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You know it – a nutritious diet plays a vital role in your overall health and wellness. But what exactly does healthy eating mean?

A nutritious diet consists of the healthiest foods rich in high-quality proteins, heart-healthy fats, vitamins and minerals, and natural carbohydrates.

Healthy eating also means reducing your consumption of processed and junk foods, and saturated fats. By eating healthy, you are helping your body to function well and prevent diseases from occurring.

But while nature provides us with an abundant chest of nutritious foods, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the wide array of healthy food options.

So, we’ve rounded up the top ten healthiest foods on the planet to make your grocery shopping easier!

1.    Almonds

Almonds are the nut of choice of many food enthusiasts because of the distinct quality and taste they add to any dish. But aside from its distinguished texture and flavor, almonds are great for your health, too!

Compared with other nuts, almonds come with more health benefits as they are rich in minerals, proteins, and antioxidants.

Why are almonds good for your health?

  • Almonds can reduce low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, otherwise known as the “bad” cholesterol, preventing the risk of coronary heart disease, especially among type 2 diabetes sufferers.

  • Almonds can also strengthen your immune system, making you less prone to acquiring diseases.

  • Almonds contain L-carnitine and riboflavin, which are essential nutrients for brain power.

  • Almonds are also good for your skin health as they are packed with vitamin-E and antioxidants.

  • Almonds support your bone and dental health as well, preventing your risk of bone fractures, osteoporosis, cavities, and yellowing teeth.

  • Almonds also make a great energy boost snack as they are rich in protein and magnesium, too!

2.    Apple

It may sound a bit cliché but the saying, “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” still holds true.

Apples remain to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet as they are packed with phytonutrients, dietary fiber, thiamin, vitamin B-6, and riboflavin.

No wonder why apple cider vinegar is generous in health benefits, too! Apples are, without question, a nutritious powerhouse!

Why are apples good for your health?

  • Apples are beneficial in slowing down a mental decline, reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s disease as they contain high amounts of acetylcholine.

  • Apples are known to be rich in fiber, which is helpful in preventing the risk and managing the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.

  • The high amounts of polyphenols and fibers contained in apple also provide cardiovascular benefits.

  • Apples are known to be rich in soluble fiber as well, which helps in the regulation of blood cholesterol. This way, apples can help reduce the risk of heart diseases.

  • Apples also come with a generous number of antioxidants, which can prevent cataracts and the risk of asthma, stroke and even cancer, and boost your immune system.

  • Thinking about how you can manage your weight? Add apples to your diet! They are low in calories, making them a great addition to your weight management meal plan.

3.    Avocado

sliced_avocado_fruit

The avocado, also known as the “alligator pear”, is often considered a superfood due to its nutritional value.

Many health-conscious people are adding avocados to their diet as the fruit is rich in essential vitamins, minerals, and other key nutrients including iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Why are avocados good for your health?

  • Avocados contain fiber, which prevents the onset of obesity and diabetes.

  • Avocados also contain high polyunsaturated fats, which can help reduce blood cholesterol levels.

  • Aside from polyunsaturated fats, avocados also contain monounsaturated fats, which helps in the regulation of blood sugar levels.

  • Avocados also contain alpha-Linolenic acid, an essential fatty acid that is beneficial in the prevention and treatment of heart diseases, high blood pressure, renal disease, and even Chron’s disease.

  • Avocados promote eye health as well as they are rich in carotenoid lutein, an antioxidant known to prevent cataracts and macular degeneration.

4.    Banana

Included in the healthy foods list is the banana. Free of fats and rich in essential nutrients like iron, manganese, and potassium, bananas make a great meal plan staple.

They are known to help relieve morning sickness, aid in diabetes, and promote a healthy heart. Bananas also contain dietary fiber, vitamins A and C, and protein.

Why are bananas good for your health?

  • Eating bananas daily can prevent the risk of asthma.

  • Bananas are a rich source of Vitamin B-6, which can boost your white blood cells production and benefit your nervous system.

  • Bananas are great for your digestion as well; thanks to its fiber content!

  • Bananas also contain high levels of potassium, which reduces your risk of heart attack and stroke.

  • Bananas also come with Vitamin C, an essential vitamin known to prevent the free radical formation which causes cancer.

  • Bananas prevent and aid in diarrhea, and is a great fruit for memory boost.

5.    Dark Chocolate

Chocolate lovers, rejoice! Unknown to many, dark chocolates also come with tons of health benefits. They are packed with nutrients such as copper, iron, fiber, and magnesium.

It is important to note, though, that they must be consumed in moderation as chocolates are also rich in calories, which may cause weight gain.

Why is dark chocolate good for your health?

  • Cocoa contains flavonoid compounds, which have antioxidant effects. It can prevent cell damage caused by free radicals, reducing the risk of heart disease.

  • Dark chocolates can also minimize your chances of experiencing a heart attack as the flavonoids they contain reduce LDL cholesterol levels.

  • Dark chocolates can also promote skin health and boost brain function as they help enhance the blood flow to the skin and brain.

  • Eating dark chocolates can also enhance your mood as they contain serotonin, a neurotransmitter otherwise known as the “happy chemical”.

6.    Garlic

Garlic is a common ingredient used in many dishes. But more than just being a cooking staple, garlic has been utilized as natural medicine, too!

It is known to be low in calories and rich in nutrients, preventing the risk of many health conditions and diseases.

Why is garlic good for your health?

  • Garlic contains high anti-bacterial and anti-microbial properties with the presence of ‘Allicin’, an organosulfur compound that helps reduce hypertension and blood pressure.

  • Garlic can also help in the prevention of colon cancer.

  • Garlic also reduces “bad” cholesterol levels, preventing the risk of heart attack.

  • Garlic, when taken in high doses, can boost your body’s antioxidant enzymes, which can reduce your stress levels and prevent brain diseases.

  • Garlic is also beneficial in the regulation of your blood sugar level and insulin.

7.    Lemon

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Have you ever wondered why so many people are raving about lemon water? It’s because lemons are really great for your health!

The fruit is packed with flavonoids, which help reduce the risk of cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

What's more, lemons are used as a cleaning agent too with its ability to get rid of stains! The strong scent it contains is also known to repel mosquitoes.

Why are lemons good for your health?

  • Lemon juice is beneficial for people with heart problems as it contains potassium, an essential nutrient that helps control high blood pressure, nausea, and dizziness.

  • Lemons, when mixed with water and honey, can be beneficial in weight loss. It comes as no surprise why many people are into lemon water!

  • Lemon juice can also prevent the formation of kidney stones.

  • Lemon juice is also beneficial for constipation and indigestion.

  • Lemon juice is likewise good for people with fevers as it increases perspiration.

8.    Lentils

Lentils are considered the perfect legume to include in spreads and salads. It’s a popular ingredient on a vegetarian’s plate, and with its high nutrition content, there’s no question why.

Lentils are not only rich in texture and taste, but they are also packed with essential nutrients such as protein and fiber.

Because of this, many vegetarians and vegans are using lentils as a substitute for meat in a number of recipes.

Why are lentils good for your health?

  • The high levels of soluble fiber contained in lentils help lower blood cholesterol, preventing the risk of stroke and heart disease.

  • Lentils also promote heart health as they are a rich source of magnesium and folate.

  • Lentils are also beneficial for people suffering from constipation and other digestive disorders such as diverticulosis and irritable bowel syndrome.

  • Lentils are considered one of the healthiest foods on earth because they are rich in protein, too. This is why vegetarians and vegans often choose lentils as a protein-rich source.

  • Lentils can also boost your energy as they contain complex carbohydrates and iron as well.

9.    Spinach

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Spinach is a nutrient-dense edible flowering plant that contains significant amounts of potassium, iron, and calcium, and vitamins A, B2, C, and K.

Spinach consumption is known to be good for your hair, skin, and bones.

Why is spinach good for your health?

  • Spinach contains the antioxidants zeaxanthin and lutein, which are known to promote eye health.

  • Spinach also contains beta-carotene, which reduces the risk of asthma.

  • Spinach also boosts the efficiency of muscles.

  • Spinach is also beneficial for the regulation of your blood glucose and insulin levels.

  • Due to its high potassium content, spinach is also a great food for people suffering from high blood pressure.

  • Spinach is also rich with Vitamin K, which helps improve your bone health.

  • Spinach also contains high fiber content, which is great for your digestion.

10. Walnut

Aside from almonds, walnuts are also packed with nutrients that promote good health. Its various medicinal properties can help reduce the risk of a number of diseases and health conditions.

Why are walnuts good for your health?

  • Packed with three essential omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts can prevent the risk of prostate and colon cancers, cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases, and stroke.

  • Walnuts also contain carotenoids, ellagic acid, and melatonin, helping prevent neurological diseases, aging, and inflammation.

  • Walnut consumption also reduces your risk of various diseases caused by free radicals such as pulmonary, neurological, and cardiovascular diseases.

  • The essential minerals contained in walnuts such as magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium, and iron can aid in sperm generation and digestion.

Takeaway

The foods you choose to eat today can greatly affect your health and how you feel about yourself. So, it is best to make that healthy change now if you know you’re lacking proper nutrition.

A well-balanced, nutritious diet coupled with an active lifestyle and adequate rest makes a great foundation for optimum health. With this healthy foods list, you can begin your journey towards a healthier, better life!

 

 

 

 

 

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