Think you have good health, eat right, get enough exercise? If you aren’t getting enough micronutrients in your diet, you might be surprised at what you are missing and how this can affect your health. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture nine out of every ten Americans have a potassium deficiency, eight out of every ten have a deficiency of vitamin E, and half of all Americans have deficiencies of vitamin A, vitamin C and magnesium (http://www.caltonnutrition.com/micronutrient-deficiency-pandemic/). The CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) cites vitamin D deficiency in half the population with the elderly being in the forefront by being 70% deficient in vitamin D. That’s a lot of people not getting the amount of micronutrients from diet that they need to have good health.
What Are Micronutrients?
Nutrients fall into two categories: micronutrients and macronutrients. Micronutrients include vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, bioflavonoids and antioxidants and our bodies need them to operate properly. There are no calories associated with micronutrients like there are with macronutrients (fats, carbohydrates and proteins). Many Americans eat a diet that is too high in macronutrients and with not enough micronutrients which leads to a takeover of free radicals that damage the body cells. This can lead to a variety of health conditions such as cancers, diabetes, and heart disease which we all know are in abundance in our society today. Why is it that we have such an epidemic of these chronic health conditions and diseases today? A big reason is the soil providing our food sources has become so depleted of essential minerals. This depleted soil grows plant based food for humans and for animal food sources. That translates to the fruits, vegetables, grains and meats we eat not containing the micronutrients we need for good health. If the food we eat doesn’t have all the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrition we need, where do we turn? Many health and nutrition experts, such as Dr. Oz, the AMA and Harvard School of Public Health, today are recommending adding multivitamin supplements to our diets.
What Micronutrients Do We Need?
Micronutrients our bodies need include 14 essential vitamins, 16 essential minerals and thousands of phytochemicals. Many experts believe that the phytochemicals are even more important to our health than the vitamins and minerals are. Some of the vital micronutrients our bodies need include zinc, magnesium, calcium, potassium, selenium, and vitamins C, A and E. Zinc can be found in red meat and dairy foods and among other important functions is necessary to metabolize our macronutrients. Magnesium food sources include spinach, beans, red meat and whole grains and is necessary for more than 300 chemical reactions the body produces. Calcium you probably know is needed for strong bones, but it also is important for muscles and nerve transmission. Green leafy vegetables, salmon, and dairy are some of the food sources that contain calcium. Potassium helps maintain normal blood pressure, muscle and heart contraction, nerve transmission and balancing electrolytes. Food sources high in potassium include bananas, oranges, potatoes and beans. Selenium has antioxidant properties that help protect body cells from damage and is important to our metabolism, immune response and thyroid function. Brazil nuts, walnuts, tuna, cod, herring, beef and grains are all food sources for selenium. Vitamin A supports good eyesight and also supports immune system health to fight off infections, and is important for bone health. Dark green leafy vegetables, liver, sweet potatoes, carrots and eggs are all food sources with Vitamin A. Vitamin C helps build collagen and has antioxidant properties to protect cells from free radical damage. Bell pepper, oranges, strawberries and broccoli are all good sources of vitamin C. Vitamin E is another antioxidant that has many benefits including that it nourishes skin and eyes, and gives protection to the brain, heart and liver. Food sources for vitamin E include green leafy vegetables, nuts and eggs.
When Diet is Not Enough
Diets high in fresh fruits and vegetables can help provide us with many of the vital phytochemicals, minerals and vitamins we need, but if our produce is being grown in nutrient poor soil then we still are not getting enough. AFA bluegreen algae is rich in phytonutrients, plant-based proteins, minerals, and essential fatty acids, as well as a wide spectrum of micronutrients, making it a nourishing whole food that provides a broad range of benefits. The brain in particular can benefit from AFA bluegreen algae. The blood brain barrier allows only small micronutrients and fat-soluble molecules to pass through it, yet the brain requires huge quantities of nutrients and molecules. A hungry brain results in decreased mental alertness as well as affected mood. To feed the brain, you need to focus on specific foods that nourish the brain and can pass through the blood brain barrier. This bluegreen algae with the cell wall removed contains micronutrients that can pass through the blood brain barrier and actually support the health of our brain cells. Most macronutrients cannot pass through this barrier, and even though they may support overall body health, they aren’t able to directly nourish our brains.
As our food sources alone don’t seem to be providing the nutrition we need to prevent disease and chronic conditions, it is time to start thinking about supplementing our diets. When looking at supplements make sure you consider micronutrients into the equation. We believe you’ll find that AFA bluegreen algae can help your body get all the essential fatty acids, proteins, complex sugars, vitamins, minerals, essential amino acids, phytonutrients and micronutrients to make up for the deficit of these in our foods. After all algae is actually a food itself and at the base of our entire food chain.