - The 4,700mg of potassium your body needs each day plays a vital role in muscle contraction and regulates mineral balance. It's especially important if you work out and sweat a lot. A lack of potassium can not only weaken your muscles, but it also affects your mood making you irritable and tired.
How to get it: potatoes, avocado, spinach, winter squash

Vitamin E - Nearly 30% of all people aren't getting enough vitamin E in their diets. You need 15 milligrams per day to protect your heart and immune system. It also helps you absorb other nutrients and digest food comfortably.
How to get it: olives, nuts, seeds, fortified cereal (like Total)

Zinc - You need only 8mg a day, but most people don't even get that. It's great for regulating metabolism, blood sugar, and energy levels.
How to get it: green peas, beef, shrimp, low-fat yogurt

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