Malnutrition – it’s a problem that affects more than one billion people worldwide. Malnutrition occurs when your body doesn’t have enough of the vitamins and minerals it needs to function correctly. As a result, it can lead to serious health problems over time, such as heart disease or anemia.
Fortunately, there are certain vitamins and minerals you can intentionally incorporate to improve your nutrition without breaking the bank. Read on for tips on how to fight malnutrition on a budget!
Calcium is a mineral that’s essential for maintaining strong bones and teeth. You can find natural sources of calcium in dairy products and dark leafy greens like spinach or kale. Additionally, tofu made with calcium sulfate, fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, orange juice laced with calcium citrate from concentrate, and soy milk enriched to contain extra levels of this nutrient can all help you meet the daily recommended intake of calcium.
Iron is a necessary mineral for energy production and growth. It also helps red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. Iron deficiency can cause fatigue, poor immunity, anemia, joint pain, or tenderness in muscles and ligaments, along with tingling skin sensations.
Some of the best food sources of iron are beef liver, lean beef steak, and lamb shank. Plant-based options range from nuts and legumes to leafy greens, potatoes, and mushrooms. Dark chocolate that contains at least 70% cocoa solids is another tasty way to up your iron intake.
The best way to get your daily dose of vitamin D is through direct sunshine exposure. However, that’s not always an option, so it can be helpful to take a vitamin D supplement or eat foods that contain the nutrient. Milk and yogurt, fish like salmon and tuna, and egg yolks are all healthy foods that are high in vitamin D.
Vitamin C is a water-soluble vitamin that you can find in some fruits and vegetables. It’s also an essential nutrient for the immune system, healthy connective tissue growth, skin health, wound healing, and more. You may not get enough vitamin C by eating foods alone (although citrus fruit, bell peppers, broccoli, and tomatoes are a great place to start), so supplemented forms of this vitamin are available to try if you think your intake could use improvement.
Potassium is an essential mineral that helps your body maintain a proper balance of fluids and nutrients. It also plays a role in muscle contraction, the transmission of nerve impulses, and maintaining heart rhythm. Low potassium levels can lead to fatigue, constipation or diarrhea, low blood pressure, and dizziness when standing up too quickly from sitting or lying down.
High-sodium diets in particular may increase your need for potassium. There are many fruits and vegetables, including spinach, avocado, bananas, and sweet potatoes, that pack in potassium and can ensure you’re getting adequate amounts of this nutrient.
Eating a healthy diet may seem complicated, but you can start to improve your nutrition without breaking the bank with these tips. If you found these tips helpful, you may want to consider investing in sports nutrition certification to share with people who specialize in sports and other careers.