Dr. Rowena Eadie
Specialist Family Medicine
Iron is involved in transporting oxygen around the body. A deficiency can lead to fatigue and hair fall and, if severe, can cause anemia. Iron can be found in red meat, beans e.g. red kidney beans, and nuts. Take it with vitamin C-containing foods to improve absorption.
Calcium is needed to build strong bones and teeth. Dairy products are a good source, but it can also be found in leafy greens (broccoli and kale) and fish with soft bones e.g. pilchards and sardines.
Magnesium has anti-inflammatory properties, can help to prevent and even treat migraines, and may improve insulin resistance in people with metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Pumpkin seeds, spinach and dark chocolate (70-85% cocoa) are good sources of magnesium.
Zinc boosts the immune system and enhances wound healing. Animal -based sources of zinc are easily absorbed, e.g. seafood and red meat, while plant-based sources e.g. legumes and whole grains may not be as efficiently absorbed.
Potassium plays an important role in nerve and muscle function, and also controls the electrical activity of the heart. It is found in a wide variety of fresh fruit, dried fruits and vegetables, including bananas, dates and spinach. If you have kidney disease you may need to follow a low potassium diet so check with your doctor what your potassium limit is.