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Maintaining a healthy, balanced diet requires information well beyond the more easily understood factors such as product quality and sell-by date. Smart consumers understand how to combine food and food products in a diet to meet the recommended daily values of macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals required to not only support life but to support a specific lifestyle. 

In today's viz we showcase the vitamin and mineral profiles of popular food and food products, a useful starting point for anyone who wishes to better monitor nutrition and health.

  • While in practice, recommended daily values vary based on a variety of factors—including body weight, lean muscle mass, resting metabolic rate, age, health conditions, and activity level—the values below are based simply on 155 lbs of body weight (near 70 Kg) and a 2,000 kilocalorie daily diet. 
  • Some elements have recommended daily intakes that should not be exceeded. For example, doses of iron, magnesium, copper, calcium above the recommended daily values can be toxic or lead to digestive issues. 
  • By comparison, the toxic dosages for most vitamins are generally vastly greater than the daily reference values, making it more difficult to overdose on most vitamins.

Before launching into the data, you might want to consider, “What does that vitamin or mineral do for me?” Here’s a quick run down of some of the commonly discussed minerals and vitamins:

  • Iron is important for providing the body with oxygen, the synthesis of ATP and DNA, the processes of detoxification.
  • Calcium takes part in the transmission of nerve impulses, is responsible for the balance of excitation and inhibition in the brain, and affects the activity of enzymes.
  • Magnesium affects the energy processes in the organs and tissues, particularly in the heart and muscles.
  • Copper is involved in the formation of collagen and elastin, which support healthy skin.
  • Selenium improves reproductive function and regulates the functioning of the thyroid gland.
  • Phosphorus compounds are part of nucleic acids, take part in cell growth, and are involved in the storage of genetic information.
  • Zinc has wound-healing properties and is necessary for the normal functioning of the central nervous system; it is especially important for memory.
  • B vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, panto acid, B6, B12) are necessary for the maintenance of the nervous system and the proper functioning of the digestive and cardiovascular system. A lack of vitamin group B can lead to skin diseases and hair loss, among other symptoms.
  • Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium in the body, regulates cell growth, supports the immune system, and reduces inflammation. Deficiency is characterized by weakening of bones.
  • Vitamin K is an antioxidant that plays a role in maintaining the immune system.

 

Learn more about how the common foods and food products you consume contribute to your daily nutritional balance using the resources below:

     Select a food from the drop down menu to view its nutrient profile and its rank against other foods based on the daily value of specific nutrients.

     Select a nutrient from the Daily Values list to view a ranking of the foods with the highest to lowest concentration of the nutrient.

 

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