Vitamin C, calcium and vitamin D get lots of attention, but some lesser-known vitamins and minerals are just as important to your overall health. Here are three healthy nutrients you may know little or nothing about.
Zinc. Zinc helps the body fight disease, speeds healing of wounds and makes protein synthesis more efficient. According to the Mayo Clinic, it may also reduce the length of a cold. Food sources of zinc include red meat, poultry, certain seafood (oysters, crab, lobster), beans, nuts, whole grains, dairy products and fortified cereals. If you're a vegetarian, you may need to take a zinc supplement.
B12. Vitamin B12 keeps blood cells and nerves healthy and muscles strong. A B12 deficiency called megaloblastic anemia causes weakness and fatigue.
Fish, shellfish, meat, poultry, eggs, dairy, and some fortified cereals are good sources of Vitamin B12.
If you're a vegan, you can get your B12 from fortified soy milk and take a supplement if needed.
Choline. Choline is an essential nutrient that helps with brain and memory development. It can also build muscle and improve athletic endurance.
Choline is found in eggs, lean beef, chicken breast, beef liver, cod and wheat germ. To meet your daily needs, include 4-5 servings of these foods. According to cholineinfo.org, only 10 percent of Americans currently get enough choline.
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