Your body requires a variety of essential nutrients to function correctly, from disease-fighting antioxidants to bone-building heavy metals. Many of those nutrients are available in daily supplements. However, nearly all those nutrients can also be found in everyday foods.
Do you want to receive your vitamins and minerals naturally? Here’s a list of some of the most incredible meals for 20 vital elements and some dishes to try.
Benefits: The vitamin A family is essential for immunity, reproductive health, and, most importantly, vision. The A vitamins, including beta-carotene, aid in the properly functioning of the retina, cornea, and eye membranes.
Sweet potatoes have one of the highest levels of vitamin A. One medium roasted sweet potato has more than 28,000 international units of vitamin A, which is 561% of the RDA. Beef liver, spinach, salmon, milk, eggs, and carrots are also excellent sources.
Vitamin B6 is a catch-all phrase for six substances with similar effects on the body. These molecules assist in building hemoglobin, maintaining blood sugar, and producing antibodies that fight disease.
Sources: Vitamin B6 is abundant in fish, beef liver, and fowl. Chickpeas, commonly known as garbanzo beans, are exceptionally high in vitamin B6. One cup of canned chickpeas contains 1.1 milligrams of vitamin B6, 55% of the RDA.
Vitamin B12 is essential for normal nervous system function and the production of DNA and red blood cells. In addition, the vitamin protects against anemia, a blood disorder that causes weariness and weakness.
Animal products are some of the best sources of vitamin B12. For example, cooked clams offer one of the highest vitamin A levels, with 84 micrograms, or nearly 1,402% of your daily dose, in just three ounces. Vitamin B12 is also found in cow liver, trout, salmon, and tuna. In addition, many breakfast cereals are vitamin B12 fortified.
Why you require it: Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. The vitamin is also needed for various important biological activities, including protein metabolism and neurotransmitter production.
Where to obtain it: Many people associate vitamin C with citrus. Sweet red peppers, on the other hand, contain more than any other food. A lovely red pepper includes 95 milligrams of vitamin C, higher than oranges. Kiwi fruit, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cantaloupe are also high in vitamin C.
Why you require it: The mineral calcium is plentiful in the body. More than 98% of the calcium in the body is stored in the teeth and bones, which the mineral helps to reinforce. The remaining calcium is used for blood vessel and muscle function, cell communication, and hormone secretion.
Where to find it: Dairy products have some of the highest naturally occurring calcium levels. Plain low-fat yogurt, for example, has 415 milligrams per serving, or around 42% of your daily value. Dark, leafy greens, such as kale and Swiss chard, are another natural calcium source. Calcium is also added to several fruit drinks and cereals.
Why you require it: Vitamin D, which our bodies produce on their own when exposed to sunlight, aids in calcium absorption and bone formation. Vitamin D is crucial for cell growth, immunity, and inflammation reduction.
Where to find it: Among the few naturally occurring dietary sources of vitamin D are fatty fishes such as swordfish, salmon, and mackerel. A spoonful of cod liver oil contains around 1,360 IU. In addition, swordfish has approximately 566 IU, which is nearly 142% of your required value.
Many people get their vitamin D via fortified foods such as milk, cereal, yogurt, and orange juice.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cells from potentially damaging chemicals known as free radicals. Vitamin E is required for immune function, blood vessel health, and coagulation.
Wheat germ oil contains more vitamin E than any other food source, with approximately 20.3 milligrams per serving, or 100% of your daily value. However, some people may find it easier to get their vitamin E from sunflower seeds (7.4 milligrams per ounce (37% DV) or almonds (6.8 milligrams per ounce).
Benefits: Folate, a form of B vitamin, can help reduce birth abnormalities in pregnant women. For everyone else, folate aids in the formation of new tissues and proteins.
Folate can be found in various foods, including dark leafy green vegetables, fruit, nuts, and dairy products. One of the most significant amounts is found in beef liver. If beef liver isn’t your thing, spinach is also high in folate.
Boiled spinach has roughly 131 micrograms per half cup, which is 33% of your daily value. Furthermore, some manufacturers added folic acid, a synthetic folate, to bread, cereal, and grains.
Check out this healthy spinach and artichoke dip recipe for a lighter version of a comfort meal staple.
Advantages: Iron, a metal, is used by proteins in our bodies to carry oxygen and develop cells. The majority of the iron in the body is stored in hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is a protein found in red blood cells that transports oxygen to tissues throughout the body.
Dietary iron comes in two forms: heme iron and nonheme iron (found in plant sources such as lentils and beans). Chicken liver contains the most heme iron of any food, at 11 milligrams per serving, or 61% of your daily value.
Vitamin K is an essential component of blood coagulation. When you bruise or cut yourself, your body would be unable to stop the bleeding without vitamin K.
Sources: Green, leafy foods are high in vitamin K, or phylloquinone. Kale is the most popular, followed by collard greens, spinach, and more unusual forms such as turnip, mustard, and beet greens.
Lycopene is a chemical pigment found in red fruits and vegetables with antioxidant qualities. Some research suggests that lycopene may help protect against heart disease and cancer.
Sources: Tomatoes are a good source of lycopene. Tomato products contain the most, such as sauces, pastes, and purees. Raw, untreated tomatoes contain less lycopene than those products. For example, watermelon contains more lycopene per serving than raw tomatoes.
Lysine, commonly known as l-lysine, is an amino acid that aids calcium absorption. Lysine also aids the body in forming collagen for bones and connective tissue. Furthermore, lysine aids in the production of carnitine, a nutrient that aids in regulating cholesterol levels.
Lysine is found in protein-rich animal meals, particularly red meat. Lysine is also found in nuts, legumes, and soybeans.
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