First of all not all foods that you think are healthy actually are. Even I was surprised when I put together this list of the healthiest foods. Most of the time the misinformation comes from people we know or some old tip which has been floating around and refuses to go away. Either way check out this healthiest foods list and see for yourself (I have also listed the main factors that make each of these good):
Healthiest Foods – Fruits
Starting with apricots which have Beta-carotene, which helps prevent free-radical damage and protects the eyes. The body also turns beta-carotene into vitamin A, which may help ward off some cancers, especially the skin variety. A single apricot has 17 calories, 0g fat, 1g of fiber. So in terms of overall fat loss potential its very good, buy them when fresh to maximize nutrient intake.
Avacaods are high in Oleic acid, an unsaturated fat that helps lower overall cholesterol and raise levels of HDL, plus a good dose of fiber. One slice has 81 calories, 8 grams of fat and 3 grams of fiber. A good alternative to higher calorie fatty additions to sandwich and salads regardless of the somewhat higher fat content.
High in Ellagic acid, which helps stall cancer-cell growth. These berries are also packed with vitamin C and are high in fiber, which helps prevent high cholesterol and heart disease. A cup has only 60 calories, 1 gram of fat and 8 grams of fiber. Low calorie and fat content make it ideal to add to deserts and shakes.
Vitamin C and beta-carotene – which are both powerful antioxidants that help protect cells from free-radical damage are found in this one. Plus, half a melon has 853mg of potassium – almost twice as much as a banana, which helps lower blood pressure. Half a melon has 97 calories, 1 gram of fat and 2 grams of fiber. Very good.
Well at those who said cranberry juice was healthy got it right, It helps fight bladder infections by preventing harmful bacteria from growing. A cup has 144 calories, 0 grams of fat and 0 fiber. That’s absolutely no fat but no fibre either, but at 144 calories a cup its not something you should overdo.
The Power of Tomato is the Lycopene, one of the strongest carotenoids, acts as an antioxidant. Research shows that tomatoes may cut the risk of bladder, stomach and colon cancers in half if eaten daily. A tomato has 26 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Drizzle fresh slices with olive oil, because lycopene is best absorbed when eaten with a little fat.
These little gems are a great source of iron (bet you didn’t know that), which helps the blood transport oxygen and which many women are short on. A half-cup has 218 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber.
Not something eating often but figs are a very good source of potassium and fiber, figs also contain vitamin B6, which is responsible for producing mood-boosting serotonin, lowering cholesterol and preventing water retention. One fig has 37 to 48 calories, 0 fat and 2 grams of fiber.
Lemons have Limonene, furocoumarins and vitamin C, all of which help prevent cancer. A wedge has 2 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Buy a few of each and squeeze over salads, fish, beans and vegetables for fat free flavor.
Healthiest Foods – Vegetables/Others
Now while i don’t recommend eating onions on their own, the Quercetin they contain is one of the most powerful flavonoids (natural plant antioxidants). Studies show it helps protect against cancer. A cup (chopped) has 61 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Try not to overcook onions as they tend to lessen in nutritional value when burnt.
Personally i don’t like artichokes but these very queer looking vegetables contain silymarin, an antioxidant that helps prevent skin cancer, plus fiber to help control cholesterol. One medium artichoke has 60 calories, 0 fat and 7 grams of fiber. Steam over boiling water for 30 to 40 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice on top, then pluck the leaves off with your fingers and use your teeth to scrape off the rich-tasting skin. It doesn’t get better for fat loss.
Gingerols may help reduce queasiness; other compounds may help ward off migraines and arthritis pain by blocking inflammation-causing prostaglandins. A teaspoon of fresh gingerroot has only 1 calorie, 0 fat and 0 fiber.
Now here’s a new favorite of mine. Broccoli has Indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, which help protect against breast cancer. Broccoli also has lots of vitamin C and beta-carotene. One cup (chopped) has 25 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. You must not overcook broccoli – instead, microwave or steam lightly to preserve phytonutrients. Use in as many of your healthy stir fries as you can.
Another favorite. Spinach has Lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that help fend off macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in older people. Plus, studies show this green fountain of youth may help reverse some signs of aging. One cup has 7 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber. Use in salad or like broccoli in a stir fry.
Bok Choy (Chinese cabbage)
This one contains Brassinin, which some research suggests may help prevent breast tumors, plus indoles and isothiocyanates, which lower levels of estrogen, make this vegetable a double-barreled weapon against breast cancer. A cup will also give you 158mg of calcium (16 percent of your daily recommended requirement) to help beat osteoporosis. A cup (cooked) has 20 calories, 0 fat and 3 grams of fiber. Find it in your grocer’s produce section or an Asian market.
Squash (Butternut, Pumpkin, Acorn)
Winter squash has huge amounts of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which may help protect against endometrial cancer. One cup (cooked) has 80 calories, 1 gram of fat and 6 grams of fiber.
Watercress and Arugula (Also known as Rocket)
Both of these have Phenethyl isothiocyanate, which, along with beta-carotene and vitamins C and E, may help keep cancer cells at bay. One cup has around 4 calories, 0 fat and 1 gram of fiber.
The sulfur compounds that give garlic its pungent flavor can also lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even reduce your risk of stomach and colon cancer. A clove has 4 calories, 0 fat and 0 fiber. Bake a whole head for 15 to 20 minutes, until soft and sweet and spread on bread instead of butter. Watch out for your breath after though
Healthiest Foods – Grains, Beans and Nuts
The Power: A half cup of cooked quinoa has 5 grams of protein, more than any other grain, plus iron, riboflavin and magnesium. A half-cup has 318 calories, 5 grams of fat and 5 grams of fiber. Add to soup for a protein boost. Rinse first, or it will taste bitter.
The Power: A tablespoon gives you about 7 percent of your daily magnesium, which helps prevent muscle cramps; it is also a good source of vitamin E. One tablespoon has 27 calories, 1 gram of fat and 1 gram of fiber. Sprinkle some over yogurt, fruit or cereal.
The Power: Isoflavones, which may inhibit estrogen-promoted breast cancers, plus fiber for heart health and an impressive 9 grams of protein per half cup. A half-cup (cooked) has 115 calories, 0 fat and 8 grams of fiber. Isoflavones hold up through processing, so buy lentils canned, dried or already in soup. Take them to work, and you will have a protein packed lunch.
Peanut butter is consider to be part of the list of healthiest food because studies show that peanuts or other nuts (which contain mostly unsaturated “good” fat) can lower your heart-disease risk by over 20 percent. One ounce has 166 calories, 14 grams of fat and 2 grams of fiber. The only problem with peanuts however are the high grams of fat. Use it wisely and enjoy the benefits of the calories. Also note that peanut butter should be eaten in its organic form as the branded ones available at the supermarket have a lot of sugar in them.
The Power: A half cup has more than 25 percent of your daily requirement of folate, which helps protect against heart disease and reduces the risk of birth defects. A half-cup (canned) has 103 calories, 1 gram of fat and 6 grams of fiber.
The Power: Bacteria in active-culture yogurt helps prevent yeast infections; calcium strengthens bones. A cup has 155 calories, 4 grams of fat, 0 grams of fiber. Get the plain kind and mix in your own fruit to keep calories and sugar down. If you are lactose intolerant, never fear — yogurt should not bother your tummy.