Why you need it: Best known for bolstering bone strength and thickness, calcium also plays a role in normal muscle contraction, nerve transmission, and a regular heartbeat.
How much you need: 1,000 milligrams daily, and no more than 2,500.
How to get it: Three servings of dairy (8 ounces milk or yogurt or 1.5 ounces hard cheese) provide the calcium you need for the day. Fortified OJ has as much calcium (and vitamin D) as milk, and so do some soy beverages.
Why you need it: Potassium is part of every cell, vital for fluid balance, healthy blood pressure and to keep your brain, nerves, heart, and muscles in working order.
How much you need: 4,700 milligrams (mg) a day.
How to get it: Fresh and lightly processed fruits, veggies, dairy and meat have the most potassium, such as 6 ounces cooked pork tenderloin (766 mg); sweet potato (694 mg); 6 ounces cooked salmon (652 mg); white potato (610); ½ cup white beans (595 mg); ½ cup plain yogurt (579 mg); 1 cup OJ (496); 1 cup cooked broccoli (431 mg); and a medium banana (422 mg).
Why you need it: To guard against constipation, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Fiber curbs your appetite because it keeps you fuller.
How much you need: 14 grams for every 1,000 calories consumed. For example, on 3,000 calories a day, aim for 42 grams of fiber.
How to get it: Include fresh and lightly processed fruits, vegetables, and grains, and beans at every meal and snack, such as ½ cup cooked navy beans (10 grams);1 cup whole grain breakfast cereal (5-10 grams); medium apple, 1 cup strawberries, medium white potato, or 2 slices whole wheat bread (4 grams each).