Nutrient Rich Foods for Your Valuable Health

Nutrient Rich Foods

Nutrient-dense foods are rich in vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients important for health, without too much saturated fat, added sugars, and sodium. We’re talking fruits, vegetables, whole grains, non-fat and low-fat dairy, fish and seafood, unprocessed lean meat and skinless poultry, nuts, and legumes.

Nutrient Rich Foods

Spinach

All dark leafy greens are nutrient powerhouses and incredibly low in calories – roughly 10 to 20 calories per cup! Besides the high amounts of vitamins and minerals, it’s also rich in beneficial plant compounds, called phytochemicals and bioactive substances that are associated with a wide range of health benefits.

It’s a good source of (10% or more):

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin C
  • Iron

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Folate
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K

Blueberries

Blueberries and many other dark berries are notable sources of beneficial plant-based phytochemicals that are thought to provide protective benefits.

They are a good source of (10% or more):

  • Fiber

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Manganese

Broccoli

This cruciferous, non-starchy veggie contains small amounts of protein (3g per cup) and is a plant-based superfood. Additionally, some research suggests that diets rich in cruciferous veggies, like bok choy, broccoli, and brussels sprouts are associated with reduced cancer risks.

It’s also a good source of (10% or more):

  • Folate
  • Fiber
  • Vitamin A

And contains high amounts of (20% or more):

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K

Bok Choy

As low calorie as lettuce, bok choy is an excellent non-starchy, cruciferous veggie to eat more of. A single cup is less than 10 calories.

It is a good source of (10% or more):

  • Folate
  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Vitamin K

Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are one of the heartiest low-calorie veggies. They taste a bit starchy than they actually are and only pack about 40 calories per cup.

It is a good source of (10% or more):

  • Fiber
  • Folate
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
  • Potassium

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Vitamin C

Pumpkin

This seasonal gourd is meant for so much more than pumpkin-spaced everything. As a naturally orange veggie, it contains significant amounts of carotenoids that support good health by protecting against the development of many chronic diseases.

It’s a good source of (10% or more):

  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Vitamin E

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Vitamin A

Oysters

While these mollusks are often looked at as a delicacy or special treat, they are actually one of the healthiest foods you can eat.

Two oysters provide only 40 calories and a whole host of nutritional benefits – including 270% of your daily copper, 300% of vitamin B12 needs, and 300% of the daily value (DV) for zinc. They also contain small amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.

They are a good source of (10% or more):

  • Choline
  • Iron
  • Selenium

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Copper
  • Vitamin B12
  • Zinc

Salmon

This popular fatty fish is also a source of hard-to-get omega-3 fatty acids that support brain and heart health and weight management.

It’s a good source of (10% or more):

  • Potassium
  • Vitamin A

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Protein
  • Vitamin D
  • Selenium
  • Vitamin B12
  • Iodine

Sardines

Because you consume whole fish (skin and bones included), sardines can also be one of the few natural sources of vitamin D in the diet. In fact, a serving of sardines can provide about 70% of the daily value (DV) for vitamin D. Like other fish and seafood, they are also a source of omega-3 fats.

It’s a good source of (10% or more):

  • Iron
  • Calcium

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Protein
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin D
  • Selenium
  • Iodine

Mango

Mangos are thought of as a functional food in some Asian and African cultures and the deep, rich color of this popular tropical fruit is due to its robust phytochemical profile. They are also a nutritional powerhouse.

They are a good source of (10% or more):

  • Fiber
  • Vitamin B6

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin C

Asparagus

Asparagus is a nonstarchy veggie that contains very few calories – only 17 calories per 4 spears. Plus, it is a source of inulin, a natural prebiotic that feeds healthy bacteria in your gut. Spinach, blueberries, chia seeds, and oatmeal are also prebiotic foods.

It’s a good source of (10% or more):

  • Iron
  • Folate
  • Vitamin A

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Vitamin K

Bell Peppers

Bell peppers are also very low in calories. The more ripe, colorful red and orange peppers also contain beneficial plant-based compounds (phytonutrients) like carotenoids.

They are a good source of (10% or more):

  • Vitamin A

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Vitamin C

Greek Yogurt

This high-protein, low-fat dairy option is a natural source of probiotics making it a functional food as well. Some research suggests it has potential benefits for weight loss, digestion, and bone health due to its nutrient content breakdown.

It’s a good source of (10% or more):

  • Calcium
  • Vitamin B12

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Protein
  • Riboflavin
  • Phosphorus

Black Beans

Beans and other legumes are some of the most nutritiously packed plant-based proteins you can choose from. Plus, they are a source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and many beneficial phytonutrients.

They are a good source of (10% or more):

  • Iron
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Magnesium
  • Thiamine

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Protein
  • Fiber
  • Phosphorus

Edamame

Edamame or soybeans are a type of legume that provides a complete plant-based protein. And even though soy can feel controversial at times, science continues to suggest that there are likely heart and gut health benefits from including soy in your diet.

It is a good source of (10% or more):

  • Fiber
  • Iron
  • Magnesium
  • Potassium
  • Zinc

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Protein
  • Copper

Eggs

Eggs are one of the most popular and versatile foods, used in everything from breakfasts to desserts. They also top the list for quality protein sources – a single egg clocks in around 70 calories and 7g of protein.

They are a good source of (10% or more):

  • Iodine
  • Riboflavin
  • Vitamin D

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Protein
  • Selenium
  • Choline
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin A

Avocado

This nutritious plant-based fat is fairly high o the nutrient density scale, even though it also packs quite a few calories per serving. A 1/2 cup of avocado has about 120 calories total, which is slightly higher than other fruits that clock in at around 60 calories per 1/2 cup. However, avocado contains a lot of fiber and monounsaturated fats which provide meaningful health benefits.

It’s a good source of (10% or more):

  • Potassium
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin B6

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Fiber

Oats

Oats are one of the most popular whole grains and for good reason. They are rich in nutrients and associated with positive heart health, digestive health, and weight loss benefits.

Start your day with fiber, iron, protein, vitamin B6, folate, and thiamine for only 150 calories (in a ½ standard cup serving).

They are a good source of (10% or more):

  • Iron
  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Vitamin B6
  • Folate
  • Thiamine

Chia Seeds

Like other nuts and seeds, chia seeds are a source of healthy plant-based fat and can pack quite a few calories in a small portion – containing 140 calories per ounce.

Chia seeds are also incredibly high in fiber and have a unique property that allows them to expand up to 12 times their size when in liquid, creating a natural gel texture that can help fill you up and support weight loss. This effect may also help lower cholesterol and promote better blood sugar control.

They are a good source of (10% or more):

  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Protein

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Fiber
  • Magnesium
  • Manganese

Whole Wheat Pasta

The nutrient profile of whole-grain pasta might surprise you. This commonly demonized carb is actually a very simply made food with only one ingredient – whole wheat flour. Plus, it is incredibly high in protein, fiber, and essential minerals. In fact, a serving of whole wheat pasta contains as much protein as many protein pastas on the market.

It’s a good source of (10% or more):

  • Iron
  • Magnesium

And an excellent source of (20% or more):

  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Thiamin
  • Niacin
  • Riboflavin
  • Folate
  • Phosphorus
  • Zinc
  • Manganese

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