If you want to eat healthily, you should mainly focus on balanced meals. This is easier than you think. The menu should include fruit and vegetables every day, fish from time to time, and rarely meat. In addition, nuts can serve as a snack, whole grain products should be consumed instead of white flour, and sugar should be kept in moderation. You can’t go wrong with this nutritional concept. It is suitable for yourself and your body, and you are less at risk for many diseases.
But what are particularly healthy foods, and what are they actually linked to? This question will be felt more closely in the following. But first and foremost, the quantity of calories does not always indicate how healthy a food is.
That makes food healthy.
In principle, it is rather difficult to distinguish between healthy and unhealthy foods. Because consumed in moderation, only very few harms. Nevertheless, there are a few factors that characterize particularly healthy foods :
- high nutrient density
- low energy density
- poor in ingredients that can harm health
The nutrient density primarily relates to the vitamins, minerals and trace elements and secondary plant substances. The more components there are in a food, the higher the nutrient density. The minerals include, for example, sodium, potassium, magnesium or sulfur. Secondary plant substances serve plants in particular as defense substances for predators or microbial attackers. In humans, they influence various metabolic processes with health-promoting effects.
Many particularly healthy foods are also characterized by a relatively low energy density. These usually contain a lot of water, fibre and little fat and sugar. The fewer calories a food contains, the lower the energy density. Furthermore, healthy foods should be low in components that harm health. These are, for example, saturated fatty acids, cholesterol, salt or trans fats.
So-called “superfoods” are particularly healthy foods. But so far, there is no official definition for it. Often natural and exotic foods are understood to include them, often offered as puree, dried or as an extract. Many local delicacies earn the moniker “superfood” rather than relying on the foreign with a long delivery route.
50 super healthy foods that should no longer be missing on any menu
The following list shows foods that are particularly rich in valuable ingredients. The 50 foods listed here are only an outline. Many other types of fruit and vegetables and cereals, nuts, and other foods would have more than deserved entry. So if you didn’t make it onto the list, you are not automatically unhealthy. For a better overview, they are divided into the different food groups to which they belong.
But now have fun with the following super healthy foods.
Vegetables, tubers and legumes:
Cabbage of all kinds
These include, for example, kale, savoy cabbage, Brussels sprouts, white cabbage or cauliflower. The latter is particularly rich in vitamins C and K, has an anti-inflammatory effect, and is pleasant for digestion. Kale can do even more. It contains vitamins A, C and K and the flavonoids, glucosinolates, and manganese even prevent cancer and lower the cholesterol level. Brussels sprouts and savoy cabbage are said to have a similar effect.
It is particularly rich in vitamin C and the secondary plant substance carotenoids. Among other things, these protect against premature cell ageing.
Contains particularly many bitter substances. These stimulate the gallbladder and the pancreas, which ultimately also benefits the metabolism.
This is also a form of cabbage but in its fermented variant. Sauerkraut is particularly rich in vitamin C, as well as fibre and mustard oils. The many bacteria in the herb are also good for the intestines and digestion.
Has a huge number of antioxidants, which can render harmful molecules in the body harmless. The content of the antioxidant lycopene even increases when the tomatoes are cooked.
6. All kinds of beans
Whether red, black, green or white beans – their combination of fibre and protein is healthy and keeps you full for a long time. They also provide folic acid, lower the risk of heart disease and keep blood sugar levels constant.
Their fruit colouring is anti-inflammatory and traps free radicals as an antioxidant. The tuber can also help with high blood pressure. Incidentally, the vitamin-containing leaves are also suitable for consumption and do not have to be thrown away.
8. Chilli peppers
The hot pod stimulates digestion, stimulates circulation, promotes blood circulation, and reduces the risk of thrombosis. It has an antibacterial effect in the intestine, and its spiciness makes you full more quickly.
They provide a large amount of metabolism-stimulating vitamin B6. Thanks to a combination of fibre and protein, they fill you up quickly and for a long time. They are also suitable for intestinal health.
The vegetables provide plenty of fibre and vitamins K, B6 and C. It also contains a high proportion of folic acid and potassium. The stalk of the vegetable is also edible. It is best to peel this before consumption.
All types of squash are low in calories but high in fibre and a large amount of vitamin A. Furthermore, regular consumption of pumpkins can protect against heart disease and cancer.
The miracle tuber promotes blood circulation and lowers cholesterol levels. Ginger also has analgesic properties similar to acetylic acid, and it aids digestion as well.
The dietary fibre regulates the blood sugar level, and the trace element molybdenum promotes metabolism. Lentils also provide a considerable amount of protein. Whether plate, red, yellow or beluga lentils does not matter.
Scores with the secondary plant substance beta carotene, vitamin K, folic acid, magnesium, calcium, potassium, phosphorus and copper.
Due to its antibacterial effect, garlic protects against cancer, lowers blood pressure and cholesterol levels and protects the veins and blood vessels.
Fruits and berries
In addition to vitamin C, oranges contain a high proportion of blood pressure-lowering potassium and folic acid and a lot of fibre.
The water content of around 90 per cent makes the melon a low-calorie snack. It also contains a large amount of the secondary plant substance lycopene and vitamin A, potassium and citrulline.
The red pigment in raspberries is one of the most potent antioxidants and protects the cells from ageing and degeneration. Minerals and trace elements such as iron, calcium and magnesium can also be found in the berry.
The favourite German fruit has natural antioxidants, fibre and important B, C and E vitamins. It also contains potassium, calcium, iron and pectins. Most of the nutrients can be found in the shell.
Just one fruit covers the daily need for vitamin C. In addition, it provides a lot of other vitamins and fibre with a low number of calories and fructose.
The dark vegetable pigment in the berry protects our arteries from calcification. Blueberries can also help with gastrointestinal complaints and prevent cardiovascular diseases.
It is a supplier of essential minerals such as iron, potassium, copper, iodine and many more. The fruit also contains a lot of fibre and antioxidants.
Before exercise, it provides a natural boost of energy. The starch it contains is suitable for intestinal flora and blood sugar levels. Vitamin B6 it includes also strengthens the nerves and can lift your spirits.
Especially in the dried form, they contain a lot of magnesium, phosphorus and calcium. It also includes a large amount of easily digestible fructose as well as fibre and iron.
Like red and black fruits, they provide valuable vegetable fibre. Furthermore, they should protect against cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
Whether sweet or sour – the small fruits are rich in vitamins B and C and contain many potassium and secondary plant substances that strengthen the immune system.
Like lemons and limes, grapefruit also contains flavonoids and vitamin C. The citrus fruit also contains lycopene, which is good for the heart.
Grain and “pseudo-grain.”
Oats are one of the foods with the highest fibre content, and they also come with a large amount of zinc. In addition, eating oats can lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels and protect the intestinal flora.
The grain contains many essential minerals and traces elements, above all magnesium. It also includes a high proportion of vitamin B6.
The pseudo-grain contains many essential amino acids that cannot be produced by the body itself. It also keeps you full for a long time and has a high iron content.
Seeds, nuts and kernels
Due to the high content of omega-3 fatty acids, they have an anti-inflammatory effect. They also help with stomach problems, prevent heart disease and cancer, and promote healthy digestion.
32. Pumpkin seeds
In addition to heart-healthy fats, it contains a high proportion of tryptophan, which improves mood. Furthermore, magnesium and iron, as well as phytosterol, are found in the kernels. The latter helps against harmful cholesterol, for example.
Even 30 grams a day are ideal as a preventative measure against heart attacks, diabetes and strokes. They also help to keep the blood vessels supple. This is related to the blood pressure-lowering mode of action.
Due to the many nutrients such as vitamins B and E, carotenoids, copper, manganese, fibre and healthy fats, pecans prevent heart disease and infections, lower cholesterol levels, and promote skin health.
The cholesterol level is stabilized by the many unsaturated fatty acids. In addition, the high calcium content strengthens muscles, bones and teeth.
fish and seafood
Regular consumption can significantly reduce the risk of a heart attack. The fish also contains essential omega-3 fatty acids and a lot of vitamin D.
Not only are they rich in protein, but they’re also a good source of the rare vitamin B12. It also has high iron content and essential trace elements.
It is a particularly fatty fish and has a high proportion of omega-3 fatty acids. In addition, salmon provides vitamins of the B group as well as vitamin D and selenium. It protects the joints and supports eyesight. The fish can also prevent cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
The hay milk cheese from the Swiss Emmental contains many omega-3 fatty acids and a high content of calcium and vitamin D. If you want an original Emmentaler, you should pay attention to the AOP designation of origin teardrop-shaped holes.
40. Goat cheese
Full of essential proteins and more accessible to digest than other cheeses. The substances calcium and phosphorus are also used to build up bone strength and bone mass.
The probiotic bacteria promote intestinal health and strengthen the immune system. Regular consumption can also reduce the risk of developing diabetes. Beware of fruit yoghurts, however. These often contain a lot of added sugar.
42. Olive oil
Cold-pressed provides many healthy fats and prevents high blood pressure, strokes, heart attacks, diabetes, and cardiac arrhythmias. Unfiltered, naturally cloudy varieties are of the highest quality and richest in nutrients.
43. Rapeseed oil
Contains a lot of alpha-linolenic acids, which helps against rheumatism. The high proportion of vitamin E and carotenoids also catch free radicals.
Spices and herbs
Obtained from the bark of the cinnamon tree, the spice has numerous essential oils and polyphenols. Cinnamon keeps blood sugar stable and supplies calcium and iron. In addition, the sauce can satisfy our sweet tooth.
In traditional medicine in many countries, parsley has long been considered a medicinal plant. It is rich in secondary plant substances, the trace elements iron and manganese and numerous vitamins.
The tantalizing ingredient piperine has an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effect. In addition, the consumption of pepper prevents the formation of new fat cells in the body.
Basil is particularly popular in Italian cuisine. The leaves help with stomach and intestinal problems and also regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels. They also have an antibacterial effect.
The spice is also known as goldenseal and contains valuable phytochemicals. It helps against inflammatory bowel diseases and rheumatism. Regular consumption can improve blood lipid levels and thus even work against diabetes.
Herbs have been respected for thousands of years for their therapeutic properties. Both the seeds and the greens are high in vitamin K and flavonoids, and photo-active compounds. Coriander also regulates blood sugar and cholesterol levels and has an antibacterial effect.
last but not least
There isn’t really much to say about our number one staple food. Our body consists mainly of water, so daily consumption is essential for us. Water is involved in virtually all body functions. In addition, it provides valuable minerals but is entirely free of calories.
In addition to the super-healthy foods, some should only be consumed in moderation. They have a low nutrient density but have fewer health-promoting ingredients. These include, for example, diet and light products, ready meals, lemonades, white flour products, margarine, ketchup and breakfast cereals.
Healthy Nutrition – this is how it works.
Diet also plays a crucial role in a long and healthy life. Those who regularly integrate the 50 super-healthy foods into their menu will benefit from their favourable properties.
The following tips also help to ensure a balanced diet:
- Include fruit or vegetables in every meal
- Drink two to three litres of water or unsweetened tea every day
- Consume complex carbohydrates from grains or potatoes daily
- Use high-quality vegetable oils instead of butter or margarine
- If meat, then go for good quality and avoid red meat
- Incorporate fatty fish into the menu about once a week
- Alcohol, sausages and foods containing sugar should remain the exception
- Cook fresh as often as possible
Particularly healthy foods have a high nutrient density, are low in calories and have little or no components to harm health. It’s not just fruits and vegetables that are super-healthy foods. Nuts, seeds, grains, oils, fish, some dairy products and much more are also included.