Nutrients your body needs more of
Sure, you watch what you eat (most of the time). But even generally healthy eaters can miss out on critical vitamins and minerals that the body needs to stay in fine tune, says Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, author of Eat Clean, Stay Lean. Here, three nutrients that keep everything from your brain to your immune system humming—plus easy ways to make sure you get them, courtesy of Health’s contributing nutrition editor, Cynthia Sass, RD.
They boost your brainpower and protect your heart
Of the eight B vitamins, B12 and folate are the most famous. B12 helps your body convert food into energy, and you need it to make the insulation, called myelin, that covers your nerves and helps neurons in the brain communicate with one another. B12 deficiency has been linked to cognitive issues like memory loss, confusion, and depression.
Folate is known to be crucial for pregnant women—but we all need it. “The fact that it plays such an important role in fetal development speaks volumes about its importance,” says Dawn Jackson Blatner, RDN, author of The Superfood Swap. Folate is vital because it helps lower levels of an amino acid that can contribute to stroke and cardiovascular disease risk. “Typically, people think of fiber and healthy fats as good for the heart,” says Blatner, “but folate and other B vitamins are part of that heart-smart group.”
Where to get them