- Berries to carrots
- Nuts to raisins
- Cherries to pineapple
- Eggs to shellfish
- Asparagus to kale
- Lettuces to tomatoes
- Brown rice to quinoa
Nutrition-rich snacks: Berries to carrots
Health experts encourage people of all ages to choose rich nutrition food. Nutrient-rich foods, also known as nutrient-dense foods, give you vitamins, minerals, protein, and other things your body needs without a lot of added sugar, fat, or sodium.
Berries are full of vitamins, minerals, fibers, and antioxidants. Enjoy them in low-fat yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and salads or on their own as a sweet and healthy treat.
5. Bell pepper
Red bell peppers are more nutritious, though more expensive, than green bell peppers. Bell peppers are a great source of vitamins A, B6, C, K, and E.
6-8. Citrus fruits
Citrus fruits offer lots of vitamin C and other antioxidants. Whole fruit is more nutrient-dense than juice. A cup of orange segments gives you 4.3 grams of dietary fiber, while a cup of orange juice only provides 0.7 grams.
- lemons and limes
Carrots provide vitamin A, potassium, and fiber. For a quick crunchy snack, peel and cut carrots and keep them in sealed bags in your fridge.
Nutrition-rich snacks: Nuts to raisins
Even though they tend to be high in fat, unsalted nuts are nutrient-rich. They can help keep you from gaining weight and lower your risk of heart disease.
Beta-carotene gives cantaloupe its orange color and is an excellent source of vitamin A. One cup of cantaloupe provides all the vitamin A you need for the whole day.
A half cup of grapes only has 30 calories and is a good source of vitamin C. Red, purple, and black grapes contain a significant amount of a nutrient called resveratrol that's important for heart health.
Raisins are a low-to-moderate glycemic index food, so they can sweeten oatmeal, salads, or homemade trail mix without raising your blood sugar level. They protect your teeth by fighting the bacteria that cause cavities.
Nutrition-rich snacks: Cherries to pineapple
Sweet cherries are a nutrient-rich food that contains fiber, potassium, and antioxidants. Though cherries taste sweet, they are a low-glycemic index food.
18. Sugar snap peas
Sugar snap peas are rich in vitamins C and K. You don't have to peel sugar snap peas — the pods are sweet and crunchy.
Kiwifruit is dull brown on the outside, but the bright green flesh inside contains fiber, potassium, and vitamin K. One kiwifruit gives you 80% of the vitamin C you need for the day.
Yogurt without added sugar is a food rich in nutrition. It may help with constipation, diarrhea, high blood pressure, and inflammation. Yogurt can improve your gut health and may help control your appetite.
21. Air-popped popcorn
Popcorn is a 100% whole grain food and a good source of fiber. A serving of 3 cups of plain, air-popped popcorn provides about one-third of the whole grains you need in a day and only contains 100 calories.
Pineapple, a sweet tropical fruit, contains manganese for strong bones and is an excellent source of vitamin C.
Nutrition-rich proteins: Eggs to shellfish
Eggs are lower in calories and saturated fat than most animal-based proteins. Two medium eggs provide 12 grams of high-quality protein, over 60% of the vitamin D you need for the day, and over 100% of the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for vitamin B12.
With 26 grams of protein and only 174 calories per serving, liver is definitely a nutrient-rich food. In a 100-gram serving, liver gives you more than 100% of the RDA for vitamins A and B12, riboflavin, and niacin.
Legumes provide fiber, protein, folate, iron, potassium, and zinc. They're more nutrient-dense than animal-based proteins because they have fewer calories and no saturated fat.
- black, kidney, and pinto beans
- garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
- black-eyed peas and split peas
Omega-3 fatty acids (omega-3s) can help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, improve circulation, and lessen your risk of having a heart attack.
Salmon is also a good source of omega-3s and protein. It also provides vitamin D, which your body needs to maintain a healthy immune system and strong bones and muscles.
Shellfish provide high-quality protein but contain a fraction of the fat in beef and pork. They also offer omega-3s, copper, zinc, and iron.
- shrimps and scallops
- clams and oysters
- crabs and lobsters
Nutrition-rich vegetables: Asparagus to kale
Asparagus is low in fat and provides vitamins A and C, fiber, and folate.
Broccoli is packed with vitamins A and C, potassium, fiber, folic acid, and carotenoids. It tastes best when you cook it quickly by steaming, stir-frying, or grilling it until its tender enough to pierce easily with a fork but still a bit crisp.
Cabbages are one of the lowest-calorie vegetables. Half a cup of cabbage gives you up to 45% of the RDA of vitamin C.
- Chinese cabbages: bok choy and Napa cabbage
- savoy cabbage
- green and red cabbages
39. Collard greens
Collards contain vitamins, fiber, folate, and calcium.
One cup of raw kale offers omega-3s, vitamin A, six times the RDA of vitamin K, and more vitamin C than an orange.
Nutrition-rich vegetables: Lettuces to tomatoes
Lettuces are low-calorie, low-fat vegetables that provide fiber, B vitamins, and iron. The darker the color of the lettuce, the more antioxidants it contains.
- green, red, and oak leaf lettuces
- butterhead (Bibb) lettuce
44-46. Hot peppers
Spicy peppers are rich in vitamin C and can help with gas or indigestion.
- cayenne peppers
Spinach is rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It may help prevent cancer, make it easier for you to maintain a healthy weight, and help lower your cholesterol and blood sugar.
Swiss chard and rainbow chard contain calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
Studies show that people who eat tomatoes are less likely to develop heart disease or certain cancers.
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Nutrient-rich grains: Brown rice to quinoa
50. Brown rice
Brown rice has more fiber, vitamins, and minerals than white rice. Eating brown rice may help keep your blood sugar, cholesterol, and weight in check.
51. Whole oats
The fiber, proteins, copper, iron, selenium, and zinc in whole oats can boost your immune system to fight off infection.
One cup of cooked quinoa can contain up to 15 grams of protein and 14 grams of fiber. Add quinoa to oatmeal, salads, chilis, and stews.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
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Colorado State University Extension: "Brown Rice."
Comprehensive Reviews in Food Science and Food Safety: "Bioactive compounds in lettuce: Highlighting the benefits to human health and impacts of preharvest and postharvest practices."
Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition: "Cherries and health: a review," "Evidence for the effects of yogurt on gut health and obesity."
Florida Department of Agriculture: "Collard Greens."
Food & Function: "Functional properties of spinach (Spinacia oleracea L.) phytochemicals and bioactives."
Food Chemistry: "Assessment of the nutritional composition of quinoa."
Harvard Health Publishing: "Fruit of the month: Kiwifruit."
Iowa Department of Public Health: "Sugar Snap Peas."
Michigan State: "Grapes and the science behind them," "Reducing your calories with nutrient-dense foods."
Mississippi State University: "Bellpeppers & Differences Between Color Varieties."
Molecules: "Review of Functional and Pharmacological Activities of Berries."
Montana State University: "Cabbage," "Carrots."
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Ohio State University Extension: "Nutrition and You... Pineapples."
PennState Extension: "Fish and Shellfish: Purchasing to Preparation."
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Tufts University: "Oranges vs. Orange Juice: Which Is Better for You?"
University of Arkansas: "Broccoli-a Nutrient Dense Food," "Cantaloupe-Its Color Hints to its Good Nutrition."
University of Illinois Extension: "Asparagus," "Chard."
University of Massachusetts Amherst: "Hot peppers."
University of Vermont: "Kale: A Nutrient-Dense Choice For Your Diet."
University of Washington: "The Nutritional Value of Shellfish."
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