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10 Most Nutritious Foods

By Nina Makofsky

The world's most healthful foods contain high quantities of essential vitamins and minerals. They are whole foods rather than processed and prepared foods. They have no artificial or irradiated ingredients. Fortunately, these foods are also widely available. Remember to complement your consumption of the world's most nutritious foods with the most healthful beverage, water.

Fruits and Vegetables

A large portion of the world's most nutritious foods come from the fruit and vegetable food group. Among the top options include leafy greens like spinach and kale, orange- and yellow-skinned produce such as squash and apricots, tropical fruit, melon, all varieties of berries, tomatoes and citrus fruits. Other options include asparagus, avocado, beets, broccoli, brussels sprouts, garlic, green beans, eggplant, fennel, sea vegetables, yams, apples, bananas, figs, kiwi, pears, prunes, plums and raisins.


In her article "Nine Super-Nutritious Foods," health reporter Allison Van Deusen outlines the significance of superfoods, those foods extremely rich in nutrients essential for a healthy diet. Among the foods that make the list are those high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as albacore tuna, mackerel and salmon; foods with antioxidants, like green tea; yogurt with probiotics; fruits and vegetables high in Vitamin C; and sources of high fiber such as beans, nuts and whole grains.

Foods with Key Vitamins

Men's Health magazine lists options for consuming high quantities of key vitamins. To get vitamin A, eat raw carrots, cooked spinach, cooked turnip greens or sweet potato in its skin. For vitamin B1, your best sources include raw sunflower seeds, cooked yellow fin tuna and cooked black beans. Bananas or roasted chicken breast deliver vitamin B6, while clams, duck liver and oysters supply vitamin B12. Try halibut or mackerel for that sometimes-scarce Vitamin D and cooked lentils or navy beans for folate. For Vitamin C, broccoli has twice the nutrient value of oranges. Likewise, sesame seeds offer more calcium than milk, and cooked spinach has nearly as much. Raw sunflower seeds provide vitamin E as well as magnesium. Iron does not reside in meat alone. Though chicken liver contains the most iron, you can also find high quantities in soybeans, spinach and tofu. Get potassium in baked winter squash, avocado or pinto beans. Cooked oysters and snapper provide selenium. Try broiled beef, roasted lamb, wheat germ or sesame seeds for zinc.

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