Natural Foods That Are Rich in Vitamins & Minerals
The food we eat does a lot more than just satiating our hunger- they also provide the body with the nutrients it requires to thrive. What you eat can affect how your health is today and how it will be years from now. On one hand, some foods can deplete your energy, impair the digestive system, and raise the risk of other health issues. While on the other hand, some foods may fuel your body’s natural disease-fighting abilities and help maintain optimum health.
Vitamins and minerals are essential for the body. Minerals are elements that are found in various foods and are a part of our daily life. Minerals are essential for the proper functioning of the heart and brain as well as the production of hormones and enzymes in the body. Vitamins are essential for proper nerve functioning, DNA synthesis, the formation of red blood cells in the body, ward off bacterial and viral infections, and more. Therefore, to incorporate the essential vitamins and minerals in the body, one needs to eat the right food in the right quantity.
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Let us know more about some of the foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals:
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and seeds are packed with a number of minerals, but they are mostly rich in magnesium, zinc, manganese, copper, selenium, and phosphorus. Certain nuts and seeds are known for their mineral content. For instance, “one Brazil nut provides 174% of your daily selenium needs, while a 1/4-cup (28-gram) serving of pumpkin seeds delivers 40% of your daily magnesium needs”. Whole nuts and seeds make a convenient, nutrient-rich snack, while nut and seed butter can be added to smoothies, oatmeal, or paired with fresh fruit or vegetables.
One of the most nutritious vegetables that you can eat with the skin on is sweet potatoes. They are filled with heart-healthy potassium and vision-boosting vitamin A. Sweet potatoes are fat-free and cholesterol-free with a rich, sugary flavor while still being low in calorie content. Sweet potatoes, when cut in cubes, cook up quickly in the microwave, or you can also toss them with slight oil and seasonings and roast them in the oven. Sweet potatoes can also be added to stews which would lend a sweet flavor to lasagnas and other casseroles.
Eggs are filled with multivitamins. Whole eggs are extremely nutritious and consist of several minerals that are needed by the body. They are high in iron, phosphorus, zinc, selenium, vitamins, healthy fats, antioxidants, and proteins. Although many people avoid egg yolks due to their high cholesterol content, the yolk contains nearly all of the vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial compounds, so make sure to eat the whole egg and not just the white portion. It is advisable to consult your doctor in case you have high cholesterol.
Some satisfying ways of increasing your mineral intake are by adding cocoa to smoothies, munching on a piece of dark chocolate, or sprinkling your yogurt with cacao nibs. Cocoa products are loaded with minerals but are not too nutrient-dense. Cocoa and cocoa products are especially rich in magnesium and copper. Magnesium is required for producing energy, regulating blood pressure, the functioning of the nerves, controlling blood sugar, and more. Whereas copper is required for proper growth and development, carbohydrate metabolism, iron absorption, and formation of red blood cells along with other important bodily processes. This makes the consumption of cocoa in a moderate amount is a wise choice!
Consumption of ancient grains like amaranth, millet, quinoa, and sorghum are known to offer a variety of health benefits. Unlike refined grains, ancient grains are high in a number of important nutrients which include magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and copper. Refined grain products like white rice, white pasta, and white bread can be easily replaced with ancient grains and ancient grain products. This can significantly increase the overall mineral intake and help keep you healthy and active for a long time.
Maintaining a balanced diet can help provide the nutrients required by the body to function properly. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seafood, and more are rich sources of multiple vitamins and minerals. Incorporate some of the foods mentioned above in your daily meals to increase your overall mineral intake, control disease risks, and improve the overall quality of your diet!