5 Nutrients You May Not be Getting Enough of

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

Take a moment to assess your diet on a typical day. What is it usually comprised of? Is it eggs and toast for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and maybe a steak and some veggies for dinner? Or is it more like a muffin for breakfast, fast food for lunch, and pizza for dinner? While all these foods are similar in that they are delicious, they differ significantly in how nutritious they are. It is vital that we be getting good nutrition at each meal and not just consuming empty calories.

According to the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there are 5 nutrients that are lacking from most Americans’ diets. These 5 nutrients include calcium, vitamin D, potassium, fiber, and iron. Registered dietician Emma Willingham says that each of these plays an important role in our health. Calcium and vitamin D are essential for building and maintaining strong bones, potassium is important for regulating the fluid levels in our cells, fiber is important for good gut health, and iron maintains blood health.


The reason that many don’t get enough of these nutrients is that when we eat lower quality meals that are highly processed, such as fast food, prepackaged food, or foods comprised of refined grains and sugar, we don’t get much nutrition because it has all been stripped out of these foods. So how can we make sure that we are getting enough of these nutrients in our diets? Simply eating lots of fruits, veggies, meats, dairy, and whole grains is a great way to ensure that you are getting enough of all these nutrients.

We all need to make sure we’re all avoiding empty calories and instead eating foods that help us to meet our daily nutrient needs! Next time you’re at the grocery store or local farmers market, stock up on some fresh produce, meats, and dairy so that you can prepare meals for yourself and your family that are full of nutrition! Make sure that you look for products that are produced right here in Arizona!

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