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What is a nutrient? There are six nutrients essential for life: vitamins, minerals, water, carbohydrates, protein, and fat. Each of the six nutrients plays a specific and crucial role in the body and must be obtained from food. While it is tempting to just grab a bottle of vitamins and minerals, our Health Nut and Registered Dietitian recommends that you get these nutrients through food first and supplements second.
Some of the key roles nutrients play in the body include building muscles and bones, improving the immune system, and balancing hormone levels. Specifically, calcium helps to build strong bones, vitamin C boosts the immune system, and vitamin B6 (pyroxidine) balances out homocysteine levels to reduce the risk of heart disease. Superfoods like chia seeds and hemp seeds can be added to simple recipes for a major health boost. Others, like goji berries, can be snacked on straight out of the bag!
Although specific healthy foods often grab our attention, all foods actually provide us with at least one or more nutrients (calories, protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and/or water). The options on this list are more nutrient-dense than average snacks, with just as much delicious flavor. For example, our raisin coconut kale granola gets its sweetness from raisins and its health benefits from the greens, coconut, and nuts.
Check out our list of nutritious snacks and don’t forget to switch up your snacking routine from time to time. The health benefits will be enormous. Happy snacking!
Antioxidants are a type of nutrient that may prevent or delay some types of cell damage in the body. There are many different types of antioxidants that each serve to protect your cells and certain foods contain more of certain types than others. Learn about the antioxidants that are most beneficial to your health and which foods contain them.
Cacao powder is the ultimate gift to chocolate lovers with rich full flavors that acts as a source of antioxidants to support select areas of health. The powder provides a great way to improve any number of foods, so learn how to incorporate cacao into your favorite recipes here.
Iron is an essential mineral that may be difficult to consume in adequate amounts for those with certain dietary restrictions. Learn about the different types of iron and the obstacles associated with its absorption here.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that can be found in a wide number of foods. Learn the important and interesting roles this nutrient plays in the body and discover the best ways to meet your dietary needs for the mineral.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that is seldom thought of when foraging for foods in your pantry, but the mineral makes important contributions to your overall health. Learn more about this lesser known nutrient and its roles in your body.
An chemical element that holds its identity down to individual atoms, this mystical mineral is, interestingly enough, essential to our wellbeing. Zinc plays crucial roles in the metabolic activity of our cells and must be attained through our diet to supply our body with adequate amounts. Learn more about this fascinating mineral and how it affects our health here.
Pistachios are an excellent source of copper and manganese, and a good source of thiamin and phosphorus. They’re also an excellent source of vitamin B6 (pyroxidine), offering 20 percent of the daily value per serving. Pyroxidine plays a role in balancing out the amino acid homocysteine in the body, to reduce the risk of heart disease. As an added bonus, each serving provides 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein
These delicious dried tart cherries have quercetin, which has been studied and shown to exert anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects. Beyond the antioxidant effects, tart cherries naturally provide melatonin, which can aid in relaxation. Try mixing these sour cherries with pistachios, pumpkin seeds, and walnuts for a delicious trail mix
Energy squares are a delicious on-the-go snack and they are loaded with nutrients! These organic raw cacao goji energy squares gain a natural chocolaty flavor from cacao, and they deliver even more nutrients with the mix of dates, seeds, and goji berries
These energy squares gain super nutrients from an organic mega green mix that includes: alfalfa grass, oat grass, barley grass, wheatgrass, cracked cell chlorella, and more. Each serving has 4 grams of fiber and only 110 calories. They make a superbly healthy and delicious snack!
A mix of hemp seeds and flax seeds gives this granola a nutrient boost! One unique quality of hemp seeds is that they contain all essential amino acids and each serving of this granola has 6 grams of protein. Enjoy this nutrient-packed granola in fruit and yogurt parfaits, or mix it with your favorite dried fruit for a delicious trail mix
These dried blueberries are infused with apple juice for a sweet boost and are rich in anthocyanins, which can protect cells from oxidative damage and reduce the risk for heart disease. Each serving of dried blueberries has 130 calories and 2 grams of fiber. Try adding these to cereal and quick breads, or mix them with your favorite nuts