5 Nutrients Your Body NEEDS and How to Get Them
by Joana Steven
Without certain key nutrients, remineralizing the body – or just deriving nutrition from food – becomes a very ineffective process. Scientific findings have highlighted 5 key nutrients that are necessary for strong bones, teeth, balanced hormones, and more. Find out what they are, and how you can most efficiently incorporate them into your diet.
You may have heard that vitamin A can be derived from beta-carotene. Unfortunately, this is a myth. Indeed, scientific studies have determined that you need 10,000 IU of beta carotene to derive only 350 mcg of retinol. That’s a lot of beta carotene, and diets devoid of animal products and beta carotene rich foods in large amounts can easily cause deficiencies. Omnivores can get vitamin A from liver, egg yolks, and grass-fed dairy products, and plant-based dieters can increase their consumption of beta-carotene rich foods such as greens in order to get enough from conversion. One good way to get enough beta-carotene on a vegan diet is through green vegetable juices, where an entire head of romaine lettuce, juiced, converts to about 1,000 mcg of retinol.
Vitamin D is extremely important for many biological functions, including keeping teeth and bones strong, and proper intake of vitamin D in early childhood may decrease the risk of schizophrenia, asthma, autoimmune diseases, and more. Impressive! Both scientific findings and personal experience showed that the synthetic form of vitamin D, known as vitamin D2 or ergocalciferol, isn’t as effective at raising blood levels of the vitamin as its natural form, vitamin D3, or cholecalciferol. You can find vitamin D in foods such as fatty fish (salmon, tuna, etc.), grass-fed dairy products, eggs, and liver. It is strongly recommended to get your level tested to determine if you need to supplement, especially if you currently eat a vegan diet or do not get enough sunshine.
However, our bodies don’t always respond well to just popping a pill, and nutrients work together for optimal results. Dr. Kate Rheaume-Bleue explained in the Tooth Summit that “Vitamin D is excellent, has a number of health benefits, but it has friends and it needs to work with these partners for your optimal health. The more vitamin D you take, essentially the greater need you create in your body for vitamin K2.”
In the same Tooth Summit, David Wolfe explained that vitamin K2 fights off soft tissue calcification, protects your heart and is a very strong mineralizer of bone, especially in children and the elderly.
Indeed, Weston Price, a dentist who studied healthy, cavity-free indigenous and isolated cultures, found that their diets were very high in vitamin K2, but it is unfortunately nearly absent from our modern diets. Yet, getting enough vitamin K2 can prevent getting cavities, and can even reverse existing ones in conjunction with a nutrient-dense food intake. Vitamin K2 can be found in fermented cod liver oil, grass-fed dairy products, eggs, aged cheese, and supplementing with D/K2 drops can be beneficial, especially if you are experiencing symptoms from lack of mineralization like tooth decay.
According to Dr Carolyn Dean, “Women appear to have more problems with low magnesium because they can suffer deficiencies during pregnancy, when breastfeeding, with premenstrual syndrome, and with dysmenorrhea. Without magnesium, muscle and nerve functions are compromised and energy is diminished. We are operating with the power turned off”.
Magnesium is very important for bone health, as half of our reserves are within the skeletal system, and it takes the body a relatively high amount of energy to keep the blood magnesium levels constant. Since magnesium and calcium work together, and getting to much of one mineral can negatively affect the other, a good rule of thumb is to get about half a gram of magnesium for every gram of calcium. Rich sources of magnesium include squash seeds, cacao, nuts and seeds, and blackstrap molasses. Leafy greens are also good sources of magnesium.
Most of the phosphorus in our body can be found in our bones, and it is needed in many situations including proper fetal growth. According to Hal Huggins in the Tooth Summit, phosphorus levels above 3.5 protect against dental decay, while levels below that make you much more susceptible to getting cavities. Many foods appear to be high in phosphorus but phytic acid, present in beans, grains, nuts, and more, binds to phosphorus and makes it very difficult for our bodies to actually utilize it. Proper preparation of foods high in phytic acid is an important step towards proper mineralization of the body. Additionally, according to the Linus Pauling Institute, the body can only use about 50 percent of phosphorus from vegetable sources. Assuming proper food preparation, rich sources of phosphorus include animal products such as meats, eggs, and dairy products, as well as plant sources such as nuts and seeds.
Proper remineralization of the body includes getting enough of certain critical nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K2, magnesium, and phosphorus. Juicing, nutrient activation, phytic acid breakdown, and other culinary techniques, can greatly increase mineralization.
Join us on our Remineralize Your Body program to remineralize yourself and restore your energy, hormonal balance, and natural beauty! Learn all about juicing, blending, seaweeds, cultured drinks and fermented vegetables, phytic acid breakdown and nutrient activation, and much more, along with daily coaching with our remineralization team!