We are always told what vitamins and minerals we need to get from our diets. And yes, it does help us prevent nutritional deficiencies and promote overall wellbeing. However, most vitamins and minerals cannot work alone. They need to join forces in order to truly provide us with all those health benefits.
Below we have listed the top range of nutrients that work in pairs. So that next time you prepare a meal, you choose foods that can give you an extra nutritional boost.
Vitamin D and Calcium
Calcium is one of the nutrients, that is very well known and spoken of. Its main function is to assist with bone strength. However, your digestive system cannot absorb it easily without some help from vitamin D.
There is a bit of a debate going on at the moment with regards to how much vitamin D you should be having per day. However, the official nutrition guidelines recommend that adults get 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium and 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily.
With older adults, the recommended daily allowance is a bit higher. In your 50s, you should have 1,200 mg of calcium and 600 IU of vitamin D starting in your 70s.
Food sources high in vitamin D: Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, cheese and egg yolks
Food sources high in Calcium: Dark leafy green vegetables, low fat milk and low fat cheese
Sodium and Potassium
Though sodium is an essential nutrient, we consume far too much of it, mostly in the form of salt. An excess amount of sodium can interfere with your body’s blood vessel’s natural ability to relax and expand. And puts you at a higher risk of having a stroke or heart attack.
Potassium, on the other hand, can help your body excrete the excess sodium via your kidneys. A variety of studies have proven that an increased intake of potassium is associated with a healthier blood pressure, overall.
According to the current guidelines, adults are supposed to get 4,700 mg of potassium and 1,200 mg to 1,500 mg of sodium daily.
Food sources high in Potassium: Avocado, spinach, sweet potato, yoghurt and bananas.
TOP TIP: An easy way to cut back on sodium is to stay clear of processed foods and snacks, takeaways
and ready meals. Items like this will always contain a lot more salt, so it’s much better to keep your food
preparations at home, where you can control what goes in.
Vitamin B12 and Folate
Vitamin B12 and Folate both make part of the vitamin B group. And they are one of the best nutritional couples that serve a vital process. Vitamin B12 helps the body absorb folate, and together they support the process of cell division and replication. This is not only essential during child development, but in adulthood as well. Simple functions that require cell replication and division include hair and nail growth.
Nutrition guidelines recommend 2.4 micrograms of B12 and 400 micrograms of folate daily. You can easily achieve this by eating a reasonably well-balanced diet.
Food sources high in vitamin B12: Fatty fish like mackerel and salmon, beef liver and milk.
Food sources high in folate: Dark leafy greens, citrus fruits and legumes.
If you are more likely to buy a nutritional supplement rather than get vitamins and minerals through
your diet, it is important to make an informed decision.