Calcium works with vitamin D to keep bones strong. Calcium is found in dairy products, canned fish with soft bones, kale and nuts. If a person’s calcium intake is insufficient, the body will take calcium from bones and teeth, making them weak and brittle. The recommended daily intake of calcium for men and women is:
Women 50 and younger: 1,000mg per day
Men 70 and younger: 1,000mg per day
Women over 50: 1,200mg per day
Men over 70: 1,200mg per day
Iron is needed to make haemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen around the body. A lack of iron in your diet may leave you feeling fatigued and weak. Iron can be found in meat, beans, nuts, dried fruit, wholegrains and leafy green vegetables. The recommended daily intake of iron for men and women is:
Men over 18: 8.7mg per day
Women aged 19-50: 14.8mg per day
Women over 50: 8.7mg per day
Fitness and training
There are some nutrients that can aid your fitness or physique goals. While a simple change to your diet can increase your intake of these, some people choose to take them as a supplement. These are known as sports supplements. They can help you build muscle or burn fat and are often taken during or straight after training to enhance performance and improve recovery.
Creatine is compound found naturally in red meat, pork, poultry and fish. It gives your body a quick source of energy for high intensity exercises such as sprints. It’s also great for weight training and can be taken along with a carbohydrate straight after a workout.
Protein is key to building and maintaining all types of body tissue and can aid muscle repair post-workout. It contains amino acids; the building blocks used for muscle growth and it can boost your metabolism and reduce your appetite, aiding fat loss.
Protein-rich foods include: red meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, beans and tofu. Many people who want to increase their protein intake, often do so in the form of a powdered supplement. There are several types of protein powder available:
Protein powders are one of the easiest ways to add more protein to your diet as they can be consumed as shakes, bars or capsules. Protein shakes are not intended for use as a meal replacement as they do not always contain all the essential nutrients that you would get from a balanced meal.
To make your own protein shake, here’s a simple recipe you can mix in a blender:
1 cup unsweetened almond milk
1 cup frozen berries
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 cup plain Greek yoghurt
1-2 scoops whey protein powder.
The best shakes to help you build muscle are:
SCI-MX Nutrition Muscle Meal Leancore
Meal replacement shakes
Lots of people use meal replacement shakes to help them achieve their health or fitness goals. Depending on your diet and lifestyle, a meal replacement shake can provide your body with nutrients that it may be lacking. Plus, because they’re quick and easy to make, and you can drink them ‘on-the-go’, they may also help you stay away from unhealthy convenience foods and snacks.
Some meal replacement shakes come pre-mixed while others are in a powdered form that can be added to milk or water. Most meal shakes contain between 300-500 calories per serving and provide all the nutrients that you need including protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals. Watch out for shakes containing unhealthy ingredients, such as added sugars, corn syrup, artificial flavours or chemical preservatives.
Some examples of meal replacement shakes are:
The Protein Works Vegan Meal Replacement
Diet shakes are a convenient way to make sure you’re getting all the nutrients that you need while helping you lose fat. They contain fewer calories compared to typical meal replacement shakes – usually between 150 to 250 per serving, so swapping out one regular meal for a shake, can help you reduce your daily calorie intake. While diet shakes can help you achieve your weight loss goals as part of a healthier lifestyle, they should not be seen as a long-term solution. It’s about finding what works for you to help you reach your weight loss goals.
Some examples of diet shakes are: