According to the United States Department of Agriculture, a healthy diet as one that stresses fruits, veggies, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products; includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars. However just what minerals and nutrients are vital to our health and welfare? Consider these nutrient-dense foods when you’re looking to better your vitamin and mineral intake.
Vitamin A is required for good eyesight and optimal functioning of the immune system. Cod liver oil, dairy products, sweet potatoes and dark green leafy veggies are all excellent natural food sources of vitamin A.
Vitamin B1, a.k.a. thiamin, is imperative to the body’s ability to process carbs. Whole grain breads, cereals and pastas have high amounts of thiamin.
Riboflavin, or B2, may be found in fortified cereals, almonds, asparagus, eggs, and meat. It’s utilized in a lot of body processes, including converting food into energy and the production of red blood cells.
Niacin, a.k.a. B3, may be found in lean chicken, tuna, salmon, turkey, enriched flour, peanuts, and fortified cereals. It aids in digestion and likewise plays a key role in converting food into energy.
Vitamin B6 may be found in fortified cereals, fortified soy-based meat substitutes, baked potatoes with skin, bananas, light-meat chicken and turkey, eggs, and spinach. It’s vital for a healthy nervous system, and helps break down proteins and stored sugars.
Vitamin B12 is required for creating red blood cells, and may be found in beef, clams, mussels, crabs, salmon, poultry, and soybeans.
Citrus, red berries, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red and green bell peppers, cabbage, and spinach are all loaded with ascorbic acid, which is vital to promoting a healthy immune system, and making chemical messengers in the brain.
Vitamin D may be found in fortified milk, cheese, and cereals; egg yolks; salmon; but can also be made by the body from sunlight exposure. It’s required to process calcium and maintain the health of bones and teeth.
Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant and is essential to your skin’s healthiness. Eat plenty of leafy green veggies, almonds, hazelnuts, and vegetable oils like sunflower, canola, and soybean to get this vital nutrient.
Iron may be found in leafy green veggies, beans, shellfish, red meat, poultry, soy foods, and some fortified foods. It’s needed to transport oxygen to all parts of the body via the red blood cells.
Though this list is far from complete, it provides a good base of knowledge on which to build a healthy, well-adjusted diet.