Top 12 Healthiest Foods on the Planet

Healthy eating collage. Lots of fruits and vegetables, nuts and

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Although Mother Nature has provided us with thousands of food choices in this world, the majority of them have at least several nutrients that our bodies need. With all these choices, how can this list be narrowed down? To make things easier, the healthiest foods on the plant should meet the following criteria:

1. Readily Available

What good is it knowing that goji berries are super healthy for you if the only place you can buy them is online? They might well be available in major cities, but in most cases, these berries can be hard to find.

 2.  Familiar

Along with being readily available, the healthiest foods on the planet should be the foods you are familiar with. Most people will not eat foods that appear strange to them.

 3.  Affordable

This list also includes foods that are affordable. Again, what good does it do anyone to have a list of foods that are too expensive for most people to afford on a regular basis?

 4.  Nutrient Dense

This list includes some of the richest sources of essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that our bodies need for optimal health. This means you will get all the nutrients you need for excellent health for the least amount of calories.

 5.  Great Tasting

It doesn’t matter how healthy a food might be; if it doesn’t taste good, you and your family won’t eat it. We have tried to include foods that most people find tasty and would be willing to eat several times per week.

Here is our list of the top 12 healthiest foods on the planet that will offer you and your family the most nutritional benefits pound for pound.

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Sliced Avocado

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1. Avocados

If you have been leaving avocados out of your diet because you think they are high in fat, you need to start buying more of these tasty beauties. It’s true that avocados are high in fat, but it’s the healthy monounsaturated type of fat, not the kind you find in your average cheeseburger.  Now, these are sometimes a bit on the expensive side, but you don’t have to eat them very day to get the full benefits they have to offer. All you need is one or two per week. If you live in an area where these trees grow, planting an avocado tree would be a great investment. Alternately, you can make friends with someone who has one!

The monounsaturated fats in avocados can actually help you lose weight, if that is your goal. They will help you feel fuller for a longer period of time and are very satisfying. They are full of carotenoids, which support eye health. They also contain folate, which helps to protect you from heart disease. Read more about benefits of avocados.

Spinach leaves in a wooden plate

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2. Spinach

There has been a great deal of talk about the health benefits of spinach and there is a good reason why. Spinach is one of the most nutrient dense foods around. It’s inexpensive, and readily available. It also tastes darn good. Spinach will provide you with energy, while filling you with lots of fiber for very few calories. Spinach is loaded with phytonutrients that act very much like antioxidants.

The more antioxidants you can eat, the better, because it’s antioxidants that rid your body of free radicals, which are what cause many diseases to begin with, not to mention early aging.  The leafy green will also help to nourish your body on a cellular level which means real nutrition for your body.  With almost half of your daily requirement of vitamin A, folate, and twice as much vitamin K as you need all in one tiny cup, you would be wise to add spinach to your diet anyway you can get it.

Fresh Green Broccoli

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3. Broccoli

This is another famous veggie and it deserves all the hype it gets. Steaming this veggie is the best way to consume it. This way you can lock in the flavor, make it a bit softer, and still retain all of its important nutrients. OK, so perhaps everyone isn’t a fan of the flavor, but you should try to learn to like if it isn’t your favorite taste; it’s that healthy.

Broccoli is full of fiber, which help to keep your digestive system in good, moving order, if you know what we mean. Fiber is also a great way to keep your risk of developing colorectal cancer way down.  If you are vegan, broccoli is a great way to get some calcium into your diet. Just 100 grams of broccoli has all the vitamin C you will need for one day, which means that your immune system will receive some healthy support and so will your bones from the vitamin K.

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

4. Beets

One of the interesting things about beets is that they contain healthy things that nothing else on the planet has. What you want to concentrate on is beetroot, not those pickled beets you find in jars. Although fermented foods are good for you, we are talking about fresh foods in this article. If you have never used beetroot in your cooking, there are hundreds of recipes online that will show you how to do it. Beets are worth the time and effort you will put into them.

Beets contain boron, which will help increase your libido (that is reason enough to eat them right there) and they also give you energy. Beets will naturally lower your blood pressure and are the original brain food. Beets contain so many vitamins and minerals that adding a few slices to your morning smoothie will instantly increase your nutrient intake level while adding virtually no calories.  There are many beets, however, especially sugar beets, that are GMO. Ask at your grocer or get your beets at your local farmers market to avoid GM beets.

Sweet Potatoes

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5.  Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are something no one seems to think about until Thanksgiving. This is one food you should definitely be eating more than once a year! They are super easy to cook, are sweet, moist, and fill you up like nothing else. These vegetables are also overflowing with vitamins and important cancer-fighting fiber. These are a terrific complement to almost any meal.

Sweet potatoes have a wide range of benefits, but just a few of the things they have to offer us are fresh looking skin, immune system support, heart disease prevention, giving you tons of energy, and helping to reduce feelings of stress. Sweet potatoes are also full of important antioxidants. These are just a few of the reasons why sweet potatoes end up on every super food or healthy vegetable list.

Organic Kale

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6. Kale

This is another veggie that always seems to end up on those super healthy super food lists. Although it sometimes gets lumped together with spinach, kale really is special and deserves a special listing all on its own. You can use kale in many of the same ways as you use spinach, such as in soups, salads, or even as a side dish. If the flavor of spinach is not to your liking, you might want to consider eating more kale.

Like spinach, kale is great at filling you up without filling you out. It’s super low in calories, has no fat, and is full of fiber, plus it’s packed with iron and vitamin K. Kale is also high antioxidants, which besides fighting free radicals, they fight inflammation as well. Kale also helps to restore and maintain an alkaline state once consumed. With more than twice your daily requirement of vitamin A and vitamin C, this is truly one of the best super foods on the planet.

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

7. Raspberries

Although all berries are loaded with healthy antioxidants, raspberries stand out when it comes to their high concentration. This means that keeping a bag of frozen raspberries in your freezer so you can easily add a handful to smoothies, salads, oatmeal, or just plain old snacking is a good idea. If you can find fresh, organic raspberries, so much the better, but for most people frozen is the way to go.

Raspberries are low fat, but high in fiber, so you can get plenty of flavor and feel full for very few calories. Raspberries are, of course, loaded with those healthy antioxidants. If you suffer from arthritis, then you have even more reason to eat more raspberries as they have been shown to help stop the inflammation that causes arthritis pain and stiffness.

Grapefruits on a wooden table with green foliage

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8. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is really worth having in your kitchen. You can use them as snacks or for breakfast, or drop a few slices into your morning smoothie to add lots of vitamin C, vitamin A, and fiber in your diet.

Try pink grapefruits, as these are less sour. Grapefruit is available all year around and are an inexpensive fruit when compared to strawberries or blueberries. Adding grapefruit to your morning is a great way to give your immune system a healthy boost that will keep going all day long. Consuming grapefruit regularly can help prevent cancer and other degenerative diseases.

Seaweed Salad With Sesame Seeds

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9. Kelp

Although you might not find dried kelp in your local supermarket, you can easily find kelp supplements everywhere. Consuming a kelp supplement will greatly increase your calcium intake, vitamin K, and folate intake for the day with one serving. Be sure you are buying kelp from a quality source and not some company who is just selling green colored pills.

Although it’s the calcium in kelp that gets most of the attention, kelp also has a wide variety of vitamin s and minerals. Since it’s harvested from the ocean, it has a very different set of vitamins than veggies grown on the land. It also has a different set of phytonutrients as well. Kelp supplements are fairly inexpensive too, so adding this to your diet won’t break the bank but they sure will add to your bank of nutrients.

Cabbage on wooden table on nature background

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10. Cabbage

It’s no surprise that cabbage is on this list, but when was the last time you ate some? The more studies they run on cabbage, the better it sounds. Steaming cabbage is a great way to soften it, while retaining all of its vital nutrients. Cutting it into smaller pieces will help it to cook quickly. You can also add it to any soup during the last 15 minutes or so to soften it and add plenty of tasty fiber.

Cabbage is so full of fiber that it is guaranteed to keep your digestive system moving at top speed. Fiber has also been shown to greatly reduce your risk of developing cancer of the colon. Cabbage is also another veggie that is loaded with antioxidants. Also, if you happen to have high cholesterol levels, you will defiantly want to add more cabbage to your diet because it has been shown to help keep it under control. Due to its high levels of glucosinolates, cabbage can also prevent or slow certain types of cancer.

salmon farmed

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11. Salmon

You won’t find many meats on this list, so what makes this fish so special? It’s the omega-3s, not to mention the high protein salmon contains. Even people who don’t like fish usually find that they enjoy salmon. Be sure you stick with Alaskan wild salmon and not farmed salmon or smoked salmon, as these do not have anywhere near the same healthy benefits.

Salmon will help you build muscle tissue with its high protein content and the omega-3s provide vital nutrients to your brain, heart, and circulatory system. This means by eating more foods high in omega-3s, you can avoid degenerative brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. 

Photo credit: bigstock.com

Photo credit: bigstock.com

12. Quinoa

Enjoyed by most vegetarians, quinoa has become popular in mainstream cuisine lately. Even those who want to follow a gluten free diet find that they can eat quinoa. Although it used to be difficult to find anywhere except for a few health food stores, it’s now in almost all supermarkets, often sold right next to rice. If you aren’t sure how to cook it, you will find it’s almost the same as rice but tastes so much better.

Quinoa offers you all the protein but none of the fat or cholesterol that comes from animal meat. It’s a healthy carb that registers low on the glycemic index, so it’s great for diabetics. This also means that your body won’t turn it into fat later on but will use it as a source of energy.

References:

Nutritiondata.self.com

Cancer.gov

Phytochemicals.info