MACROnutrients are protein, carbohydrates and fat. These nutrients definitely affect health and weight loss. But what about MICROnutrients? These small nutrients are necessary for the growth and health of a living organism. They help regulate your appetite, blood sugar levels, fat storage, and so much more.
Calcium is known as ‘The Bone Builder’ for its ability to help build stronger bones and decrease bone loss. It is loaded with fat burning benefits and has been proven to be crucial for weight loss. An average intake should be between 800-1200 mg. Leafy greens, low fat dairy, and fortified orange juice are excellent sources.
Magnesium is the mineral that helps level blood sugar. This helps to avoid the spikes during the day that lead to overeating. A diet rich in magnesium will also have a low risk of diabetes. Aim for 300 mg a day. Nuts, beans, sprouts, soy milk, avocado, salmon, apples, and ground beef.
Vitamin D plays an essential role in helping you metabolize carbohydrates. You will have more energy and burn fat efficiently with a higher level of vitamin D. Fish, eggs, fortified milk, and yogurt are good sources of this micronutrient.
Vitamin C is crucial for making a key molecule to burning fat. This molecule is called caratine. Research shows that woman and men losing weight and took a daily dose of 500 mg vitamin C burned 11% more fat than those who did not. Find this nutrient in red sweet peppers, citrus fruit, broccoli, sprouts, and cabbage.
Folate (B vitamin) is the vitamin that helps make red blood cells in the body. It helps maintain your energy levels and keep all your organs function properly. Spinach, fortified pasta, some cereals, and breads.
Iron helps transport oxygen to all your cells making it essential for brain and muscle power. Beans, red meat, chicken, pork, turkey, leafy greens, and lentils.
Potassium helps you through your workouts by preventing muscle cramps and fatigue. Avacados, sweet potato, dried apricots are a few options.
It has come to my attention that many of us do not cross train, or maybe do not completely understand what it means. What is Cross Training and is it important? Cross Training is defined as ‘an exercise regimen that uses several modes of training to develop a specific component of fitness.’
Cross Training is for anyone, whether you are a beginner or an experienced exerciser looking to take your workout to the next level. Any well developed exercise program will add some cross training. This means adding a wide variety of activity choices so you can pick what works for you.
One of the most common mistakes people make is repeating the same routine week after week. Cross training helps to keep your body guessing, which in turn ramps up the benefits of exercise and helps to improve your fitness level. When you do the same things repeatedly you also risk injury. Cross training helps to prevent over stressing the body, causing further injury.
Cross Training could include activities that develop muscular fitness as well as aerobic conditioning. It will help control body weight and improve your regular workouts. For example, runners who only ever run will see significant improvement in their normal running routine after beginning a cross training element. This could be anything from strength training to yoga. Another example is someone who is a beginner and has only been doing cardio workouts now adds strength training and suddenly feels stronger and sees more weight drop.
Sometime I call it ‘Shocking your system.’ You may even hear me say its ‘Your mind talking to your body.’ What I mean is, stepping out of your comfort zone, doing something different then your usual routine will help jumpstart your system again, improve your stamina, help avoid injury, (not to mention boredom) and create a stronger healthier you! So, get out there this week and try something new. Take a yoga class instead of your usual HIIT class. Go to Zumba instead of your run. Meet with a trainer and set up a strength training program. What ever it is, get out there and do some cross training. You wont regret it.
The two natural Supplements that I feel are most beneficial are vitamin D and omega-3 Fatty Acids.
Long chain omega 3 fats in certain fish oils have been proven to help fight against a range individual health issues. Two important forms of Omega 3s are EPA and DHA. These types are mostly found in fish. A plant and nut based form (ALA) can be found in nuts and seeds. Omega 3 Fatty Acids are necessary to support the body’s ability to fight disease and illness. These are essential fats that cannot be made naturally by the body, but are necessary to make healthy cells. Omega 3s have been shown to support a number of functions such as joint health, kidney, eye health, and normal cognitive function.
Osteoporosis, a disease affecting mainly women, is most often associated with a vitamin D deficiency. Higher storage levels of vitamin D will maintain bone strength and help prevent osteoporosis in most adults. It also supports cognitive brain function and respiratory health. Foods such as fish, (salmon, tuna, and mackerel) eggs yolks, and fortified milk contain some vitamin D. Our bodies can also naturally produce vitamin D from the sunlight, but this is not a total source.
Both of these vitamins work together to improve brain function and mood as well as boosting physical wellness. Chances are most of us are not getting enough through whole foods and may find it necessary to take a supplement.
For me, I personally suffer from lupus. Although I have been under a doctors care, and have tried various medications, I find staying consistent with my Fish oil and vitamin D helps improve my joint pain and stiffness and genuinely makes me feel good. As far as how much and which brand of supplement to take, I suggest speaking with a medical professional or nutritionist to discuss your individual needs. Everyone’s diet is different and therefore those habits should be evaluated before making such decisions.
Getting vitamins through whole food is clearly the best option. However, very few foods actually contain a proper amount our bodies need to function at a healthy level, and supplements may become necessary.
There are many other types of vitamin supplements available. Research your options, find out what particular needs you as an individual have, and be sure to shop at a natural food or health supplement location.
In Health and Wellness,
When it comes to improving your life style the little things really add up to make a big difference. When we think ‘change’ we often assume it will require a radical revamp of our life. However, research shows that making small, consistent changes, rather than aiming for a total overhaul, is key to making a practical and sustainable new habit. Breaking it down into small bites will help you to adopt these changes permanently into everyday life. These changes can be anything concerning your eating habits, exercise, sleep schedule, or even just trying to stop a bad habit. For me, this is nail biting.
At the same time, making small changes slowly does not mean it will take forever to see or feel a difference in your life. I studied an experiment done with a group of people looking to put more happiness into their lives. The study focused on things we can all do to achieve a better, healthier lifestyle. I understand that not everyone has all the time in the world to stop and focus on self- improvement, but I bet we all think about it from time to time. Everyone wants to feel good. Whether its increasing your confidence, reducing stress levels, creating deeper relationships, or becoming a healthier individual… We can all benefit.
Here are my top five:
I hope this was helpful and I look forward to hearing from you.
In Health, Fitness, and Wellness,