11 Nutrient-Rich Foods for a Healthy Body
Nutrients are essential compounds present in the foods we eat. They are essential for our health. Our body needs these nutrients in the form of vitamins and minerals for energy and to support the growth, repair and maintenance of the tissue cells. Vitamins and minerals come under the category of micronutrients. The body absorbs these micronutrients from nutrition-rich food. For example, some essential vitamins that our body requires are vitamin A, D, E, C and K. At the same time, iron, copper, zinc, sodium, potassium and iodine are essential minerals. Although our bodies need them in small quantities, they are essential for proper growth.
Importance of Nutrition Rich Food
A diet rich in vitamins and minerals plays a vital role in metabolic activities. Our body cannot produce vitamins and minerals naturally. Therefore, it is essential to consume them through food. Each food is rich in different types of vitamins and minerals. That’s why it is crucial to have a variety of fruits and vegetables to get enough nutrients.
These nutrients also help fight and prevent certain diseases. Vitamins specifically play a vital role in building a healthy immune system. However, you should always consume the required amounts of minerals and vitamins because excess or inadequate intake can result in several disorders.
Nutrition Chart For Males, Females And Children
Here is a chart with the list of essential vitamins and minerals and the amount required for the overall well-being of a person. It is the recommended daily intake for men, women and children.
IU= international units
|Vitamin A||750mg||750mg||1000IU (2-3 years)2000 IU (9-13 years)|
|Calcium||800-1000mg||800-1000mg||500mg (1-3 years)1300mg (9-13 years)|
|Potassium||2000mg||2000mg||3000mg (1-3 years)4500mg (9-13 years)|
Calcium, sodium and potassium are some minerals that our body requires in large amounts as compared to other nutrients.
Foods Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Carrots are red-orange coloured root vegetables that are one of the most dominant staple foods globally. We can use them in salads or cooked vegetables, soups, juices etc. Nutritionally, carrots are a great source of carbohydrates and are very rich in carotenoids and vitamin A. One large carrot (70g) can contain up to 601mg of vitamin A. It is essential for maintaining healthy organs, immune systems, and eyesight.
Vitamin A or provitamin A carotenoids are essential nutrients for the eyes. A study suggests that having 91g of grated carrot per day is enough to maintain vitamin A levels in the body.
Carrots also contain many phytochemicals and antioxidants that show anti-inflammatory properties to help maintain heart health.
Nutritional Value of Carrot
Raw carrots (100 grams):
- Calorie: 48
- Protein – 0.9 g
- Carbohydrates – 10.6 g
- Dietary fibre – 4.4 g
- Fat – 0.2 g
- Carrots are the richest plant-based source of beta-carotene, with 8285 micrograms of beta-carotene per 100 grams.
An interesting fact about carrots is that their nutritional value changes (for the better) if you eat cooked carrots. Studies show that our bodies absorb more beta-carotene when we eat cooked carrots.
Several studies suggest that due to UV-light exposure, mushrooms naturally produce vitamin D. However, sun-dried mushrooms contain more vitamin D than fresh mushrooms. It is an essential nutrient as it helps absorb calcium in the body. One hundred grams of sun-dried mushrooms contain 10mcg of vitamin D. Button mushrooms have the highest vitamin D content and are highly nutritious.
Children who have vitamin D deficiency can develop diseases like rickets. It softens the bones and causes deplorable bone development. Therefore, vitamin D is essential for a child.
Mushrooms also have cancer-fighting properties. The antioxidants present in mushrooms may protect your body from free radicals, which can help reduce the risk of certain types of cancers.
Eating mushrooms four times a week can help curb the low vitamin D levels in the body.
Nutritional Value of Mushrooms
One cup of mushrooms (100g) contains:
- Calories: 22 Kcal
- Fats: 0.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 3.3 g
- Protein: 3.1 g
- Dietary fibre: 1 g
Peanuts are a popular snack and considered preferred a nutrition rich food. One hundred grams of peanuts contain 4.93mg of vitamin E. Vitamin E has many antioxidant properties and is essential for a healthy immune system. Vitamin E is also very crucial for maintaining skin and hair health.
According to a study, vitamin E reduces collagen breakdown. It is an essential element for younger-looking skin as it reduces free radical damage. Research also shows that vitamin E can increase enzymes responsible for widening the blood vessels. As a result, it reduces the chances of blood clots.
Peanuts are also a great source of protein, which is a building block for the muscles and provides energy. 28g of peanuts contain up to 8g of protein in it. Therefore, it is recommended to consume a handful of peanuts every day to get all the nutrients that it contains.
Nutritional Value of Peanuts
100 grams of Peanuts contains:
- Calories: 567 kCal
- Carbohydrates: 16.1 g
- Protein: 25.8 g
- Dietary fibre: 8.5 g
Kale is one of the super nutritious green leafy vegetables. It is full of vitamins and minerals and has medicinal properties. As a result, it provides impressive health benefits. Kale contains antioxidants, beta-carotene, vitamin C and polyphenols. These nutrients show excellent anti-inflammatory properties and can help fight the oxidative damage caused by the free radicals. As per research, free radicals can hinder the healthy c oxygen supply, causing oxidative stress.
Kale is one of the best sources of vitamin K. Vitamin K is an essential vitamin involved in blood clotting. Whenever you get a cut, blood clotting helps to stop the bleeding. In addition, vitamin K is vital to managing the proteins involved in that process.
Nutritional Value of Kale
100 grams of Kale contain:
- Calories: 49 kCal
- Carbohydrate: 8.8 g
- Protein: 4.3 g
- Fats: 0.9 g
- Fibre: 3.6 g
5. Citrus Fruits
These fruits are a delicious and healthy choice for breakfast and snacks. They provide a multitude of health benefits. Some of the most common citrus fruits are grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, and tangerines. In addition, lemonades, orange juice are pervasive ways to consume citrus fruits.
Lemon is one of the most common and highly nutrition rich food that is rich in vitamin C and potassium. Vitamin C helps maintain a healthy immune system. In addition, this fruit helps produce white blood cells, which defend the body against any infections.
Studies also find vitamin C effective in reducing the common cold symptoms. So if you consume two lemons per day, it will benefit your health.
Nutritional Value of Lemon
These are the nutritional values of a 100g serving of Lemons :
- Calories: 29
- Water: 89%
- Protein: 1.1 g
- Carbs: 9.3 g
- Sugar: 2.5 g
- Fibre: 2.8 g
- Fat: 0.3 g
Spinach is also one of the most popular, nutrition-rich food and leafy vegetable. It is considered to be a superfood and is full of nutrients. In addition, it contains very low calories. Therefore, you can use spinach as an ingredient in several dishes. Furthermore, you can cook it or even serve it raw in salads.
Lack of iron in the diet can affect the body in many ways. For example, our body requires iron to produce haemoglobin, which helps transport the blood to different cells and organs. If you have iron deficiency, it can lead to the development of anaemia. Spinach is one of the most potent sources of iron.
Spinach also contains a lot of calcium. It has approximately 250 mg of calcium per cup. However, it is not that easy to absorb. Therefore, the body needs additional nutrients to help the absorption process. It is recommended to consume 100g of spinach 2-3 times a week.
Nutritional Value of Spinach
The nutritional values for 100 grams of raw spinach are-
- Calories: 23 kcal
- Water: 91%
- Protein: 2.9 gm
- Carbs: 3.6 gm
- Sugar: 0.4 gm
- Fibre: 2.2 gm
- Fat: 0.4 gm
7. Sesame Seeds
Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper and magnesium and contain healthy fats. However, they can be high in calories if you consume too many. Copper is a trace nutrient, and our bodies require small amounts of copper. However, it is essential for the vital organs. Additionally, it helps maintain the hormone levels in the brain. It also helps produce chemical messengers required to perform cognitive functions.
You can consume 1-2 tablespoons of sesame seeds per day to get all the nutrition it contains.
Nutritional Value of Sesame Seeds
Given below is the nutritional information of 100 g sesame seeds-
- Energy – 563 kcal
- Carbohydrates – 25 g
- Dietary Fiber – 16.8 g
- Fats – 43.3 g
- Protein – 18.3 g
- Calcium – 1450 mg
- Iron – 9.3 mg
- Phosphorous – 570 mg
- Copper – 2.29 mg
- Zinc – 12.20 mg
Oysters are one of the most nutritious seafood. They are high in essential minerals and proteins and are low in carbohydrates. In addition, it contains zinc which helps the immune system. Decreased zinc levels can increase the chances of getting the common cold. In addition, zinc can also help regulate certain hormones related to fertility. For example, it can improve reproductive health in men by regulating testosterone levels.
Oysters are also a rich source of proteins and omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 fatty acids can help lower the risk of developing cardiovascular disorders as it has some excellent anti-inflammatory properties. However, since oysters contain huge amounts of zinc, you should not consume them very often as they can cause metal poisoning.
Nutritional Value of Oyster
Every 100g of oyster mushrooms contain:
- Carbohydrates: 6.09 g
- Proteins: 3.31 g
- Fats: 0.41 g
- Water content: 89.18 g
- Dietary fibre: 2.3 g
- Energy (calories): 33 kcal
- Zinc: 53mg
9. Tuna Fish
Tuna is one of the most nutrient-rich fishes. Various species of tuna are available in multiple sizes. Consuming tuna is healthy because it provides several health benefits and improves skin health. Tuna is rich in Vitamin B complex, which helps to boost collagen production in skin cells, keeping them young and healthy.
Tuna is also a rich source of iodine. Every portion of tuna (approx. 170 gms) contains 34 mg of iodine. Our bodies require iodine for the healthy functioning of the thyroid hormone. Iodine deficiency can affect other body functions such as menstrual cycles in females, heart palpitations, heat intolerance etc. Therefore, it is vital to keep iodine levels in check.
Tuna is also rich in sodium, potassium, and iron content.
Nutritional Value of Tuna
One hundred grams of tuna contains:
- Calories- 144 kcal
- Total fat-4.9 g
- Protein- 23.3 g
- Sodium 47-mg
- Potassium-522 mg
10. Soy Milk
It is a fantastic source of calcium. Calcium makes up the entire skeletal system, giving physical support to the body. Therefore, it is imperative to have strong bones. Additionally, a calcium deficit diet can affect bone development, especially in young children. It can also develop a condition like osteoporosis, where bone density decreases. In addition, it can lead to unexpected fractures and make you physically very weak.
Soy milk is also a nutrition- rich food, excellent in sodium and potassium. These are essential electrolytes that our body requires to support various physiological processes. In addition, soy milk also provides adequate calories to keep you energized throughout the day.
Soy protein is considered best for weight loss because it contains essential amino acids. In addition, it is a plant-based protein which means you can incorporate it into a vegan diet.
Nutritional Value of Soy Milk:
100 ml of Soy milk can provide:
- Calories: 54 kCal
- Fat: 1.8 g
- Carbohydrate: 6.3 g
- Protein: 3.3 g
11. Green Grams/Mung Beans
Green gram, commonly known as mung bean, is famous all over Asia, Africa and South America. It is a natural source of plant-based protein, complex carbohydrates, fibre and other nutrients. In addition, it is a prevalent vegan food choice.
Green grams belong to the legume family and are a rich carbohydrate source. Carbohydrates are essential as they provide energy to the body. Carbohydrates convert into blood sugar, which provides energy to the cells, tissues, and other vital organs.
They are also an excellent source of potassium. One cup of mung beans provides more than 500mg of potassium. Potassium works in coordination with sodium and maintains muscle function. Potassium is essential for heart health as it promotes healthy muscle function.
Nutritional Value of Mung Beans
100 grams of mung beans contain:
- Calories: 334 kCal
- Fat: 1.3 g
- Carbohydrates: 56.7 g
- Fibre: 16.7 g
- Protein: 24 g
Vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients because they provide crucial compounds required for healthy body functioning. For example, vitamins A, D, E, K, C are some vitamins that make up the immune system and help regulate other body functions. At the same time, potassium, iodine, sodium, calcium, zinc, copper are some elements that regulate the hormones, muscle function and other organs of a healthy body. It is crucial to include nutrition-rich food in one’s diet.