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A healthy lifestyle begins with a healthy diet. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 healthiest foods.
For this list, we picked the ten essential super-foods that have shown to significantly improve peoples’ health and well-being. While there are many things that can be incorporated into a healthy diet, this list focuses on things that can be eaten and are readily accessible to most people. The focus is also squarely on solid foods, so we aren’t mentioning things like red wine, olive oil or tea.
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So good for you that it actually makes other super foods healthier, avocado is rich in oleic acid, which lowers the risk of heart and inflammatory diseases. It also enhances the body’s absorption of carotenoids—essential nutrients found in leafy greens, and red or yellow vegetables. Add avocado to a salad and you actually amplify the nutritional value of virtually everything else in the bowl! And don’t be afraid of the avocado’s high fat content; it’s what makes it creamy, delicious, and incredibly nutritious—plus, it’s good fat.
While all leafy-greens should be part of a healthy diet, including Spinach, it’s kale that packs the greatest punch. Rich in various essential vitamins, a cup of kale actually matches—and sometimes surpasses—a cup of milk in terms of calcium content. Its complex chemical composition can help to fight cancer, and can actually repair DNA in damaged cells. Sautéed or steamed, pureed, or boiled, this hearty veg maintains its nutritional content regardless of preparation, so if you think you don’t like kale, just try preparing it another way.
#8: Sweet Potatoes
Trumping even the carrot as a primary source of beta-carotene, the orange-fleshed sweet potato provides a variety of health benefits in one simple-to-cook, easy-to-eat package. The popular root vegetable helps to balance blood-glucose levels, while also raising blood levels of vitamin A - essential for maintaining a healthy immune system and eyesight. Best served steamed or boiled, you can optimize its nutritional benefits by drizzling on a small amount of a healthy fat like olive oil to enhance your body’s nutrient absorption.
Jam-packed with anti-oxidants, vitamin C and fiber, this wee berry might actually improve memory and slow down or postpone certain cognitive disorders related to aging. As fruits go, the blueberry is relatively low in sugar and can help maintain a healthy glycemic level when eaten on a regular basis. Cheaper and more readily available than the recently lauded Goji berry, the blueberry also maintains its nutritional value when frozen, which means you can reap benefits of this sweet and tangy fruit all year round.
Delicious and versatile, this much-loved “nut” is actually a seed, whose high fat content can satiate a craving, while simultaneously improving your overall health. Almonds are rich in monounsaturated fat, which reduces un-healthy cholesterol levels and lowers the risk of heart disease. A great source of vitamin E, the almond can help to improve over-all cardiovascular health, and is thought to reduce certain signs of aging. Want to feel good, and maybe even look a little better? Start snacking on some almonds.
Yes it’s true—an apple a day will actually keep the doctor away! A good source of vitamin C and soluble fiber, apples improve blood glucose and cholesterol levels. Their anti-oxidant properties promote the production of collagen, which strengthens veins and capillaries, and helps to maintain fresh, youthful-looking skin. A versatile fruits that comes in a variety of types, red, green or gold, this popular snack has some pretty powerful health benefits.
Rich in B12, vitamin D and with one of the highest concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids of any food, wild or organically farmed is really your best bet when it comes to this fish. Recent studies suggest that eating salmon can help improve cardiovascular functions and might even help to reduce depression and boost learning capabilities. The ultimate brain food, when it comes to a healthy diet, this oily fish is really a no brainer.
Whole grain oats are a great source of soluble fiber and can significantly lower cholesterol, while also preventing heart disease, some types of breast cancer, and colon cancer. And sure, we know, these whole grains might be a little boring, but they’re cheap, easy-to-cook and really, really good for you. Boost flavor with a few berries, throw in some almonds, and enjoy. Your body will thank you.
A staple ingredient in virtually every type of cooking; an ancient remedy, whose medicinal properties stand the test of time, garlic can improve a meal just as easily as it improves your health. With a variety of anti-biotic and anti-inflammatory properties, garlic boosts your immune system, helps with metabolic functions, and has been shown to have certain cancer preventative properties. The key to keeping its health benefits—let sit after chopping or crushing and never overcook. The key to enjoying garlic with friends—breath mints.
Before we dig in to our number one healthiest food, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Dark Chocolate
Eat your greens! Broccoli helps to detoxify the body’s systems, reduces inflammation, and is rich with anti-oxidants, making it one of the best things you can eat to maintain health and possibly prevent certain types of cancer. The key to healthy broccoli is preparation. Overcooking not only makes the veg soggy, and well, gross, it also destroys all nutrient value. Lightly steaming it will maintain its texture, flavor, and its incredibly powerful health benefits—you’ll just have to deal with the taste.
Do you agree with our list? What vital veggie, phenomenal fruit, or simple, tasty super-snack do you think deserves our attention? For more delicious top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.