When it comes to eating healthy most people think of dull, boring food that’s green in color. In reality, most of the world’s healthiest foods not only taste great, they also come in a vast array of vibrant colors. Many require little, if any preparation, yet provide you with the energy and stamina to get through the day. They are the ultimate fast food! Although fresh, whole fruits and veggies are among the world’s healthiest foods, it’s also important to consume an assortment of grains, nuts, seeds and foods rich in essential fatty acids. Experts recommend consuming a daily total of 3-5 servings of vegetables, 2-4 servings of fruit, 6-11 servings of grains, and 1-2 servings of nuts and seeds.
Scientific research has shown eating a balanced diet provides a host of benefits. Eating healthy foods can provide you with more energy, brain clarity, less aches and pains, restful sleep and more. Here you will find world’s healthiest foods and the health benefits they provide. By eating these healthy foods you can fend off serious diseases like diabetes, cancer, and heart disease; fortify your immune system; protect and smooth your skin; and help you lose weight or stay slim.
The World’s Healthiest Foods have been selected because they are among the richest sources of many of the essential nutrients needed for optimal health. We used a concept called nutrient density to determine which foods have the highest nutritional value.
Nutrient density is a measure of the amount of nutrients a food contains in comparison to the number of calories. A food is more nutrient dense when the level of nutrients is high in relationship to the number of calories the food contains.
By eating the World’s Healthiest Foods, you’ll get all the essential nutrients that you need for excellent health, including vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber and more for the least number of calories.
Berries, for example, are phenomenally low in calories, high in fiber and loaded with plant compounds that improve memory and help fight cancer. Studies have consistently shown that nut-eaters have lower rates of heart disease. Beans are notorious for their high fiber content and are a part of the diet of people–from almost every corner of the globe–who live long and well.
Protein–the word comes from a Greek word meaning “of prime importance”–is a feature of every healthy diet ever studied. Meat , contrary to its terrible reputation, can be a health food if–and this is a big if–the meat comes from animals that have been raised on pasture land, have never seen the inside of a feedlot farm and have never been shot full of antibiotics and hormones.
Ditto for raw milk, generally believed to be one of the healthiest beverages on the planet by countless devotees who often go to great expense and inconvenience to obtain it from small, sustainable farms. Wild salmon, whose omega-3 content is consistently higher than its less-fortunate farm-raised brethren, gets its red color from a powerful antioxidant called astaxathin. The combination of protein, omega-3s and antioxidants makes wild salmon a contender for anyone’s list of great foods.
Another great food: eggs–one of nature’s most perfect creations, especially if you don’t throw out the all-important yolk. (Remember “whole” foods means exactly that–foods in their original form. Our robust ancestors did not eat “low-fat” caribou; we don’t need to eat “egg-white” omelets.)
There are really no “bad” vegetables, but some of them are superstars. Any vegetable from the Brassica genus–broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale–is loaded with plant chemicals called indoles, which help reduce the risk of cancer.
In the fruit kingdom, apples totally deserve their reputation as doctor-repellants: they’re loaded with fiber, minerals (like bone-building boron) and phytochemicals (like quercetin, which is known to be a powerful anti-inflammatory and to have anti-cancer properties). Some exciting new research suggests that pomegranate juice slows the progression of certain cancers. Other research shows it lowers blood pressure and may even act as a “natural Viagra.”
Tea deserves special mention on any list of the world’s healthiest foods. The second most widely consumed beverage in the world (after water), all forms of tea (black, oolong, white, green and the newer Yerba Matte) are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatories. Some types (green tea, for example) contain plant chemicals called catechins which have decided anti-cancer activity
Finally, let’s not forget members of the Alliaceae family of plants–onions, garlic and shallots. Garlic has been used for thousands of years for its medicinal properties; hundreds of published studies support its antimicrobial effects as well as its ability to lower the risk of heart disease. A number of studies have shown an inverse relationship between onion consumption and certain types of cancer.
A healthy diet doesn’t have to contain every one of the “healthiest foods on earth,” but you can’t go wrong putting as many of the above mentioned foods in heavy rotation on your personal eating plan.