Essential Nutrients for Weight Loss

March 16, 2011

Weight loss is more than simply reducing your daily calorie intake. It's about providing your body with the nutrients it needs to function properly. If you have enough nutrients, you'll feel healthier and have the energy you need for effective exercise to strengthen your heart and your muscles.

Ideally the essential nutrients for weight loss should come from food sources. Vitamin supplements can only make up a portion of the missed food nutrients and can't provide the synergistic effects of nutrients found in food sources.

Fiber

Fiber helps move the extra material your body doesn't need to function out of your body. It's important that this extra material be removed as quickly as possible (without resorting to medications like laxatives) so that it doesn't turn into a toxin and make you sick. Fiber has also been scientifically proven to lower the risk of heart disease by 30 percent.

For every 1,000 calories consumed, make sure you have 14 grams of fiber to get the right amount. Fiber can come from many sources including whole grains, beans and some fruits and vegetables.

Vitamin C

This vitamin helps your body make collagen, the material that holds your blood vessels, bones and skin together. It helps metabolize cholesterol so it doesn't build up in the body, neutralizes damaging free radicals and helps your brain function at peak efficiency. Research suggests that vitamin C could also help reduce high sugar levels in diabetics and the pain of arthritis. Simply adding an orange to your diet every day will significantly increase your vitamin C intake while also providing you with some much-needed fiber. Avoid orange juice or other fruit juices if you're trying to lose weight because they're high in sugar and add unnecessary calories to your daily diet. Strawberries, cantaloupe, broccoli and kiwis are also high in vitamin C.

Vitamin A

This vitamin can be found in baked sweet potato (hold the butter and go easy on the salt and pepper) and other darkly-pigmented foods including kale, carrots and spinach. Vitamin A is good for your eye health, but also helps maintain the linings of your intestinal and urinary tracts which can mean more efficient digestions and waste elimination.

Calcium

This mineral is known for helping strengthen your bones and teeth. Strong bones mean you have a lower risk of injuring yourself if you exercise for weight loss. Some studies indicate that calcium-rich foods like low-fat dairy products, when taken in moderation, affect metabolism speed allowing your body to burn calories more efficiently and ultimately lose weight.

 

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