Phosphorous is an Incredibly Important Nutrient

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern

We often hear about all these different nutrients that we should either start consuming or consume more of as they are important to our health. As if there weren’t enough nutrients and their benefits to remember already, let’s try adding another one to the list! Phosphorous is a nutrient that you’ve probably heard of but might not know too much about. So, let’s take a look at why we need phosphorous in our diets and some good sources to get it from!

beef Cattle On Arizona's Range.

Cattle roaming free on Arizona’s open range.

According to Dr. Melissa Prest, phosphorous has a wide variety of important roles within your body. It helps to build and maintain strong bones and teeth, activate enzymes, manage blood pH levels, maintain our respiratory and circulatory functions, and is a building block of DNA, RNA, and ATP and helps our bodies to process other vitamins and minerals properly. Clearly, phosphorous plays a HUGE role in our body’s health.

So, how might we increase our intake of phosphorous? Dr. Prest says that we can get naturally occurring phosphorous from the foods that we eat, or we can get it through foods that phosphorous has been added. The main sources of naturally occurring phosphorous include dairy, red meat, legumes, poultry, seafood, eggs, and nuts. She notes that we absorb the most phosphorous from animal products.

Lucky for us, here in Arizona, we have access to a wide range of locally raised animal products. Whether it be eggs from Hickman’s, dairy products, or meats from all of the many dairies and ranches across the state, getting our phosphorous from locally sourced products is pretty easy!

For more health-related articles, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!

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