National Nutrition Month: Essential Vitamins and Nutrients

National Nutrition Month: Essential Vitamins and Nutrients

When I first began my transition to a healthier lifestyle, I needed to know which foods had the most vitamins and nutrients with the least amount of calories and fat content. 
I always knew veggies and fruit were important but I did not know how they affected my body. 

Incorporating nutrient dense foods into your diet; one containing fruits, vegetables and whole grains help meet your daily vitamin needs. Here is a list I have compiled of the most nutrient dense foods and where you can find them.

Vitamin A

Needed for good eyesight and normal functioning of the immune system. Found in: Carrots, Leafy Greens (Kale, Chard, Collards, Mustards, Spinach), Squash, Sweet Potato, Peppers, Romaine Lettuce.

Vitamin B6

Vital for a healthy nervous system. Helps the body break down protein and stored sugar. Found in: Chicken, Eggs, Fish, Seeds, Spinach

Vitamin B12

Needed for keeping the body's nerves and cells healthy. Found in: Beef, Chicken, Salmon, Shellfish, Soybeans, Turkey

Vitamin C

Helps promote a healthy immune system. Found in: Berries, Broccoli, Citrus Fruits, Guava, Spinach, Potatoes, Peppers, Tomato.

Vitamin D

Needed to process calcium and maintain bone health. Found in: Cheese, Egg Yolks, Milk, Salmon, Sunlight

Vitamin E

Acts as an antioxidant to help prevent cell damage. Found in: Almonds, Leafy greens, Vegetable oil.

Folate (Vitamin B9)

Vital for cell development, promotes heart health and helps red blood cells form. Found in: Asparagus, Beans, Lentils, Lettuce, Spinach

Vitamin K

Helps maintain bone health. Found in: Broccoli, Canola oil, Leafy greens, Olive oil, Soybean Oil

Calcium

Helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. Helps muscle function. Found in: Broccoli, Calcium, Dairy Products, Orange juice, Spinach, Tofu 

Iron

Needed to transport oxygen to all parts of the body via red blood cells. Found in: Beans, Chicken, Leafy greens, Shellfish, Soy foods, Turkey

Magnesium

Helps muscles and nerves function properly, steadies the heart rhythm and maintains bone strength. Found in: Almonds, Avocados, Bananas, Halibut, Leafy greens, Soy foods, Shrimp, Shellfish

Manganese

Involved in bone formation and wound healing. Metabolizes proteins, cholesterol and carbohydrates. Found in: Almonds, Beans, Black and Green Tea, Whole Grains

Potassium

Aids in nervous system and muscle functions. Helps maintain a healthy balance of water in the blood and body tissues. Found in: Bananas, Broccoli, Orange Juice, Raisins, Potato w/ skin, Prune Juice Tomato

Zinc

Vital to many internal processes and supports immune function, reproduction and the nervous system. Found in: Almonds, Chickpeas, Dairy Products, Fortified Cereals, Soy foods.

Here is my simple green side salad. Easy and Healthy! 

Christal's Leafy Green Simple Salad 


Christals Leafy Green Side Salad

Christals Leafy Green Side Salad

Trader Joe's Power to the Greens ( Baby Kale, Baby Chard, Baby Spinach)
Trader Joe's Broccoli Slaw
Organic Tomatoes
Organic Cucumbers
Trader Joe's Light Champagne Vinaigrette
Black Pepper

Directions:

  1. Wash Greens and Broccoli Slaw
  2. Chop Tomatoes and Cucumbers
  3. Mix all ingredients
  4. Enjoy!

What are your favorite nutrient dense foods? How have you started incorporating healthier foods into your life?

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