Vitamin C is important for healthy bones, collagen and skin, joints, and your immune system. Your body can’t produce or store vitamin C either, so it’s important that you consume it regularly. While oranges usually get the spotlight as a source of this vitamin, there are actually lots of other options - some with even more vitamin C than oranges. Ranked from highest to lowest, here are ten of the top vitamin C sources you can eat:
✴️ Guavas - 419% Daily Value (DV) per cup
🥝 Kiwifruit - 185% DV / cup
🫑 Bell Peppers - 169% / cup
🍓 Strawberries - 108% DV / cup
🍊 Oranges - 106% DV / cup
❇️ Papaya - 98% DV / cup
🥦 Broccoli - 90% DV / cup
🍅 Tomato - 61% DV / cup
🌱 Snow Peas - 42% DV / cup
🥬 Kale - 26% DV / cup
Fats in your diet shouldn’t be avoided, as your body needs them for hormone and brain function. They’ll also add flavor to your food and help you feel full. Here are some whole foods that’ll help make sure you’re getting enough fat in your diet:
➡️ Nut and Seed Butters
➡️ Whole Eggs
A quick and easy way to add some protein to your day is reaching for your favorite nut or seed butter. No matter the type, most contain some good fats and protein, but some have more than others. Here are some of the most popular nut and seed butters ranked by least protein to most in a 1 Tbsp serving:
🥜 Hazelnut Butter
🥜 Almond Butter
🥜 Walnut Butter
🥜 Sesame Butter (Tahini)
🥜 Cashew Butter
🥜 Pistachio Butter
🥜 Sunflower Seed Butter
🥜 Peanut Butter
If you’re looking strictly at protein, peanut butter comes out on top! As you can see, whichever kind you go for, each can add some protein into your diet in an easy way.
Your body needs salt - just not too much of it. So from time-to-time, a salty snack can be just what you need and the less refined, the better. Here are some ideas that can get you on the right track (provided your sodium levels can handle it):
🧂Nuts - Plenty of options here. Peanuts, almonds, pecans, walnuts, or mix ‘em all up! You’ll get fat, fiber, protein, and magnesium.
🧂String Cheese - Don’t let the kids have all the fun. String cheese is a good source of calcium and protein and you can usually find a low-sodium version if you’re trying to watch it.
🧂Vegetables and Hummus or Guac - You can always use more vegetables in your life and covering them in hummus can help get your salt craving under control while also adding some fiber and protein. Making a quick guacamole instead of hummus is an option too and can yield healthy fats, fiber, and potassium.
🧂Popcorn - Make it yourself and you can control everything about it: the oil you use, how much butter you add, and how much salt or other seasonings you add.
🧂Seeds - Sunflower seeds are a good choice but also try roasted pumpkin seeds if you haven’t yet. They have lots to offer nutritionally including fiber, protein, and minerals that are good for your heart.
🧂Fruit and Nut Butter - Another wide-open choice with a classic combo being apples and peanut butter or celery and peanut butter. For something different try strawberries and almond butter.
🧂Seasoned Hard Boiled Egg - Simple yet effective, a hard boiled egg sliced in half is just begging for some seasoned salt before enjoying.
Grapes are a wonderfully convenient and affordable snack, but they also have a wide variety of health benefits to offer:
🍇 Impressive Nutrients
Grapes are a great source of copper and vitamin K. The copper can be used for energy production while the vitamin K helps with bone health and proper blood clotting. They’re also a good source of B vitamins, potassium, and vitamin C.
🍇 Heart Health
The combo of potassium and a plant compound called resveratrol in grapes may help lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
There are several different types of antioxidants found in grapes that can help reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
🍇 Eye Health
The previously mentioned resveratrol along with lutein and zeaxanthin that grapes contain have been shown to help maintain eye health and improve visual clarity. They may help prevent common age-related eye problems as well.
🍇 Brain Health
Research has found that compounds in grapes can help improve memory, mood, attention, and speech.
🌿 You'll hear the term “leafy greens” all the time, but what does that broad term encompass? There are actually six categories of leafy greens:
1. Cruciferous Greens - lots of options for these nutritional powerhouses:
Broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, arugula, Brussels sprouts, collards
2. Taproot Greens - the leafy tops of root vegetables have lots to offer:
Radish greens, carrot tops, beet greens, turnip greens, celeriac greens
3. Lettuce Greens - mostly eaten raw with lots of varieties available:
Iceberg, romaine, butterhead, red leaf, Bibb, Boston, green leaf, oak
4. Chicory Family Greens - cousins to the lettuce varieties but more bitter and hearty:
Endive, frisee, radicchio
5. Amaranth Family Greens - the same family as quinoa, but focused on just the greens:
Spinach, Swiss chard, amaranth greens
6. Herb Greens - add a punch of flavor to any dish:
Parsley, basil, oregano, cilantro, thyme, rosemary
❇ Folate is another name for the naturally occurring form of vitamin B9.
❇ You may have also heard of “folic acid” - this is the synthetic form of vitamin B9 that’s used in supplements and added to some processed foods.
❇ Folate offers the following health benefits:
• Helps creation of new cells in the body
• Supports proper creation of DNA and genetic material
• May lower blood pressure and reduce hardening of the arteries
• Especially helpful during pregnancy for proper development of the baby’s brain and spine
❇ Foods that are rich in folate include:
• Brussels sprouts
• Spinach, lettuce, and other leafy greens
• Bananas and oranges
• Black beans and lentils
TikTok is the place to go for viral trends and one of the most recent positive ones is an interesting take on salad that people are describing as “weirdly good”. Only calling for two main ingredients - arugula and sauerkraut - this combo is being hailed by dieticians as a microbiome-boosting salad base.
🔥To assemble and try it out for yourself:
▫ Combine equal parts arugula and sauerkraut in a bowl
▫ Add salt and pepper
▫ Add oil of your choice as a simple dressing
▫ Mix it up and see what you think
🗯If you’re not feeling adventurous enough to go 50/50 arugula and sauerkraut, start with mostly arugula and add some sauerkraut to test it out and see if you can add more.
To round things out even more, consider adding roasted chicken, parmesan or feta cheese, toasted almonds or walnuts, or chickpeas.
If you need more motivation to give it a go, know that arugula is packed with vitamin K for proper blood clotting and bone health and it has more vitamin C than an orange. It’s also a good source of folate, potassium, and fiber. Sauerkraut is also a great source of vitamins C and K and fiber. Both arugula and sauerkraut offer up lots of good probiotics for gut health and digestion too. Look for raw sauerkraut to maximize the probiotic benefits as the pasteurized varieties have less helpful bacteria present.
You might not hear about it much, but the mineral selenium is crucial for many different functions in your body and offers many different benefits including:
🔹 Protects against heart disease by reducing inflammation.
🔸 Powerful antioxidant to help reduce oxidative stress from free radicals.
🔹 Boosts mental function and improves memory.
🔸 Crucial for thyroid hormone production to control metabolism and your body’s development.
🔹 Enhances your immune response to fight off bacteria and viruses.
🔸 Reduces asthma symptoms by lowering inflammation.
Selenium is an essential nutrient, which means your body can’t produce it on its own and you have to obtain it from your diet. Here are some great sources of selenium and what percent of your daily value they provide:
• Oysters: 238% per 3oz
• Brazil Nuts: 174% per nut
• Halibut: 171% per 6oz
• Yellowfin Tuna: 167% per 3oz
• Eggs: 56% per 2 large eggs
• Chicken Breast: 55% per cup, diced
• Sardines: 38% per 4 sardines
• Sunflower Seeds: 25% per 1oz
Spring officially started March 20th this year and it looks like warmer temperatures are finally here to stay. With the increase of color going on outside from blooming and growing plants, why not add some color to your diet with fruit? Here are some ideas that can help you join in:
With an impressive nutrient profile including lots of vitamin C (immune health, iron absorption) and manganese (antioxidant, metabolism, growth and development), pineapple is an easy way to add color and vitamins to your day. It also has the unique ability to offer relief from chronic inflammation due to its bromelain content.
Just one serving of strawberries (about 8 berries) has more vitamin C than an orange. They’re also packed with vitamins, fiber, and antioxidants that combined can help boost heart health and lower blood pressure. You can even get the whole family in on it by going to pick your own strawberries usually in May or June.
Increasing your time outside is great for your vitamin D levels but all those UV rays can be rough on your skin. Blueberries are one of the best sources of natural antioxidants and can help boost your ability to recover from the sun’s rays! They’re also legendary in pancakes and always make yogurt a little more interesting.
Another vitamin C powerhouse, kiwis have an impressive nutrient profile and can help with everything from blood pressure and heart health to digestive health.
To add even more protection from sun exposure, go for apricots. They are rich in vitamins A, C, and E which can help keep your skin (and eyes) healthy and soft all season long.