The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
7 Foods That Provide 7 Vital Nutrients You Are Probably Lacking
It’s ironic but true. Even though more than two thirds of Americans over the age of 20 are overweight or obese and this percentage is on the rise, at the same time many of us are undernourished. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that a large number of adults in the U.S. are not obtaining sufficient amounts of seven vital nutrients: calcium, magnesium, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, vitamin A and vitamin E. The good news, though, is that you don’t have to spend money on fancy supplements.
Here are “7 for 7″—seven easily obtainable, inexpensive foods that are great sources for these seven missing dietary components.
1. Spinach: Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin A and Vitamin E
Leafy greens are great for your health and spinach is packed with nutritional goodies. In fact, one cup of cooked spinach offers up a substantial amount of all seven nutrients that are commonly lacking, including close to 400 percent of your daily requirement of vitamin A and 24 percent of the calcium you need (a nice amount of the latter for one single serving of a vegan-friendly food). It is best lightly steamed or sautéed, to reduce its oxalic acid.
2. Beans: Calcium, Potassium, Magnesium and Fiber
“Beans, beans, the musical fruit … ” the kids at my school used to love to chant. And legumes such as soybeans (organic, non-GMO, if possible) and small white beans are indeed something to sing about, with abundant calcium, potassium, magnesium and fiber. To reduce their “toot,” soak your beans for eight hours or overnight before cooking, if possible. The soaking water will absorb some of the complex sugars that lead to gassiness. (I pour it onto my houseplants, which seem to digest it better than my human guests can.)
3. Buckwheat: Magnesium, Potassium and Fiber
Buckwheat, despite its name, is not a form of wheat. In fact, it isn’t a grain at all, but rather the seed of a flowering plant related to rhubarb, making it gluten-free and safe for people with celiac disease. What buckwheat does contain is a huge helping of magnesium—1 cup offers a whopping 98 percent of the required dietary allowance. It also provides 17 grams (68 percent of your RDA) of fiber, as well as 22 percent of your potassium requirements.
4. Cantaloupe: Potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Fiber
More than a colorful, refreshing appetizer—or dessert—cantaloupe has a high level of nutrition in proportion to its low calorie count and ease of preparation. Look to this orange-fleshed melon to replenish your stores of potassium, vitamin A and vitamin C.
5. Sweet Potato: Vitamin A and C, Potassium and Fiber
No need to pretty up sweet potatoes with marshmallows, canned pineapple or even the traditional cup or two of brown sugar. This super veggie not only is full of nutrients (vitamin A and C plus potassium) and fiber, it’s also naturally sweet. Just scrub and bake, then cool for a minute or two on your tile countertop before digging in—no added ingredients required for a delicious, creamy side dish.
6. Low-Fat Dairy: Calcium and Potassium
Low-fat dairy products, especially nonfat or low-fat yogurt and low-fat milk, are a readily available, abundant source of both calcium and potassium. Consume as is or mix them into sauces and other preparations.
7. Nuts and Seeds: Magnesium and Vitamin E
Nuts and seeds make a tasty garnish or in-between-meal food that satisfies your need for a crunch. They’re not just empty calories, either, but instead supply healthy amounts of magnesium and vitamin E. Their main drawback? A high proportion of (unsaturated) fat, so munch in moderation.
YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Oil rigs around the world keep pulling crude oil out of the ground, but the global pandemic has sent shockwaves into the market. The supply is up, but demand has plummeted now that industry has ground to a halt, highways are empty, and airplanes are parked in hangars.
Under an agreement negotiated by community groups — represented by NRDC and the Pennsylvania Utility Law Project — the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will remove thousands of lead water pipes by 2026 in order to address the chronically high lead levels in the city's drinking water and protect residents' health.
By Dave Cooke
So, they finally went and did it — the Trump administration just finalized a rule to undo requirements on manufacturers to improve fuel economy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from new passenger cars and trucks. Even with the economy at the brink of a recession, they went forward with a policy they know is bad for consumers — their own analysis shows that American drivers are going to spend hundreds of dollars more in fuel as a result of this stupid policy — but they went ahead and did it anyway.
By Richard Connor
A blood test that screens for more than 50 types of cancer could help doctors treat patients at an earlier stage than previously possible, a new study shows. The method was used to screen for more than 50 types of cancer — including particularly deadly variants such as pancreatic, ovarian, bowel and brain.
Preliminary data from the Centers for Disease Control showed a larger number of young people coming down with COVID-19 than first expected, with patients under the age of 45 comprising more than a third of all cases, and one in five of those patients requiring hospitalization. That also tends to be the group most likely to use e-cigarettes.