Micro-Nutrients...from Food

Ok—so now that we’ve covered the idea of WHY Micronutrients are important (don’t suffer nutritional deficiencies, eliminate hunger between meals, feel energized, be able to lose weight)…and how you can get many of them from getting your weekly/daily PROTEIN in good order.

So, now that we’ve covered an overview of why Micronutrients are so important...plus how to plan daily/weekly Protein Supplemental Foods (like omega-3's, liver, egg yolks) that are key...

Let's add on to this with:

  • Daily collagen shooters for glycine
  • shellfish, fish, eggs, and kidneys, weekly (for selenium)...
  • plus enough Calcium & Zinc!

All right--let's keep going with a brief investigation of these additional daily/weekly Protein Supplemental FoodsThese are foods that you want to plan to eat, because you can get so, so many important Micronutrients from these foods!!

Collagen (from collagen/glycine)

1. Why Collagen (for cellular energy, skin beauty & gut lining love) DAILY

I go into great detail about why & how you would want to supplement Hydrolyzed Collagen (or glycine) on a meal-by-meal basis—to support cellular methylation/energy, help strengthen your joints & gut lining…and have plump, youthful skin as well!

Please see the next section for more info on Hydrolyzed Collagen/glycine.

And I know the Drs. Jaminet originally placed Collagen in the Weekly Foods category--but I firmly believe it belongs in the Daily Foods category instead--

because it contains the crucial amino acid Glycine, which is an important part of the process of cellular energy & detoxification--called methylation--that's so important to support every day, for our physical and emotional health.

More about how to do Collagen on the daily, in the next section!

Calcium (and bone broth/collagen)

2. Calcium: an updated recommendation

All right—so the PHD program recommended Bone Broth as a main source of Calcium. Bone Broth actually does NOT contain a lot of calcium. This is something that’s been updated since the publishing of their book. I’ll share more about this in just a moment.

And, from what I can find in terms of research—is that Bone Broth is actually not the best absorbable form of skin & tissue-building Collagen either

It appears that the Collagen found in Bone Broth and meat with the skin left on it is not hydrolyzed. So, it’s harder for your body to absorb this form of Collagen/Gelatin and use it to help with skin elasticity, joint & tendon strength, and good stuff like that.

It is delicious for soups & stews…but so is making Veggie Mineral broths, too!

Hydrolyzed Collagen is a supplemental form of Collagen that's already partially broken down and easier for your body to absorb than gelatin & collagen found in whole foods and bone broth...

In general, Collagen/Gelatin is super important though—because it contains the amino acid Glycine which we need a lot of on a daily basis to help with many, many processes in our body. So see the next page for how to use the most absorbable forms of Hydrolyzed Collagen and/or Glycine…to make daily Collagen shooters & get IN this key protein micronutrient.

Plus, fresh fruit and veggies, sulfur-containing veggies…Vitamin A, Vitamin E and Vitamin C help with making skin & tissue Collagen too.

Please see the next page for more info on rocking it with Hydrolyzed Collagen/glycine.


And back to the topic of Calcium...

Recently, two research studies found that Bone Broth does not contain much Calcium. The Weston A. Price Foundation was actually quite surprised, and ordered some of their own lab diagnostics, as well. It turns out that Bone Broth is indeed NOT a significant source of calcium.

Let’s talk here though about the daily RDA of Calcium…and how to know if you're getting enough Calcium.

Getting enough Calcium:

It’s important to go for getting your Calcium from real food sources…as synthetic Calcium supplements have been strongly correlated with early death and heart attacks. And, getting calcium from food also works really well because Calcium works together with Magnesium, plus vitamins D & K2 as well.


When it comes to the RDA (recommended daily allowance) of Calcium—it’s interesting that the RDA of Calcium for a middle-aged woman (it does vary based on your age!!) is described as being equal to 3 eight ounce glasses of milk (1,000 - 1,500 milligrams of Calcium per day).

That’s an interesting way to describe it—you can actually get a lot of absorbable Calcium from certain veggies too (especially Collard greens, mustard greens & bok choy)…as well as edible bones & pasture-raised bone meal…and mineral water.

Which is a good thing, because some people don’t tolerate the proteins in Dairy very well!

So how can you tell if you’re getting enough (or too much) Calcium? Dr. Chris Masterjohn shares that the best food sources of calcium are:

--dairy products,

--edible bones (as found in sardines...but not bone broth),

--and cruciferous vegetables like kale & broccoli contain some...Swiss Chard is an even better choice...while the calcium in spinach is NOT very absorbable...

--However, the super-star veggies are Collard Greens, Mustard Greens & Bok Choy.


And…If you’re eating several servings per day of these foods, then you’re likely not deficient in calcium.

If you're NOT eating several servings per day of these foods…then you likely may be.

Dr. Chris Masterjohn recommends using cronometer.com to track your calcium intake for a few days to see how you’re doing…if you’re getting 1 - 1.5 grams per day, then you’re most likely getting enough. If you’re getting less than a gram, you may be deficient. If you’re getting less than 500 milligrams per day, then calcium deficiency is probable.

You could be deficient in both Vitamin D & calcium at the same time…and Dr. Paul Jaminet remarks on their blog that:

"If you’re worried about bone health, supplement with vitamins D, K2, and magnesium citrate – not [synthetic] calcium."

Best food sources of calcium: 1/2 teaspoon Traditional Foods whole bone calcium supplement (72%), 1 cup of canned sardines (drained) (44% DV), 6 Ancestral Supplements bone marrow supplement (40%), 1 cup of whole milk Kefir--Lifeway brand (39% DV), 1 cup of whole milk yogurt (37% DV), 1 cup of whole milk (34% DV), whey protein 18g protein (18% DV), 1 ounce cheddar cheese (16% DV), 1 cup steamed collard greens (27%), 1 cup steamed bok choy (16%), 1 cup steamed Swiss Chard (10% DV), 8 ounces mineral water (9%), 1 cup of broccoli cooked (6% DV)

*the calcium in spinach is not easy to absorb—instead choose other veggies shared above


Although Dr. Chris Masterjohn shares in his free Vitamins & Minerals 101 course, that the calcium in whole bones & dairy products is only a little over 30% absorbable…while the calcium in cruciferous veggies is 40 - 60% absorbable.

Again, aim for 1,000 - 1,5000 mg of Calcium from real food or real food supplements, ideally.

And he summarizes that a good Daily Plan would be to Mix and match three of any of the following foods each day:

One cup of milk, yogurt, or kefir.

One serving of canned fish providing 30% of the daily value of calcium (or use a powdered bone/bone marrow supplement).

One cup of Collard greens, mustard greens or bok choy.


More about how to supplement if you need additional Calcium, with food-based supplement ideas in the Resource Guide on the next page…

Plus, be sure to use a tool like cronometer.com to track your daily calcium intake to make sure you're hitting this important daily target.

One Calcium caveat: if you have Iron-deficiency Anemia

Another interesting thing about Calcium is that it competes with Iron for absorption.

So if you’re trying to get more Iron and correct iron-deficiency anemia—you would want to drive most of your Calcium into one meal—and then focus on getting your best Iron-rich foods & supplements in the other two meals. I've had great success with this tip from Dr. Chris Masterjohn!

I drive my main “3 glasses of calcium” into Breakfast…and focus on getting in my Iron during Lunch & Dinner.

If you aren’t trying to correct Iron-deficiency anemia…then spreading your Calcium intake evenly across all three meals is best!

I personally do use the whole bone foods supplement…and I’ve been going for a cup of steamed Collard greens or bok choy with breakfast AND a cup of Kefir.…plus a little whey protein, too.


What’s your Calcium strategy going to be?

See the above deets of how to guesstimate...or use cronometer.com...to make sure you're getting in 1,000 - 1,500 mg of Calcium a day.

More about how to supplement if you need additional Calcium, with food-based supplement ideas in the Resource Guide on the next page…


Zinc-Copper regularly

3. First, about Zinc:

All right—so Zinc is such an important micronutrient to get enough of Daily…as it’s central for youthful, healthy skin; a robust immune system; sharp vision; stable blood sugar control; balanced and strong hormonal health & a good sex drive; and far more.

Daily Zinc is even needed for protection against the heavy metals that pollute our environment…and it’s key for Vitamin A metabolism.

It is common to be deficient in Zinc though too—especially with Vegetarians or people who eat wheat/bread and beans often…as these foods are rich in phytic acid (phytates, in the family of anti-nutrients) that actually block the absorption of zinc.


How to know if you’re getting enough daily Zinc (awesome video here):

Dr. Chris Masterjohn shares that there are 5 principles to keep in mind (with an update from his more recently published Vitamins & Minerals 101 free course), to make sure you’re getting enough Zinc:

A. There are 2 Zinc super foods:

oysters & red meat

You can get enough Zinc for the day if you eat 1 or 2 oysters…or 1 or 2 servings of red meat (where a serving is a 1/4 pound)…

Cheese could be considered a Zinc super-food--as you could get enough Zinc for the day with 2 - 3 servings of most cheeses (where a serving is 100 grams/3.5 ounces)--however!:

The dairy protein found in cheese--casein--actually limits the amount of Zinc you can absorb.

On the other hand, Dr. Chris Masterjohn writes:

"Protein from meat, fish, shellfish, eggs, and whey enhance zinc absorption...Sour acids also enhance zinc absorption. These include lactate, found in yogurt, kefir, and many fermented plant foods; citrate, rich in citrus fruits; and malate, rich in non-citrus fruits."

And again, the casein protein in cheese makes the Zinc not absorbable.

The same goes for Phytate & phytic acid found in legumes and whole grains (white rice being an exception)--these foods also bind up Zinc & inhibit it's absorption.

Oyesters & red meat are the Zinc superfoods ^^^ and animal food sources are better sources of Zinc than fruits & veggies, because your body can readily absorb it…and zinc is found in foods like meat, eggs & seafood.

Surprisingly though—Non-fortified Nutritional Yeast (like the fabulous one from Sari Foods) also is a good source of Zinc. 1 tablespoon of nutritional yeast has 1.6 mg (20% daily value).

Nutritional Yeast tastes great on top of salads, or instead of butter on top of potatoes/sweet potatoes/rice too.


B. Beware of Phytate

(Phytate is a compound found in whole grains, seeds & legumes…that essentially *locks in* minerals to prevent them from getting lost before it’s time for the grain or seed to sprout…good news for the plant, not very good news for us.

So, even though pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds & cacao are all high in Zinc, the phytic acid content would make it less bio-available….and additionally, these phytate sources can inhibit the absorption of Zinc from other foods in the same meal as well.

It wouldn’t be like the phytates in these seeds bind all the minerals for the entire day…but it does affect the minerals in that particular snack or meal as a whole. So one solution is to eat your phytate-rich foods in separate meals from your Zinc-rich foods.

The other idea to consider--is that if you’re eating phytate-rich foods, or have been eating them (wheat, grains & beans)—then you may need to supplement Zinc.


C. You’ll absorb more Zinc if you spread it throughout your day.

Weird (and research-based) fact about Zinc:

Your body can only absorb about 7 milligrams of zinc at a time (and this ability resets every 5 hours)…so that’s why it’s best to have some Zinc Superfoods in each meal…or essentially, you could eat two canned oysters every 5 hours to optimize your Zinc. 

You would also want to adhere to this principle by taking a low dose of zinc (10 - 15 milligrams) that’s balanced with 1 or 2 milligrams of copper....if you're going to supplement Zinc (and copper).


D. Some conditions increase your need for Zinc:

If you’re pregnant or if you’re wanting to build muscle quickly, you need 1 extra serving of Zinc a day…if you’re breast feeding, you need 2 extra servings of zinc each day…

Also chronic malabsorption problems, diabetes, alcoholism, and potentially other medical conditions could affect your ability to absorb Zinc (discuss these principles with your doctor, and determine what would be best for you).


E. Be strategic about your supplementation.

If you’re following the other 4 principles, then you won’t need to worry about supplementing. But if a lot of your Zinc is coming from phytate-rich foods or meals…then to stay on the safe side, Dr. Chris Masterjohn recommends that it would be good to take a low-dose Zinc supplement.

Another reason why you may want to supplement Zinc (with copper)…is that Zinc supplementation can help you remove detox from heavy metals (mercury, cadmium, lead…)

And we actually make our own heavy-metal-detoxing protein called Metallothionein, to help get rid of heavy metals in our body, and it takes Zinc to make this protein!

If you have heavy metal toxicity, then you need to work with a health care specialist, one-on-one. However, if you’re just a little high in a heavy metal—then Dr. Chris Masterjohn details that using Zinc is a much gentler and safer way to ferry out extra heavy metals than using chelation therapy.


The best Zinc supplement?

Dr. Chris Masterjohn recommends that if you're going to supplement Zinc (and copper)...to take a low-dose amount of Zinc on an empty stomach, 1 hour before next meal...(you can take it with a collagen shooter, or take it with a meal if it upsets your stomach).

Since too much zinc can cause an imbalance with copper…a zinc-copper supplement brand from Jarrow (link in my Guide on this page) is already balanced with a low-dose of each….so this brand & dosage & form of zinc too, is recommended by Dr. Chris Masterjohn.

You could also eat two canned oysters every 5 hours to optimize your Zinc/Copper. 🙂

Testing your Zinc status is the only way to know for sure if you have a Zinc deficiency, of course. More about how to test your Zinc status here.

And tracking it  on cronometer.com is super helpful & being mindful if your Zinc-rich foods are being eaten with phytate-rich foods at the same time...


Best sources of Zinc: 7 oysters cooked (82 mg, 1029%), 2 canned oysters (10.6 mg, 133%), 5 ounce grass-fed beef (8mg, 100%), 5 ounce lamb (7mg, 86%), 1 chicken leg (4.3 mg, 54%), 1 tablespoon Sari non-fortified nutritional yeast (1.6 mg, 20%), 3 egg yolks (1 mg, 13% DV)


4. Second, about Copper:

Being deficient in both Copper and Zinc is common. Copper deficiency can cause anemia, hypothyroidism, graying of hair and heart disease. You can become copper deficient by supplementing with too much Zinc!! More about testing & managing your Copper status here.

And Zinc & Copper need to be in balance because a very important antioxidant—the zinc-copper superoxide dismutase (see superhero immune system image below)—contains both.


Are you getting enough…or too much…Copper?

Dr. Chris Masterjohn asserts that it’s hard to get too much Copper from real foods. Copper toxicity instead comes from too much supplemental copper…and by using copper mugs & pans (ditch the copper cups & cookware)…and water from copper pipes. Get your Moscow Mule, if you do, in a regular glass.

These sources of copper can cause major brain degeneration, especially in the elderly.


To get a fabulous amount of Copper from real food:

Quite simply, if you eat the recommended 1/4 pound of beef or lamb Liver per week (or doing desiccated liver supplements)…that equates to 12 - 16 milligrams of copper per week (which is a great target amount of 2 milligrams per day).

Additional Copper-rich foods are also oysters, shiitake mushrooms, dark chocolate or cocoa, cashew nuts, squid and lobster. 

Chicken liver & refrigerated cod liver oil both do not contain copper…you can add in some Copper though with the above Copper food ideas…or use the recommended Zinc-Copper supplement strategy.

Also, again—copper cooking gear and mugs leech copper into foods in toxic amounts—so you want to avoid those! (They are pretty though :))


Best sources of Copper: 1/4 pound beef liver (16.1 mg, 1793%), 7 oysters cooked (2.8 mg, 140%), 3 oz cooked squid (1.8 mg, 90%), 4 Ancestral Supplement desiccated liver pills (1.7 mg, 85%), 3 ounce cooked lobster (1.3 mg, 66%), 1 cup shiitake mushrooms (1.3 mg, 65%), 1 cup cooked white mushrooms (0.78 mg, 39%), 1/2 avocado (0.1 mg, 13%), 1 cup cooked kale (0.2 mg, 10% DV)


And if you want to supplement Zinc & Copper—see my Guide for a brand that Dr. Chris Masterjohn recommends to help you reset a deficiency or help you get rid of a slightly high level of heavy metals (if you have high levels, get one-on-one care).

You can get adequate Zinc & copper from food…and supplementing big doses of Zinc upsets your Zinc-Copper imbalance needed for a healthy immune system (and other mineral deficiencies too). Whew! 🙂

How fabulous are Oysters?

"This bivalve is a zinc powerhouse that packs in 5.3 mg per medium oyster. The shellfish is also high in protein, relatively low in calories, and packed with other valuable vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin B-12, iron, and selenium. Try oysters cooked, canned, or on the half-shell — no matter how you serve them, you’re in for a tasty treat and a stronger immune system to boot. Oysters are also rumored to have other amorous health benefits." 🙂

Zinc/Copper daily

So even though The Perfect Health Diet originally recommends eating zinc/copper-rich Shellfish 1x a week…you may consider eating it more frequently, too.

Zinc/copper (in balance) can be a common deficiency because a lot of zinc gets wrapped up in phytate-rich food. This may be a supplement to strongly consider…

You may want to investigate if taking the Jarrow Zinc/Copper supplement with a Collagen shooter an hour before a meal would be helpful for you, especially if you're eating with eating regular or sprouted grains & legumes (and/or keeping these foods separate from your zinc-rich foods & meals). 

And in addition to the Zinc-rich super foods Dr. Chris Masterjohn suggests…I do add in 2 tablespoons on nutritional yeast a day. Eggs have a fair amount of Zinc, too.

I do love eating shellfish weekly (mussels, clams, oysters, or scallops)…and getting more zinc/copper daily seems to be key as well!


I do recommend using cronometer.com not only to track & check that you're getting enough Zinc/Copper daily...and also to make sure you're getting that Zinc in absorbable increments throughout the day & eating it away from foods that decrease its absorption.

Zinc & copper…don’t be deficient. Woot.


5. Why planning weekly fish, shellfish, eggs, and kidneys is important (for selenium)…

Selenium is very important for thyroid health…and for making cellular antioxidants (which strongly impacts thyroid, gut & immune cell health). 

Selenium & Iodine work together synergistically. More about Selenium’s buddy Iodine in the Additional Micros module! 🙂

Let's talk about Selenium here though--because selenium is a Protein Micronutrient.

Selenium is often best not taken as a long-term supplement (because too much of it can be toxic)--and instead, you want to focus on getting it from food!

See the below recommendation to see if you're getting enough Selenium from your food choices each week. Selenium is particularly rich in shellfish, kidneys, most meat, and Brazil nuts.

However, the amount of Selenium in food varies from region to region, based on the mineral content of soil.

You can check the soil quality of Selenium in your area (US) on theses two fascinating sites here and here.

Alternate Idea?

If you find you're not getting enough Selenium from food (either because of the soil quality where you live or because you're a Vegetarian)...the Drs. Jaminet recommend as a general guideline that you can take 200 mcg per week (not daily), if you need to supplement Selenium, and can't get it from the below food choices.

How To Know if you’re getting *enough Selenium*

Here's how to know if you may need to supplement additional Selenium. Dr. Paul Jaminet writes on the PHD blog:

  • If you eat meat: with higher protein intake from seafood & ruminant meats—don't supplement Selenium…
  • If you eat meat: with a lower protein intake (1/2 pound/ a day), then supplement 100 micrograms per day, on days when you don't eat kidneys, fish or shellfish
  • Kidneys, fish & shellfish are rich in selenium. Most ruminant meat is too (although it varies by region)…
  • Vegetarians & low meat-eaters take note: Brazil nuts also vary a lot in Selenium content, and 2-3 a day can be a good source for selenium too on days when you’re not eating above 1/2 pound of ruminant meat or kidneys, fish or shellfish

Organ Meats are your friend

I'll just close out this Protein Micronutrients section--and this Selenium section in particular--with talking about how eating a diversity of Organ Meats can be your nutritional friend.

I talked a lot about cod & ruminant Liver being a storage-house for fat-soluble vitamins--particularly that important body-usable, retinol Vitamin A.

And it can be really helpful to eat a variety of Organ Meats over the course of a week to get all of the storage-house benefits they each offer...and because our bodies "nutritionally expect" them after eating them for so long over the course of time. In American culture, organ meats are not as popular nor as included as in say Chinese culture.

Some good ideas to get a variety of organ meats like Liver, Kidneys (selenium) & Heart could be:

--ordering a weekly supply from US Wellness Meats foods (that mix beef & organ meats in palatable combos--like Head Cheese & Liverwurst)...

--or using desiccated supplements from a grassfed company like Ancestral Supplements, too...

--or learning how to cook & enjoy traditional recipes (like mom, grandma or great-grandma used to make! :).

Protein Micronutrients

Protein Micronutrients are your friend!

Ok, that about wraps up Protein Micros.

Using a tool like cronometer.com to track your daily Micronutrient intake...as well as planning to "get them in" with foods that YOU like and work for you are both great strategies.

Also, it's helpful to Take Action & start drawing all of this together into a Weekly Protein Meal Plan using my Guide at the end of this module for a summary...

And let's talk one last key Protein Micro before we jump into the land of Safe Carbs next!!