Let’s take a few minutes to talk about food quality.
If we tried to pretend that macronutrient balance wasn’t important for determining bodyweight, body composition and physical performance levels we’d be lying. But there’s a crucial place for micronutrients in this picture too.
Surely you want your metabolism to be running effectively and as smoothly as possible?
If so, you need to make sure that you’re looking after the following vitamins and minerals:
Magnesium plays a critical role in the body, but around 50% of the Western population are deficient in it. Low magnesium levels are associated with fatigue and weakness, numbness, tingling and muscle cramps. Depletion of magnesium results in increased overall energy needs and can negatively affect your heart’s ability to do its job.
Lowered zinc levels have been associated with poor performance of the heart and lungs during exercise. As a rough estimate 20% of men and 40% of women are deficient in zinc.
- B vitamins
Low levels of B vitamins (particularly thiamin and riboflavin) have been shown to cause reduced exercise performance in a group of men. In another piece of work, a relatively common Westen diet was able to induce B vitamin deficiency in just 2 months!
Now you could jump straight to Google now and start buying a load of pills and powders to try and fix any deficiencies that you might have, but your body actually absorbs micronutrients better from natural food sources than it does from pills.
So where can you go to get your magnesium, zinc and B vitamins?
- Magnesium can be found in high levels in avocados, nuts, beans, seeds, whole grain products, fatty fish like salmon and mackerel, leafy greens and bananas
- Zinc and B vitamins can be found in meat, shellfish, beans, seeds, nuts, dairy products and eggs. Side note – Vitamin B12 is only found in animal products so if you choose to be vegan then you NEED to take some form of B12 as a tablet.
Simply put – eat plenty of real food, vary the colours, eat more vegetables and fruit than you think you should and see if you don’t feel better…