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20 Best Foods for Every Vitamin and Mineral

In order to ensure the body functions smoothly and enjoys maximum energy levels along with good health of all its organs, it requires a wide variety of essential nutrients, which include the protective antioxidants that ward of diseases, the heavy minerals that build up our bones, and vitamins that regulate several bodily processes.

Now, even though a daily supplement can help you obtain some of these nutrients, only a wholesome and mindful diet comprising of real foods can replenish your body with all the essential nutrients that you need on a daily basis.

It is essential to obtain your vitamins and minerals as nature intended, which is only through your food. We’ve picked out all the best foods that can provide your body an abundance of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients, along with some delicious recipes to give your taste buds a nutritious treat.

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Image Credit: www.healthinsider.org

Here, take a look:

1. Vitamin K

Why you need it: Vitamin K, also known as phylloquinone, is extremely essential in blood clotting or coagulation, and if the body is deprived of this essential vitamin, it will be unable to stop bleeding in the instance of a cut or bruise. Leafy green veggies are one of the richest sources of this vitamin, and one cup of kale is all you need to load up your body with an impressive 1.1 mg of vitamin K.

Where to get it:

Spinach and collard greens are also powerful sources as they pack up nearly 1 mg in every one cup serving. You can also obtain vitamin k from mustard, beet greens and turnips. For a dinner loaded with vitamin k, treat your family to a delicious meal of Tuscan kale served with goat cheese, plums and almonds.

2. Vitamin A

Why you need it: Vitamin A and all its types are extremely essential to maintain a strong immunity, regulate reproductive behaviors and primarily, strengthen our vision. Vitamins A, particularly beta-carotene, are extremely essential for ensuring the proper functioning of the retina, cornea and even the eye membranes.

Where to get it:

Sweet potatoes pack up the richest concentration of vitamin A, and all you need is one medium-sized baked sweet potato to load upon more than 28000 IU of vitamin A, which is a whopping 561% of your daily dosage requirement. So, fix your family a delicious appetizer of oven-roasted sweet potato wedges instead of the oily regular fries.

Vitamins A can also be obtained from other food sources, such as carrots, eggs, beef liver, fish, spinach and milk.

3. Vitamin D

Why you need it: Vitamin D is extremely necessary and the body generates it naturally when the skin is exposed to sunlight. It aids in promoting the growth of our bones, along with aiding the body in absorbing calcium. Vitamin D is essential for the growth of our cells, a strong immunity and to eliminate the symptoms of inflammation.

Where to get it:

Fatty fish varieties, such mackerel, herring, swordfish and salmon, are one of the very few dietary sources of naturally-occurring vitamin D. Cod liver oil leads the pack with a whopping 1,360 IU in every tablespoon. You can also consume vitamin D with fortified foods, such as yogurt, orange juice, cereals, and milk.

Swordfish can provide you an impressive 566 IU of vitamin D, which is roughly 142% of your daily dosage requirement. Fix yourself a scrumptious vitamin D-packed meal of Swordfish Mexicana to consume this nutrient with a delicious taste.

4. Vitamin E

Why you need it: Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that shields our body cells from the attacks of free radicals, which are basically harmful molecules that invade our body. This powerful antioxidant is essential to strengthen our immunity, and to promote healthy functioning of our blood vessel and clotting, which tends to occur when we cut ourselves.

Where to get it:

Wheat germ is the richest food-based source of obtaining vitamin e, and one serving can provide you a whopping 20.3 mg, which is 100% of your daily dosage requirement. However, most people prefer to obtain their vitamin E fix from other sources, such as almonds, which pack up 6.8mg in every one ounce serving, nearly 34% of your daily requirement.

Sunflower seeds are also loaded with vitamin e, and a one ounce serving can provide you an impressive 7.4 mg, nearly 37% of your daily requirement. So, fix yourself a vitamin E-packed breakfast of barley with sunflower seeds and bananas.

5. Folate

Why you need it: Folate is a kind of vitamin B which is extremely essential for pregnant women as it can aid in preventing birth defects amongst new-borns. It is also essential for everyone else as it aids the body in the generation of protein and new tissues.

Where to get it:

You can obtain folate from countless easily-obtained foods, such as dairy products, fruits, dark green leafy veggies and nuts. Beef liver packs up the richest density of folate, however, if you can’t stomach the thought of eating liver, spinach can also provide you an impressive concentration of folate.

Half a cup of boiled spinach is all you need to consume 131 mcg of folate, which is nearly 33% of your daily dosage requirement. You can obtain folic acid, which is a man-made type of folate, from several cereals, grains and breads. An apple and spinach chicken casserole will brim up your body with heaps of folate.

6. Vitamin B12

Why you need it: Vitamin B12 is essential to ensure the healthy and smooth functioning of the central nervous system, along with boosting the production of red blood cells and DNA. Moreover, vitamin B12 plays an instrumenting role in shielding the body against anemia, which is basically a blood condition that causes extreme exhaustion, fatigue and weakness.

Where to get it:

You can obtain vitamin B12 from various animal products. Cooked clams boost the richest density of this vitamin as opposed to other foods. All you need is three ounces of clams to pack up a whopping 84mcg of vitamin B12, which is an incredibly impressive 1402% of your daily recommended dosage.

Here’s an amazing idea: serve your family a scintillating treat of spaghetti and clams to replenish their vitamin B12 reserves. You can also obtain vitamin B12 from tuna, beef liver, salmon, and trout, along with several fortified breakfast cereal varieties.

7. Vitamin C

Why you need it: Vitamin C is an extremely essential antioxidant that serves as an instrumental and necessary nutrient to aid in several key bodily functions, such as the synthesis of neurotransmitters and protein metabolism.

Where to get it:

Most people believe that vitamin C is only obtained from citrus foods, however, sweet red peppers are actually the richest food-based source of this antioxidant. One serving of sweet red peppers packs up a whopping 95mg of vitamin c, which is even more than the vitamin C concentration of oranges that provide 93mg in each serving.

Roasted red peppers with stuffed meat are an incredibly delicious treat to stock up on vitamin C. You can also obtain it from cantaloupe, Brussels sprouts, broccoli and kiwi fruit.

8. Calcium

Why you need it: Calcium is an extremely essential mineral required by the body, and even though it is available in abundance, the body always needs it in a constant supply. Over 99% calcium is stored within our teeth and bones to help fortify their strength, while the remaining 1% is used by the blood vessel and to aid vital bodily processes, such as muscle function, hormone secretion and cell communication.

Where to get it:

You can obtain the richest concentration of naturally-occurring calcium from dairy products, such as milk, cheese, and yogurt. Plain low-fat and unsweetened yogurt provides the highest density of calcium, a whopping 415mg in each serving, which makes up nearly 42% of your daily dosage requirement. A yogurt crunch parfait for breakfast is an ideal way to eliminate a calcium deficiency.

9. Vitamin B6

Why you need it: Vitamin B6 is basically an umbrella that refers to six different compounds of vitamin B that exhibit similar impacts on the human body. These six essential compounds aid the body in forming haemoglobin, which is an instrumental part of our red blood cells, along with metabolizing foods, stabilizing blood sugar levels, and forming antibodies that fight off diseases.

Where to get it:

You can obtain vitamin B6 from countless food sources, such as poultry, fish and beef liver. However, if you are a vegetarian, you can rely on the richest sources of this nutrient, such as garbanzo beans, more commonly known as chickpeas.

One cup of canned chickpeas can provide you a whopping 1.1 milligrams of vitamin B6, which makes up an impressive 55% of your daily dosage requirement. A lentil and chickpea salad is an excellent idea for a nourishing and fulfilling lunch.

10. Iron

Why you need it: The proteins present within our body require iron to transport oxygen and promote the growth of cells. Most of the iron consumed by the body is found within haemoglobin, which is basically the protein within our red blood cells that is responsible for transporting oxygen to all the tissues throughout the body.

Where to get it:

You can obtain dietary irons in two basic forms. The first is heme iron, which can be obtained from animal-based foods, such as red meat, poultry and fish. Chicken liver is the richest food-based source of heme iron, just one serving can provide your body a whopping 11mg of iron, which makes up 61% of your daily dosage requirement for this mineral.

The second is nonheme iron, which can be obtained from plant-based sources, such as beans and lentils. For a scrumptious iron-rich meal, fix yourself a delicious dinner of chicken livers served with Madeira and caramelized onions.

11. Lycopene

Why you need it: Lycopene is a powerful chemical pigment that can be obtained from all red vegetables and fruits, and it boosts a potently effective antioxidant profile. Researchers reveal that lycopene aids in shielding the body against a wide variety of chronic ailments, including several kinds of cancers and heart diseases.

Where to get it:

Tomatoes are one of the richest and best source to obtain lycopene, and you can also obtain this nutrient from tomato-based products, such as tomato sauces, purees, soups and pastes. One cup of tomato sauce packs up a whopping 75mg of lycopene. Tomato and bread soup is a terrific meal to fill you up and eliminate a lycopene deficiency.

Keep in mind that raw and unprocessed tomatoes are not as rich in lycopene. Also, watermelons even undermine the lycopene concentration of tomatoes, by providing an impressive 12mg lycopene in each wedge, as opposed to the 3mg found in one tomato.

12. Omega-3 fatty acids

Why you need it: Most people believe that all kinds a negative reputation, however, certain kinds of fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fat, are extremely essential and healthy when consumed moderately. You see, omega-3 fatty acids aid in reducing inflammation throughout the body, and they are instrumental for the health of the brain.

Where to get it:

It is important to understand that there are two categories of omega-3 fatty acids. The first is Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which can be obtained from green vegetables, seeds, nuts, and vegetable oil. The second category includes eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which can be obtained from fatty fish, such as mackerel, herring, sardines and wild salmon.

A one cup serving of tuna salad is all you need to pack up an impressive 8.5 grams of these heart-healthy polyunsaturated fatty acids. We recommend you to create a delicious treat of apple and cheddar tuna pitas served with walnuts to stock up on these healthy fats.

13. Potassium

Why you need it: Potassium is an instrumental electrolyte, which is required by the body to control and regulate the electrical activity that takes place within the heart. Moreover, potassium is needed to build protein and muscles, along to aid the body in breaking down carbohydrates and converting them into energy.

Where to get it:

You can obtain potassium from regular potatoes, beet greens, chicken, fish, tomato paste, red meat and several other sources. Sweet potatoes are undoubtedly one of the richest sources of this mighty mineral, and one medium-sized baked sweet potato can provide you a whopping 700mg of potassium. So, if you have a potassium deficiency, get your fix of this mineral by devouring a sweet potato casserole with marshmallows for diner.

14. Riboflavin

Why you need it: Riboflavin, another extremely essential form of vitamin B, also boosts powerful antioxidant properties that aid the body in fighting off various diseases, generating red blood cells and generating energy.

Where to get it:

A 3-ounce serving of beef liver, which happens to be richest source of naturally-occurring riboflavin, can provide you with a whopping 3 milligrams of this vitamin. If you’re a vegetarian or a not a big fan of liver, you can obtain this nutrient from a much more convenient source, like fortified cereals such as Wholesome Morning Granola or Kellogg’s All-Bran.

15. Lysine

Why you need it: Lysine, also referred to as l-lysine, is an amino acid that aids the body in absorbing calcium, and producing collagen needed for bones and connective tissues. Moreover, lysine also plays an instrumental role in the formation of carnitine, an essential nutrients that aids in regulating and normalizing cholesterol levels of the body.

Where to get it:

You can obtain lysine from all protein-rich animal-based foods. Red meat is one of the best sources of lysine, and you can also obtain it from legumes, nuts and soybeans. For a scintillating lysine-packed dinner, start your meal with the scrumptious taste of autumn cranberry beef stew.

16. Magnesium

Why you need it: The human body requires magnesium for more than 300 biochemical reactions, including regulating, the functions of our nerves, the strength of our bones, maintaining muscles, and steadying the rhythm of the heart.

Wheat bran is one of the richest sources of magnesium, and a quarter cup can provide you an impressive 89mg of magnesium, which roughly makes up about 22% of your daily recommended dosage of this powerful mineral.

Where to get it:

However, in order to reap a beneficial dose of magnesium, you must eat unrefined grains for the removal of germ and bran, as seen in white and refined breads, causes all the magnesium to be eliminated. You can also obtain magnesium from cashews, almonds, and leafy green veggies, especially spinach. Morning glory muffins are a great trick to stock up some magnesium for breakfast.

17. Niacin

Why you need it: Niacin, another member of the vitamins B family, is extremely essential to aid the body in converting food into energy. It also aids in strengthening the digestive system, normalizing and regulating the functions of the nerves, and boosting the health of the skin.

Where to get it:

You can obtain niacin from several food-based sources. Dried yeast happens to be its richest source, however, if you seek something more delicious, look no further than unsalted peanuts and natural homemade peanut butter. One cup of raw peanuts can provide your body a whopping 17.6mg of niacin, which makes up more than 100% of your daily recommended dosage of this vitamin. You can also obtain niacin from chicken and beef liver. If you want a healthy niacin-rich dessert to eat on the go, fix yourself some chocolate peanut-butter energy bars.

18. Selenium

Why you need it: Selenium is an extremely essential mineral that also boosts a potently powerful antioxidant profile. Even though the human body only needs small quantities of this powerful mineral, it plays an instrumental role in shielding the body against the attacks of chronic ailments. Moreover, it also aids in regulating the immune system and the thyroid function.

Where to get it:

Eight Brazil nuts can provide you a whopping 544 mcg of selenium, which is a mighty 777% of your daily recommended requirement of this mineral. Keep in mind that an excessive consumption of selenium can be harmful for the body, so it’s better to pick out food sources that provide small quantities of this mineral.

For instance, canned tuna can provide you 68mg of selenium for every 3 ounce serving, which makes us 97% of your daily dosage requirement. Fix yourself a selenium-rich dinner of Sicilian tuna and white bean bruschetta.

19. Thiamin

Why you need it: Thiamin, more commonly referred to as vitamin B1, is one of the most essential vitamins as it aids the body in converting carbohydrates into energy. Moreover, this important vitamin also regulates the brain, and ensures the nervous system runs optimally and smoothly.

Where to get it:

Much like riboflavin, thiamin can also be obtained from dried yeast. It is actually one of the best food-based sources of vitamin B1, and a 100-gram serving will provide you a whopping 11 mg of thiamin.

However, most people find it easier to obtain their fill of vitamin B1 from other sources, like pine nuts that contain 1.2 mg thiamin in each serving, or soybeans, which pack up 1.1mg thiamin in each serving. You can fix yourself a delicious meal of sautéed Brussels sprouts, sprinkled with parmesan and garnished with pine nuts.

20. Zinc

Why you need it: Research reveals that the consumption of zinc plays a detrimental role in regulating the immune function within the human body, which explains why it is so effective at eliminating the symptoms of a cold. Moreover, zinc is also essential to strengthen the senses of smell and taste.

Where to get it:

You can obtain zinc from a variety of foods, for instance, oysters pack up the richest concentration of zinc, and all you need is one serving to pack up a whopping 74 mg of zinc, which is more than 500% of your daily recommended requirement of this mineral.

Most people consume this essential mineral from poultry and red meat. Alaska King Crab is also incredibly rich in zinc. Three ounces of beef chuck roast can provide you 7 mg of zinc, so treat yourself to a spicy beef and kimchi stew for lunch.

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