Smorgasbord Health Column – Nutrients the body needs – Weekly Grocery Shopping List by Sally Cronin

Over the last six weeks I have shared the nutrients we need to be healthy and their main food sources. This week I am pulling that all together to provide you with a one sheet shopping list. You just need to cut and paste into word and print off.

Vitamins A and B

Vitamin C to K2

Calcium to Manganese

Phosphorus to Zinc

Amino Acids and liver health

Part Six Essential Fatty Acids.

First a reminder of the basic nutrients we need for energy and healthy functioning systems and organs and the main food sources.

  • Vitamins and anti-oxidants – A, B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9 (Folate) B12, C, D, E, K,
  • Minerals Calcium, chloride, chromium, copper, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, sodium, zinc.
  • Amino Acids –  
  • Essential Fatty Acids –
  • Bioflavonoids –V
  • Very strong anti-oxidants.

Quite a few foods fall into several categories so I will give you the top sources within the groups- these are the foods that should make up your basic shopping with seasonal fruits and vegetables when available. In the first list you will find the nutrients with a small selection of foods that contain them.

For example, spinach has Vitamin A, B1, B2, B9, E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium – I have included in the first group only. (Popeye knew what he was doing)

  • Vitamin A – carrots, red peppers, apricots, broccoli, cantaloupe melon, nectarines, peaches and spinach. Cashew nuts.
  • Vitamin B1 – Pineapple, watermelon, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, oats, brown rice, lentils, beans, eggs, lean ham and pork.
  • B2 – All green leafy vegetables, fish, milk, wheat germ, liver and kidney
  • B3 Asparagus, mushrooms, potatoes, tomatoes, sunflower seeds, wholegrain bread and cereals. Turkey, Salmon, tuna, and cheese.
  • B5 Corn, Cauliflower, Brewer’s yeast, avocado, duck, soybeans, lobster and strawberries.
  • B6 – Walnuts, bananas, lamb
  • B9 (folate) – nuts, beans and dark green vegetables.
  • B12– offal, dairy, marmite,
  • Vitamin C – virtually all fruit and vegetables already mentioned but also blackcurrants, blueberries, kiwi, cherries, grapefruits, oranges and watercress.
  • Vitamin D – Eggs, tinned salmon – fresh and tinned herrings.
  • Vitamin E almonds, eggs, maize, apples, onions, shell fish, sunflower oil.
  • Vitamin K– dark green leafy vegetables, avocado, eggs.
  • Minerals
  • Calcium – dairy, sardines, canned salmon, green leafy vegetables.
  • Chromium – Whole grains, potatoes, onions and tomatoes – liver, seafood, cheese, chicken, turkey, beef, lamb and pork
  • Copper – olives, nuts, beans, wholegrain cereals, dried fruits, meat, fish and poultry.
  • Iodine – cod, mackerel, haddock, eggs, live yoghurt, milk and strawberries.
  • Iron– shellfish, prunes, spinach, meats, cocoa.
  • Magnesiumdairy, seafood, apples, apricots, avocado, brown rice, spinach.
  • Manganese – beans, brown rice, spinach, tomatoes, walnuts, fresh fruit.
  • Phosphorus – poultry, whole grains.
  • Potassium – most fresh fruit and vegetables but in particular bananas, apricots, Brussel sprouts, kiwi, nectarines, potatoes.
  • Selenium – halibut, cod, salmon and tuna, mushrooms and Brazil Nuts.
  • Sodium – usually enough in our food but no more than 1 level teaspoon a day.
  • Zinc– seafood, pumpkin seeds, wheat germ, egg yolks and tofu.
  • Essential fatty acids –
  • Omega 3– flaxseed, walnuts, pumpkinseeds, avocados, dark green vegetables, poultry and salmon.
  • Omega 6 olive oil and some of the above.
  • Omega 9– avocado, olives, almonds.
  • Amino Acids – dairy products, fish, meat, poultry, soybeans, nuts and seeds.

Some guidelines.

It is best to eat vegetables and fruit in season and from local sources where possible. They are likely to be fresher than those that have been transported some of which can be days or even weeks old. Avoid buying cut vegetables as they have lost 50% of their nutritional value as soon as they have been chopped.  Frozen food is fine as many of the vegetables have been harvested and frozen immediately.

You won’t find sugar, biscuits and cakes on the shopping list. Having them once a week is not harmful, but currently in the United States adults are consuming over 25 teaspoons of sugar a day, mainly in industrialised foods.  Ireland and the UK are not that far behind. There are some quite interesting statistics: Sugar Consumption and the effect on our health

Variety is the key and it is easy to get into the habit with both shopping and cooking, of preparing a very narrow range of foods. If here are certain foods that you don’t particularly like, then put in a slow cooker with herbs and some light seasoning, simmer and then blitz to make a nutrient supercharged soup.

I know that it can be a struggle to eat the recommended 5 portions of vegetables and fruit a day, but if you can manage that for your vegetables across breakfast, lunch and dinner then add in two pieces of fruit. I have an apple and mandarin orange every day.  That will take you to 7 portions.

The foods that I am listing are common to the UK and Ireland and you can substitute with your similar or alternatively named produce. I have only listed the most common items and you can add in your favourite within that food group. I have added in herbs which have nutritional benefits.

Shopping List to cut and paste to print Smorgasbord Health.


  • Artichoke – Asparagus – Avocado – Aubergines
  • Basil – Beetroot – Broccoli – Brussel Sprouts – Butternut Squash
  • Cabbage – Carrots – Cauliflower – Celery – Chives – Cilentro – Courgette (Zucchini)
  • Dill
  • Fennel – French Beans
  • Garlic – Ginger- Green Beans
  • Haricot Beans
  • Kale
  • Leeks – Lemongrass
  • Marjoram – Marrow – Mint- Mung Beans- Mushrooms
  • Olives – Onions – Oregano
  • Pak Choi- Parsley -Parsnips – Potatoes – Pumpkin
  • Radish – Red Cabbage – Red Peppers – Rocket – Rosemary – Runner Beans.
  • Samphire – Spinach – Spring Greens – Spring Onions (Scallions) – Sweet Potatoes – Swede
  • Tarragon – Thyme – Tomatoes – Turnips
  • Watercress
  • Yam

Fruit and nuts

  • Almonds – Apples – Apricots
  • Banana – Blackberry – Blueberry – Brazil Nuts
  • Cherries – Clementines
  • Dates – High Sugar – occasional
  • Figs – High sugar – occasional – Flaxseeds
  • Grapefruit –  Grapes
  • Honeydew melon
  • Kiwi
  • Lemons – Limes
  • Mandarin oranges
  • Mango – Melon
  • Oranges
  • Papaya – Pears – Plums – Pumpkin Seeds
  • Raspberry
  • Strawberry
  • Walnuts
  • Watermelon


  • Beef – all cuts.
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Ham (to home cook par boil to remove excess salt)
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Cod
  • Hake
  • Mackerel
  • Offal such as lamb’s liver.
  • Salmon – Tinned and North Atlantic wild – Sardines – Shellfish
  • Soy beans (make sure organic as most is GMO)
  • Tofu – Tuna – Turkey

Dairy (Always try to buy grass fed rather than corn fed Vitamin K2)

  • Milk – full fat or half fat
  • Butter (avoid any processed spreads)
  • Cheese – once or twice a week in moderate amounts.
  • Cream – occasional
  • Unsweetened Yogurt


  • Brown Basmati Rice
  • Porridge Oats
  • Wholegrain Pasta
  • Bread (baked in store)
  • Homemade whole grain bread.

Cooking Oils (the least refined the better)

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Coconut oil
  • Butter
  • Lard (in moderate amounts)


  • Black Tea
  • Green Tea
  • Herbal infusions (make sure not just added flavouring)
  • Coffee
  • Mineral water ( check for low sodium)


  • Alcohol – in moderation
  • Dark chocolate 70% +
  • Dessert twice a week
  • Cocoa drink


©Sally Cronin 2020

I hope that you will find this helpful when you are putting your next shopping list together. Look for loose vegetables and fruit, local if you can verify their origins. Mix things up every week so that you are getting a different food within each of the groups.

If you have a problem cutting and pasting into word, then email me and I will send you a copy –

©sally cronin Just Food for Health 1998 – 2023

A little bit about me nutritionally. .

About Sally Cronin

I am a qualified nutritional therapist with twenty-four years experience working with clients in Ireland and the UK as well as being a health consultant on radio in Spain.

Although I write a lot of fiction, I actually wrote my first two books on health, the first one, Size Matters, a weight loss programme 21 years ago, based on my own weight loss of 154lbs. My first clinic was in Ireland, the Cronin Diet Advisory Centre and my second book, Just Food for Health was written as my client’s workbook. Since then I have written a men’s health manual, and anti-aging programme, articles for magazines, radio programmes and posts here on Smorgasbord.

You can buy my books from: Amazon US – and: Amazon UK – Follow me :Goodreads – Twitter: @sgc58 – Facebook: Sally Cronin – LinkedIn: Sally Cronin