30 Healthiest Foods of All Time

Eating is not merely a material pleasure. Eating well gives a spectacular joy to life and contributes immensely to goodwill and happy companionship. It is of great importance to the morale.  ~Elsa Schiaparelli

by Dr. Joseph Mercola

In a survey of at-home spending patterns on food among US households, the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the US Department of Agriculture revealed Americans are throwing a lot of their food budgets toward very unhealthy foods.

The average US household spent most of their food budget (nearly 18 percent) on refined grains followed by sugar and candies (at nearly 14 percent). The next highest category was red meat (mostly from concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs), followed by frozen or refrigerated entrees and beverages.1

In stark contrast, Americans spent less than 0.5 percent of their food budget on dark green vegetables and a similar amount on orange vegetables. Other vegetables made up less than 4 percent of at-home food spending and whole fruits just over 6 percent.

As reported by Forbes:2

"It is not that shoppers are spending less than they should on food in general. We spend 17 percent of our food shopping dollars on refined grains (more than three times what is recommended).

…And while the USDA recommends spending less than 1 percent on sugar and candies, most Americans spend closer to 14 percent of their food budget on sweets. This means that it is in fact not the desire to save money that makes us eat badly, but our own poor choices."

30 Top Healthiest Foods

  1. Avocado - are actually classified as a fruit, are low in fructose and rich in healthy monounsaturated fat and potassium, and research has confirmed the avocado's ability to benefit vascular function and heart health. They are high in potassium more than twice the amount found in a banana. They provide close to 20 essential health-boosting nurtients, including fiber, vitamin E, B, and folic acid. 
  2. Swiss Chard - it's an excellent source of vitamins C, E and A, along with the minerals manganese and zinc. When you eat Swiss chard, you get a wealth of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. It also contains an important mix of nutrients, including high amounts of both magnesium and vitamin K1, to support bone health. 
  3. Garlic - is rich in manganese, calcium, phosphorus, selenium, and vitamins B6 and C, so it's beneficial for your bones as well as your thyroid. It's thought that much of garlic's theraputic effect comes from it's sulfur-containing compounds, such as allicin, which are also what give it it's characteristic smell. 
  4. Sprouts - fresh broccoli sprouts, are far more potent than whole broccoli allowing you to eat far less in terms of quantity. Research has revealed that three-day old broccoli sprounts consistently contain anywhere from 10-100 times the amount of glucoraphanin - a chemoprotective compound - found in mature broccoli. 
  5. Mushrooms - aside from being rich in protein, fiber, vitamin C, B, calcium and minerals, mushrooms are excellent sources of antioxidants. In addition, some of the most potent immunosupportive agents come from mushrooms, and this is one reason why they're so beneficial for both preventing and treating cancer.
  6. Kale - just one cup of kale will flood your body with disease-fighting vitamins K, A and C, along with respectable amounts of manganese, copper, B vitamins, fiber, calcuim, and potassium. With each serving of kale, you'll also find more that 45 unique flavonoids, which have both antioxicant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Kale is also a good source of cancer-fighting sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol.
  7. Spinach - is rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including folate, vitamin A, iron, potassium, calcium, zinc, and selenium. Spinach also contains flavonoids that may help protecct your body from free radicals, while offering anti-inflammatory benefits and antioxidant support.
  8. Collard Greens - rich in vitamin K and phytonutrients - caffeic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol - collard greens help lower oxidative stress in your cells while fighting inflammation. Other phytonutrients in collard greens, specifically diindolylmethane and sulforaphane, have been clinically proven to combat cancer.
  9. Tomatoes - are an excellent source of lutein, zeaxanthin and vitamin C (which is most contentrated in the jelly-like substance that surrounds the seeds), as well as vitamins A, E, B, potassium, manganese and phosphorus. Tomatoes are also a particularly concentrated source of lycopene - a carotenoid antioxidant that may significantly lower your risk for stroke and cancer.
  10. Cauliflower - one serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It's also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese. It is also a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for it's role in brain development and contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients.
  11. Onions - to date, onions have shown a wealth of beneficial properties; they are anti-allergic, anti-histaminic, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, all rolled into one. Onions are especially rich in polyohenol flavonoids called quercetin. Quercetin is an anti-cancer antioxidant that many believe also prevents histamine release-making quercetin-rich foods "natural antihistamines."
  12. Wild-Caught Alaskan Salmon - salmon provides omega-3 fats EPA and DHA, which can benefit your cardiovascular system, your mental and behavioral health, and your digestive health. It may even help prevent premature death.
  13. Organic Pastured Eggs - while proteins are found in many types of food, only foods from animal sources, such as meat and eggs, contain "complete proteins," meaning they contain all of the essential amino acids. Eggs also contain lutein and zeaxanthin for eye health, choline for your brain, nervous and cardiovascular systems and naturally occurring B12.
  14. Organic Coconut Oil - besides being excellent for your thyroid and your metabolism, coconut oil is rich in lauric acid, which converts in  your body to monolaurin, a monoglyceride capable of destroying lipid-coated viruses. It's medium chain fatty acids (MCTs) also impart a number of health benefits, including raising your body's metabolism.
  15. Nuts - mounting research suggests that nuts may help you live longer and even support weight loss.
  16. Sweet Potatoes - are rich in beta carotene, an antioxidant that can help support your immune system, as well as lower your risk of heart disease and cancer. Research shows that sweet potatoes can help regulate blood sugar because of their ability to raise blood levels of adiponectin, a protein hormone created by our fat cells to help reculate how your body metabolizes insulin.
  17. Sardines - are one of the most concentrated sources of omega-3 fats, with one serving containing more than 50 percent of your recommened daily value. They also contain a wealth of other nutrients, from vitamin B12 and selenium to protein, calcium and choline, making them one of the best dietary sources of animal-based omega-3s.
  18. Beets - are high in immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber and essential minerals like potassium (essential for healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys and pancreas). Beets also contain the B vitamin folate, which helps reduce the risk of birth defects.
  19. Winter Squash - contains an impressive amount of vitain K - 457 percent of the daily value per serving. Vitamin A, a powerful antioxicant, is beneficial for your skin, vision and mucous membranes and may protect against certain types of cancer. Squash is also rich in vitamin C, vitamin E, B vitamins, calcium and magnesium.
  20. Orgainic Pasture-Raised Chicken - is an excellent source of protein, B vitamins, selenium, phosphorus, and choline. It provides all B vitamins along with a suprisingly varied number of additional nutrients such as natural amino acid called cysteine.
  21. Fermented Vegetables - to maintain a health gut, fermented foods are a necessity. Just one quarter to one half cup of fermented vegetables, eaten with one to three meals per day, can have a dramatically beneficial impact on your health. My research team has also created a starter culture loaded with powerful probiotic strains to help produce high levels of vitamin K2, which many people are deficient in.
  22. Olive Oil - rich in monounsaturated fats, olive oil may help lower your risk of heart disease and may even benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, helping to lower the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  23. Brussels Sprouts - contain sulfur-containing compunds called glucosinolates, which your body uses to make isothiocyanates. These activate cancer-fighting enzyme systems in your body. Brussels sprouts have been linked to the prevention of a number of cancers, including colon cancer, ovarian cancer and others.
  24. Kiwi - rich in phytonutrients that appear to protect human DNA from free-radical damage, kiwi is also an excellent source of antioxidant vitamins C, E and beta-carotene. Kiwi is also a good source of fiber, potassium, magnesium, copper and phosphorous.
  25. Pomegranate - it's antioxidant activity is known to inhibit cell proliferation and invasion, and promote apoptosis (cell death) in various cancer cells. The antioxidants in pomegranates may also help reduce inflammation that contributes to the destruction of cartilage in your joints, a key reason for the pain and stiffness felt by many osteoarthritis suffers.
  26. Blueberries - exert positive effects upon your lipid profile, reducing your risk for type 2 diabetes. And because of their bountiful antioxidants, blueberries are one of the best fruits to protect you from premature aging. Blueberries have also been shown to alleviate inflammatory intestinal conditions such as ulcerateive colitis.
  27. Raspberries - contain concentrated amounts of the disease-fighting phytochemicals found to boost your immunity, prevent cancer, protect your heart, and prevent seasonal allergies. Raspberries are lower in sugar than many fruits, so they are less likely to destabilize your insulin levels.
  28. Turmeric - the yellow-pigmented "curry spice" often used in Indian cuisine, contains curcumin, the polyphenol identified as its primary active component and which exhibit over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, which include antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties.
  29. Cinnamon - is a potent antimicrobial agent that also enhances your antioxidant defenses. It's been found to kill E.coli and many other bacteria. It's anti-inflammatory compunds help relieve pain and stiffness of muscles and joint due to arthritis. Also helps prevent urinary tract infections, tooth decay, and gum disease and helps with blood sugar control.
  30. Cumin - is useful for digestion and energy production, and may improve glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. The spice has a long history of medicinal use, and has also been found to enhance memory and provide potent anti-stress benefits.