Healthy Keto Micronutrients, Vitamins and Minerals You Need on a Ketogenic Diet

Healthy Keto Micronutrients, Vitamins and Minerals You Need on a Ketogenic Diet

The Importance of Micronutrients, Vitamins, and Minerals on a Keto Diet

When you follow a ketogenic diet, your body produces ketones as its primary source of energy. This is because when you restrict your carbohydrate intake, your body needs to find an alternative source of energy. On a ketogenic diet, your body produces fat-burning enzymes called ketones. To support your new fat-burning lifestyle, it is important to recognize the micronutrients that are found in abundance on a ketogenic diet and those that must be supplemented from outside sources.

Micronutrients on a Ketogenic Diet

On a ketogenic diet, your primary source of energy is fat. Because of this, micronutrients that are naturally found in high amounts in fat are easily and efficiently absorbed by your body.

  • Vitamin A – Vitamin A is found in high amounts in both animal fats and cod liver oil. It is important for vision, bone growth, immune function, and reproduction. Vitamin A deficiency can lead to night blindness, poor immunity, and poor reproduction.
  • Vitamin B – Vitamin B is a group of vitamins found in protein-rich foods. This includes both animal and plant foods. Vitamin B is important for the creation of red blood cells, neurotransmitter function, and proper muscle and brain function. Deficiencies in Vitamin B can lead to fatigue, anemia, depression and mood disorders, anxiety, and cognitive impairment.
  • Vitamin C – Vitamin C is found in high amounts in both fruits and vegetables. It is important for collagen formation, immune function, iron absorption, and prevention of oxidative stress. Deficiencies in Vitamin C can lead to fatigue, poor wound healing, bleeding gums, iron deficiency, and reduced immune function.
  • Vitamin D – Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for healthy bone formation, immune function, and mood regulation. Vitamin D is most commonly associated with its role in bone health, but it has a number of other important functions, too. In fact, Vitamin D is so essential for human health that it’s been called “the most important micronutrient for good health.”
  • Vitamin E – Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in high amounts in both nuts and seeds. It is important for creation of red blood cells, cellular health, and healing of damaged tissues. Deficiencies in Vitamin E can lead to an increase in oxidative stress.

Calcium

Calcium is important for bone health and nervous system function. On a ketogenic diet, calcium may be absorbed less efficiently because of an increase in uric acid from increased protein intake. To compensate for this, you should consume more calcium-rich foods and supplement with a calcium citrate supplement.

  • Dairy Products – Dairy products are a great source of calcium. Dairy products are allowed on most ketogenic diets, but you should watch your portion sizes to prevent overconsumption of protein and extra calories.
  • Fish with Soft Bones – Fish with soft bones, including sardines, salmon, and canned tuna, are a great source of calcium. Be careful to not consume too much fish bones, as they can cause constipation.
  • Leafy Greens – Leafy greens, including broccoli, salmon, and kale, are rich in calcium. Be careful, however, as many contain oxalates that bind to calcium and prevent its absorption.

Iron

Iron is important for red blood cell formation and cognitive function. Iron is absorbed better when ingested with Vitamin C and Zinc. On a ketogenic diet, you may need to supplement with extra iron if you are menstruating.

  • Red Meat – Red meat is the richest source of iron. If you have gout, iron-induced uric acid may cause you flare-ups.
  • Beans and Legumes – Beans and legumes, including black beans, kidney beans, and lentils, are a great source of iron. Beans are also a great source of fibre, which is important for digestive health.
  • Dark Leafy Greens – Dark leafy greens, including spinach and chard, are a great source of iron. Be careful, however, as many contain oxalates that bind to iron and prevent its absorption.

Magnesium

Magnesium is important for nerve and muscle function. On a ketogenic diet, you may need to supplement with extra magnesium as it may be excreted in the urine.

  • Green Vegetables – Green vegetables, including broccoli, spinach, and asparagus, are a great source of magnesium. Be careful, however, as many contain oxalates that bind to magnesium and prevent its absorption.
  • Nuts and Seeds – Nuts and seeds, including almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds, are a great source of magnesium.
  • Dark Chocolate – Dark chocolate is a rich source of magnesium. Be careful not to overdo it, however, as it also contains lots of added sugar.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin that is important for healthy bone formation, immune function, and mood regulation. Vitamin D is most commonly associated with its role in bone health, but it has a number of other important functions, too. In fact, Vitamin D is so essential for human health that it’s been called “the most important micronutrient for good health.”

Although your body can naturally produce Vitamin D when your skin is exposed to sunlight, many people do not get enough sunlight to make enough Vitamin D. This is especially true during the winter months when people are indoors more often.

If you follow a ketogenic diet, your carbohydrate intake is restricted, which may decrease your Vitamin D production. To compensate for this, you should strive to get more sunlight, eat more Vitamin D-rich foods, and supplement with a Vitamin D supplement if you do not get enough sun exposure.

Potassium

Potassium is important for normal heart function. On a ketogenic diet, potassium may be excreted in the uric acid. To compensate for this, you should strive to consume more potassium-rich foods and supplement with a potassium citrate supplement. – Avocados – Avocados are a great source of potassium and fat. Be careful not to overdo it, however, as avocados are also high in calories.

Conclusion

On a ketogenic diet, your primary source of energy is fat. Fat is also a primary source of many micronutrients, including Vitamin A, Vitamin E, and Vitamin D. Because fat is easily and efficiently absorbed by the body, it is important to consume a diet rich in healthy fats and consider supplementing with a calcium citrate, iron, and magnesium supplement.

If you follow a ketogenic diet, be sure to remember that your body’s primary source of energy is fat. That means that micronutrients found in high amounts in fat are easily and efficiently absorbed by your body. While following a ketogenic diet, be sure to consume plenty of healthy fats, such as avocado, coconut oil, fish, nuts, seeds, and olive oil.