50 Foods That We Should All Be Eating
It’s no secret that some foods are better than others. Between the cheeseburger and the plate with vegetables and lean protein, 9 times out of 10 we need to choose the latter.
But aside from the obvious logic that we should eat a diet that’s a balance of fruit, vegetables, healthy carbs, fats, and proteins, there are some foods that stand above the rest in terms of the specific nutrients and benefits they provide. And if staying healthy is a top priority for you, pursuing a healthy diet that’s packed with these foods will help you avoid illness and injury.
Whether you’re young or old, here are 50 foods that contain important vitamins, nutrients, and minerals that can help us stay healthy and live longer.
50 Foods That Should Be in Your Diet
Of all the foods in the world, fruits and berries are some of the most popular and healthy. They’re delicious, rich in nutrients, and very easy to incorporate into your diet.
Here’s a quick list of fruits and why they should be in your diet:
Apples - vitamin C; rich in antioxidants; high in fiber; very filling
Avocados - full of healthy fats, fiber, potassium, and vitamin C
Bananas - one of the best sources of potassium; high in vitamin B6, rich in fiber, convenient and portable
Blueberries - one of the best sources of antioxidants; superfood
Oranges - an excellent source of vitamin C, fiber, and antioxidants
Strawberries - low on carbs and calories; loaded up with vitamin C, fiber, and manganese; versatile
Tomatoes - loaded with potassium and vitamin C
When it’s cooked properly and unprocessed, meat can be some of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Not to mention incredibly filling!
Here’s a short list of nutritional meats and why you should eat them:
Eggs - nutritious; low calorie and high in protein
Lean Beef - full of iron and protein
Chicken Breasts - low in both fat and calories while maintaining a high protein content; a great source of nutrients and relatively inexpensive
Lamb - usually grass-fed and full of omega-3 fatty acids
Nuts & Seeds
A diet that incorporates nuts and seeds means you’re getting your fill of important nutrients like magnesium and vitamin E, as well as consuming healthy fats. Not only can nuts and seeds help you lose weight, but they require little to no preparation.
Here are some of the best nuts and seeds that should be in your diet:
Almonds - arguably one of the most popular nuts; full of vitamin E, antioxidants, magnesium, and fiber; improve metabolic health
Chia Seeds - nutrient-dense, packed with fiber, magnesium, manganese, calcium, and other nutrients
Coconuts - rich in fiber and fatty acids called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs)
Macadamia Nuts - super tasty; high in monounsaturated fats; lower in omega-6 fatty acids
Walnuts - highly nutritious; loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals
Like fruits, vegetables are some of the healthiest foods out there, and when you break it down calorie by calorie, they have the most concentrated source of nutrients.
There are tons of vegetables out there, and ideally, you’re eating as many different types as possible:
Asparagus - low in carbs and calories; full of vitamin K
Bell Peppers - a tremendous source of antioxidants and vitamin C; low in calories
Broccoli - an incredible source of fiber and vitamins C and K; contains a good amount of protein compared to other vegetables; very versatile
Carrots - contains nutrients like fiber and vitamin K
Cauliflower - tastes good on its own, but can also be used to make many healthy dishes
Cucumber - like bell peppers, low in carbs and calories; consist mostly of water
Garlic - full of bioactive organosulfur compounds that can improve biological functions like immunity
Kale - high in fiber, vitamins C and K; versatile
Onions - contain bioactive compounds with numerous health benefits; low in calories
Fish & Seafood
Cooked properly, fish and other types of seafood are some of the most popular healthy foods out there. They’re rich in both omega-3 fatty acids and iodine.
Research shows that people who eat large amounts of fish tend to live longer while also having a lower risk of illnesses like heart disease, dementia, and depression.
So here are 6 types of fish you should be including in your diet:
Salmon - high in nutrients like protein and omega-3 fatty acids; contains vitamin D
Sardines - contain a large amount of nutrients despite being smaller
Shellfish - nutrient-dense; versatile
Shrimp - low in fat and calories; high in protein; contains nutrients like selenium and vitamin B12
Trout - nutrient-rich; high in protein; vitamin D
Tuna - low in both fat and calories; comes in low-mercury varieties*; rich in protein
Grains & Breads
Unlike a hamburger bun from McDonald’s, unprocessed grains can be healthy for you when eaten in moderation and contain different types of nutrients that your body needs.
Here’s a quick list of grains and breads that are easy to incorporate into your diet:
Brown Rice - a good amount of fiber, vitamin B1, and magnesium; nutrient-rich
Oats - contain powerful fibers called beta-glucans, which carry a variety of health benefits
Quinoa - rich in nutrients like fiber and magnesium; good source of plant-based protein
Ezekiel Bread - organic; made from sprouted whole grains; contains legumes
Buckwheat - full of nutrients like manganese, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B, and fiber; naturally gluten-free
Although this particular food group has been dealt a bad rap in the past, legumes are a great source of plant-based protein and have a significant amount of health benefits when soaked and cooked properly.
Here are four legumes that you can easily add to your diet:
Green Beans - low-calorie; rich in fiber, folate, vitamins C and K, and silicon
Kidney Beans - full of fiber, vitamins, and minerals (cook properly; don’t eat raw)
Lentils - high in fiber; a great source of plant-based protein
Peanuts - packed with nutrients and antioxidants
Chickpeas - full of protein and fiber; aid against weight gain and heart disease
For people who don’t have problems eating dairy, this food group is a great source of nutrients, especially when it comes from grass-fed cows - giving it bioactive fatty acids like CLA and vitamin K2.
Here are three types of dairy that everyone who can consume dairy should be eating:
Cheese - nutrient-dense; versatile
Whole Milk - high in vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats; a great source of calcium; quality animal protein
Yogurt - contains friendly probiotic bacteria; can aid in digestion
Fats & Oils
Despite being seen in a negative light in the past, certain fats and oils are very healthy and provide us with many types of nutrients that we need:
Butter (from grass-fed cows) - high in nutrients; contains vitamin K2
Coconut Oil - packed with high amounts of MCTs (which can aid against Alzheimer’s disease); helpful in losing stomach fat
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats; high in antioxidants
Classified as the storage organs of some plants, tubers tend to hold a significant number of beneficial nutrients. Not to mention they’re very versatile, and fun to incorporate into your diet:
Potatoes - full of potassium and a large number of vitamins, including vitamin C
Sweet Potatoes - rich in antioxidants and other healthy nutrients