My Favorite Nutrient Dense Foods and Supplements
I’m sure by now, most of you know my preference when it comes to supplements- food based will always be my number one choice! I’ve written before about most of my favorites but I wanted to put them all in one post.
Bee pollen is considered “nature’s most balanced food”. It is packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carotenoids, enzymes, protein, bioflavonoids, and more. Bee pollen has vitamins C, D, K, and E, plus it has about 60 major and minor minerals! Read about bee pollen’s full composition here to to be thoroughly amazed.
Bee pollen, as well as raw honey and royal jelly, is mostly used for the B vitamins (think bee products for B vitamins!). Depending on the brand and source of the bee pollen, a typical dose can be anywhere from 1/2 teaspoon to 2 teaspoons a day.
The *best* source of bee pollen would be from a local beekeeper but if that is not a possibility I recommend this brand that I’ve personally been using for months now with excellent results. It is easy to sneak bee pollen in a smoothie, in yogurt, or you can eat it plain.
Bee pollen helps with digestion, hormonal balance, joint health, blood pressure balance, skin issues, fatigue, weight loss, and more. So ditch those bottled B’s (especially if you have them all in separate supplements) and try bee pollen, please. You will notice the difference!
That phrase alone is enough to make some people gag, but seriously beef liver is one of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet. Between fear-mongering about the retinol levels, misconceptions about how the liver stores toxins (it doesn’t- it filters them out to store elsewhere), and the switch to fast foods, liver has fallen out of favor with most of the Western world. I am sure most of the people in my generation have never even tried to eat liver- or they may have never even heard of it! You can read a bit more about liver here.
As far as livers go, beef has the most bang for its buck. It has vitamins A, D, E, K, B12 and folic acid, and minerals such as copper and iron. Beef liver has the most bio-available form of copper. If you think about that, it makes sense why so many people are suffering from copper dysregulation these days: because who grew up eating liver regularly??
When it comes to liver, eating it is obviously the best way. It is best to find grass-fed beef liver from a reputable farm. You can go with a classic liver and onions recipe or you can be a little sneaky and hide in meatloaf like this recipe does.
I’m not personally at that stage yet so I use a beef liver powder supplement. It hides very easily in smoothies, but if you are brave you can eat it right off of the spoon. Or you can go the capsule route: Perfect Supplements has a great beef liver product. You can find a full breakdown on desiccated liver on this site here– it is really interesting!
Infusions are one of the most bio-available foods in the world. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, and more. Infusions are super easy to make. Steep one ounce (one cup) of dried herb in a quart of hot water for at least 4 hours- leaving it overnight is perfect. Strain the herbs and store the liquid in the fridge. Some reuse the herbs to make another quart or 2. Mason jars are perfect for making these infusions. Infusions will generally last about 2-4 days in the fridge after making them.
My 2 favorites are:
Nettles: They help with adrenal health, kidney and liver detox, blood sugar regulation, hormonal health, they help increase milk supply for nursing mothers, they help prevent and treat anemia, and they are a natural anti-histamine.They are full of calcium, magnesium, iron, B complex vitamins, C complex, vitamins A, D and K as well as protein, cobalt, trace minerals, potassium, iodine, boron, manganese, zinc, copper and sulfur.
Red Rasperry Leaf: Red raspberry leaf has been used for thousands of years as a tonic for women. RRL helps to strengthen the uterus and pelvic muscles which helps to make labor shorter and easier. Red raspberry leaf is packed with nutrients: magnesium, manganese, iron, vitamin C, b-vitamins and potassium. RRL is an amazing remedy for PMS, endometriosis, and it helps balance hormones. This herb is especially helpful for women trying to conceive as it is a very popular remedy for infertility.
Whole Food Vitamin C
When it comes to nutrients, I tend to trust nature over a lab. There is much debate on ascorbic acid vs whole food C and there are studies on both sides of the argument. I tend to just go with common sense- ascorbic acid is just one part of the C complex so I don’t trust it. It is known that ascorbic acid increases iron absorption and decreases copper absorption, and that is enough for me to stick with whole C.
Vitamin C is a crucial nutrient for tissue repair, collagen formation, immune system health, plus is very important for joints, blood vessels (think varicose and spider veins!), teeth, bones, and skin. Vitamin C is also one of the most important nutrients for healing from adrenal fatigue.
My favorite C blend is Synergy Pure Radiance C:( Powder or Capsules). You can also go for pure food powders like Acerola cherry, camu camu, or amla berry. You’ll also find lots of vitamin C in citrus fruits, papaya, tomatoes, broccoli, bell peppers, rose hips, and stinging nettles.
This is probably one of the most nutrient-packed sweeteners you’ll ever find. 1 tablespoon of Black-strap molasses has: about 300-500mg of potassium, 100mg of calcium, 30mg of magnesium, 2mg of iron, .36mg of manganese, as well as copper, selenium, B6, and more. Read the full breakdown here! Blackstrap molasses is well-known for helping anemia, constipation, ulcers, varicose veins, and muscle spasms. The only downside to BSM is the taste! It can he hard to enjoy it. The best way I have found to use it in is dandelion tea or decoctions. It is absolutely delicious mixed with dandelion, especially with a splash of whole milk.
Pumpkin seeds are another insanely nutrient dense food. One quarter cup has: .43mg of copper, 2.5mg of zinc, 1.47mg of manganese (nearly the whole RDA!), 190mg of magnesium, 9 grams of protein, and about 400mg of phosphorus. Look for raw, organic, and hulless pumpkin seeds. Check Costco if you can- they recently just started selling a big bag in my local store. Read more about Pumpkin seeds here.
So these are my absolute favorite foods and supplements that I include in my diet nearly every day. I have many more to write about, but these are definitely my favorites!