Eating healthy has oodles of positive benefits – for the body and the mind alike. When we eat well we feel good, when we feel good we’re happier, when we’re happier we’re more productive… and the wonderful cycle continues. Increasingly, shops and restaurants around the world are getting on the healthy eating bandwagon – making it easier for people to treat their bodies right. This list of 10 of the healthiest foods in the world is just a beginning guide – a way to understand the essential vitamins and minerals the human body needs to stay functioning at its best. And as an added boost – these healthy foods are all downright delicious!
This nutrient-dense green superfood is readily available – fresh, frozen or even canned. One of the healthiest foods on the planet, spinach is packed with energy while low in calories, and provides Vitamin A, Vitamin K, and essential folate.
EASY EATING TIP: Sauté with onion and add to an omelet for an easy, healthy meal.
2. BLACK BEANS
Filled with super healthy antioxidants, black beans digest slowly – keeping you feeling full for longer. These little beauties are full of calcium, protein and fiber, and they also taste great!
EASY EATING TIP: Think Mexican food! Burritos, nachos, tacos… whatever tickles your fancy.
With more antioxidants than any other nut, walnuts are also brimming with Vitamin E, and rich in plant serums, omega 3 oils, and healthy fats.
EASY EATING TIP: Keep a supply in your bag for an easy, healthy snack on-the-go
Both beets and walnuts made the list of the world’s healthiest foods (Olha Afanasieva/ Shutterstock.com)
Good for the brain and skilled at lowering blood pressure, the humble beet is often overlooked as one of the healthiest foods on earth. The brightly-colored root vegetable is filled with folate, magnesium and Vitamin C.
EASY EATING TIP: Grate them into salads for a sweet, crunchy boost.
Eating just one or two avocados a week gives you all the benefit of healthy monounsaturated fats, Vitamin B6 and loads of folate. Check with your local grocer to find out when this spreadable fruit is in season in your area.
EASY EATING TIP: On toast with salt and pepper, or a slice of cheese if you’re that way inclined.
The humble avocado, pictured here with its close cousin, the mango (RMIKKA / Shutterstock.com)
6. DARK CHOCOLATE
According to recent research, chocolate contains more antioxidants, gram-for-gram, than most fruit juices – great news for chocoholics! On top of protecting the body from diseases and helping to prevent heart conditions, dark chocolate is a natural mood-booster.
EASY EATING TIP: Eat this healthy food in moderation – just one or two squares per day is enough to reap the benefits.
Like most berries, raspberries are filled with antioxidants, to help keep the body healthy and free of disease. Fresh or frozen, they also provide Vitamin C, calcium and iron.
EASY EATING TIP: Sprinkle them on yogurt or porridge in the morning to start your day in a sweet and delicious way.
Raspberries, in all their delicious glory (Dionisvera / Shutterstock.com)
This pungent bulb has been used to ward off disease for centuries, as it inhibits the growth of bacteria, lowers cholesterol and blood pressure and has some serious anti-inflammatory power.
EASY EATING TIP: Crush it and cook it. Garlic tastes great in everything from dressings and sauces to curries and soups.
Often touted as the world’s healthiest food, lemons have strong anti-inflammatory qualities and can help to inhibit the growth of cancer cells. They also have just as much Vitamin C as oranges.
EASY EATING TIP: Add a slice of lemon to your tea or water bottle to get healthy and hydrated at the same time.
Lemons on the tree, ripe for the picking (DaBeatriz / Shutterstock.com)
Last but not least, this mighty legume is high in fiber and protein and adds great taste and texture to any meal. Vegans and vegetarians are often a fan of using lentils as a meat substitute in traditional recipes.
EASY EATING TIP: Add to salads, soups and stews for some extra oomph.