30 Sec Answer: Eating a variety of healthful foods is the best way to meet your nutritional needs and ensure good health. Some of the top 25 healthiest foods are leafy green vegetables, cruciferous vegetables, berries, nuts, fish, beans and legumes, whole grains, and avocados.
Eating healthy can be hard – it’s easy to be tempted by tasty processed snacks that are packed with unhealthy fats, sodium, and added sugars. However, there are plenty of wholesome options available that don’t sacrifice taste or nutrition. Knowing what the healthiest foods are can help you make informed decisions about which foods to include in your diet for optimal health. Read on to learn about the top 25 healthiest foods you should incorporate into your meal plan.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Leafy greens like spinach, kale, collards, swiss chard, and romaine lettuce contain essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, K1, calcium and potassium. They are also high in fiber and low in calories – making them an ideal choice for weight management and gut health.
Cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage and Brussels sprouts are packed with nutrients such as folate and carotenoids. They have been shown to reduce inflammation in the body and may even protect against certain types of cancer.
Berries are loaded with antioxidants such as anthocyanins which have anti-inflammatory properties. Blueberries have been found to improve memory function while raspberries contain powerful anti-cancer compounds called ellagic acid. Strawberries offer high levels of vitamin C while blackberries provide essential dietary fiber.
Nuts are a great source of plant-based protein and unsaturated fats which promote heart health by lowering bad cholesterol levels in the blood. Almonds are rich in vitamin E while walnuts contain omega 3 fatty acids which can reduce inflammation in the body. Pistachios contain lutein which helps protect against age-related vision loss while cashews offer magnesium which can help lower blood pressure.
Fish such as salmon and tuna are an excellent source of lean protein and omega 3 fatty acids which support brain development. Eating fish twice per week has been linked to improved mental health as well as reduced risk for stroke and heart attack.
Beans & Legumes
Beans and legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, kidney beans and black beans provide complex carbohydrates which help fuel your body throughout the day without spiking blood sugar levels. They also supply ample amounts of dietary fiber which helps keep digestion regular. Plus they contain important vitamins such as folate which is vital for cell growth and repair.
Whole grains like oats, barley, quinoa and brown rice provide energy sustaining carbohydrates along with essential vitamins like B1 (thiamine) which is necessary for proper metabolism functioning. They also supply dietary fiber to keep digestion regular while helping reduce risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes.
Avocados are a powerhouse of nutrition providing healthy monounsaturated fats that promote satiety while keeping blood sugar levels stable over time. They also contain lutein which is beneficial for eye health plus ample amounts of potassium that can help regulate fluid balance in the body.