Even if your diet is a fruit-and veggie-packed rainbow of healthiness, you could still be missing out on vitamins and nutrients that are essential for getting you closer to your goal weight, says Jessica Cording, R.D., a dietitian in New York City. In order to lose weight in a healthy way, your body needs certain nutrients to help nix cravings, regulate your metabolism, and keep your digestive system in amazing shape. Here, Cording explains which vitamins and nutrients can help boost your weight-loss efforts.
Good news for you carnivores out there: Red meat is loaded with iron, which helps you crush it in the gym day in and day out. “When you don’t get enough iron, you may feel sluggish, tired, and lightheaded,” says Cording. That’s bad news for your calorie-crushing gym routine, she says. It’s especially important to make sure you’re getting the recommended 18 milligrams of this mineral during your period, when you lose some thanks to bleeding. If you’re not a fan of meat, turn to lentils, beans, and dark, leafy greens for your fix.
2. Vitamin C
To turbo-charge iron’s energizing superpowers pair it with some vitamin C. That vitamin helps your body use the hard-to-absorb type of iron found in fruits and veggies, says Cording. Besides that, vitamin C’s an antioxidant, which means it promotes optimal cell function. “It signals to cells that they have jobs to do, like fights free radical particles and keep your immune system functioning well,” says Cording. And when your cells are functioning properly, your muscles can work harder. Get your 75 milligrams per day from oranges, peppers, and even kale.