4 Nutrients You Probably Don't Get Enough of

I try to eat an excellent diet. I aim to load my plate with lean protein, low fat dairy, whole grains, and fresh fruits and vegetables every meal. But the reality is that my diet still falls short sometimes.

My biggest struggle is time. A demanding workday, travel, family commitments—all of these can make it difficult to make sure I’m getting the best nutrition possible. No matter how hard I try, my diet can always be improved. I’m guessing your story is similar.

Research shows that there are certain nutrients that many of us might not get enough of. So, if you have a hectic schedule like mine, here are four nutrients to focus on:

1. Vitamin D

Research shows that over 40 percent of U.S. adults would benefit from higher levels of vitamin D. The nutrient is important in supporting a number of processes in the body, including supporting healthy metabolism and endothelial function. One of its chief functions is in helping support bone health by assisting the body in absorbing calcium.

Where to get it: Sunshine is the best natural source. Food sources include salmon, tuna, cheese, egg yolk and milk, though it can be difficult to get enough vitamin D through food alone.

How much? The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recommends a daily intake of 600 international units (IU) for adults ages 19 to 70; the recommendation for adults over age 71 is 800 IU daily.

2. Vitamin K

This nutrient is one of the most overlooked, yet it’s critical to healthy blood clotting. Additional research shows that vitamin K may also support heart and bone health.

Where to get it: Green, leafy vegetables like kale, spinach, collards, Swiss chard, parsley and romaine; vegetables like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage; fish, liver, meat and eggs.

How much? The NIH recommends a daily intake of 90 micrograms (mcg) daily for adults ages 19 and older. Be sure to talk to your doctor if you’re on blood-thinning medications.

3. Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA

It’s no wonder the American Heart Association recommends eating fatty fish rich in Omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA twice per week. Among other health-supportive functions, Omega-3s help maintain a healthy cardiovascular system by maintaining cholesterol and triglyceride levels already within a normal range.* But while this nutrient is critical to the body, a busy schedule can make it difficult to cook fatty fish two times every week.

Where to find it: Fatty fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna and sardines; krill oil.

How much? There is not current a recommended daily intake set by the NIH. If you’re not able to eat Omega-3 rich fish twice per week or are allergic to fish, supplementing with Herbalifeline® provides 336 milligrams (mg) of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids per serving. Tri-Shield® with Omega-3 fatty acids from Neptune Krill Oil (NKO®†) provides 45 mg of EPA and DHA.

4. Magnesium

This essential mineral is needed for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body. Magnesium supports nerve and muscle function, immunity, heart health, and bone health, as well as supports healthy blood glucose levels and bone strength. Yet how often do you ask yourself, “Have I had my magnesium today?” It’s important not to overlook this critical nutrient.

Where to find it: High-fiber foods, including leafy greens, fruits (bananas, dried apricots and avocado), vegetables, nuts (almonds, cashews), peas, beans, seeds, soy products (soy flour, tofu), and whole grains (brown rice, millet).

How much? For adults over 19, the NIH recommends a daily intake of 310–320 milligrams (mg) for women and 400–420 mg for men.

There are a lot of nutrients you need, and these are four to focus on. As always, be sure to talk with a health care provider before making major dietary changes if you have certain health conditions, or if you are pregnant or nursing.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

†NKO® is a registered trademark of Neptune Technologies and Bioressources Inc.

How do you make sure to get the nutrients your body needs?

Dr. Luigi GrattonAs vice president, worldwide product marketing, Luigi Gratton, M.D., M.P.H., is responsible for setting the overall vision and direction of Herbalife’s global product strategy. Gratton, a physician specialist in family medicine and clinical physician at the Center for Human Nutrition in the Risk Factor Obesity Program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA),* earned an undergraduate degree in science, a master’s in public health and he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in clinical nutrition from UCLA.*


[1] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21310306
[2] http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/vitaminK/
[3] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002407.htm
[4] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002407.htm
[5] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002423.htm
[6] http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002423.htm