10 Foods You Should Be Eating More Of

Getting the nutrients you need can be easier than you might think. See how these common foods can make a difference in your diet.

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Nutritional Gaps

When it comes to meeting nutrient needs, many Americans are underachievers. The US Dietary Guidelines highlights several nutrients that many of us consistently aren't getting enough of. Instead of missing out on these "shortfall nutrients," become an overachiever by adding more of these 10 foods to your regular diet.

Low-Fat Milk

Toss back an eight-ounce glass of low-fat milk and you're already 1/3 of the way to your daily goal for bone-building vitamin D. If chugging glasses of milk aren't your thing, add it to oatmeal, smoothies or whole-grain cereal.

Brussels Sprouts

Folate is vital for proper cell function and prevents neural tube defects in pregnant women. A cup of cooked Brussels sprouts delivers 40 percent of your folate for the day.

Yogurt

Depending on the brand of yogurt you choose, one cup of low-fat yogurt can contain 30 to 40 percent of your daily calcium needs. Plus, you get a dose of tummy-pleasing probiotics along with it.

Baked Potato

It's found in a wide variety of foods, but many folks still fail to meet the target of 4,700 milligrams of potassium per day. We rely on this mineral for proper growth and heart health, so getting more is worth it. One baked potato contains more than 2,000 milligrams.

Canned Beans

Red meat and dark meat poultry are obvious choices of iron, but don't count out beans as a plant based source: one cup of beans contains nearly 45 percent of the daily goal. Iron allows for oxygen delivery throughout the body (and yes, that's as important as it sounds). Adolescent and premenopausal women tend to be more at risk for becoming deficient in this mineral, so they need to make extra efforts eat more iron-rich foods.

Pears

This sweet fruit is often overlooked for its high-fiber prowess. With a whopping 6 grams of fiber each, enjoy more pears to help promote digestive health and to help lower cholesterol.

Nuts

Almonds and cashews are bursting with heart-healthy fats, plus plenty of magnesium. Each ounce contains 20 percent of the daily recommended goal, so snack on nuts in trail mix, add crunch to salads and or make a batch of homemade nut butter.

Salmon

Omega-3 fats help promote vision, immunity, circulation, skin and brain health. The best way to get in more of these important fats is to eat more fatty fish like salmon. A 3-ounce portion of cooked salmon packs in more than 4,000 milligrams, which far exceeds the recommended value of 1,100 to 1,600 milligrams per day.

Sunflower Seeds

Vitamin E is a potent cell-protecting antioxidant. Find it in nuts, peanut butter, mango and spinach. But one ounce of sunflower seeds contains a hefty 37-percent of your daily recommended amount.

Bell Peppers

While citrus gets most of the press for high doses of vitamin C, bell peppers are an even better source. One medium red bell pepper has more than 250-percent of what you should be getting each day.