Healthy foods are based on their nutrient density. Other criteria can include accessibility, cost and digestibility. For purposes of putting together a list of the healthiest foods in the world however, the nutritional value is the most important factor. Proteins, vegetables, fruits and grains offer foods outstanding in their capacity to aid in overall health, deliver antioxidants and contribute to the protection of various cancers, conditions and weight control. They provide the body with essential nutrients.
Salmon makes the grade when we’re listing the world’s healthiest foods. This fish contains high quantities of healthy omega-3 fatty acids along with amino acids like tryptophan, vitamin D, protein, selenium, B3 or Niacin, B6 to help amino acids do their job and B12 for good brain and nervous system. B12 deficiency can cause anemia. Salmon contains phosphorus to aid calcium and magnesium for new cell formation. This particular fish is versatile in preparation. Its flavor is delicate and goes with many types of ingredients and seasonings, or as simple as baked alone. Salmon makes the list.
As well as being pesticide, chemical and hormone free, organic lean beef offers a high source of tryptophan, B12 and zinc. Add to that impressive list selenium for protection from free radicals, phosphorus and other essential nutrients. Lean beef is an excellent source of protein, protection from osteoporosis and cancer.
The soybean is the most widely used legume globally. Its uses are vast and it packs a hard punch as a food source high in many essential nutrients. From amino acids and manganese, more than 50 percent protein and half the daily value of iron. Omega-3s and fiber, magnesium and copper, soybeans are a near perfect source of what enables protein to deliver quality nutrition. Its ability to substitute for fatty foods like cheese or cholesterol foods like eggs, soybean makes the list of the healthiest foods in the world.
Celery is a nutrient-dense vegetable that delivers high vitamin K for heart health and potassium, magnesium and calcium. Celery has vitamin A and folate for iron-rich blood and helps to lower blood pressure, aid in kidney health, has anti-cancer properties and helps in weight loss providing a satisfying snack that works well alone or stuffed with a dip or cheese.
High in fiber and antioxidants (carotenoids and flavonoids) kale is considered one of nature’s healthiest vegetables. Kale offers over 50 percent of the daily value of vitamin K, A and C, high manganese, copper, calcium and potassium. Add to kale’s benefits B2, B1 and B3 or niacin. Cruciferous vegetables are nutrient-dense and include broccoli and cabbage. Kale, despite its often bitter undertaste, is gaining popularity as an ingredient for smoothies and salads.
High in digestible iron, sea vegetables like kelp, dulce and kombu contain iodine and minerals that help regulate blood sugar. With stand-alone antioxidants, sea vegetables may provide protection from estrogen-sensitive breast cancer in women. They contain a wide variety of essential minerals. Sea vegetables are harvested wild from the ocean or from domesticated sea farms. Familiar sea vegetables include nori which is a dark brown leaf wrap used to make sushi and sashimi rolls.
Watermelon boasts high levels of lycopene and beta carotene, both powerful antioxidants. This fruit has properties for eye health and the prevention of diabetes. The magnesium and potassium are used to lower blood pressure and protect from hardening of the arteries. As a detoxifying fruit, watermelon helps to cleanse the blood, boost kidney function and prevent kidney stones. For weight loss, watermelon is a delicious, sweet and healthy alternative to high calorie foods.
Guava is high in astringent properties making it a good addition for healthy skin. Guava tones the skin, balancing the dry and oily patches. This fruit has vitamin C and aids in heart health, eye and tissue health and a variety of cancers because of the lycopene found in guava. Studies have shown a significant reduction in cases of prostate cancer with varying doses of lycopene. The fiber in guava aids in preventing bowel and colon cancer.
A good source of tryptophan, brown rice is a nutrient dense food that is packed with various B vitamins, manganese, selenium and magnesium. Add to that list amino and fatty acids. Brown rice is one of the healthiest forms of fiber, each grain complete with the germ and bran layer left, while the hull has been removed. The fiber value of brown rice aids in heart health and digestion; weight loss and detoxification.
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