**Article found in April 2012 Oprah Magazine
Do you ever wonder which vitamins and nutrients do what for your body? It's easy to say oh I take Vitamin C, or I eat fruit. But did you know that each fruit, vegetable and protein each does our body good? Well it does. Even chocolate.
Vitamin C fights free-radical damage to our cells and DNA, helps with tissue synthesis and wound healing, may boost HKL cholesterol (the good kind), aids in bone growth, and enhances the body's absorption of iron. (nutritionists suggest pairing your C-rich foods with good iron sources to get the most benefit from both nutrients.) Citrus fruits like oranges and grapefruits are especially high in C, but plenty of vegetables, like kale and broccoli, and other fruits, like apricots and peaches, can help you reach the recommended 75 milligrams a day.
1/2 pink grapefruit or 9 small strawberries (about 51 percent of your RDA)
1 medium peach or 1 Asian pear (about 31 percent of your RDA)
1/2 cup blueberries or 2 apricots (about 9 percent of your RDA)
1 spear of cooked broccoli or 1 boiled sweet potato (about 37 percent of your RDA)
Iron is a critical component of hemoglobin, a protein in red blood cells that carries the oxygen our cells need to produce energy. Too little iron can leave us feeling weak and fatigued, and looking pale, nutritionist Bowden says. Premenopausal women need to be especially careful about meeting their RDA, as their levels are depleted each month during menstruation. A plate of beef liver will do the trick, but fortunately, there are other options: many leafy greens, various types of beans and other cuts of beef. =100 percent of your RDA
(Postmenopausal women need much less iron then other women-only 8 milligrams, or about 44 percent of the RDA outlined here.)
Iron Portion Suggestions:
About 2/3 cups cooked chickpeas or 1/2 cup canned white beans (about 22 percent of your RDA)
3 ounces of flank steak or 1 veggie burger patty or 1/2 cup firm tofu (about 17 percent of your RDA)
1/2 cup GF instant oatmeal (about 28 percent of your RDA) (I left out the cream of wheat for obvious reasons)
2 cups raw spinach or 1 1/2 cups swiss chard (about 33 percent of your RDA)
=100 percent of your RDA
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3s can do wonders for your heart, from lowering your blood pressure to helping prevent hardening of the arteries. They may also keep your skin healthy, your memory sharp, and your mood positive (nutritionists recommend omega-3-rich foods to clients with signs of depression). While fish are one of the best dietary sources of omega-3s, they can also contain mercury, which means daily consumption is generally not a good idea. (The FDA warns women who are or might get pregnant against eating more then 12 ounces of low-mercury fish a week). But it's still possible to satisfy our adequate intake (AI)-1.1 grams a day-by eating certain seeds, nuts and greens.
Omega-3-Fatty Acid Suggestions:
1.5 ounces canned sardines or 4.5 ounces catfish or 1 1/2 tsp. ground flaxseed (about 60 percent of your RDA)
1/2 cup edamame or 1 ounce dry-roasted GF pecans (about 25 percent of your RDA)
1 cup cooked spinach or 1 cup cooked collard greens (about 15 percent of your RDA)
equals 100 percent of your RDA
**RDA stands for Recommended Daily Allowance
Enjoy! xoxo Julie