Vail Today: Aim for well-balanced meals with Vitamin Fingerprint (video) | VailDaily.com

Vail Today: Aim for well-balanced meals with Vitamin Fingerprint (video)

The old adage, "you are what you eat" still holds true. The way we eat and the choices we make can have a huge effect on our health. But even the best intentions can be lost if we don't know what to look for nutrient-wise while planning meals.

Let me introduce you to Vitamin Fingerprint, a website that helps you keep track of your nutrients in an easy to use format and allows you to search for what you might be deficient in. Their Meal Builder section allows you to input your typical meals so you can see where you are at from day to day.

For example, I entered cereal, berries and one cup of 2% milk, and it calculated the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA) in those foods for my gender and age. Then, I added a typical lunch of two hard boiled eggs, half an avocado and half cup of plain Greek yogurt (a healthier alternative to mayonnaise) spinach and whole grain bread, and it was fun to watch which vitamin and mineral amounts went up.

I realize I am low in vitamin D (D2 and D3) so I use the Vitamin Fingerprint website to find foods that are high in vitamin D. It gives me a variety to choose from and I decide to add halibut for dinner to bump me up in that vitamin category. I added almonds and cheese as a snack and my levels of nutrients were looking good by the end of my meal plan for this particular day.

"It's all about education and learning what you need and what you are deficient in," said Dr. Scott Paton, of Vitamin Fingerprint. "Once you realize what the deficiencies are, you can address the problem. It's all about being proactive in picking foods with the nutrients you need and if you dislike the foods that are suggested, you can get a supplement to help fill the gap," Paton said.

Deficiencies in vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) can lead to dry skin and dry lips, which is a common complaint in our climate. If you want to find foods with natural B2, try Atlantic salmon, or if you can handle it, beef liver, which has a lot of B2. Manganese is a mineral that helps the formation of connective tissues in the body and can help with sprains and inflammations, which maybe be beneficial if you enjoy all the physical activities that surround us. Foods that contain manganese include chickpeas, coconut milk and macadamia nuts.

Recommended Stories For You

Have some fun entering in your foods to see where your diet stands and aim to get your nutrients from whole food nutrition. Visit http://www.vitaminfingerprint.com for more information.