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How Does Your Diet Stack Up?

Many of us are short on important nutrients, survey shows

Top Food Sources of Magnesium

The Daily Recommended Intake for women aged 31 and over is 320 mg/day. The Daily Recommended Intake for men aged 31 and over is 420 mg/day.

Food
Milligrams (mg)
1/4 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
303
1 cup Swiss chard, cooked
150
1/2 cup tofu
128
1/4 cup almonds
119
1 cup beet greens, cooked
98
1/4 cup soy nuts (roasted soybeans)
98
1/4 cup hazelnuts/filberts
96
1 cup okra, cooked
92
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
82 (average)
1/4 cup cashews
74
1 whole artichoke, cooked
72
1 cup butternut squash, cooked
72
1/4 cup peanuts
63
1/4 cup walnuts or pistachios
51
1 tablespoon molasses
50
1/2 cup baby lima beans, cooked
50
2 slices whole-wheat bread
48
2 cups raw spinach
48
3.5 ounces crab, cooked
43
1 cup low-fat yogurt
43
1 cup collard greens, cooked
42
1 cup whole-wheat pasta, cooked
42
1/2 cup brown rice, cooked
42
1/2 cup beans, cooked (kidney, lentils, pintos, black-eyed peas, split peas)
32-40
3.5 ounces fish, shrimp or oysters, cooked
30-40
1 cup Brussels sprouts, cooked
36
1 banana
34

The Super Foods

Some foods can help you kill many birds with a single nutritional stone, so to speak. Certain foods appear more than once on these lists. In fact, I found three foods that are on all four:

  • Swiss chard
  • Raw spinach
  • Cooked greens

I also found three foods that are in all but one of the lists:

  • Butternut squash
  • Tomato sauce/juice
  • Broccoli

These foods are top sources of two of the four nutrients:

  • Almonds, peanuts, pistachios, and hazelnuts (magnesium and vitamin E)
  • Soy (tofu and soy nuts are rich in magnesium; green soybeans are tops in vitamin C)
  • Clams (vitamins E and A)
  • Oysters (vitamin A and magnesium)
  • Kale (vitamins A and C)
  • Cantaloupe (vitamins A and C)
  • Papaya (vitamins C and E)
  • Mango (vitamins A and C)

10 Diet-Boosting Tips

Here are some easy tips to help make sure your diet isn't deficient in these four nutrients.

1. Enjoy a handful of nuts almost every day.

2. Use raw spinach instead of lettuce for your salad.

3. Throw some papaya or mango into your smoothie (mango is available frozen).

4. Discover some of these less-popular vegetables as side dishes: greens, Swiss chard, Brussels sprouts, kale, and butternut squash.

5. Add broccoli to everything you can think of (salads, casseroles, pizza, side dishes) and serve it with a light dip or dressing as an appetizer or snack.

6. Enjoy cantaloupe as a snack, garnish, or part of your breakfast.

7. Drink tomato juice, enjoy some tomato soup, or have an Italian dish featuring tomato sauce.

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