The Nutrient Density of Various Foods, Part 1; Brown Rice

On the average day do you reach or at least get close to reaching the recommended daily allowances of all the essential vitamins and minerals? If you’re like most people I’m sure the answer is either “I have no idea” or “No I don’t” or “Who cares?”

It can be difficult to know if you are lacking in certain nutrients without doing extensive analysis of all the foods you eat. To make this easier I decided to make a system of nutrient density and examine various foods. I will examine foods and rank the amount of vitamins and minerals they are abundant in, are lacking in, and so on. My nutrient density ranks will be as follows:

Take 500 calories of a certain food. If that food contains 200% of the recommended daily allowance (or RDA) of a certain nutrient it is considered “very high” in said nutrient. If it contains 100% or more of the RDA it is “high” in said nutrient. Between 60 to 99% RDA per 500 calories will be “Moderately high”. Between 30 and 59% will be “Moderate”. Between 15 and 29% will be “sufficient”. Finally, below 15% will be “low”.

I will only cover micronutrients (essential vitamins and minerals) and am excluding sodium and vitamin D (as I don’t think these nutrients have specific sources, i.e. salt and sunshine respectively). Let’s start with brown rice as an example.

Brown Rice

  • Very high in Manganese
  • High in N/A
  • Moderately high in Selenium
  • Moderate in Vitamin B1, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B6, Phosphorus
  • Sufficient in Vitamin B5, Zinc, Iron
  • Low in Vitamin B2, Vitamin B12, Folate, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Vitamin E, Potassium, Calcium, Vitamin A, Choline
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