A list of the 7 best fortified foods may be unnecessary until you realize that fortified diets are not exactly what you’ve been led to believe. “Extra fiber!” “More protein!” and “Added Vitamin D!” are all catchy phrases to sell fortified foods, and one must agree they hold an appeal.
But there’s a catch: not every food is better off fortified.
To begin with, the extra fiber added to packaged brands undergoes a digestion process different from that of natural fiber. The body may, therefore, find it difficult or stressful to digest foods with extra fiber. Likewise, you have to pair vitamin D with fatty foods to aid absorption. And, as an addition, foods with added proteins may lead to bloating if eaten regularly.
Listing The 7 Best Fortified Foods
As you may already know, the mechanisms of fortified foods can be complicated, just as supplements are. There’s a 45% chance you’re not eating fortified foods the right way, despite the extra cost.
Our expert nutritionists have compiled this list to improve your health and ensure that you get optimum value for your extra cash. Keep reading to discover your finest options below.
Skim milk is fortified with vitamins A & D, two essential contributors to an excellent immune system and heart health. However, both vitamins are fat-soluble and therefore need to be consumed with fats for optimum absorption. This is because dietary fats stimulate the production of bile so that the small intestine can assist with the digestion of fat-soluble vitamins.
You don’t see the problem until you remember that skim milk refers to “milk with zero fat content.” To maximize the benefits of skim milk, you should take alongside healthy fats, such as eggs on toast or avocado.
Whole Grain Bread
Whole grain bread has several benefits. It contains a lot of ingredients, some of which make it an excellent selection if you are looking to lose weight and improve your health. And, more significantly —for this discourse— whole grain bread contains vitamin B folic acid, which is crucial to the prevention of low birth weight and neural tube complications in infants.
The connection lies in the fact that a woman needs high folate levels to deliver babies with a healthy weight, and this is best possible by eating foods enriched with folates for several years before pregnancy.
Except you run poultry from where you get your eggs, best believe what you’ve been eating is fortified with two types of omega-3 fatty acids, namely ALA and DHA.
Fortunately, omega-3 fatty acids are essential minerals to the body. ALA is obtained from walnuts, hemp seeds, flaxseeds, and chia seeds, and effectively protects the heart against diseases and complications.
DHA meanwhile is found in wild-caught fish, for example, salmon, trout, and sardines, and plays a critical role in developing and maintaining brain health. Companies fortify eggs by feeding laying hens with foods containing ALA or DHA.
Rice and Almond Milk
Popular protein or milk alternatives for vegetarians and vegans include rice milk, almond milk, and fortified yogurts. In the same vein, they are ideal for people who are intolerant to lactose. When fortified, these foods are excellent sources of vitamin A & D and calcium.
When shopping for almond, rice, or yogurt milk, select products with minimal sugar percentage and high levels of calcium or vitamins. And perhaps you may already know, I should still mention that you take these kinds of milk with fatty foods to assist absorption.
Orange Juice With Zero Sugar Levels
Whenever you’re selecting juices, always go for options with absolutely no sugar, and instead opt for a brand fortified with calcium and vitamin D. Research has established that fortified orange juice is an excellent choice to fight calcium deficiency in kids.
Considering that stats reveal that nearly 45% of American kids between 1 – 8 suffer calcium deficiency, fortified orange juice should top your kid’s diet every day. Lest I forget, this is also a wonderful alternative to get calcium or vitamin D if you or your kids are intolerant to lactose.
Note though that juices rich in sugar are unadvisable even if they are not made with sugar. Smoothies are much better options. To derive optimum benefits from fortified orange juice, blend with Greek yogurt and whole fruits.
Soy Products… Without GMO— Genetically Modified Organism
Soy products are typically fortified with calcium, potassium, and vitamins A & D, all of which most people are deficient in. Soy products are, therefore, a great way to correct these deficiencies, particularly for vegetarians. You should, however, take extra care when shopping for soy products.
The majority of brands available on shelves contain added sugar and GMOs, which are classified as harmful foods. Also, keep your consumption of soy products moderate. A cup of soy milk reduces vitamins A & D and calcium deficiency but also contains high levels of calories. Now, you see why.
Grains and Rice
Stats reveal that 3% of men, 20% of women and 50% of expectant mothers suffer iron deficiency. Iron deficiency is one of the most common causes of anemia in America.
Just so you know, symptoms include headaches, dizziness, fatigue, and pale nails, and skin. You must, therefore, consume foods rich in iron as much as possible.
Fortified rice and grains are excellent examples, thankfully. Both foods are fortified with extra iron, amongst other nutrients, and are therefore recommended. Other sources of iron, especially for vegetarians, include papayas, broccoli, orange juice, kiwi fruit, tomatoes, bell peppers, berries, and dark leafy greens.
Final Lines On The 7 Best Fortified Foods
Eating fortified foods rightly has several health benefits. Thankfully, the foods on this list of 7 best fortified foods are easy to get and even easier to process… that is if need be. By keeping to the excellent options highlighted above, you ensure you aren’t wasting extra cash or hurting your health when you take fortified foods.