As we weather this COVID-19 storm together, I’ve noticed that a lot of our patients are finding themselves tempted by eating foods they normally wouldn’t by staying home more. Now is a great time to re-familiarize ourselves with ‘good food’ versus ‘bad food,’ more specifically, nutrient-dense food versus nutrient insufficient foods. Nutrient density is the concentration of micronutrients (Vitamins and minerals) per calorie of food. Essentially more “bang for your buck,” in terms of food.
Salmon: A 100-gram piece of wild salmon contains 2.8 grams of Omega-3s, along with a ton of vitamins and minerals… including large amounts of Magnesium, Potassium, Selenium and all the B-vitamins. Since the brain is made up of 60% fat, Omega-3s are essential to brain function. Studies show that the people who eat fatty fish regularly have a lower risk of heart disease, dementia, and depression.
Kale: Kale exceeds your recommended daily allowance for vitamin C, A, and K1. These extra boosts will have your immune system saying, “Kale yeah.”
Seaweed: Seaweed is packed with micronutrients including folate, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and selenium. It is also the best source of iodine. (So eat in moderation)
Most nutrient dense foods are able to be classified by three rules. If you can pick, shuck, or shoot it, it’s most likely a food essential to your daily caloric intake. On the other hand, there is such a thing as nutrient insufficiency. Nutrient insufficiency is more than not eating fruits and vegetables. It’s consuming too much of the wrong thing.
For example, foods high in fat and sugar are nutrient insufficient or deficient. This includes all foods with processed sugar, foods high in sodium, and white flours.
To learn more about nutrient density, have a look at the 2015-2020 American Dietary Guidelines to ensure you are implementing a plate full of vitamins and minerals. With a plethora of information at our fingertips constantly, it is sometimes difficult to navigate what is truthful, especially regarding dietary information.
Diet is a key component of your daily life. Talk to your physician today to start striving to be your healthiest self.