Vitamins and minerals are super important to our daily health. We should be getting a certain amount each day to aid in everyday bodily functions. When on the keto diet, these vitamins and minerals are just as important.
You should check that you're getting enough of some specific vitamins and minerals when on keto. When you are eating regular packaged store-bought foods, a lot of them are fortified with vitamins and minerals that average American falls short of. However, a person on keto cannot eat most of these packaged foods so it is even more important to pay attention to these in your diet.
Vitamins and Minerals that Keto Dieters Lack
There are about 7 vitamins and minerals that people on a keto diet do not get enough of.
Specifically found in some research studies, people on a ketogenic diet fell short of the daily values of calcium, potassium, copper, vitamin D, selenium, zinc and magnesium.
I won't lie, on a standard diet I took for granted most of these vitamins and minerals. But when you're eating healthy and watching what you eat, you may as well take a look and make sure you're getting the proper amounts of these necessary nutrients.
Especially during the beginning of the diet, when you are shedding water weight you are also excreting extra minerals like potassium. Some of these vitamins and minerals you can supplement with to get to your daily recommended intake. If you want to which these are, including additional supplement needs, read our article on the specific supplements we recommend on the keto diet.
Calcium plays a vital role in bone building and regulating pathways. Calcium is normally fortified in cereals and dairy.
You can get extra calcium by eating cheese or drinking almond milk. For a more informative list, check out our article on calcium and keto.
Vitamin D has been in health news in the past couple years because the average American, keto or not, runs short of Vitamin D. It is so important to health that the FDA is changing the nutrition labels on food products to be required to include the amount of Vitamin D per serving.
Vitamin D partners with calcium to strengthen bones and teeth. A shortage of Vitamin D has also been linked to depression. You can get Vitamin D from almond milk and fish like salmon and tuna.
As an athlete growing up, I always knew to eat bananas frequently to ensure I was getting enough potassium to prevent muscle cramping around workouts. But you definitely can't eat bananas on keto.
Potassium is very difficult to get enough of in a supplement form, so it is recommended to get it through your foods. To be honest, it will even seem difficult to get through your foods because foods like beans, potatoes and bananas are off-limits. That's where avocados, beef and fish like salmon come to the rescue.
Include multiple servings of avocados in your diet daily to get enough potassium.
Eating lots of vegetables (say at least 2 cups raw) like broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini will help get in potassium as well, just not as much as the avocados or fish.
Copper is one of those minerals I took for granted before the keto diet. Copper does a lot for the body: it helps strengthen the immune system and form collagen for bones and connective tissue.
The good news is you can easily get enough copper on keto if you're paying attention. Nuts like pecans, walnuts and almonds are the best sources of copper and will get you to your daily recommended intake easily.
Another mineral I took for granted prior to keto. Selenium acts like an antioxidant and fights free radicals. Unlike potassium, if you are aware, selenium is easy to get enough of on keto. Sources of selenium when on keto are eggs, beef and fish.
By now you may have heard to take zinc to strengthen your immune system. There are other benefits to zinc as well. You can get zinc through many types of nuts like walnuts, pecans and almond, as well as fish and meats like beef and chicken.
Magnesium is vital for a number of functions in the body like normal heart functions as well as aiding in restful sleep. It's also a mineral, similar to Vitamin D, that most Americans do not get enough of.
The good news about magnesium is that you can plenty of it with a supplement, as well as in your keto foods.
Almost all of the foods mentioned above for zinc will get your decent amounts of magneisum as well.
On the keto diet, it will also help with the side effect of constipation. Magnesium comes in a variety of forms, and some of them have greater diuretic effects than others. If you don't want these effects, you'll want to read a more detailed article on magnesium types to supplement with the correct one. Or check out the magnesium we use.