Susie Burrell

‘your food, your body, your life’

 Nutrients Aussie women are not getting enough of.

This is a sponsored post, brought to you by Mayver’s.

It may come as a surprise to hear that despite living in a country in which great quality food is readily available, Aussie women are still at risk of several nutritional deficiencies. Specifically, data collected from the Australian Healthy Survey, found that Aussie adults in general have a low intake of fresh fruits and veges, with only 1 in 10 reaching the daily recommended intake, and an especially high in intake of processed and discretionary foods. As a result, our intake of key nutrients found in highest amounts in whole, unprocessed foods can be surprisingly low and potentially impacting mood, energy levels, bone health and immune function long term. So if you know that your diet could do with some work, and have not been feeling your best, here are some of the common nutrients Aussie women are not getting from their daily diets.

Calcium

Found in highest amounts in dairy foods including milk, yoghurt and cheese, a rise in a number of people avoiding dairy, or replacing it with plant based milks (which are not always fortified with calcium) appears to have had an impact on our calcium intake. Data from this recent survey suggested that up to ¾ of females did not meet the recommended intakes of calcium required for optimal bone health, muscle function and heart rate regulation. With up to ½ of all Aussie women impacted by osteopenia, or brittle bones, especially as we get older, ensuring you include at least 2-3 serves of calcium rich dairy, or high calcium alternatives such as fortified soy or almond milk is crucial.

Iron

It is well documented that at least 1 in 4 Aussie women have low iron stores, which can leave you feeling fatigued, breathless and lightheaded, which is in line with data that shows 1 in 4 Aussie women do not meet their recommended daily intake of iron from food. For meat eaters, ideally small portions of lean red meat will be included in the diet 3-4 times each week to ensure the body has access to enough well absorbed iron. For those who prefer a plant based lifestyle including a plant sources of iron from wholegrains, legumes, nuts, seeds and green vegetables at every meal will help to ensure the body gets enough dietary iron. A couple of tablespoons of 100% Mayver’s Nut spread will offer close to 1mg of iron, and as such is a great, nutrient rich addition to any plant based diet.

Omega-3 Fat

A special fat nutritionally, Omega-3’s found in oily fish, as well as nuts and seeds plays a key anti-inflammatory role in the body, important for health and disease prevention long term. Despite this, it is estimated that fewer than 20% of Australians get enough of these important fats. While oily fish is one of the richest natural sources of Omega-3 fat, fortified foods including the new Mayver’s Omega-3 Super Peanut Butter can play a key role in bumping up the entire families intake of Omega-3, and in particular DHA, a type of Omega-3 known to have distinct health benefits.

Iodine

A micronutrient that is crucial for optimal thyroid function, and as such one that heavily influences our metabolism, the importance of iodine in our diets is rarely mentioned unless you are pregnant.  What is important to know is that as Australian soil is relatively low in iodine, and as such iodine deficiency becoming increasingly common and is a common cause of thyroid health issues. Low iodine levels are also linked to poor brain development in children and impaired cognitive function in adults. Keeping this in mind, if you are not a regular consumer of seafood, it may pay to add it to the menu a little more frequently as seafood, especially shellfish such as prawns, mussels and oysters offer relatively large amounts of iodine. For non-seafood eaters, choosing an iodized salt is the next best step to ensure you are getting iodine in your diet on a daily basis.

Magnesium

A mineral that is important for muscle contraction and recovery, blood glucose regulation and immune function, it is a low overall intake of fresh fruits, veges and wholegrains that likely explains why a 1/3 of Aussie women are not getting enough magnesium on a daily basis. Found in a wide range of foods including avocado, leafy green veges, nuts, seeds and seafood, an adult requires at least 300mg of magnesium each day for optimal functioning. In food terms this means that a daily serve of nuts and seeds, or Mayver’s Nut Spread, along with 7-10 serves of fresh fruit and veges as well as wholegrains where possible is key to ensuring you are getting enough magnesium.

Recipe: Peanut Butter Slice

Serves 16-20

Ingredients

1 cup Mayver’s Smooth Peanut Butter
2 cups oats
1/3 cup reduced sugar cranberries
1/3 cup pepitas
1/3 cup slivered almonds
50g butter
1/3 cup maple syrup (or any sugar)
1/2 cup dark choc bits

Method

1. Combine dry ingredients.
2. Warm peanut butter over low heat with syrup and butter.
3. Mix through dry mix and pat into baking dish lined with baking paper.
4. Freeze for 2hrs and cut into pieces.