Did you know that there are over close to 20 important vitamins and minerals our body needs to function properly? I don’t know about you, but over here at Vitamin Dose we’re not superhuman. We eat healthy of course, but we have no idea if we’re consuming the full-recommended daily amount for all those nutrients through our diets. How is anyone supposed to know?
Let me start with a story. Sydney thought she was being healthy by having hummus and whole grain pita as a snack. After all, chickpeas are a “great source” of Vitamin B6, Iron and Magnesium. But after looking at the nutrition label, those 2 tablespoons of hummus only amounted to just 5% of the daily-recommended value. Sydney would have to eat almost 2 cups of chickpeas to get her daily fill of Magnesium, Iron and B6 Vitamins. That comes out to 1400 calories. I don’t know anyone that loves chickpeas THAT much!
Moral of the story: many of us who are trying to eat healthy want the nutritional benefits but also don’t want to put on the pounds while doing it.
Enter MEAL PLANNING!
Step 1: Write down your favorite nutrients dense, low calories foods for each crucial vitamin and mineral. You can find a good list here. You can also get the nutritional information in google by just searching for “(insert food here) nutrition”
Step 2: Create a calendar for an average week and make sure each meal that you list (breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner) contains 3-4 of the foods in your list. The ultimate goal is to consume the smallest amount of foods containing the most nutrients.
For example, if you were to make a dinner including:
Salmon + Red Peppers + Sweet Potato + Kale
You would get:
= Full day’s worth of Vitamin C, B6, B12, Vitamin A
If this sounds like a lot of work, it is. The problem is things start getting complicated when certain foods are a good source for multiple vitamins. That’s why many people take vitamin supplements (or drink their Vitamin Dose, at just 50 calories per 5oz can), to ensure they are getting all the nutrients their body needs to function properly. But if you like cooking and recipe development, have some fun with this and share your meal plan once you finish!