Getting the right nutrients

Getting the right nutrients

Getting the right nutrients

The human body needs a number of nutrients in order to function properly. Below we look at different nutrients and how you can incorporate them into your diet.

Module - Vitamin D
Vitamin D

This helps the normal absorption of calcium and  maintenance of your bones. Children over 1 years old and adults need 10 micrograms of vitamin D a day.

We can make vitamin D in our bodies from direct sunlight between March to September. In the Channel Islands you may struggle from October to the end of February due to it being less sunny. If you're concerned about your levels of vitamin D you might want to ask your GP if you need a supplement.

Some food sources of vitamin D you can include in your diet are:


  • Oily fish
  • Red meat
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Milk alternatives
Module - Calcium

Calcium is needed for the maintenance of normal bones and teeth. Adults (over 19 years old) need approx 700mg calcium a day.

This can be achieved by eating and drinking these 3 each day:
200ml glass of milk
150g yogurt
30g of cheese (about the size of a matchbox)

Other sources include:

  • Vegetables such as spinach, purple sprouting broccoli, curly kale, watercress
  • Bread – brown bread, pitta bread, naan bread, white bread
  • Nuts such as almonds, brazil, hazelnut
  • Seeds such as sesame, celery, coriander, cumin, fennel
  • Calcium enriched soya milk/oat based drinks
Module - Vitamin A
Vitamin A

Vitamin A contributes to the maintenance of normal vision and to the normal function of the immune system.

Sources include:

  • Cheese
  • Eggs
  • Liver and liver products such as paté
  • Fortified reduced fat spreads

As liver is rich in Vitamin A, it’s recommended you don’t eat it more than once a week.

Module - Magnesium

Magnesium contributes to the reduction of tiredness and fatigue and contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system.

Sources of magnesium include:

  • Wholemeal bread
  • Nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, cashew, hazelnuts
  • Seeds such as celery seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds
  • Brown rice
  • Meat
Module - Potassium

Potassium contributes to the normal functioning of the nervous system and the maintenance of normal blood pressure.

Sources of potassium include:

  • Fruit such as bananas, dried apricots, avocado, blackcurrants, coconut, currants, dates, figs, jackfruit, prunes, raisins, sultanas
  • Vegetables such as broccoli, parsnips ,celeriac, courgette, fennel, plantain, spinach
  • Nuts – almonds, brazil, cashew, chestnut, hazelnut, pecan, pine nuts, pistachio, walnut
  • Seeds – celery, coriander, cumin, fennel, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
  • Fish – sea bass, cod, haddock, mackerel, pollock, salmon, sardines
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Turkey
  • Beans – black eye, broad beans, butter beans, haricot, red kidney, soya beans
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
Module - Iron

Iron contributes to the normal formation of red blood cells and haemoglobin, oxygen transport in the body and the reduction of tiredness.

Women aged 19-50 years have a higher requirement for iron as they lose it during their menstrual cycle. If you have an iron deficiency (anaemia) you may suffer from tiredness and lack of energy, pale skin and shortness of breath. Speak to your GP if you think you may be iron deficient.

Sources of iron include:

  • Beans such as haricot, red kidney, soya
  • Red meat
  • Dark green leafy veg such as spinach
  • Fortified breakfast cereals
  • Lentils and chickpeas
  • Seeds such as pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
  • Tofu
  • Dried fruit such as apricots, figs, raisins
  • Wholemeal bread
  • Eggs
  • Canned sardines
Module - Selenium

This contributes to the normal function of the immune system.

Sources of selenium include:

  • Brazil nuts
  • Eggs
  • Fish such as sea bass, cod and salmon
  • Shellfish such as crab and crayfish
  • Meat
Module - Beta-carotene

Beta-carotene is converted into Vitamin A in the body and is a vital nutrient for vision, cell growth and in maintaining healthy organs like the heart, lungs, and kidneys.

Beta-carotene is found in food such as:

  • Carrots
  • Apricots
  • Mango
  • Green leafy veg

If you’re pregnant, eating too much foods high in vitamin A can harm your baby, it is recommended that you avoid liver and liver products.