Top Ten List of Key Vitamins and Minerals

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If you want to make the most of good nutrition for better health, the answer is simple: eat plenty of nutrient-rich foods, like fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat dairy products, beans, nuts, seeds, and whole grains, and be moderate with foods that contain fat, sugar, and calories.

Here are top food sources of some essential vitamins and minerals.

Top ten vitamin A-rich foods

  • liver, 3.5 oz, braised (10,602 µg RAE)
  • sweet potato, 1/2 cup cooked (958 µg RAE)
  • carrot, baby, 3 ounces, about 8 (517 µg RAE)
  • mango, 1 medium (389 µg RAE)
  • spinach, 2/3 cup cooked, (494 µg RAE)
  • cantaloupe, 1 cup (213 µg RAE)
  • squash, acorn, 2/3 cup cooked (244 µg RAE)
  • milk, 1 cup (149 µg RAE)
  • egg yolk (84 µg RAE)
  • mozzarella cheese, part skim, 1 ounce (50 µg RAE)

Quick tips:

Rise and dine on a cup of fresh cantaloupe (213 µg) in the morning. Pour a cup of milk (149 µg) on your breakfast cereal.

Add baby carrots (517 µg) to your lunch salad or munch on carrot sticks with your sandwich.

A sweet potato (958 µg) is a sweet treat at dinner.

Top ten vitamin B-6-rich foods

  • banana, 1 medium (0.66 mg)
  • salmon, Atlantic, cooked, 3 oz (0.55 mg)
  • chicken, skinless, light meat, cooked, 3 oz (0.51 mg)
  • ground turkey, cooked, 3 oz (0.32 mg)*
  • sweet potato with skin, baked, 4 oz (0.27 mg)
  • vegetable juice, low sodium, 6 oz (0.24 mg)
  • cod, cooked, 3 oz (0.24 mg)
  • beef, top round, braised, 3 oz (0.24 mg)
  • watermelon, 1 cup (0.23 mg)
  • spinach, boiled, 1/2 cup (0.22 mg)

Quick tips:

A banana (.66 mg) a day can help keep the doctor away.

Stack individual serving cans of veggie juice (.24 mg) at your desk for a midday vitamin boost.

A ground turkey burger (.32 mg) and a baked sweet potato (.27 mg) with dinner, along with watermelon (.23 mg) for a sweet dessert, can help round out a healthy meal.

Top ten vitamin B-12-rich foods

  • top round steak, braised, 3.5 oz (2.7 µg)
  • tuna, canned, packed in water, 3 oz (2.5 µg)
  • fish, flounder, cooked, 3 oz (2.1 µg)
  • roast beef, cooked, 3 oz (2.2 µg)
  • turkey breast, cooked, 3 oz (1.7 µg)
  • yogurt, fruit flavored, 8 oz (1.0 µg)
  • skim milk, 8 oz (0.9 µg)
  • chicken, skinless, 3 oz (0.3 µg)
  • mozzarella cheese, part skim, 1 oz (0.2 µg)
  • cereals, fortified, ready-to-eat (1.5 µg – 6 µg)

Quick tips:

Pour a cup of skim milk (0.9 µg) on top of fortified (1.5 µg-6 µg) cereal for breakfast.

Enjoy a turkey sandwich (1.7 µg) at lunch.

Baked flounder (2.1 µg) is a super lean way to help meet your vitamin B-12 needs.

Top ten vitamin C-rich foods

  • papaya, 1 medium (188 mg)
  • broccoli, 1 cup, boiled (116 mg)
  • orange juice, from frozen concentrate, 8 oz (97 mg)
  • strawberries, 1 cup raw (84 mg)
  • orange, 1 navel (75 mg)
  • kiwi, 1 (74 mg)
  • cantaloupe, 1 cup (68 mg)
  • grapefruit juice, 8 oz (67 mg)
  • mango, raw, 1 (57 mg)
  • peppers, chopped, raw, 1/2 cup (45 mg)

Quick tips:

A glass of orange juice (97 mg) will meet your daily need before you leave the house in the morning.

Add peppers (45 mg) to your lunchtime salad.

At dinner, a cup of broccoli (116 mg) along with sweet cantaloupe (68 mg) for dessert can top off your vitamin C needs for the day

Top ten vitamin d-rich foods

  • milk, fortified, 8 oz – 2.5 µg (100 IU)
  • cereals, fortified, ready-to-eat – 1-2.5 µg (40-100 IU)
  • egg, large – 0.6 µg (25 IU)
  • evaporated milk, 2 tbls – 0.6 µg (24 IU)
  • egg substitutes, 1/4 cup – 0.6 µg (22 IU)
  • margarine, 1 tsp – 0.5 µg (20 IU)
  • salmon with bones, 3 oz – 0.3 µg (10 IU)
  • dietary supplement

Quick tips:

Pour 8 ounces of milk (2.5 µg) on top of a serving of raisin bran cereal (60 IU) to start your day.

An egg substitute (0.6 µg) omelet is a delicious hot lunch or fast dinner.

Mix a cup of milk (2.5 µg) instead of water into your evening mug of instant cocoa.

Top ten vitamin D-rich foods

  • milk, fortified, 8 oz – 2.5 µg (100 IU)
  • cereals, fortified, ready-to-eat – 1-2.5 µg (40-100 IU)
  • egg, large – 0.6 µg (25 IU)
  • evaporated milk, 2 tbls – 0.6 µg (24 IU)
  • egg substitutes, 1/4 cup – 0.6 µg (22 IU)
  • margarine, 1 tsp – 0.5 µg (20 IU)
  • salmon with bones, 3 oz – 0.3 µg (10 IU)
  • dietary supplement

Quick tips:

Pour 8 ounces of milk (2.5 µg) on top of a serving of cold cereal (60 IU) to start your day.

An egg substitute (0.6 µg) omelet is a delicious hot lunch or fast dinner.

Mix a cup of milk (2.5 µg) instead of water into your evening mug of instant cocoa.

Top ten folate-rich foods

  • cereals, fortified, 1 serving (100-400 µg)
  • lentils, 1/2 cup, boiled (179 µg)
  • spinach, 1/2 cup, boiled (131 µg)
  • asparagus, 6 spears, boiled (131 µg)
  • orange juice, from concentrate, 1 cup (109 µg)
  • chickpeas, 1/2 cup, canned (80 µg)
  • kidney beans, 1/2 cup, canned (62 µg)
  • pasta, fortified, 1 cup, cooked (60 µg)
  • rice, white, fortified, 1 cup, cooked (68 µg)
  • bread, wheat, fortified, 1 slice (20 µg)

 Quick tips:

Cereal (100-400 µg per serving) is an easy way to jump start your morning.

Have a cup of orange juice (109 µg) with your sandwich (40 µg for 2 slices of bread) at lunch.

Enjoy two cups of pasta (120 µg) and asparagus (131 µg) at dinner.

Top ten niacin-rich foods

  • cereals, fortified, ready-to-eat (5-20 mg)
  • chicken, light meat, 3 oz (10.6 mg)
  • tuna, white, canned in water, 3 oz (4.9 mg)
  • peanut butter, 2 tbls (4.0 mg)
  • potato, baked with skin, 7 oz (3.5 mg)
  • top round steak, braised, 3 oz (3.3 mg)
  • brown rice, long grain, 1 cup cooked (3.0 mg)
  • pasta, enriched, 1 cup cooked (2.3 mg)
  • whole wheat bread, 1 slice (1.1 mg)

Quick tips:

Smear a tablespoon of peanut butter (2 mg) on two slices of toast (2.2 mg) for breakfast.

Add tuna (4.9 mg) to your pasta (2.3 mg) salad at lunch.

A top round steak ( 3.3 mg) along with a baked potato (3.5 mg) and tons of vegetables make for a tasty dinner.

Top ten calcium-rich foods

  • plain, non fat yogurt, 8 oz (452 mg)
  • orange juice or grapefruit juice, calcium-fortified, 1 cup (300-400 mg)
  • milk, low fat or skim, 1 cup (300 mg)
  • yogurt, fruit flavored, 8 oz (314 mg)
  • tofu, packaged with calcium, 1/2 cup firm (258 mg)
  • cheddar cheese, lower fat, 1 oz (200 mg)
  • salmon with bones, canned, 3 oz (181 mg)
  • parmesan cheese, grated, 2 tbls (138 mg)
  • cottage cheese, low fat, 1/2 cup (69-100 mg)
  • broccoli, boiled, 1 cup (72 mg)

Quick tips:

Pour a cup of milk (300 mg) on your cereal or drink a cup of calcium-fortified juice (300-400 mg) at breakfast.

Sprinkle parmesan cheese (138 mg) on your salad or add low fat cheese (200 mg) to your sandwich at lunch.

Have a carton of yogurt (300-450 mg) along with a tall decaf latte made with skim milk (200 mg) in the afternoon.

Top ten chromium-rich foods

  • shredded wheat, 2 oz (65 µg)
  • peas, cooked, 1 cup (60 µg)
  • brewer’s yeast, 2 tbls (60 µg)
  • cheese, American, 1 oz (48 µg)
  • liver, braised, 3 oz (42 µg)
  • egg, cooked, 1 large = 26 µg
  • chicken breast, cooked, 3 oz (22 µg)
  • whole wheat bread, 1 slice (16 µg)

 Quick tips:

A bowl of shredded wheat (65 µg) with milk and fruit is an easy way to start the day.

Slip an ounce of American cheese (48 µg) into your noon-time sandwich.

A cup of peas (60 µg) will give your dinner some chromium power.

Top ten iron-rich foods

  • clams, cooked, 3 oz (23.8 mg)
  • tofu, 1/2 cup firm (1.8 mg)
  • raisin bran, ready-to-eat, 3/4 cup (4.5 mg)
  • sirloin steak, cooked, 3 oz (2.9 mg)
  • shrimp, cooked, 3 oz (2.6 mg)
  • spaghetti, enriched, 1 cup cooked (2 mg)
  • cashews, dry roasted, 1 oz, (1.7 mg)
  • chickpeas, canned, 1/2 cup (1.6 mg)
  • raisins, 1/3 cup (1 mg)
  • turkey breast, 3 oz (0.9 mg)
  • bread, whole wheat, 1 slice (0.9 mg)

Quick tips:

A cup of raisin bran cereal (6 mg) with milk and fruit is a great snack.

A turkey (0.9 mg) sandwich on whole wheat bread (1.8 mg) is a fast, on-the-go lunch. Add a side salad with chickpeas (1.6 mg) and a handful of raisins (1 mg) as a snack.

Enjoy a shrimp (2.6 mg) and pasta (2 mg) night for dinner.

Top ten potassium-rich foods

  • potato, baked with skin, 7 oz (903 mg)
  • yogurt, low fat vanilla, 8 oz (498 mg)
  • milk, 8 oz (406 mg)
  • grapefruit juice, canned, 8 oz (405 mg)
  • acorn squash, boiled, mashed, 1/2 cup (321 mg)
  • spinach, raw, 1 cup (312 mg)
  • strawberries, 1 cup (247 mg)
  • broccoli, boiled, 1/2 cup (228 mg)
  • chickpeas, canned, 1/2 cup (207 mg)
  • watermelon, 1 cup (186 mg)

Quick tips:

Rise and dine with a glass of grapefruit juice (405 mg), followed by fresh strawberries (247 mg) topped with yogurt (498 mg).

A trip to the lunchtime salad bar can be a potassium heaven. Start with two cups of spinach (624 mg) and then ladle on chickpeas (207 mg), broccoli (228 mg) and tons of other veggies.

A baked potato (903 mg) stuffed with low fat cheese and broccoli (456 mg) will allow you to hit the potassium jackpot. Don’t forget to chase it with a glass of milk (406 mg).

top ten selenium-rich foods

  • potato, baked with skin, 7 oz (903 µg)
  • tuna, light, water packed, 3 oz (69 µg)
  • pork loin, roasted, 3 oz (32 µg)
  • egg, 1 (31 µg)
  • sunflower seed kernels, roasted, 1 oz (22 µg)
  • top sirloin, lean, broiled, 3 oz (28 µg)
  • turkey breast, 3 oz (27 µg)
  • wheat germ, 1/4 cup (23 µg)
  • chicken breast, roasted, 3 oz (22 µg)
  • whole wheat bread, 1 slice (10 µg)
  • cashews, roasted, 1 oz (3 µg)

Quick tips:

Start your morning off with wheat germ (23 µg) mixed into your cereal or yogurt.

A tuna (69 µg) salad on whole wheat bread (20 µg) is a quick way to meet your selenium needs.

Try a dinner of baked chicken breast (22 µg) along with veggies and rice.

Top ten zinc-rich foods

  • oysters, 6 medium, cooked (23.7 mg)
  • cereals, ready-to-eat, 1 oz (varies: 0.7-15 mg)
  • crab, Alaskan King, 3 oz, cooked (6.5 mg)
  • turkey, dark meat, 3 ounces, cooked (3.8 mg)
  • yogurt, plain, nonfat, 8 oz (2.2 mg)
  • cashews, dry roasted, 1 oz (1.6 mg)
  • sunflower seeds (kernels), dry roasted, 1 oz (1.5 mg)
  • tofu, 1/2 cup firm (1.5 mg)
  • spinach, 1/2 cup, boiled (0.7 mg)
  • kidney beans, canned, 1/2 cup (0.7 mg)

Quick tips:

Try a breakfast yogurt parfait of fresh fruit, yogurt (2.2 mg), and bran flakes cereal (1.2 mg).

Getting tired of tuna? Try opening a can of crab meat (6.5 mg) and mix it with light mayo for a yummy pita pocket lunch. Don’t forget the tossed salad with some sunflower seed kernels (1.5 mg) tossed in for crunch.

Bake turkey thighs or legs (3.8 mg) along with a potato and serve with steamed spinach (0.7 mg) for a dinner.

 

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