8 Nutrient-Dense Foods You'll Find in Almost Any Grocery Store

You may be able to cut back on supplements when you fill your shopping cart with these nutritious groceries.

Organic produce in grocery store
Photo: kali9 / Getty Images

If you're interested in boosting the nutrient content of your fridge and pantry, you can save yourself a trip to health food store. Some of the most nutrient-dense foods are available at your everyday grocery store. We've rounded up eight foods that are not only some of the richest in vitamins and minerals but also some of the most widely available, wherever you shop.

Spinach

This inexpensive green, which is available at most grocery stores pre-washed and bagged for your convenience, is rich in flavor and nutrients. One mere cup of these greens can provide about 60 percent of your Daily Value (DV) for vitamin A, which promotes skin and eye health and helps maintain a healthy immune system. It's also full of vitamin K, vital for healing wounds and blood clotting.

Black Beans

One cup of black beans — canned or restored from dry — offers nearly 30 percent of your DV for magnesium. Magnesium helps regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels, muscle and nerve function, and the production of bone, protein, and DNA. Better yet? Black beans are an inexpensive and nutrient-dense stand-in for other sources of protein and carbohydrates.

Carrots

Whether you buy them bagged or loose, carrots are one of the best-for-you vegetables. Carrots actually give the nutrient beta-carotene its name. The body converts beta-carotene into vitamin A, and a cup of cooked carrots provides five times your DV for vitamin A. Add to these high levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium and you have a vegetable that's fit for a nutritionist.

Apples

There's a reason the old adage "an apple a day keeps the doctor away" has persisted. This low-calorie fruit packs in essential nutrients like vitamin C, potassium, and vitamin K. Apples also happen to be high in fiber, which leaves you feeling full and keeps the digestive tract moving.

Grapefruit

In addition to vitamin C, these winter stars are extremely high in potassium, an essential nutrient for a healthy muscular system. As an antioxidant, vitamin C protects the body's cells and boosts the immune system.

Sardines

Like many other small, fatty fish, sardines are nutrient powerhouses. And because they're packaged in shelf-stable cans, you don't have to worry about shopping for them at a specialty fish market. Sardines are naturally high in vitamin B12. Found in animal protein, vitamin B12 is vital to the brain, blood, and nervous system. But sardines are full of other nutrients, too, from selenium (for thyroid function) to phosphorus (for strong bones and teeth) to vitamin D (also essential for bones and teeth).

Dried Apricots

These sweet, shelf-stable fruits are rich in vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, and even vitamin B6, which the body relies on to make "feel-good" hormones like serotonin and dopamine as well as melatonin, which helps you sleep. And if you associate your iron intake with red meat, you may be surprised that just one small serving of dried apricots (about 1/4 cup) amounts to 5 percent of your DV for iron.

Seaweed

You don't have to head to your favorite Japanese restaurant to enjoy seaweed; it's available in snackable servings in most grocery stores. Particularly high in iodine, a key player in thyroid function, this salty snack also offers a wide variety of nutrients, like vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin E, and vitamin C.

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