Eating, Pokémon GO Style

Get your Pokéballs (and your smartphones) and gear up: Pokémon is back and it’s stronger than ever.

Creeping up to popularity levels of apps like Tinder and Twitter, Pokémon Go is bringing out the inner Ash Ketchum of Pokémon lovers all over the world. If you haven’t caught the Pokébug just yet, Pokémon GO is a new, GPS-based, “augmented reality” app where users walk around the real world to find virtual Pokémon that have been released on sidewalks, in parks, and even in public bathrooms!

Why are people so crazy for this new app? It’s the thrill of the hunt: searching for the next Pikachu, collecting your first Squirtle, and finding just the Pokéstop you need to level up is all part of the excitement.

As a nutritionist (and Pokémon enthusiast), I love hunting for nutrients just as much as I love hunting for Pokémon. Nutrients give my body all the power-ups I need, and I don’t have to travel across the land, searching far and wide for them; they’re in plenty of foods! Join me in my quest to be the Brock of your local grocery store or the Misty of your neighborhood market by searching for these key nutrients in your food.pokemon go charmander nutrients

Type: Protein

Seen In: Meat, eggs, yogurt, beans, seafood, nuts

Attack Strengths: Protein is made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of the body. Protein is important in building lean muscle, repairing cells and building the immune system. Protein is also responsible for increasing satiety and keeping us feeling energized. Increasing your protein intake will have you looking like Machamp in no time!

Power-Up Tip: Nuts and seafood, two members of the protein group, have been associated with decreasing risk factors for heart disease. XP up!

Type: Unsaturated Fats

Seen In: Avocados, fatty fish (like salmon), and oils such as olive, walnut, soybean, corn, canola, peanut, olive, and sunflower

Attack Strengths: Unsaturated fats are fats that are liquid at room temperature and are an important part of transporting vitamins and providing energy for the body. As an added bonus, a diet that includes unsaturated fats keeps your skin happy and healthy.

Power-Up Tip: Unsaturated fat can contribute to lowering LDL cholesterol (the kind you want less of) and raising HDL cholesterol. Check out our guide on dietary fats for more information on this Pokéworthy nutrient worth searching for.

Type: Carbohydrates

Seen In: Whole and enriched refined grains like bread, pasta, rice, oatmeal, crackers and cereals

Attack Strengths: Whole grains can help to steady blood glucose levels, and fiber from whole grains keeps you feeling full and increases gut health. Enriched refined grains contain things like B vitamins, iron, and folic acid. B vitamins are important in releasing energy in your body, keeping you feeling less like Snorlax and more like a Pokéball traveling at lightning speed.

Power-Up Tip: Consuming folic acid in enriched refined grains, such as pasta, during pregnancy reduces risk of neural tube defects, spina bifida, and anencephaly during fetal development.

Catching these nutrients will help your body to be the very best, like no one ever was. Happy hunting!