Finding just the right balance of nutrients for your own individual needs can take time and patience.
Every individual requires a special blend of nutrients to fit their body's needs.
As you are probably familiar, the USDA sets daily recommended amounts of most nutrients for the average healthy American.
These standards are a good starting point when deciding how much you need of each nutrient, but special health concerns require a more in depth treatment plan.
Putting aside individual needs, here are the industry's hottest news bites.
But because one diet doesn't fit all, please consult with your physician and dietitian before revamping your diet according to the following tips.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids Eat a diet with 1000 mg omega-3 fatty acids daily.
We now know the benefits include a lower risk for heart disease and stroke.
They also reduce inflammation in our joints, bloodstream, and tissue.
Omega-3 fatty acids can be found in cold water fish like salmon, herring, mackerel, and tuna and in plant based foods like walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil.
Read food labels to find the amount of omega-3 fatty acids in each type of food.
It will vary considerably.
Fiber Eat 25-35 grams of fiber per day.
Most Americans fall short in this area consuming only about half that amount.
Fiber provides many gastrointestinal benefits, helps lower cholesterol, helps control blood sugar levels, and keeps you feeling fuller for longer.
It is most commonly found in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans and nuts.
Although many foods that traditionally do not contain fiber (like yogurt) are starting to pop up all over the grocery store, there is some controversy as to the health benefits of this added fiber.
Your best bet is to focus on getting your fiber from foods that naturally contain it-whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts.
All of those items are part of a healthy diet anyway.
Vitamin D Vitamin D is one of the fat-soluble vitamins we need.
Its main function is helping the body absorb calcium from the gut for healthy bones and teeth.
Vitamin D functions as a hormone, a messenger relaying signals throughout the body.
There is new exciting research showing the importance of vitamin D.
New studies show that people who take a vitamin D supplement appear to have a lower risk of death from any cause ("Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D?" Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter, December 2007).
The current RDA (200 IU a day for adults 50 yrs.
and under, 400 IU a day for people 51-70 yrs.
, and 600 IU a day for everyone over 70 yrs.
) is thought not to be enough to do an adequate job.
Many researchers are now suggesting 1000 IU for all adults.
This amount includes vitamin D from foods, supplements and the sun.
Tea Teas contain polyphenols, compounds with high antioxidant properties.
EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate) is the polyphenol that gets the limelight here.
There are many varieties of tea, each with varying amounts of antioxidant activity.
White and green teas have the most beneficial properties.
Drinking up to 4 cups of tea a day is recommended to reap the antioxidant rewards.
Hot or cold, drink it any way you like it.
Organic Food Eat organic fruits and vegetables and animal products like milk, yogurt, and meat.
Organic foods have not been treated with synthetic pesticides or fertilizers, and animals raised organically have not been given hormones or drugs to promote rapid growth.
Genetically modified organisms are not used on any organic farm.
Look for the USDA's organic symbols on packaging.
These products are pricier than their conventional counterparts and considering the increase in food costs lately that may be a stumbling block for many consumers.
You can compromise by choosing to buy the top twelve fruits and vegetables that are considered the "dirty dozen".
Those are: apples, celery, cherries, grapes, lettuce, nectarines, peaches, pears, potatoes, spinach, strawberries, and sweet bell peppers.
Incorporating these five nutrition tips into your daily life can make the difference between eating well and eating great!