By Tom, on July 13th, 2009
The nutrition of our food has been steadily declining over the last few decades. Over- farming has stripped the soil of nearly all its nutrients. Therefore, the easiest way to make sure you have all the nutrients you need is to take a high quality nutritional supplement.
Some still want to get their vitamins and minerals from natural sources. They have their reasons, perhaps they don’t like pills or the taste of other types of supplements, or they believe that supplements aren’t complete enough to be worth the cost. I have some good news if you are one of these people, you can get your nutrients. It will take some diet modifications though.
Here are five great foods that will help you get all of the essential nutrients:
- GREEN LEAFY VEGETABLES such as KALE are some of the most nutritious foods in the world. Kale, a type of wild cabbage, is full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. It contains 76% of your recommended Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene and 68% of your vitamin C per serving. It also contains high amounts of B-vitamins, lutein, calcium and vitamin K. In fact it contains so much vitamin K that patients taking anti-coagulants are advised to avoid it, since that is the vitamin that most anti-coagulants aim to reduce. Kale is also an anti-inflammatory and contains sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have anti-cancer properties.
- All NUTS are great sources of omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and other nutrients. Almonds, for example, have 45% of your recommended daily values of vitamin E and of important mineral manganese per serving. Walnuts have nearly 95% of your recommended omega-3 fatty acids per quarter cup serving. And super food flaxseeds have 146.3% of your omega-3s and 21% of your dietary fiber in just 2 tablespoons.
- Got MILK? Dairy is incredibly important to a complete nutritional diet. All dairy is high in protein, vitamin D, calcium, and important amino-acid tryptophan. Also if you are trying to lose weight, recent studies have shown low-fat calcium-rich dairy can increase the body’s ability to burn fat after a meal. If you are lactose-intolerant you can turn to live culture yogurt, which has great nutritional value and bacterial cultures which prevent the pain and suffering lactose can cause.
- FRUIT should always be a part of your diet. Super food blueberries are a very good source of vitamin C, manganese and fiber, and a good source of vitamin E. One papaya can give you 313% of your daily vitamin C and is high in folate, potassium, fiber, vitamin A, vitamin E, and Vitamin K.
- FISH, specifically fish which is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids, is very nutritious. Adding tuna to your diet can help you get selenium, b-vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, alongside the omega 3s that can lower heart-disease risk, help arthritis pain, and may help with memory loss. Salmon (wild caught) are an even better source of nutrients and omega 3s.
All of these foods will help you to a complete diet. However, there is no guarantee these days that they will always be as nutritious as the label claims. To be as confident as possible buy food as locally as you can. Support your local farmers market because those local farmers are the ones that don’t take shortcuts with your food. When you can’t buy locally try to at least buy organic. When large food producers can, they will take shortcuts that remove nutrition from your food.