4 Key Nutrients for Your Health

By on January 1, 2014
key nutrients

I wholeheartedly believe that you are all strong, happy, healthy, vital women. And for health-conscious women like you and me. We have been inundated with nutrition literature that has repeatedly highlighted our body’s need for Calcium, Iron, and Folic Acid and while these nutrients really are integral for reaching our optimum potential, there are a few others that are quite often overlooked and are just as necessary. My personal training business has predominately serviced women over the years, as well as my nutrition and homeopathic services too. The following key nutrients have typically caused some confusion.

I want to help you set the record straight and be sure to consider increasing your intake of the following top 4 nutrient essentials that even fit women skimp on. Take a look and further protect your health by adding these foods and/or supplements today!

Shawna’s Top 4

1) OMEGA 3 FATTY ACIDS

Fabulous healthy fats that help control inflammation, prevent depression, protect against heart disease and breast cancer! Not to mention, hair, skin, nails, and joint health too! There are 3 kinds of Omega 3’s DHA, EPA, and ALA. DHA and EPA 4 Key Nutrients Even Healthy Gals Miss are long-chain omega 3’s found in fish. ALA, a short-chain omega 3 is found in animal sources like flaxseed and walnuts. Both varieties certainly offer benefits but the research and evidence are the strongest in favor of DHA and EPA. In all of my journal reading and experience, only a small percentage of us get any DHA and EPA in our diets on any given day.

How to get caught up

Aim for at least 3500mg of omega 3’s per week or 500mg/daily to lower heart disease risk. Eating just 6oz of fatty fish such as salmon or sardines will get you to your goal. If you’re not a fish fan, take a supplement. You can find it online on certified places like Supersmart. Afraid of any fishy ‘repeat’? Simply put the bottle of capsules in the freezer and take frozen. You won’t notice a thing. Vegans and vegetarians can look for the algae-derived capsules from any reputable nutrition house! Remember it is called an essential fatty acid because our bodies do not produce it on their own. We need to supplement savvy and include it in our health regimens!

2) VITAMIN D

Poor Vitamin D, until recently, it was only ever considered as Calcium’s helper because it increases absorption of the mineral from food and controls its storage level in bones and consequently strengthening them! But research has come a long way! Vitamin D has been positively linked to reducing chronic pain, easing PMS, guarding against heart disease and even warding off cancer! Unless your doctor or other health practitioner has been on your case about this already, I am confident that many of you simply do not get enough to maintain bone health, let alone reach disease protective levels.

With our busy schedules keeping us more indoors than ever, don’t rely on just sunshine to do the synthesis for you. Not to mention, our outdoor environment has become much more harmful than ever before and understandably, the use of sunscreen has reached a peak – as it should. But this is another way our skin is getting less of this vitamin than before. Gone are the days of a 200 IU/day requirement, we are up to 1000-2000+ IU/day for optimal health. These levels have been proven safe and instrumental in fighting disease and saving bone integrity.

How to get caught up

Eat plenty of Vitamin D rich foods such as salmon, fortified milk, and cereals and take at least 1000 IU a day of Vitamin D daily

3) A POWERFUL ANTIOXIDANT (OPC-3)

(OPC = Oligomericproanthocyanidins)

Much easier to say OPC huh? Either way, what makes this supplement unique is that it is comprised of the world’s most potent bioflavonoids such as bilberry, grape seed, red wine extract, pine bark extract, citrus extracts, and pycnogenol. Scientifically proven to be 20 times more potent than Vitamin C and 50 times for potent than Vitamin E when it comes to neutralizing free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause disease and breakdown in the body by causing oxidation. It’s our job to make sure that we are combating disease by the use of anti-oxidants. What are flavonoids? They are complex organic plant compounds found in fruits and plants that have proven health benefits. For example, healthy circulation and cell vitality, normal collagen renewal in the skin, joints, and cartilage tissue, have anti-inflammatory properties, help support normal blood glucose levels, aid in vision health, and more.

How to get caught up

If you have trouble locating this antioxidant, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, I can help you. Eat plenty of varying colorful fruits and vegetables daily and do your best to not boil your vegetables. They lose way too much nutrition that way. Raw or steamed is ideal.

4) MAGNESIUM

Magnesium helps maintain normal muscle and nerve function keeps bones strong and regulates blood pressure. Skimping on Magnesium is setting yourself up for some unpleasant symptoms that can lead to heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and obesity too! These are certainly far fetched but not unreasonable in our society today. Sleep troubles and muscle cramping are also linking to lower than average magnesium levels.

How to get caught up

If you are under 20 aim for about 310mg/day and if you are over 30 years of age, aim for 320mg/day. In my experience, most women are lucky to get 245mg a day. BUT NEVER EXCEED 350mg/day – your body will tell you by giving you abdominal cramps and diarrhea!  I highly recommend taking your Magnesium supplement before bed.

Outside of supplements, you can also consider eating more magnesium-rich foods like whole grains, beans, leafy greens, and nuts.

I sincerely hope this helps all of your fabulously fit and healthy ladies out thereby offering some insight into your nutrition regimen. I always love hearing from you, so please comment with any questions. I’m here to help! It’s my passion and purpose!

 

Shawna Hamilton B.A, BKin, H.D, is a Professional Personal Trainer, Nutrition Consultant, and Homeopathic Doctor.

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About Shawna Hamilton

Shawna exemplifies fitness. Her positive attitude and natural zest for life are her greatest attributes and have everything to do with her success as a respected and recognized trainer within the fitness industry. For over 16 years, Shawna has taken pride in consistently motivating and inspiring her loyal clientele. She owns and operates a thriving mobile health and wellness business specializing in private fitness training, nutrition counseling, custom meal and supplement planning, Figure and Fitness Model competition prep as well as natural medicine. Shawna is married, planning a family and lives in Etobicoke with her husband and business partner and their three dogs. You will find her at: http://www.fitandonthemove.com/.

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4 Key Nutrients for Your Health