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Top 10 Most Nutrient-rich Foods in the World

Top 10 Most Nutrient-rich Foods in the World

Gobbling multivitamins every day might be a good way to inject some nutrients in to your system, but let’s face it—eating real food is much more fun than swallowing multivitamins. If you choose the right combination of foods, you are guaranteed to get the essential nutrients your body needs to keep healthy and strong. You just need to know which foods provide the most nutrients.

According to The George Mateljan Foundation (TGMF), a not-for-profit foundation out to help make a healthier you and a healthier world, there are thousands of different foods in the world that contain at least several of the nutrients our bodies need. These nutrient-rich foods are among the world’s healthiest foods and serve as the basis of our healthiest diets.

In the best-selling book The World’s Healthiest Foods, biologist, nutritionist, and TGMF founder George Mateljan says the healthiest foods in the world are the most nutrient-dense sources of natural, essential nutrients. These foods are also the best-tasting, most readily available, common, and inexpensive foods in the world. If you are looking to change your diet for tasty, natural, nutrient-rich foods, these top 10 foods represent the world’s healthiest foods.

1. Vegetables

vegetables

    You can’t argue about the health benefits of a diet rich in vegetables. Vegetables keep your appetite in check so you don’t consume too much or too little food. They lower blood pressure and risk of digestive and eye problems. Vegetables also reduce your risk of stroke, heart disease, and some cancers.

    Among the most nutritious vegetables you can eat are:

    • Asparagus
    • Avocados
    • Broccoli
    • Brussels sprouts
    • Cabbage
    • Carrots
    • Cauliflower
    • Celery
    • Collard greens
    • Cucumbers
    • Garlic
    • Onions
    • Potatoes
    • Romaine lettuce
    • Sea vegetables
    • Spinach
    • Squash, summer
    • Squash, winter
    • Sweet potatoes
    • Swiss chard
    • Tomatoes
    • Turnip greens
    • Yams

    2. Fruits

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      Fruits are nature’s best gift of medicine complete with minerals, vitamins, anti-oxidants, and a host of other beneficial, plant-derived micronutrients (phyto-nutrients). These foods are naturally low in fat and calories, and none have cholesterol. Their high disease-prevention value includes protection from chronic diseases like cancer, diabetes, and obesity.

      Some of the most nutritious fruits you can add to your diet are:

      • Apples
      • Apricots
      • Bananas
      • Blueberries
      • Cantaloupe
      • Cranberries
      • Figs
      • Grapefruit
      • Grapes
      • Kiwifruit
      • Lemon/Limes
      • Oranges
      • Papaya
      • Pears
      • Pineapple
      • Plums
      • Prunes
      • Raisins
      • Raspberries
      • Strawberries
      • Watermelon

      3. Whole grains

      whole grain

        Whole grains are low in fat and high in fiber. They help keep the colon and heart healthy and also calm inflamed tissues that can cause health problems like swollen feet.

        Some of the world’s most nutritious whole grains include:

        • Barley
        • Brown rice
        • Buckwheat
        • Corn
        • Millet
        • Oats
        • Quinoa
        • Rye
        • Spelt
        • Whole wheat

         4. Legumes (dried beans and peas)

        legumes

          Legumes are one of the best sources of soluble fiber. They are rich in healthy amounts of iron, magnesium and folic acid. Iron from legumes is especially helpful for people who don’t eat meat. Moreover, dried beans and peas are low in fat and high in quality protein, which is a powerful, health-boosting combination.

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          Some of the world’s most nutrient-dense legumes are:

          • Black beans
          • Dried peas
          • Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)
          • Kidney beans
          • Lentils
          • Lima beans
          • Miso
          • Navy beans
          • Pinto beans
          • Soybeans
          • Tofu and Tempeh

          5. Seafood

          seafood

            Seafood provide vital nutrients (most notably the omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA} that help prevent and mitigate common chronic diseases, such as diabetes, arthritis and heart disease. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) says, “Fish is a food of excellent nutritional value, providing high quality protein and a wide variety of vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A and D, phosphorus, magnesium, selenium and iodine in marine fish.”

            Because of the high nutritional value of seafood, experts recommend you eat two seafood meals each week. Some of the most nutritious and tasty seafood you can eat are:

            • Cod
            • Halibut
            • Salmon
            • Sardines
            • Scallops
            • Shrimp
            • Tuna

            6. Low-fat dairy products

            dairy products

              Dairy products and milk constitute 10 to 12 percent of our total dietary fat. While whole milk is a good source of vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, riboflavin, and phosphorus, it is high in saturated fat and can cause problems with high calories and weight gain. Low-fat milk (1% milk) and eggs have very little fat. The low-fat products help build muscles, prevent obesity, and lower risks of diseases like type 2 diabetes and hypertension.

              Among the world’s best low-fat dairy products and eggs are:

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              • Cheese, grass-fed
              • Cow’s milk, grass-fed
              • Eggs, pasture-raised
              • Milk, goat
              • Yogurt, grass-fed

              7. Nuts and seeds

              nuts

                Nuts and seeds are a delicious and reliable source of enriching proteins, vitamins, fiber and complex carbohydrates. These foods also provide generous amounts of ‘trace’ or ‘minor’ minerals like selenium, magnesium, copper, and zinc, which are under-consumed in today’s over-processed diets. 

                Some of the most nutritious nuts and seeds in the world are:

                • Almonds
                • Cashews
                • Flax seeds
                • Peanuts
                • Pumpkin seeds
                • Sesame seeds
                • Sunflower seeds
                • Walnuts

                8. Natural sweeteners

                honey

                  Whether made from sugar cane or plants like maple, incorporating natural sweeteners in your diet is one of the healthiest ways to lose weight. Generally, the less you process the sugar source the more nutrients you get in your sweetener.

                  The world’s best sources of natural sweeteners are:

                  • Blackstrap molasses
                  • Honey
                  • Maple syrup

                  9. Lean meats and poultry

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                  lean meat

                    Lean meat provides essential proteins that have a lower fat and calorie content compared to non-lean meats. Poultry provide important vitamins like vitamins B3 and vitamins B6, as well as trace minerals like selenium and choline. Choline helps with proper nerve function. If you are following a low fat and low calorie diet, lean meats and poultry are a good option for you.

                    Among the most nutrient-dense lean meats and poultry are:

                    • Beef, grass-fed
                    • Chicken, pasture-raised
                    • Lamb
                    • Turkey, pasture-raised
                    • Venison

                    10. Healthy drinks

                    healthy drink

                      Besides quenching thirst, drinks can also make part of a healthy diet. Incorporate drinks that offer the most nutritional and health benefits in your diet.

                      Three of the most nutritious drinks you can use are:

                      • Green tea – rich in polyphenols and catechins that fight various cancers and help your heart function properly.
                      • Soy sauce – a great antioxidant that is rich in many essential minerals and vitamins.
                      • Water – keeps you hydrated and brings a host of health benefits, including preventing kidney damage.

                      Of course, there are many other health-promoting foods like olive oil (extra virgin) that did not make it on this list. If you know other nutrient-dense foods that make a wonderful, healthy diet, don’t hesitate to mention them in the comments. Let us know about them so we can all enjoy the great and natural tastes of those foods too.

                      More by this author

                      David K. William

                      David is a publisher and entrepreneur who tries to help professionals grow their business and careers, and gives advice for entrepreneurs.

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                      Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                      12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                      12 Best Foods That Improve Memory and Brain Health

                      Nutrition plays a vital role in brain function and staying sharp into the golden years. Personally, my husband is going through medical school, which is like a daily mental marathon. Like any good wife, I am always looking for things that will boost his memory fortitude so he does his best in school.

                      But you don’t have to be a med student to appreciate better brainiac brilliance. If you combine certain foods with good hydration, proper sleep and exercise, you may just rival Einstein and have a great memory in no time.

                      I’m going to reveal the list of foods coming out of the kitchen that can improve your memory and make you smarter.

                      Here are 12 best brain foods that improve memory and brain power:

                      1. Nuts

                      The American Journal of Epidemiology published a study linking higher intakes of vitamin E with the prevention on cognitive decline.[1]

                      Nuts like walnuts and almonds (along with other great foods like avocados) are a great source of vitamin E.

                      Cashews and sunflower seeds also contain an amino acid that reduces stress by boosting serotonin levels.

                      Walnuts even resemble the brain, just in case you forget the correlation, and are a great source of omega 3 fatty acids, which also improve your mental magnitude.

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                      2. Blueberries

                      Shown in studies at Tuffs University to benefit both short-term memory and coordination, blueberries pack quite a punch in a tiny blue package.[2]

                      When compared to other fruits and veggies, blueberries were found to have the highest amount of antioxidants (especially flavonoids), but strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are also full of brain benefits.

                      3. Tomatoes

                      Tomatoes are packed full of the antioxidant lycopene, which has shown to help protect against free-radical damage most notably seen in dementia patients.

                      4. Broccoli

                      While all green veggies are important and rich in antioxidants and vitamin C, broccoli is a superfood even among these healthy choices.

                      Since your brain uses so much fuel (it’s only 3% of your body weight but uses up to 17% of your energy), it is more vulnerable to free-radical damage and antioxidants help eliminate this threat.

                      Broccoli is packed full of antioxidants, is well-known as a powerful cancer fighter and is also full of vitamin K, which is known to enhance cognitive function.

                      5. Foods Rich in Essential Fatty Acids

                      Your brain is the fattest organ (not counting the skin) in the human body, and is composed of 60% fat. That means that your brain needs essential fatty acids like DHA and EPA to repair and build up synapses associated with memory.

                      The body does not naturally produce essential fatty acids so we must get them in our diet.

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                      Eggs, flax, and oily fish like salmon, sardines, mackerel and herring are great natural sources of these powerful fatty acids. Eggs also contain choline, which is a necessary building block for the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, to help you recall information and concentrate.

                      6. Soy

                      Soy, along with many other whole foods mentioned here, are full of proteins that trigger neurotransmitters associated with memory.

                      Soy protein isolate is a concentrated form of the protein that can be found in powder, liquid, or supplement form.

                      Soy is valuable for improving memory and mental flexibility, so pour soy milk over your cereal and enjoy the benefits.

                      7. Dark Chocolate

                      When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better. Try to aim for at least 70% cocoa. This yummy desert is rich in flavanol antioxidants which increase blood flow to the brain and shield brain cells from aging.

                      Take a look at this article if you want to know more benefits of dark chocolate: 15 Surprising and Science-Backed Health Effects of Dark Chocolate

                      8. Foods Rich in Vitamins: B vitamins, Folic Acid, Iron

                      Some great foods to obtain brain-boosting B vitamins, folic acid and iron are kale, chard, spinach and other dark leafy greens.

                      B6, B12 and folic acid can reduce levels of homocysteine in the blood. Homocysteine increases are found in patients with cognitive impairment like Alzheimer’s, and high risk of stroke.

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                      Studies showed when a group of elderly patients with mild cognitive impairment were given high doses of B6, B12, and folic acid, there was significant reduction in brain shrinkage compared to a similar placebo group.[3]

                      Other sources of B vitamins are liver, eggs, soybeans, lentils and green beans. Iron also helps accelerate brain function by carrying oxygen. If your brain doesn’t get enough oxygen, it can slow down and people can experience difficulty concentrating, diminished intellect, and a shorter attention span.

                      To get more iron in your diet, eat lean meats, beans, and iron-fortified cereals. Vitamin C helps in iron absorption, so don’t forget the fruits!

                      9. Foods Rich in Zinc

                      Zinc has constantly demonstrated its importance as a powerful nutrient in memory building and thinking. This mineral regulates communications between neurons and the hippocampus.

                      Zinc is deposited within nerve cells, with the highest concentrations found in the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for higher learning function and memory.

                      Some great sources of zinc are pumpkin seeds, liver, nuts, and peas.

                      10. Gingko Biloba

                      This herb has been utilized for centuries in eastern culture and is best known for its memory boosting brawn.

                      It can increase blood flow in the brain by dilating vessels, increasing oxygen supply and removing free radicals.

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                      However, don’t expect results overnight: this may take a few weeks to build up in your system before you see improvements.

                      11. Green and Black Tea

                      Studies have shown that both green and black tea prevent the breakdown of acetylcholine—a key chemical involved in memory and lacking in Alzheimer’s patients.

                      Both teas appear to have the same affect on Alzheimer’s disease as many drugs utilized to combat the illness, but green tea wins out as its affects last a full week versus black tea which only lasts the day.

                      Find out more about green tea here: 11 Health Benefits of Green Tea (+ How to Drink It for Maximum Benefits)

                      12. Sage and Rosemary

                      Both of these powerful herbs have been shown to increase memory and mental clarity, and alleviate mental fatigue in studies.

                      Try to enjoy these savory herbs in your favorite dishes.

                      When it comes to mental magnitude, eating smart can really make you smarter. Try to implement more of these readily available nutrients and see just how brainy you can be!

                      More About Boosting Brain Power

                      Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

                      Reference

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