Phosphorus is a mineral that makes up 1% of a person's total body weight. It is present in every cell of the body. Most of the phosphorus in the body is found in the bones and teeth.
Function The main function of phosphorus is in the formation of bones and teeth. It plays an important role in how the body uses carbohydrates and fats. It is also needed for the body to make protein for the growth, maintenance, and repair of cells and tissues. Phosphorus also helps the body make ATP, a molecule the body uses to store energy. Phosphorus works with the B vitamins. It also helps with the following: Kidney function Muscle contractions Normal heartbeat Nerve signaling
Food Sources The main food sources are the protein food groups of meat and milk. A meal plan that provides adequate amounts of calcium and protein also provides an adequate amount of phosphorus. Although whole-grain breads and cereals contain more phosphorus than cereals and breads made from refined flour, this is a storage form of phosphorus called phytin, which is not absorbed by humans.
Fruits and vegetables contain only small amounts of phosphorus.
Side Effects There is generally no deficiency of phosphorus because it is so readily available in the food supply. Excessively high levels of phosphorus in the blood, although rare, can combine with calcium to form deposits in soft tissues such as muscle. High levels of phosphorus in blood only occur in people with severe kidney disease or severe dysfunction of their calcium regulation.
Recommendations According to Institute of Medicine recommendations, the recommended dietary intakes of phosphorus are as follows: 0 to 6 months: 100 milligrams per day (mg/day) 7 to 12 months: 275 mg/day 1 to 3 years: 460 mg/day 4 to 8 years: 500 mg/day 9 to 18 years: 1,250 mg Adults: 700 mg/day Pregnant or lactating women:Younger than 18: 1,250 mg/dayOlder than 18: 700 mg/day
Whole Wheat and Bran Mixes: Any combination of bran flakes, whole wheat baked goods, or similar items gets a large amount of phosphorus into your daily diet, along with fiber and other nutritional benefits.
Cottage Cheese or Cheddar: These two different kinds of cheeses also deliver a high amount of phosphorus. Low fat or no fat cottage cheese is best.
Peanut Butter: Along with a large amount of protein, peanut butter is also a phosphorus rich food. Nutritional experts recommend organic, natural peanut butter over sweetened, fat saturated varieties.
Corn: This popular plant in its many varieties also carries phosphorus to the body. Whether fresh or canned, corn can be incorporated into many meals.
Broccoli: Broccoli is also a phosphorus rich food. In addition, it brings a wealth of health resources that green vegetables are generally known for, including antioxidants for fighting toxins in the body as well as vitamin C. Some nutritional experts recommend eating green vegetables like broccoli in a raw form rather than boiled, as some of their vitamins and minerals are more concentrated prior to cooking.
Chicken and Turkey: Both of these contain phosphorus and a lean meat choice can be a good addition to some personal diets.
Sunflower Seeds: These little snacks also deliver phosphorus and are fun to eat, although discarding the shells can sometimes mean a lot to clean up afterward.
Garlic: Phosphorus is only one of the healthy elements in this historically popular plant that has been used so extensively in southern European cultures to provide both flavor and nutrition in daily cuisine.
Legumes and Nuts: In addition to peanut butter, other nuts such as almonds, brazil nuts, and cashews all contain a good amount of phosphorous, as do many varieties of beans. These foods, in dried and non-perishable forms, can be a good solution for getting nutritional elements like phosphorus into a diet when refrigeration and easy food storage are difficult.
These are some of the top choices for those who want to include larger amounts of phosphorus in their daily diets.