Key nutrients enrich healthy bodies

Published 2:10pm Friday, September 27, 2013

In fact, one study suggests consuming twice as much potassium as sodium can cut your risk of dying from cardiovascular disease in half. Potassium can lower risk of stroke too. Good food sources include bananas, citrus juices, avocados, cantaloupe, tomatoes, lima beans and fish.

4. Vitamin A. 

This vitamin helps keep skin, gums, and teeth healthy. It also helps us see better at night. To see in dim light, the rods in your eye’s retina use the chemical rhodopsin (also known as” visual purple”) to absorb photons and actually perceive light. Without enough vitamin A, rhodopsin can’t be produced. Vitamin A helps boost your immune system too. Vitamin A is fat soluble, which means your body stores it, so you can obtain too much. There are two types of vitamin A. Pre-formed vitamin A, from sources like liver, fish liver oils and eggs, and Pro-vitamin A (beta-carotene), that’s converted by our bodies as we need it, from sources like carrots, butternut squash, dark leafy greens, paprika, red peppers and sweet potatoes.

5. Magnesium.

This is the fourth most abundant mineral stored in our bodies and necessary for more than 300 biochemical reactions. Magnesium helps our bodies store energy, keeps nerves healthy, and muscles toned, helps genes function properly, keeps bones strong, and heart rhythm steady. Magnesium helps decrease triglycerides (fat in the blood) and increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels. It can decrease hypertension (high blood pressure) and decrease risk for type 2 diabetes. Magnesium can also reduce risk of “Metabolic syndrome,” whose symptoms include increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, high cholesterol, and obesity occurring at the same time, increasing one’s risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. One study showed those who consumed adequate amounts of magnesium cut their risk of metabolic syndrome by 33 percent or more.

Diet or exercise question? Email me at dwcrocker77@gmail.com or visit fitness4yourlife.org. David Crocker of Landrum has been a nutritionist and master personal trainer for 27 years. He served as strength director for the Spartanburg Y.M.C.A., head strength coach for the USC-Spartanburg baseball team, S.C. state champion girl’s gymnastic team and the Converse collage equestrian team. 

David was also a regular guest of the Pam Stone radio show.

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