In your busy world, taking vitamins and mineral supplements might be a simple solution to get the nutrients that your body needs every single day. Though these supplements can support you in getting the vitamins and minerals you’re unable to get from your food, they’re not designed to be the main sources for your nutrition.
Your body is designed to take in foods that come from natural sources such as fruits and vegetables. While the food supplements can have some serious side effects, the natural foods don’t.
Natural foods contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats that keep your body healthy and better able to cope against viruses and diseases. Nutrient dense foods are low in sugar, sodium, starches, and even bad fats.
Getting these nutrients from the right food sources enables your body to absorb them properly. Aside from that, natural food also contain fibers that are good for digestion. It’s very crucial then to choose the right food sources that can give you the complete micronutrients for your body.
Since there’s a variety of fruits, vegetables, and other nutrition rich food sources available in the market, choosing the best may confuse you. To help you with this dilemma, here’s a list of the best nutrient packed foods that you should include in your daily diet plan. Because there’s a variety of them in one group, you’ll never be bored eating the same thing in your every meal.
Nutrient-Dense Foods You Need To Consume Every Single Day
Leafy vegetables or leafy greens are also considered microgreens because they’re dense in nutrients but low in calories. The best microgreens include spinach, which is rich in plant-based omega 3 and folate.
Spinach is a muscle builder and helps in the prevention of heart diseases, stroke, and osteoporosis. Folate is found to increase the blood flow to the sexual organs and protect sexual dysfunctions related to aging. Spinach also contains lutein, a compound that fights macular degeneration and boosts sex drive.
A cup of fresh spinach a day is enough to supercharge your diet. Other alternatives of spinach are kale, bok choy, and romaine lettuce.
Yogurt contains probiotic organisms that reinforce the beneficial bacteria in your body. A cup of yogurt a day can boost your immune system and protect you against cancer. When buying yogurt, make sure you choose the ones that have live and active cultures. Kefir or soy yogurt is also best.
Oats are rich sources of soluble fiber and can help lower the risk of heart diseases.
Even if they’re loaded with carbs, the fiber in oats slows the release of the sugar.
A half-cup serving of oats provides your body with muscle friendly energy. The best substitutes of oats are quinoa, flaxseed, and wild rice.
Nuts are another good sources of dietary fiber. The essential nutrients they provide include vitamin B and E, folate, minerals including calcium, iron, zinc, potassium, and magnesium, antioxidant minerals and phytochemicals.
Preliminary studies show that nuts reduce the risk of gallstones and cancers, reduce age-related macular degeneration, maintain bone health, and slow brain aging.
Walnuts have the most nutrients compared to other nuts of the same family. They are rich in omega 3 that is good for the heart, have polyphenols that are anti inflammatory, and proteins that help muscle build up.
An ounce of walnuts or seven nuts a day is the best addition to your daily diet. Walnuts also aid in your recovery after a workout. If walnuts aren’t available in your local grocery store, you can opt for almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, and hazelnuts.
Berries are rich in antioxidants and fibers and are among the healthiest food everyone should eat. They help improve blood sugar and insulin responses, fight inflammation, lower cholesterol levels, improve the skin, protect against cancer, and keep the arteries healthy.
The blueberry, which is also nicknamed ‘brain berry’ because of its memory boosting capabilities, is said to be one of the best berries. Blueberries are rich in fiber and vitamins A and C.
A cup of fresh blueberries or a half cup of the frozen and dried blueberries can give you the essential antioxidants you need for the day. Other berries such as the Acai, purple grapes, prunes, raisins, and strawberries can also work great.
Health experts suggest that your plate should be colorful. This means you should include on your diet some red, yellow or orange vegetables and fruits. These colorful foods are packed with carotenoids, which are fat soluble compounds that help reduce the risk of cancers, asthma, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Try to get a half cup of carrots to get your supply of carotenoids. If you have an aversion to carrots, other fruits and veggies like sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow pepper, and mango are the best substitutes.
Tomatoes are best known for their lycopene properties. Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant that provides you with sun protection, improves your heart health, and lowers the risk of certain cancers.
The red tomatoes contain more lycopene. Even the canned red tomatoes contain the same amount of lycopene with that of the fresh tomatoes. The type of cancer a lycopene fight against include cancers in the bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach.
You can have enough supply of lycopene a day by consuming eight red cherry tomatoes or drinking a glass of tomato juice. Other lycopene sources include red watermelon, pink grapefruit, Japanese persimmon, papaya, and guava.
Beans Brain Gain
Beans are the best source of proteins, fiber, and vitamins and help with heart health. Though all beans in the legume family contain essential nutrients, nothing can equal the black beans in boosting your brain power. Black beans contain anthocyanins, the antioxidant compounds known to improve functions of the brain.
A half cup of black beans a day provides you with protein and fibers that are low in calories. Other nutritious alternatives are peas, lentils, pinto, kidney, fava, and lima beans.