It is important to have ample amounts of all of the vitamins and minerals in the diet. A diet high in vitamins and minerals provides the body with necessary building blocks. In fact, not only it provides building blocks but those building blocks which we call nutrients are highly bioavailable to our body. Thus, the body thrives on such a diet.
Quality of vitamins and minerals in your diet is as equally important as their quantity.
You must have heard that in order to get more vitamins and minerals you must eat variety of fruits and vegetables on daily basis and also include nuts and whole grains in ample amounts. Well, that’s only half the truth.
Types of vitamins and minerals
Fat soluble vitamins
Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E and Vitamin K come under the class of fat soluble vitamins. They are stored in your body tissues and liver. They are primarily found in animal based fats like butter, lard, egg yolk, organ meats.
Fat soluble vitamins are important for fertility, eyes, skin, hormones, immune function, cell function, endothelial health, brain health, heart and liver function and more.
Water soluble vitamins
B vitamins and vitamin C come under the category of water soluble vitamins. Except vitamin B12 and B9 water soluble vitamins are not stored in the body. Therefore, they are required to be taken on daily basis. Water soluble vitamins are found in animal flesh, animal proteins, dairy, green leafy vegetables and fruits.
Water soluble vitamins are important for regulating metabolism, breaking down carbohydrates, fatty acids and proteins in the body for their utilization, brain development, growth of fetus in the womb and are crucial during growth years.
Calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, sodium, zinc, iron, copper, selenium and more are all minerals. Minerals are absolutely essential for overall health and robustness. They are found in ample amounts in meat, dairy, eggs and seafood.
Animal based vs plant based vitamins and minerals
There are primarily two sources of vitamins and minerals in our diet.
One is animal based foods which include stuff like red meat, chicken, turkey, eggs, fish and dairy. Another one is plant based foods which includes stuff like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains and legumes.
Factually speaking, animal based foods single handedly contain more vitamins and minerals per calorie than any fruit and vegetable. This means that you get more nutrients from animal sourced foods by eating less of them. Not only they have more nutrients per calorie but those nutrients are highly bioavailable/absorbable to the body.
Most people think that meat, dairy and eggs are nothing but just protein and artery clogging cholesterol, WRONG!
As you can see above how 100g of broccoli and 100g of ground beef compares. Beef comes out to be more nutrient dense than broccoli.
Absorption of nutrients: nutrients from beef are better absorbed in comparison to broccoli. Broccoli has anti nutrients such as oxalates, goitrogens and lectins all of which impair nutrient absorption in the digestive tract.
Similarly, many other animal foods have comparatively more nutrients and bioavailability than vegetables and fruits.
Certain critical minerals such as zinc, calcium, heme iron, phosphorus, selenium, copper, vitamin B12, B9, A, D, K2 are found in high amounts almost exclusively in meat, milk and eggs. Certain amino acids such as carnitine, carnosine, creatine, taurine and choline all of which have tremendous health benefits are also found in abundance in meat and eggs.
How to get more vitamins and minerals in your diet?
So, you want to get more vitamins and minerals in your diet? you should be eating more meat, eggs and dairy not fruits and vegetables.
This is not to say that fruits and vegetables are not a part of a healthy diet and are completely waste but to say that they are an inferior source of many vital nutrients which can be obtained from meat, eggs and dairy only.
1.Eat Red meat
Very rich in highly bioavailable zinc, selenium, heme iron, phosphorus, vitamin B12, B2,B3, B6. Also rich in brain building cholesterol, choline, carnosine, carnitine, creatine and taurine. Organ meats such as liver contain even far greater concentrations of these nutrients and more which truly makes them nature’s multivitamin.
2.Eat Whole eggs
Rich in Retinol(vitamin A), vitamin B5, B12, B6, D3, K2, B9, Phosphorus, iodine, selenium, zinc, choline, cholesterol and high quality protein.
3.Eat Chicken and poultry
High in vitamin B12, B6, B3, E, K2, zinc, selenium, copper, taurine, tryptophan, magnesium glycine, collagen and more.
High in calcium, phosphorus, potassium, retinol(vitamin A), vitamin D, K2, iodine, vitamin B12, B5, B2 and other B vitamins. Also, high in quality protein and healthy fats.
5.Eat fish and sea food
High in brain building omega 3, EPA, DHA, Vitamin B2, B3, B12, B6, Retinol, Vitamin D, iron, iodine, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, selenium, copper, magnesium and more.
6.Drink bone broth
Bone broth is made by simmering animal joints and bones. It is very high in minerals like phosphorus, calcium, magnesium, copper, zinc, sulphur, sodium and potassium, also high in collagen, glutamic acid, arginine, proline and glycine all of which improve gut health, brain health, immunity and protects the body against stress and damage.
5.Fruits and vegetables
Fruits and vegetables are an inferior source of many critical vitamins and minerals. however, they do contain vitamin c, some b vitamins but are not a very great source of minerals. They are rich in antioxidants, certain plant compounds which are protective against cancer and heart disease.
In conclusion, animal foods are a better source of vitamins and minerals than fruits and vegetables in the human diet. They are abundant in many critical nutrients which are found almost exclusively in them but are absent in plants. Base your diet around meat, eggs, dairy and seafood paired with some fruits and vegetables and you will get ample amounts of all the essential vitamins and minerals than you will ever get from eating fruits and veggies alone.