If you had to grow a near-complete diet in as few crops as possible, here are the crops:
1. Amaranth – carbs, fiber, complete protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc, selenium.
2. Pumpkin (with hulless seeds) – seeds are a nearly complete protein and high in oil; flesh is high in alpha- and beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lutein.
3. Kale – high in calcium, potassium, lutein, vitamin K1, iron; Amaranth plus Kale plus salt gives you all the electrolytes you need.
4. Peanuts – high in near-complete protein and fat; good source of biotin, niacin, vitamin E.
5. Soybeans – high in complete protein and moderately high in fat; fat has omega-3 and omega-6; isoflavones, fiber, potassium, iron.
That’s it; five crops for survival. You would need a vitamin supplement to get B12 and some other vitamins lacking in the above crops. But those are the top five.
The next five:
8. Adzuki beans (Azuki)
10. Butternut Squash