Having a hard time concentrating? You might be short on vitamin B12, a water-soluble nutrient that plays a key role in healthy neurological function and a host of other body systems. Being short on B12 can make you feel tired and depressed, and can also lead to a host of other health problems. This important vitamin is frequently found in animal-based foods, such as meat, fish, eggs, or dairy foods — but rarely in plants. This can mean that vegetarians or meat-reducers are particularly in need of supplements.
Regularly run out of steam long before your day is through? You might be suffering from a magnesium deficiency. This important mineral has lately been labeled possibly the most important for maintaining good health, playing a key role in everything from keeping your energy levels regulated to sustaining blood vessels and strengthening bones. If you think you’re not getting enough, up your intake of whole grains, nuts and seeds. You’ll even find it in dark chocolate — our favorite source.
You won’t find all of the Vitamin D in milk or leafy greens: Our best source of Vitamin D is simply to step outside and let our skin soak up some rays. But with more of us than ever working indoor jobs and protecting ourselves throughout the morning and afternoon — rightly so — from UVA and UVB rays when we do head outside to play, many Americans are short on this important nutrient. That puts a number of our body systems at risk, from bones to circulatory systems that are both easily affected by the deficiency.
Recent surveys show that up to 97% of Americans aren’t getting enough potassium, a key player in maintaining the body’s fluid balances, transmitting nerve signals and regulating blood pressure. The reason is our tendency to keep skipping our fruits and veggies. In addition to the famously potassium-rich bananas, other great sources of potassium include lentils, orange juice, fish, spinach, and potatoes. Opt for making a point of getting your potassium from foods instead of capsules for maximum impact.