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Saturday, May 17, 2014

The World's Healthiest Foods

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100 foods that can serve as the basis of your Healthiest Way of Eating. Links to the articles about these foods can be found below. In addition to questions about our foods, we often get asked about beverages and sweeteners. In the beverage category, water and green tea have been especially popular topics, and in the sweetener category, so have blackstrap molasses, honey and maple syrup.

Of course, there are many other nutritious foods other than those that we have included on our list that we feel are wonderful, health-promoting foods; if there are other whole foods - such as fruits, vegetables, nuts/seeds, whole grains, etc - that you like, by all means enjoy them. Just because a food is not on our list doesn't mean that we don't think that it can be included in a diet geared towards the Healthiest Way of Eating as long as it is a whole, natural, nutrient-rich food.

To find out why some of your favorite nutritious foods are not included in our list, read The Criteria Used to Select the World's Healthiest Foods.


Asparagus                    Garlic                                     Squash, summer
Avocados                    Green beans                            Squash, winter
Beets                           Green Peas                             Sweet potatoes 
Bell peppers                 Kale                                       Swiss chard
Broccoli                       Leeks                                     Tomatoes
Brussels sprouts           Mushrooms, crimini                 Turnip greens
Cabbage                      Mushrooms, shiitake
Carrots                        Mustard greens
Cauliflower                  Olive oil, extra virgin  
Celery                         Olives
Collard greens             Onions
Corn                            Potatoes
Cucumbers                  Romaine lettuce
Eggplant                      Sea vegetables
Fennel                         Spinach


Apples                        Oranges
Apricots                      Papaya   
Bananas                      Pears
Blueberries                  Pineapple
Cantaloupe                 Plums
Cranberries                 Prunes
Figs                            Raspberries
Grapefruit                   Strawberries
Grapes                       Watermelon



Nuts & Seeds

Pumpkin seeds
Sesame seeds
Sunflower seeds

Beans & Legumes

Black beans
Dried peas
Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
Kidney beans
Lima beans
Navy beans
Pinto beans
Soy sauce

Poultry & Meats

Beef, grass-fed
Chicken, pasture-raised
Lamb, grass-fed
Turkey, pasture-raised

Eggs & Dairy

Cheese, grass-fed
Cow's milk, grass-fed
Eggs, pasture-raised
Yogurt, grass-fed


Brown rice
Whole wheat

World's Healthiest Herbs & Spices

Black pepper
Cayenne pepper
Chili pepper, dried
Cilantro & Coriander seeds
Cinnamon, ground
Cumin seeds
Mustard seeds

FAQs about the World's Healthiest Foods

Criteria for The World's Healthiest Foods

Among the thousands of different foods our world provides, the majority contain at least several of the nutrients our bodies need but to be included as one of the World's Healthiest Foods they had to meet the criteria listed below.
The criteria we used will also help you understand why some of your favorite (and also nutritious) foods may not be included on our list. For example, Readers have asked why pomegranate, a very nutritious food, is not included on our website. While pomegranates taste great and are rich in vitamins and flavonoid phytonutrients, they are still rather expensive which makes them not as widely available to many people.

1. The World's Healthiest Foods are the Most Nutrient Dense

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. Read more about Our Food and Recipe Rating System.

2. The World's Healthiest Foods are Whole Foods

The World's Healthiest Foods are also whole foods complete with all their rich natural endowment of nutrients. They have not been highly processed nor do they contain synthetic, artificial or irradiated ingredients. And whenever possible, The Healthier Way of Eating recommends purchasing "Organically Grown" foods, since they not only promote your health, but also the health of our planet.

3. The World's Healthiest Foods are Familiar Foods

The World's Healthiest Foods are common "everyday" foods. These include the fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, lean meats, fish, olive oil, herbs and spices that are familiar to most people.

4. The World's Healthiest Foods are Readily Available

Although there are many foods that are exceptionally nutritious, many of them are not readily available in different areas of the country. The World's Healthiest Foods are foods that the majority people can easily find at their local market.

5. The World's Healthiest Foods are Affordable

We have selected foods that are not only familiar and available, but also affordable, especially if you purchase them locally and in season. This is also the time when they are the freshest and of the best quality.

6. The World's Healthiest Foods Taste Good

The World's Healthiest Foods are also some of the world's best tasting foods. We have created recipes using the World's Healthiest Foods that do not overpower, but enhance, the unique flavor of each food. Each recipe provides a flavor adventure so you can discover new ways to experience and enjoy the great natural tastes of these foods.


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