Quick ways to increase your vitamin and mineral intake

Published March 25, 2014

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Between juggling kids or grandkids, work and leisure activities it can be difficult to achieve the recommended three daily balanced meals and healthy snacks, but this may mean we’re missing out on vital vitamins and minerals required by our body to perform at its best. Fortunately, there are quick and easy ways to increase your daily intake of these essential nutrients even when time is limited.

  1. Boost your breakfast – Adding a few strawberries, blueberries or sliced bananas to your cereal won’t require much preparation and will add much needed vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
  2. Snack on nuts and seeds – Keep a container of raw nuts and seeds at your desk or in the car for a healthy and convenient snack. Include almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds. Nuts and seeds contain various nutrients including calcium, selenium, magnesium, B vitamins and essential fats.
  3. Replace standard lettuce with darker greens ‐ Dark leafy greens such as spinach, rocket, kale, broccoli and bok choy are nutritional powerhouses, rich in vitamins A, C, E and K, plus iron, magnesium and calcium. They’re also a great source of fiber and add a nutritional boost to salads, stir frys, soups or sandwich wraps.1
  4. Keep carrot sticks and hard boiled eggs in the fridge – For when you’re time poor and looking for something to snack on. Carrot sticks work well with hummus or nut butter and are a source of beta‐carotene. Eggs are rich in B vitamins, magnesium, calcium, iron, selenium, vitamins E and A, and lutein.2
  5. Switch from white to whole grain – Move away from highly refined and processed white bread, white flour and white rice and instead choose their whole grain counterparts. When grains are refined they lose around 25% of their protein content, fiber and at least 17 key nutrients.3 Try rolled oats, buckwheat, rye, spelt, millet, brown rice and quinoa.
  6. Add a can of tuna or salmon to your salad –Tuna and salmon are good sources of omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are necessary for heart, brain and general health. Canned salmon also contains soft edible bones that are rich in calcium.
  7. Order a side salad – When out and about, order a green side salad to help increase your intake of vitamins and minerals.
  8. Take an “on the go” multivitamin – Multivitamins can help top up your daily intake of vitamins and minerals that you may not be getting from your diet alone and help your body function at its best.

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