Essential Nutrients: What They Do and What to Eat

See how they help you and how you can include more of them in your diet.

We’re often told about vitamins and nutrients that our bodies need, but not always what they do for our bodies. We broke down some important nutrients that you might be missing in your diet and where you can get them from.


What it does: While it’s commonly associated with bone health, your heart and other muscles also depend on it. Studies have shown it may also help lower blood pressure and keep your weight in check.

What to eat: firm tofu, skim milk, low-fat yogurt and spinach


What it does: It may help improve your digestion, lower your cholesterol and regulate your blood sugar. It also helps you feel full for longer and is commonly found in low-calorie foods, which makes it an important nutrient for managing weight. 

What to eat: navy beans, avocado, chia seeds and green peas

Vitamin A

What it does: Technically a group of similar nutrients, vitamin A plays a key part in your eyesight and skin health. It’s also an important vitamin for healthy pregnancies.

What to eat: sweet potatoes, carrots, tuna and butternut squash


What it does: It helps a lot of your body’s essential functions—in fact, there’s potassium in every cell in your body. It supports muscle, nerve and bone health, energy production and more. Potassium also helps reduce high blood pressure.

What to eat: beet greens, salmon, large white beans and avocados


What it does: Iron helps deliver oxygen throughout your body and keeps you feeling energized throughout the day. It also supports your immune system to fight off sickness.

What to eat: beef, oysters, dried apricots and spinach

Vitamin D

What it does: Your skin makes vitamin D when exposed to sunlight, but everyone does it at different rates depending on their age, skin color and location. It’s one of the biggest compounds that stops cancer growth, keeps your bones strong and reduces your risk of diabetes.

What to eat: salmon, crimini mushrooms, fortified tofu and fortified yogurt

Need help improving your diet? With telehealth services, registered dieticians are available to evaluate your nutritional needs and provide personalized diet plans and shopping guides. As a member of the Service Benefit Plan, nutritional counseling is covered in full through telehealth.


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