The Diet Detective: Nutrition Quiz: Which Food Has More Nutrients?


1. Which food has the most fiber?

Answer: Almonds are the highest, with 17 grams, lentils are a close second, at 16 grams, and black beans and raspberries weigh in at 8 grams per cup.

Daily Need: 30 to 38 grams for men and 21 to 25 grams for women.

Why It Matters: Fiber is loaded with health benefits—it reduces your risk of heart disease and diabetes and lowers cholesterol. Plus, foods with fiber help to keep you fuller longer.

More3 Tips to Add Real Fiber to Your Diet

2. Which food has the most potassium?

Answer: One large papaya is surprisingly rich in potassium, with 1,421 milligrams. Cantaloupe is also a surprise, at 1,087 milligrams. Avocados have 708 milligrams, and tomato sauce has 811 milligrams. Other sources include raisins (1,086 milligrams of potassium per cup), potatoes (1,081 mg), bananas (537 mg) and, yes, even cucumbers (442 mg each).

Daily Need: 4,700 mg

Why It Matters: Potassium is necessary for muscle contractions (including your heartbeat), transmission of nerve impulses and the regulation of fluids and electrolytes. Diets rich in potassium blunt the adverse effects of salt on blood pressure (one in five Americans has high blood pressure), may reduce the risk of developing kidney stones and may decrease bone loss. More than 90 percent of Americans are not meeting their recommended daily need.

3. Which food has the most iron?

Answer: Chickpeas are the highest, at 4.74 milligrams per cup, then the kidney beans, at 3.93 milligrams, the mushrooms, at 2.71 milligrams, and last the pumpkin seeds, at 2.29 milligrams. Other sources of iron include clams (23.77 mg in 3 oz.), black beans (3.61 mg per cup) and prune juice (3.02 mg per cup).

Daily Need: Men should be getting 8 milligrams per day and women 18 milligrams.

Why It Matters: Iron is an essential component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen in the blood, and myoglobin, which carries oxygen in muscle tissue. It also helps regulate cell growth and differentiation. Many women are deficient in iron. If you don't get enough, the deficiency limits oxygen delivery to the cells, resulting in fatigue, poor work performance and decreased immunity.

More: How to Stay on Top of Anemia

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