How many times have you been too busy or tired to cook a proper meal? You’re exhausted and you have a million things to do, so its just easier to order out than it is to cook. But the problem with eating out all the time isn’t just the impact on your wallet. By limiting the variety of food you eat, you may also be unknowingly avoiding nutrients that are essential to your health. While taking supplements can help, the best way for your body to absorb these nutrients is naturally through food. And no, that doesn’t mean you need to drink cod liver oil or only have cabbage for breakfast. There are healthy, delicious ways to get the nutrients you need – take a look!
Vitamin B6
What it does: regulates mood, appetite, and sleep. May also reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and has been effective at reducing morning sickness and premenstrual syndrome.
Where to get it: fish, beef liver and other organ meats, starchy vegetables like potatoes, and fruits other than citrus. For example, one cup of chickpeas contains 55% of your daily recommended intake! A banana contains 20%! So have a banana with your breakfast and chickpeas on a salad at lunch and you’re already most of the way there.
Vitamin B12
What it does: fights fatigue and improves alertness. It also keeps the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy, helps make DNA, and prevents megaloblastic anemia, whose symptoms include fatigue and weakness.
Where to get it: found naturally in a wide variety of animal foods including fish, meat, poultry, eggs, and dairy products.
Folate
What it does: prevents brain and spinal defects in the first weeks of pregnancy, and lowers the risks of colon and breast cancer.
Where to get it: occurs naturally in a variety of foods including dark leafy green vegetables, fruits and fruit juices, nuts, beans, peas, dairy products, meat and poultry, eggs, seafood, and grains.
Vitamin D
What it does: strengthens bones, teeth, and muscles, protects against autoimmune diseases and breast and ovarian cancers.
Where to get it: the flesh of fatty fish like salmon, tuna, and mackerel are the best sources for Vitamin D. Small amounts are also found in beef liver, cheese, and egg yolks.
Calcium
What it does: maintains strong bones and teeth, aids muscle movement and nerve function, and helps maintain blood pressure.
Where to get it: milk, yogurt, and cheese are primary sources of calcium. It is also present in kale, broccoli, and Chinese cabbage, as well as sardines, salmon, and grains.
Iron
What it does: aids the body in growth and development, makes hemoglobin which carries oxygen from the lungs and myoglobin which provides oxygen to muscles. Prevents anemia.
Where to get it: lean meat, seafood, poultry, white beans, lentils, spinach, kidney beans, and peas.
Still need some inspiration? Head over to the “Food” blog for great recipes and seasonal foods.