What Top 20 Foods Benefit Health The Most?
There is a nearly endless amount of healthy foods, so picking the absolute best can be a tough task. What I’ve done is compiled a list of very healthy choices packed with vitamins and minerals, but delicious flavor as well. Because after all, it doesn’t really matter how healthy something is if you can’t bear to eat it. Choosing to be as health-conscious as possible is a lifestyle, which means that you have to be able to LIVE a little – don’t forget that.
An apple a day may keep the doctor away, but I find Yams to be much more delicious, and these cousins of sweet potatoes are also more versatile. In addition, one cup of yams packs nearly 30% of your RDA of Vitamin C, Potassium and Manganese, as well as more than 20% of your daily fiber and 15% of Vitamin B6. And all that comes in a tasty, 160-calorie serving.
The lean, green, cholesterol-fighting machine. Avocados are rich and creamy and compliment nearly any dish. And while they are high in fat, it’s nothing to be afraid of, as it is largely monounsaturated, and helps lower cholesterol as well as promote better absorption of nutrients from other foods.
Avocados also contain Potassium, which regulates blood pressure and protects against strokes and heart attacks. Amazingly, scientific studies also indicated that Avocados can help prevent oral and prostate cancer.
This orange-colored fruit packs plenty of Vitamin A and Vitamin C, as well as fiber and Potassium. The beta carotene in Apricots boosts eye health and prevents damage from free radicals. The antioxidants in apricots would make them worth eating even if they weren’t as delicious as they are.
No offense to pork, but I think crab should be “the other white meat.” Crab is ridiculously low in fat and also provides Vitamin B12 and Zinc, which help your immune system fight off disease. Crab is also high in protein, which has a high thermic effect and is essential for building muscle.
Another fatty favorite, almonds are very versatile and are high in fiber. But that’s not all. In addition to the brain-boosting unsaturated fats, almonds contain nearly half of the RDA for Vitamin E, Manganese, about one quarter of the RDA for Manganese and Tryptophan and 20% of the RDA for Vitamin B2 and Phosphorus. In addition, almonds are loaded with protein and are easily portable.
There’s a reason Popeye ate this stuff. Spinach is practically the equivalent of a multivitamin, with a 40-calorie serving packing an absurd amount of Vitamin K, Vitamin C and Vitamin E, Manganese, Folate, Iron, and Fiber. This leafy plant is also full of protein, B Vitamins, Calcium and Omega-3 fatty acids. 2 I also like it because it is readily available year-round, canned, frozen and fresh.
7. Pinto Beans
Ah, the magical fruit – beans. In addition to providing protein, pinto beans are filled with fiber, folate, iron, copper and Vitamin B1. Pintos compliment every type of cuisine and are very inexpensive, which is another very important consideration. Pintos are a great source of complex carbohydrates and contain folate, which fights birth defects and heart disease.
The incredible, edible egg, egg-celent, etc. There’s a reason so many lame puns have been made with the name of this food – it’s a nutritional powerhouse. Packing just the right amount of protein, unsaturated fat, and saturated fat for testosterone boosting, eggs have it all. Additionally, eggs are chock-full of B Vitamins, Selenium and Vitamin D. Pretty egg-straordinary.
This is another incredibly versatile food, as it can be used to flavor pretty much anything. Garlic also can lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and risk of certain types of cancer.
What’s more, garlic has B Vitamins and Vitamin C as well as heaps of Manganese. Garlic is also touted as a natural antibiotic, antioxidant and even a tool for prevention of the common cold! 3 You know something is good when people not only eat it but supplement it.
There’s a lot of debate over whether this is a fruit or vegetable, but does it really matter? All you need to know is that tomatoes are incredibly healthy. Tomatoes are a great source of the antioxidant lycopene, which is protective against certain cancers and heart disease. That’s only the beginning though, because tomatoes have very high concentrations of Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin K, as well as potassium and fiber.
Nothing fishy about this one. Salmon is delicious, packed with protein and contains much lower levels of mercury than the bodybuilder’s best friend, tuna. Salmon is easy to cook and is available frozen, fresh and canned year round. Salmon is also loaded with unsaturated fat to boost the immune and cardiovascular systems.
This fish is very high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which cannot be made by the body and are found in few other foods. In addition, Salmon is loaded with Vitamin D and B vitamins, niacin and magnesiu
This is a very tasty vegetable, and it packs an incredible amount of nutrition in a very small serving. Think I’m exaggerating? Consider this – 43 calories worth of broccoli has more than double the RDA for Vitamin C, nearly twice the RDA for Vitamin K, and a ton of fiber, B vitamins, potassium and iron, as well as a decent amount of protein. Forget V-8, grab some broccoli instead. This is incredibly easy to cook and a great side dish for just about anything.
Soy often gets a bad rap because a lot of people are afraid it will have detrimental affects on men. However, soybeans actually have some great benefits – a recent study specifically in men found that soy protein improved cholesterol significantly and “would be effective in reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease” for men. 4
As if that wasn’t enough of an endorsement, soybeans are very high in fiber, protein, iron, Omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin K and Vitamin B12, magnesium and copper.
Soy VS Whey Protein.
By doing some research, I have found that soy protein often times has less calories and cholesterol than a whey. Now, I am trying to intake protein, while keep the calories and fat down, as I am trying to lose some weight, while building lean muscle.
Be careful with this one. When I say yogurt, I don’t mean the stuff pumped full of high fructose corn syrup and other sweeteners. Natural yogurt is rich in B-vitamins and zinc, and provides a slow-digesting protein in addition to calcium and probiotics, which improve digestion.
Studies have also shown yogurt to lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol, improve immune response, and even boost fat loss!5 It’s also incredibly versatile, and can be used as a snack, dessert, a filling for baked treats and even a main ingredient in creamy sauces. Try some Greek yogurt for a twist and some extra protein.
Just another reason to love Fig Newtons. You may not think of figs as healthy, if you think of them at all, but they have an abundance of benefits. Figs are filled with potassium and fiber, as well as Vitamin B6, which is linked to the production of serotonin, the neurotransmitter linked to happiness. Figs also lower blood pressure, protect against breast cancer and diabetes, promote bone density and reduce water retention. 6
This fuzzy fruit is fun to eat – slice it open down the center and then scoop it out of each side. It’s so tasty that you may forget about its benefits, but I won’t – Kiwi packs more Vitamin C per serving than oranges in addition to Vitamin E, fiber, potassium and magnesium.
This green fruit also is a great source of antioxidants and protects against colon cancer, macular degeneration, asthma and blood clots. Additionally, it keeps blood sugar levels stable and protects DNA in your body’s c
I first gained an appreciation for lentils when I had them in Indian food, but they can be used in any cuisine, mixed in rice, soup, or on their own. They are an excellent source of protein and complex carbohydrates, a ton of fiber and folate, and isoflavones, which may inhibit breast cancer. 8 Lentils also promote heart health, stabilize blood sugar, and are an excellent source of iron.
How healthy is Quinoa? So healthy that the underappreciated and somewhat rare seed was once known as the “gold of the Incas.” Quinoa is an excellent substitute for grains for those on gluten-free diets, but it is much more than that. High in protein, iron, riboflavin and magnesium, quinoa has many benefits. A few of them are: protection against migraines, hypertension, breast cancer, gallstones, asthma, heart disease and diabetes
I know it is supposed to be some kind of “super” grain and is a great source of fiber, protein, etc. but what I really want to know is how good does it taste?
This bark is so easy to use and compliments so many food, it’s almost unacceptable not to use it everyday. Ground cinnamon is incredibly low in calories, yet still has an incredible amount of benefits.
Studies have shown that cinnamon can control blood sugar, prevent blood clotting and the growth of microbial fungi, improve colon health and prevent heart disease. It also contains iron, calcium and fiber, and one study showed that the mere scent of cinnamon boosted brain activity.10
20. Acai Berry
If you’ve been anywhere near the fitness community lately, you’ll know that Acai is everywhere right now. However, I was hesitant to add it to my list because so many of its claims have not yet been scientifically confirmed.
World’s Healthiest Foods – Avocado: www.whfoods.com
World’s Healthiest Foods – Spinach: www.whfoods.com
Garlic Health Benefits – www.garlic-central.com
World’s Healthiest Foods – Soybeans: www.whfoods.com
World’s Healthiest Foods – Yogurt: www.whfoods.com
World’s Healthiest Foods – Figs: www.whfoods.com
World’s Healthiest Foods – Kiwi: www.whfoods.com
The 29 Healthiest Foods on the Planet – www.bellybytes.com
World’s Healthiest Foods – Quinoa: www.whfoods.com
World’s Healthiest Foods – Cinnamon: www.whfoods.com
Acai Berry: www.wikipedia.org
Panera Bread Nutrition Facts: www.panerabread.com
5 Ways to Cook Vegetables Without Losing Their Nutrients: www.rodale.com
How Organic Food Works: www.howstuffworks.co