Nutrient Deficiencies in the Modern Diet

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Nutrient Deficiencies in the Modern Diet

Michael Joseph

Nutrient deficiencies in the modern diet are a rising problem.

If you think you’re eating the perfect diet, you may want to reconsider that for a moment. On a purely statistical basis, the chances are that you have some critical nutrient deficiencies.

The data makes for scary reading:

· At least 98% of American adults are deficient in potassium1

· Approximately 68% of adults have a magnesium deficiency

· In the 2009-2012 NHANES study, only 10.8% of participants were consuming an adequate intake of choline2

· The prevalence of vitamin D insufficiency in the United States is 69.5%3

In short, the nutrient deficiencies in our modern diet are nothing short of a public health crisis. While these four nutrient deficiencies are only the tip of the iceberg, they are some of the most critical vitamins and minerals for our overall health. This article will investigate the cause of these deficiencies, the potential consequences, and what we can do about it.

Potassium: Important to Every Cell in our Body

Potassium plays a key role in every single cell in the human body; it’s a vital electrolyte that affects everything from our heart health to digestive function and even skeletal contraction. As an electrolyte, potassium works in combination — and in a delicate balance — with sodium to regulate blood pressure and the amount of fluid in our cells.

The problem is we’re just not consuming enough of it, and thanks to the abundance of processed food in our diet, our sodium intake is far too high. Public health has taken the route of focusing on salt restriction to rectify this problem, but this also has potential pitfalls of its own. For example, not only is excessive sodium a risk factor for heart disease but so is too little.4

This imbalanced ratio between potassium and sodium negatively impacts our whole biological system, with a rise in blood pressure standing out among the most critical.5 However, the good news is that we can quickly increase our potassium intake through eating a variety of healthy whole foods. Some of the most significant dietary sources of potassium include avocados, fish, meat, spinach and other leafy greens.

Magnesium: The Most Essential Mineral of All?

Many people in the nutrition world consider magnesium to be the most essential mineral, and it’s not difficult to see why. Magnesium exerts a powerful influence in the body, playing a part in over 300 enzyme systems and regulating blood pressure, protein synthesis, and blood…
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