Healthy Whole Foods
Healthy whole foods should be the staple part of our diet. They are the unprocessed, untreated and organic foods that we find in nature. They are low sodium, organic, and heart-healthy.
Different foods grow in different climates. But wherever you are in the world, you will have access to a variety of whole foods.
See my full lists of healthy whole foods, below. If you wish to use this as a guide to healthy shopping, print it out, then cross off any foods you don’t like and any foods that you’re sensitive or allergic to.
In the lists below, * indicates foods that are commonly included food intolerance blood tests - they could cause intolerance symptoms in some people. Sometimes, even healthy whole foods like those listed below can cause health problems, allergies or intolerance.
I rate green leafy vegetables (including leafy herbs) as the healthiest of all listed vegetables. The nutritional values of vegetables include high levels of fibre and high levels of a range of nutrients including beta carotene (precursor to vitamin A), folic acid, iron and vitamin K.
I rate strawberries as the healthiest of all listed fruits in terms of nutrient content. They contain vitamin C, manganese, fibre, iodine, potassium, folate, vitamins B2, B5 and B6, omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin K, magnesium and copper.
They also contain phenolic compounds, which are powerful antioxidants. They are heart-healthy, anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory fruits. Be careful to buy organic fruits to avoid residual pesticides.
If you want to know more about the nutritional value of fruit,
I rate almonds as the healthiest of the nuts listed, because they are a great source of vitamin E. As a whole food, nuts should be purchased in their shells which gives maximum shelf life. Make sure they’re free of mould.
I rate pumpkin seeds (pepitas) as the healthiest of all listed seeds. They’re rich in protein and carbohydrates and lower in fat compared to the others, and contain several essential nutrients including vitamin K and zinc. Zinc is an important nutrient and is only present in some healthy whole foods.
I rate oats are the healthiest grain as they are rich in minerals, fibre and protein. They contain gluten, so people avoiding gluten could rather choose quinoa (pronounced keen-wah). Whole grains are healthy whole foods. Their outer husks contain healthy fats, and the minerals we need (like chromium and selenium) to help digest the carbohydrate in the grain.
Healthiest Herbs and Spices:
Herbs and spices are some of the healthiest whole foods available. I rate the healthiest herbs on this list as basil and mustard seeds, both of which contain the greatest variety of vitamins and minerals. Adding fresh herbs to a meal is an easy way to boost the nutrient content.
Some herbs like
Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum)
contain literally hundreds of antioxidants and are easy to incorporate into healthy recipes.
I rate the healthiest legumes on this list as kidney beans, because they contain the most vitamins and minerals; notably folate, iron, fibre, phosphorous, copper and magnesium. Miso must rate a mention for it’s zinc content, because zinc is typically low in many Western diets.
Healthiest Lean Meats and Other Animal Foods (organic):
I rate eggs as the healthiest of all listed animal foods. Eggs provide the best protein source, having the biological value protein of all foods. They are rich in numerous minerals and also contain fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E and B complex. People watching cholesterol intake can omit the yolk to avoid the fat and cholesterol (but this also means lower nutritional value).
Kangaroo rates a close second because it is the lowest in fat, at about 1.2g of fat per 100g of meat.
I rate sardines as the best listed seafood. They are a small fish species occurring lower in the ‘food chain’ so are likely to contain less bio-accumulated mercury. They are also rich in important nutrients like vitamin B12, selenium, vitamin D, phosphorous and calcium. Generally, seafood is rich in concentrated omega 3 fatty acids and minerals such as iodine, zinc, magnesium and selenium.
Today’s seafood presents a risk of mercury contamination and pathogenic bacteria. On that basis, smaller species of fish that are lower on the food chain (e.g. their food source is mainly plant-based) may contain lower levels of mercury, and are therefore considered to be safer choices. They are also one of the eco-best fish.
Healthiest Dairy Products:
I rate yoghurt as the best listed dairy product, because it is a source of multiple nutrients as well as beneficial cultures. Be sure to buy natural yoghurt with no added sweeteners, artificial sweeteners, fillers, emulsifiers or numbers. Your yoghurt should simply contain milk, water and culture.
Some information on this page was sourced from World's Healthiest Foods website:
This will help to ensure you get the right acid/alkaline balance from your foods. This is one of many systems in your body that has a great influence on overall health.