"The Hunger Games" may be a teen fantasy, but it's no illusion that more and more folks are eating like they're starved for good nutrition, because they are. The fruits and vegetables you eat contain 5 percent to 40 percent fewer nutrients than they did a century ago.
Broccoli contains less calcium and magnesium; wheat may have as much as 39 percent fewer minerals; raspberries are depleted of the copper they once contained; and overall, you get less potassium, vitamin B-12, and fiber than your parents or grandparents did.
Fortunately, it's not all going downhill: Fortified foods and enriched grains have increased the amount of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, and iron that you get. And you get more vitamin C now that everyone has access to citrus fruits year-round. But you still need to make sure you're getting the balance of what your body needs for good health.
1. Take a multivitamin. Dr. Mike likes to break his in half and take one part in the morning one at dinnertime. Great insurance against an imperfect diet, and you especially need this if you're going mainly (or all) vegetarian.
2. Add supplements of omega-3 DHA (900 milligrams daily); vitamin D-3 (1,000 IU daily); a total of 1,000 milligrams of calcium a day (1,200 after age 60); and 400 milligrams of magnesium from food and supplements.
3. Buy local produce (fresh frozen is also good); it hasn't lost nutrients because of travel time. Increase your veggie and fruit intake so that you get a MINIMUM of nine servings a day.
© 2013 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Posts by Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Dr. Mike Roizen, M.D.