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Nutrients are absorbed better and work best with our bodies when we get nutrients from foods in their most natural form, how nature intended. You are what you eat, so eat the rainbow!
Top Ten Nutrient-Rich Super Foods
- Grapes (Purple, red, and blue): Dark colored grapes contain vitamin C, selenium, phytochemicals and antioxidants that fight off cancer and heart disease by boosting the immune system.
- Blueberries: Packed with vitamins that strengthen the immune system and phytochemicals, blueberries also protect cells from damage and inflammation.
- Red berries (raspberries, strawberries): Red berries contain ellagic acid (a phytochemical) that protects against cancer-causing agents in both your diet and environment.
- Nuts: One of the most balanced foods on the planet; nuts contain “healthy” fats, protein, and carbohydrates. There are many types of nuts that offer their individual specialty ingredients and benefits. Try walnuts for the most plant omega-3s and Brazil nuts for high selenium. Mix and match. Experiment and find out what you like best!
- Dark Green Veggies: Dark green veggies, including broccoli, spinach, kale, and collard greens, contain high amounts of vitamins C, E, A, and calcium that fight disease.
- Sweet Potatoes and Orange Vegetables: Sweet potatoes have vitamins C, A, B6, potassium, fiber, and calcium. Carrots top the charts with vitamin A, and butternut and acorn squash have lots of vitamin A and C.
- Tea: Tea contains two phytochemicals (anthocyanin and pro anthocyanin). These antioxidants fight inflammation and block cell damage that can cause cancer. Green tea contains catechin epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), one of the most powerful antioxidants.
- Whole Grains: Whole grains contain zinc, selenium, and phytochemicals that protect against heart disease and cancer. Opt for whole grains instead of white, wild/brown rice instead of white rice, and corn tortillas instead of flour. Research shows that people who eat at least one serving of whole grains a day have a lower risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Beans: Often underestimated, beans have high antioxidant properties. Green soybeans contain vitamin C, calcium, zinc, and selenium. Lentils and black-eyed peas have folate and zinc. Black beans and kidney beans have lots of folate!
- Fish: Fish contains important omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D (that’s hard to find in foods) that prevents inflammatory diseases, and coronary heart disease. Try salmon, oysters, mackerel, tuna steal, wild rainbow trout, shark steal, albacore tuna, herring, and sardines.
Best Nutrient Paired Foods—Synergize to Harmonize
- Broccoli and tomatoes
- Vitamin C and vitamin E
- Avocado with lettuce or red bell pepper
The A, B, C’s of Food Nutrients
- Beta-carotene: Apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe, carrots, collards, peaches, pumpkin, spinach, sweet potatoes
- Vitamin C: Blueberries, broccoli, grapefruit, kiwi, oranges, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, tomatoes
- Vitamin E: Margarine, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, wheat germ
- Smart Carbs: Whole grains, wheat, legumes, corn
- Healthy Proteins: Beans, peas, lean beef, low-fat cheese, fish, milk, poultry, soy products, and yogurt. These protein-rich foods boost your mood.
- Selenium: Beans, legumes, lean meats (pork, beef, chicken, turkey), low-fat dairy products, nuts, seeds, brazil nuts, seafood (oysters, clams, sardines, crab, saltwater fish, freshwater fish), whole grains (pastas, brown rice, oatmeal)
Importance of Omegas
- Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Fatty fish (anchovy, mackerel, salmon, sardines, shad, tuna), flaxseed, nuts
- Alpha-linolenic Acid: Flaxseed, canola oil, soybean oil, walnuts, dark green leafy vegetables
Quick Tips and Food Notes to Live By
- Get the most bang for your buck. Support your local farmers market, start your own home garden, and check for coupons.
- Go for organic. Although it may be more expensive, it’s made in a healthier environment, free of harsh chemicals and pesticides.
- Everything in moderation. At some point, the absorption process has limits. The body can only absorb a steady amount at a time. Eating a lot of one food does not necessarily mean you can absorb all of it. High doses can interfere with your body absorbing other nutrients too.
Eating healthy is a great rule to live by, but eating healthy while getting the most out of it is the key. This can be achieved easily by eating the most nutrient-rich foods filled with key vitamins with amazing health benefits. These foods are the best of the best, and provide the most “natural” vitamins for the body.