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
By Julia Conley
Scientists at the United Nations' intergovernmental body focusing on biodiversity sounded alarms earlier this month with its report on the looming potential extinction of one million species — but few heard their calls, according to a German newspaper report.
The climate crisis is a major concern for American voters with nearly 40 percent reporting the issue will help determine how they cast their ballots in the upcoming 2020 presidential election, according to a report compiled by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication.
Of more than 1,000 registered voters surveyed on global warming, climate and energy policies, as well as personal and collective action, 38 percent said that a candidate's position on climate change is "very important" when it comes to determining who will win their vote. Overall, democratic candidates are under more pressure to provide green solutions as part of their campaign promises with 64 percent of Democrat voters saying they prioritize the issue compared with just 34 percent of Independents and 12 percent of Republicans.
The climate crisis has become a driving and dividing factor in the political arena in recent years. According to the survey, almost three-quarters of respondents think global warming is happening (though that number varies across party lines) with more than half of registered voters agreeing that it is driven by human activities. As such, six-in-ten voters are worried about the current state of the climate — a marked increase from the last survey conducted in March 2018.
When asked how much they would support different strategies the government could use to reduce air pollution, more than three-quarters agreed that investing in renewable energy research and infrastructure and regulating pollution was a priority, as well as taxing pollution (requiring companies to pay a tax on pollution they emit to encourage a reduction in emissions). A majority of respondents also support more specific policies to reduce carbon pollution and promote clean energy, including a revenue-neutral carbon tax and a fee on carbon pollution that distributes money to U.S. citizens through monthly dividend checks. Furthermore, many support a Clean Power Plan that implements strict carbon dioxide emission limits on existing coal-fired power plants. A majority of voters also say they want policies that address the pollution that causes global warming and reduces pollution investments, regulations and taxes.
Climate change ranks as the 17th most important voting issue and is a more polarizing topic than abortion. So much so, that almost half of registered voters say they would support a president who declared global warming a national emergency if Congress does not act.
A handful of 2020 presidential candidates have put climate change at the forefront of their campaign platform as part of ongoing pressure to combat the effects of climate change. The Green New Deal, unveiled in part by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) earlier this year is a decade-long plan that will "mobilize every aspect of American society ... to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions and create economic prosperity for all," according to a section of the resolution from her office posted by NPR.
Colorado Senator Michael Bennet, who introduced a plan just a few days ago to combat climate change. In it, Bennet calls for the establishment of a "Climate Bank" to use federal spending to incentivize the private sector to transition to net-zero emissions by 2050. His opponent, Governor Jay Inslee of Washington State, similarly announced a clean energy plan earlier this month dubbed the "100 Percent Clean Energy for America Plan" that would aim to phase out coal over the next decade and require all power production to be emissions-free by 2035.
Former Vice President Joe Biden also threw his name into the running hat but didn't mention climate change in his announcement. His overall stand on the Green New Deal and fossil fuel infrastructure is hazy. His campaign website promises environmental action but does not go into further detail. If elected president, Senator Elizabeth Warren has promised an executive order to ban new fossil fuel extraction leases in federal lands and waters.
- Abortion and the 2020 Election – Mother Jones ›
- Here's where the Democratic candidates stand on the biggest 2020 ... ›
President Donald Trump has agreed to sign a $19.1 billion disaster relief bill that will help Americans still recovering from the flooding, hurricanes and wildfires that have devastated parts of the country in the past two years. Senate Republicans said they struck a deal with the president to approve the measure, despite the fact that it did not include the funding he wanted for the U.S.-Mexican border, CNN reported.
"The U.S. Senate has just approved a 19 Billion Dollar Disaster Relief Bill, with my total approval. Great!" the president tweeted Thursday.
"There was a lot of devastation throughout the state," Governor Mike Parson said at a Thursday morning press conference, as NPR reported. "We were very fortunate last night that we didn't have more injuries than what we had, and we didn't have more fatalities across the state. But three is too many."
georgeclerk / E+ / Getty Images
By Jennifer Molidor
One million species are at risk of extinction from human activity, warns a recent study by scientists with the United Nations. We need to cut greenhouse gas pollution across all sectors to avoid catastrophic climate change — and we need to do it fast, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
This research should serve as a rallying cry for polluting industries to make major changes now. Yet the agriculture industry continues to lag behind.
"The Ministry of Environment, Natural Resources Conservation and Tourism wishes to inform the public that following extensive consultations with all stakeholders, the Government of Botswana has taken a decision to lift the hunting suspension," the government announced in a press release shared on social media.