The day to day grind of our frantic modern lives does not leave much room for a well-balanced diet. From work life to school life, social life (if you can manage to fit one in) to home life – we have it all, or not quite, as the case may be. While technology advances in ways destined to make our lives easier – is it negating some of the nourishment that we are taking into our bodies? After all, many of the different methods of cooking we use will lessen the nutritional value of food.
In these modern, hectic and busy times it has never been more important for us to maintain a well-balanced diet that is as close to natural as it possibly can be. The best way to do this is by finding all of the little treats that nature provides for us, that taste great and that boost our health and immune systems.
One of the main things that we are not getting enough of in our diet is Phosphorus. This naturally occurring mineral is one of the more important things that our bodies need in order to survive in good health. But what is it and what will the lack of it do to your body? Let's take a look at the answers to that question below before we move on to listing some of the best snack foods beneficial for boosting those Phosphorus levels!
Phosphorus – what it is and what it does!
Phosphorus is a mineral that the body needs in order to function healthily. This is the second most popular mineral in your body next to Calcium and it is essential for helping the body to extract the best nutrients from food and expel waste material. It is also needed for repairing damaged tissue and the creation and the healthy maintenance of cells. It helps the body to maintain a regular heartbeat and is needed for muscle contractions. Phosphorus is also used by the body to absorb Calcium, making it essential for building new bones.
A lack of Phosphorus in your body will present you with fatigue, aching joints and other nasty little sufferance's – fortunately it is usually found in abundance in natural foods and, unlike many, many of the other minerals, it is highly likely that the average adult has too much phosphorus in their system and not too little.
Given that most people have enough Phosphorus in their system it actually doesn't hurt to have too much. If you have been feeling particularly tired recently then this might be attributed to too little Phosphorus in your system: a problem easily remedied by the addition of a few healthy snacks (such as nuts) to your diet!
Which foods contain high levels of Phosphorus?
If you think you may be falling into the above category and you want to get more Phosphorus into your diet just in case; then we recommend that you try some of the foods on the list below to give you that much-needed boost!
Pumpkin and Squash Seeds
Pumpkin and Squash seeds that have been slowly dried via roasting are perfect for getting those levels up. Sunflower seeds, Chia seeds, and Sesame seeds also contain levels high enough to help you. The double bonus from Pumpkin seeds is that they are also fairly high in Magnesium, another essential mineral that will improve your health. A 100g portion of these seeds will give you roughly 123% of your Recommended Daily Allowance of Magnesium – meaning that with just one cup of seeds you could be hitting nutritional goals all day long!
Brazil nuts contain a multitude of nutritional benefits as well as being a tasty treat at any time of the day. A 100g portion of Brazil Nuts contains 73% of your RDA of Phosphorus, as well as numerous other nutritional goodies. Brazil Nuts contain Potassium, Iron, Magnesium, and Calcium, provide you with dietary fiber and is also a source of Vitamin C. Be careful with Brazils though, that same 100g portion also contains more than 100% of your daily fat intake. IT might be healthy fat, but that's still a high number!
Picked from a tropical evergreen tree type, Cashew nuts contain more than 70% of your RDA of Magnesium, as well as being high in Phosphorus – 593 mg per 100g, to be exact. Cashews provide a wealth of mineral benefit to the body and, unlike other nuts, they also contain natural starch. They are high in Omega 6 but are also high in saturated fats, so that is something to be wary of.
These nuts are similarly grown to Cashews and actually belong to the same family. Notably, Pistachios also contain 40% of your RDA of dietary fiber, making them an excellent choice for anyone who has regular constipation. They contain Sodium, Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium, Iron and Vitamin c – making them a sort of super-nut. They have unprecedented levels of Omega 6 so if choosing Pistachios as your favored snack consider taking a source of Omega 3 to balance it out.
Banana is naturally high in Phosphorus and the drying process takes nothing away from this – plus banana slices make an excellent sweet treat for when only sweet things will do!
There are plenty of nuts and fruits out there that are high in Phosphorus. From dried fig to dried banana, from spinach to Pine Nuts – Phosphorus is found in some pretty strange places. If you think you are not getting enough Phosphorus in your diet then start now, change your meals up and give yourself a good old Phosphorus boost!
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