4 Common Essential Nutrients and Vitamins Men Lack
Most of us know that health is wealth, but the hectic lifestyles and food habits of most men in Singapore mean that most of them actually lack some common nutrients and vitamins essential for a healthy body and mind. To all the men out there - don’t just take your health for granted, but consider these nutrients and vitamins you don’t realise you’re missing out on:
With the variety of food options from fast food to hawker centre dishes, who needs to cook at home anymore? As convenient as eating out is, bear in mind you’re not getting the range of vitamins and nutrients needed, especially fiber - the recommended intake is 30g, but Singaporeans only get 13g a day on average.i
Fibre helps manage obesity, heart disease, and hey, who isn’t up for better digestion? For more fibre, think balanced: eat more vegetables and fruits at every meal and swap out white rice and bread for whole grain options.
2. Vitamin D
The skin produces Vitamin D when you’re exposed to the sun. But we’re in sunny Singapore, how can a lack of Vitamin D be a problem? You’d be surprised by how little sun you get, especially if you work a 9 to 5 job in the office. From the moment you leave home in the morning, you’re spending most of your day indoors, and by the time you leave the office, the sun has set.
Vitamin D keeps your bones strong, so make sure you get your recommended intake of 1,000 IU per day! Try going out for a run instead of running on the treadmill in your gym, or simply taking a walk outdoors during your lunch breaks.
According to the US Food and Drug Administration, the best natural sources of Vitamin D are from fishes, such as cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel, tuna, sardines, as well as milk, margarine, cereals, eggs and moreiii.
Zinc is the ultimate mineral for men - other than strengthening your immune system, it’s linked with fertility, testosterone and sperm production. Adult men ages 19 and over should aim to take 11 mg of zinc a day, according to the Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Meat-lovers rejoice - zinc is found in pork, beef and chicken. But oysters are one of the richest food sources of zinc availablev. It’s small wonder that raw oysters are commonly said to be aphrodisiacs!
Feeling anxious, stressed and tired, no matter how much sleep you get? You might be suffering from magnesium deficiency. This is one mineral absolutely vital for Singaporean men leading rushed, hectic lifestyles. It’s bad enough that most adult men don’t sleep enough, but taking the recommended 400-420 mg of magnesium can be the energy boost most of us sorely need.
Magnesium deficiency is usually linked to eating too many refined and processed foods, something which most of us are guilty of. Opt for organic - leafy vegetables grown without chemical fertilisers have been shown to have the highest concentration of magnesium.
Health is Wealth
Hands up if you’re not living as active and healthy a life as you should be. If you’re lacking any of these essential nutrients and vitamins mentioned in this article, you should start checking out multivitamins to give you a much-needed health boost. You can also discover tips on how to eat for better health.
Here's to a healthier you!
iiInstitute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium and Vitamin D, Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2011
ivInstitute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc; Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 2001
vU.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service; USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24; Nutrient Data Laboratory Home Page, http://www.ars.usda.gov/ba/bhnrc/ndl, 2011
viInstitute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board, Dietary Reference Intakes: Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D and Fluoride; Washington, DC: National Academy Press, 1997