The Best List of Healthy Foods On The Web…
With New Healthy Foods Being Added To Our List All The Time!
Why did we make this list of healthy foods?
Well, even though we all have a basic idea and knowledge about what foods are healthy and what foods are unhealthy it is always useful to have a list to refer to an act as a reminder.
Plus you would be surprised at the healing properties of different foods. We tend to remember the ones that are reinforced by different marketing campaigns. For example, what do you think of when you think of oranges? Most people think of vitamin C. The orange industry has taken specific studies (likely financed by the orange industry themselves) and capitalized on certain isolated health benefits of oranges.
They ensure that it is plastered on billboards, orange juice cartons, tv commercials and internet ads that orange juice has lots of vitamin C. So after seeing this message over and over we begin to associate oranges with vitamin C. The orange industry is not the only one paying huge sums of money to influence what we think about different foods… this is a common practice in nearly every food industry.
But as I’m sure you can already guess, this information is nearly always incomplete and doesn’t paint the whole picture. For instance, kiwis and peas have more vitamin C per serving than an orange. Pretty interesting, huh? The reason so few of us know these types of fact about nutrition is because we don’t take the time to educate ourselves about one of the most important factors of health… what we consume.
Let’s Counter-Balance the Marketing Fluff With Facts
So we decided to make this list of healthy foods to help counter all the vague ideas about what constitutes healthy and unhealthy foods. This is just a beginning aide, but I would encourage you to aim to learn one thing per day about nutrition and food. You can read one short article a day or look up one Youtube video per day about nutrition. If you keep this up daily for a few months and beyond I can guarantee you will start to eat differently. Ingrained knowledge can do wonders in changing our habits but it can take some time to counter the years of marketing “science” that we have passively taken in from TV, Radio, and other advertisement venues.
Tricks To Make Yourself Eat More Healthy Foods
In the video below Heather from www.healthyeatingstartshere.com shares some great advice for how she goes grocery shopping, the foods that made her list of winners, and her strategies that she uses to ensure she eats healthy.
One of the good points she brings up is the fact that if you store unhealthy foods in your house, you are going to eat them… it’s only a matter of when. So if you are ready to get serious about eating heathy foods then you really need to throw out or give away your junk food. This way you won’t have any choice but to eat healthy foods if that is all you have access too.
Another cool trick is that when you go to the grocery store stick to the outside of the store where most of the fresh produce is. Most of the foods near the center of the store will be processed and generally unhealthy foods. This is just a rule of thumb, but try it out. If you have to go to the center aisles to grab some spices or something, don’t ban yourself from doing so. Just try to stay in the sections where the healthy food is abundant to keep from tempting yourself.
What Makes a Certain Types of Food Healthy?
Included on this list of healthy foods are foods that have many beneficial qualities such as high vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, fiber, essential fatty acids, and other healing or protective properties. Generally speaking a healthy food must do the body more good than harm.
The key shared element of all foods here is that these foods are all nutritionally dense foods. What is nutritionally dense food? It is simply a food that has a very high nutritional to caloric ratio. By eating these foods you are getting the most “bang for your buck” in terms of nutrients to caloric ratio.
Most foods that are nutritionally “shallow” are high in calories but low in nutrients relative to the amount of calories you are receiving. Not only does this cause you to consume more calories than your body needs which is later stored as fat… it also doesn’t give your body the proper nutrients it needs to thrive. The human body is an amazing organism and very adaptive but if it is not given the proper fuel it can’t thrive and disease sets in over time.
Something a lot of people don’t realize is that it is not only the receptors in your stomach that tell you to stop eating by signaling a feeling of fullness. Your brain also sends you signals “being full” when it senses that it has acquired all the necessary nutrients for your body to function optimally.
So if you are only counting calories you are taking the wrong approach to dieting. Real dieting involves properly nourishing your body. And properly nourishing your body is more about the micro nutrients (vitamins, phytonutrients, minerals) than the macro nutrients (protein, carbs, fats, fiber.)
For example, spinach, kale, and other green leafy vegetables have tons of nutrients and are very low in calories compared to other foods. Therefore, you can eat less calories of such foods and still reach a feeling of satiety because your body can receive the nutrients it needs through less calories than other types of food.
And this leads to the king of fat loss (caloric restriction) without feeling hungry. Additionally, by ensuring your body is full of the micronutrients it needs you will feel better and have less hunger cravings while you are losing weight.
The final reason eating nutritionally dense foods is so important is that they help protect you from diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and diabetes which are becoming more and more common as peoples diets consist of more processed unnatural foods.
Keep all that in mind when hit up the grocery store next and you will be well on your way to a slimmer and more cut body. Try to stick with healthy foods from out list the majority of the time and learn new ways to make delicious dishes out of them and you should see an improvement in health within a month.
Vegetable tend to be some of the most nutrient dense foods out of all the types of food. They have many phytonutrients that science has not yet even discovered or extensively studied. More and more of these phytonutrients are being discovered to have healing properties and are essential to optimum health.
An easy little trick to get a variety of nutrients from your veggies is to eat different vegetables with different colors each day as a way to ensure you get a complete spectrum of nutrients.
Not a big fan of veggies? You may just need to learn how to prepare them or cook them a bit more creatively. Find a healthy vegetable of our list that you want to start eating more of then do a quick search on Google or Youtube and find some interesting new ways to prepare and eat that vegetable. You might even find that you develop a new passion for cooking and preparing foods. Just keep in mind that certain properties of foods can be destroyed by heat while others are amplified so it’s best to get a mix of both raw uncooked vegetables as well as cooked veggies.
- Asparagus: Has various phytonutrients known as saponins that are known to have anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Increased saponins has been linked with better blood pressure levels, more balanced blood sugar regulation, and blood lipid levels. Jerusalem asparagus has an nutrient called inulin that acts as a “prebiotic” and helps your digestive tract to absorb other nutrients effectively. Asparagus is also high in various B vitamins.
- Avocado: Has the healthy form of fat oleic acid which can reduce bad cholesterol which in turn decreases your risk of heart disease and stroke. They also have more potassium per serving than bananas and believe it or not one avocado has around 11 grams of fiber. The strongest carotenoid antioxidant concentration of an Avocado is located just beneath the skin so peel the skin off with your hands to keep all those powerful antioxidants!
- Beets: Have high amount of boron which gives beets a natural aphrodisiac property by boosting your bodies production of sex hormones. They also contain betaine and tryptophan which help lower your blood pressure and make your mind feel relaxed. Beet juice was has also been shown in a study to increase exercise endurance by 16%.
- Bell Peppers: Lots of vitamin C and E, especially in the red bell peppers. Bell peppers also contain capsaicin which reduces cholesterol, inflammation, and also helps regulate blood sugar levels. They also have high sulfur which helps protect your body against certain types of cancers. Green bell peppers can help protect your eyes from aging because they have relatively high amounts of zeaxanthin.
- Broccoli: Broccoli has a compound called glucosinolate which helps your body to detox itself. Broccoli is also high in vitamin K which helps your heart and bones. And like most veggies broccoli is nice and high in fiber. It has also been shown to help remove excess estrogen from the body band because of this is recommended for breast and uterus cancer patients but of course also for prevention.
- Brussels Sprouts: Has been shown to help protect the DNA of our white blood cells by blocking sulphotransferase enzymes which can damage the stability of DNA.
- Collard greens
- Green beans
- Green peas
- Mushrooms (Crimini)
- Mushrooms (Shiitake)
- Mustard greens
- Romaine lettuce
- Sea vegetables
- Squash, summer
- Squash, winter
- Sweet Potatoes: Have high levels of vitamin A and anti-inflammatory anthocyanins as well as minerals like manganese, copper, and potassium. Although they are high in starch, their high fiber content helps counter the speed of sugar uptake into your blood so you maintain normal blood sugar levels when eating them.
- Swiss chard
- Turnip greens
- Brown rice
- Quinoa: High in protein. In fact it contains a complete amino acid profile containing all 9 of the essential aminos. It has very high fiber content, almost twice as much as most other grains. It also is high in magnesium which has a whole host of health benefits including the ability to help your blood vessels relax.
- Whole wheat
Beans & Legumes
- Black Beans
- Dried Peas
- Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas)
- Kidney beans
- Lima beans
- Navy beans
- Pinto beans
- Tofu and Tempeh
- Oranges : Lot of vitamin C
Nuts and Seeds
- Brazil Nuts : Rich in the mineral selenium which is good for your skin and optimizing your hormones.
- Chia Seeds
- Pumpkin seeds : Great source of zinc
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds : High in vitamin E, protein, and decent amount of fiber
- Walnuts : Great source of zinc and healthy Omega Fatty Acids
Herbs, Spices, Teas, and Others
- Black Pepper
- Cayenne Pepper
- Chili Pepper :
- Cilantro – Coriander Seeds :
- Cinnamon :
- Cloves :
- Cumin Seeds :
- Green Tea
- Mustard Seeds
Eat the Following Foods Sparingly For Optimal Health
Contrary to popular belief, there is more and more evidence showing that you can get all of the nutrients you need from a nutrient rich plant based diet. People can even get all the protein they need from plant based food despite the massive marketing to lead the public to believe otherwise.
There have been more and more studies of societies (most of them native cultures) who live on an entirely plant based diet and they virtually no heart disease, diabetes, breast cancer, or prostrate cancer leading researchers to conclude that such maladies are brought about in large part due to our nutritionally shallow diets.
You thought meat was good for you because of the protein and amino acids in it? I would recommend reading about the China Study before you decide to keep believing something you may have not dug into very deeply. You only get one body, it’s worth the effort to learn how to feed it right.
That being said if you have to eat meat, dairy, or sweets, do so sparingly and learn which ones may have the most beneficial qualities.
Many types of seafood has beneficial omega 3 fatty acids. However, keep in mind that seafood can also contain high levels of toxic medals. If you like seafood, stick to wild caught as the farm raised “sea food” often has higher levels of these toxic metals than the wild caught seafood. Another alternative to getting the omega 3 fatty acids is through supplementing with fish oil (animal source) or krill or algae oil (plant-based). You can also get plenty of omega 3 fatty acids by consuming certain types of foods. Walnuts and chia seeds are both quite high in omega 3 fatty acids. So don’t feel like you have to eat fish to get these essential fatty acids. Again, the reason many of us believe this is because of effective marketing messages put out by the fish industry.
Eggs & Dairy
- Cheese, grass-fed
- Cow’s milk, grass-fed
- Eggs, pasture-raised
- Yogurt, grass-fed
Poultry & Lean Meats
There is increasing evidence from studies coming out showing that meat based foods should be eliminated for cardiac and vascular health amongst other reasons. However if you do chose to eat meat it should be eaten sparingly with a focus on plant based foods. Also if possible eat free range, grass-fed, organic meat as it is much healthier than the steroid-laden alternatives. Remember if you spend more money on healthy food, you will pay less in health care costs.
- Beef, grass-fed
- Chicken, pasture-raised
- Lamb, grass-fed
- Turkey, pasture-raised
- Black Strap Molasses
- Maple Syrup