Tell me what you see when you look at this picture. Nuts? Brazil nuts? Nope. WRONG. These are my selenium vitamins.
I've never been one for vitamins and supplements. From a young age I absolutely hated swallowing pills. It took me at least 137 tries to gulp a multi-vitamin down, no matter how much water I downed it with.
Fast forward to today, and I'm still not a big fan. I can do it if I have to — and I did when it came time to take prenatal vitamins. But as far as my nutrition routine goes, I'm all about food as vitamins rather than choking down horse pills.
That’s why every morning, I look forward to my “vitamin routine.” I very rarely let a day go by without consuming these foods in some shape or form every day. You know what they say, "Two brazil nuts a day keeps the doctor away!"
Captain Obvious PSA: I am NOT a medical professional. This vitamin routine is my opinion based on my own experience and should not be taken for medical advice.
2 Brazil Nuts
I consider myself a bit of a nut connoisseur. Macadamia nuts, almonds, walnuts, pistachios — I am crazy for them all (note how I did NOT go for the easy pun there; I can do better).
Brazil nuts are not quite as popular as your average almond or walnut, but that's because they are totally under-appreciated. They're big, crunchy, buttery, and happen to be ridiculously good for you. I love taking these right after I swallow down my prenatal vitamins as a bit of motivation at the end of the hard-to-swallow rainbow. One Brazil nut has 90 micrograms of selenium, or 129 percent of the daily intake recommended by the U.S. government.
This helps with…
- Hormone Balance
- Skin and Breast Cancer protection
- Heavy metal protection (particularly mercury — what you get from eating a lot of fish)
1 Slice of Liverwurst
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Liver is one of the best things you can eat for your health. You could literally eat a slice of liverwurst or a few bites of liver and onions a day and get nearly as many nutrients as a multi-vitamin, plus do wonders for your digestive system and hormones. I love getting already prepared liverwurst from US Wellness Meats because it prevents me from having to make it from scratch (not pleasant, as you can imagine).
A 3.5-ounce serving of liverwurst sausage contains 6.4 milligrams of iron. Men need 8 milligrams of iron a day; women need 18 milligrams. It also provides 14 grams of protein, 2.3 milligrams of zinc, and 4.3 milligrams of B vitamin niacin.
All this helps with…
- Healthy red blood cell count
- More energy
- A healthy immune system
- A healthy nervous system
2 Pasture-Raised Eggs
An egg is like that kid in school that was so easy going and likable that everybody could hang with him. My day has not begun until I've eaten at least two eggs. I like them over easy, covered in sautéed kale, and topped with avocado and a couple leftover sweet potato fries. It’s heaven. I promise. But the key to making sure they are really contributing to your health is to get them pasture-raised. Which has become a whole lot easier since Vital Farms made them widely available.
Hens that are free to graze on pasture have significantly higher levels of Omega-3 and Vitamin E (as much as 200%) to caged hens. In one study, a pasture-raised egg versus an organic egg produced:
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
- 3 times more vitamin E
- 7 times more beta carotene
- 3-6 times more vitamin D
1 Teaspoon of Camu Camu (in my yogurt or a smoothie)
I must admit, the first time I tried Camu Camu, it was because I got it for free from a work project and I was NOT impressed. I added an entire tablespoon to my smoothie thinking — Oh it's pink, so it probably tastes like pink Starbursts! WRONG. Camu Camu is very sour and not something you want to go around eating by the spoonful. However, this wonder food contains as much as 60 times vitamin C than that of an orange. It also includes amino acids and phytochemicals and minerals that can help the body in a variety of ways.
I highly recommend putting no more than a teaspoon in your smoothie or yogurt and making sure to fill it up with other delicious fruits and toppings to off-set the sour face. Real convincing, I know. But come cold and flu season when you find that your cold is lasting half as long as everybody else, you'll thank me for the increased immunity as well as these benefits…
- Decreased inflammation
- Improved gum health
- Improved eye health
- Improved mood
1 Heaping Spoonful of Fermented Food (sauerkraut, carrots, kefir, pickles, etc.)
Fermented food has been the missing link in our diets for the last hundred plus years. Somewhere along the line, the food makers decided to skip the natural fermentation process and start preserving pickles and sauerkraut in vinegar instead. But with this shortcut, you lose their best benefit — probiotics. I'm sure we've all hopped on the probiotic bandwagon at some point or another, but I'm telling you, getting them through food is always going to be your best bet.
Food like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir, and fermented carrots contain vitamins, minearal, and phytonutrients that are more bioavailable to the body. Plus, when you switch up the types of fermented food and eat a variety on a regular basis (rather than take the same pill every day), you provide the body with a cross-section of probiotic strains. A probiotic food such as sauerkraut provides high levels of fiber and significant levels of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and B vitamins.
All of this helps with:
- Enhanced digestion
- Increased blood circulation
- Improved heart health
- Improved energy
- Strong immune system
- Strong bones
- Reduced cholesterol
- And inflammation elimination
What do you consider your "vitamin food?" Comment below, shoot me an email or hit me up on Instagram!