Healthy Whole Foods

Looking for a list of the world's best healthy whole foods?

This page gives you lists of:

  • healthiest vegetables 
  • healthiest fruits 
  • healthiest nuts and seeds
  • healthiest grains
  • healthiest herbs and spices
  • healthiest legumes
  • healthiest lean meats
  • healthiest seafood 
  • healthiest dairy products,
  • plus links to lists of low sodium foods and heart healthy foods.

See these lists, below!

What are healthy whole foods?

Healthy whole foods are the ideal staple or basis of the modern diet. 

To make things easy, we define healthy foods as the highest nutritional value foods.

They are the foods that are

They include low sodium foods and heart-healthy foods.

Different foods grow in different climates. But wherever you are in the world, you will have access to a variety of whole foods.

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 in the list of testable foods, in food intolerance blood tests - these foods could cause intolerance symptoms in some people.

Sometimes, even healthy whole foods like those listed below can cause health problems, allergies or intolerance.

Healthiest vegetables

We rate green leafy vegetables (including leafy herbs) as the healthiest of all listed vegetables. 

They are one of the best healthy whole foods you can get, because they are quite readily available and most people will eat them.

The nutritional value of vegetables includes 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.

  • Asparagus
  • Avocado*
  • Beetroot
  • Broccoli*
  • Brussel Sprouts
  • Cabbage* (all types)
  • Capsicums (bell peppers)*
  • Carrots*
  • Cauliflower*
  • Celery*
  • Cucumbers*
  • Eggplant (aubergine)*
  • Fennel
  • Garlic*
  • Green beans
  • Green peas
  • Leeks
  • Mushroom* (Crimini/Shiitake)
  • Mustard greens*
  • Olives*
  • Onions*
  • Potatoes*
  • Romaine lettuce*
  • Sea vegetables
  • Silverbeet (chard)
  • Spinach*
  • Squash (all types)
  • Tomatoes*
  • Zucchini*

Healthiest fruits

We 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, click here! 

  • Apples*
  • Apricots*
  • Bananas*
  • Cantaloupe*
  • Cranberries*
  • Figs
  • Grapes*
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Lemons*
  • Limes
  • Oranges*
  • Papaya
  • Pears
  • Pineapple*
  • Plums
  • Prunes
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries*
  • Watermelon*

Healthiest nuts and seeds (high in fat - use sparingly)

We rate almonds as the healthiest of the nuts listed, because they are a great source of vitamin E.

These healthy whole foods should ideally be purchased in their shells which gives maximum shelf life.

Make sure they’re free of mold.

We 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.

  • Almonds*
  • Cashews*
  • Flaxseed (linseed)
  • Peanuts*
  • Pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • Sesame seeds*
  • Sunflower seeds*
  • Walnuts*

Healthiest grains

We rate oats as 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.

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

Healthiest herbs and spices

Herbs and spices are some of the healthiest whole foods available.

We 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 of a meal.

Some herbs like Reishi (Ganoderma Lucidum) contain literally hundreds of antioxidants and are easy to incorporate into healthy recipes.

  • Basil
  • Chilli
  • Coriander/cilantro
  • Cinnamon*
  • Cloves
  • Cumin
  • Dill
  • Ginger*
  • Mustard seeds*
  • Oregano
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

Healthiest legumes

We 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.

Dried legumes must be properly cooked to avoid toxicity.

Some people cannot tolerate beans well due to their lectin content.

Miso must rate a mention for it’s zinc content, because zinc is typically low in many Western diets.

  • Kidney beans
  • Black beans
  • Chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
  • Dried peas
  • Lentils*
  • Lima beans*
  • Miso
  • Navy beans*
  • Pinto beans*
  • Soy beans*
  • Tempeh*
  • Tofu*

Healthiest lean meats and other animal foods

We rate eggs as the healthiest of all listed animal foods.

Eggs provide high quality protein, having the highest amino acid index value.

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 in our healthy whole foods list, because it contains quality protein and is the lower in fat than many common red meats, at about 1.2g of fat per 100g of meat.

  • Eggs*
  • Kangaroo
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Turkey
  • Venison (wild)

Healthiest seafood

  • Sardines
  • Cod
  • Scallops
  • Salmon*
  • Halibut*
  • Prawns*
  • Tuna*

We rate sardines as the best listed seafood.


They are a small fish species occurring lower in the ‘food chain’ so are likely to contain smaller amounts of 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

  • Organic yoghurt
  • Organic cow's milk, unhomogenized
  • Organic goat's milk

We rate yoghurt as the best listed dairy product, because it is a source of multiple nutrients as well as beneficial cultures for healthy digestion.

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 people are intolerant to lactose, casein or whey in milk products and may need to find alternatives.

Some information on this page was sourced from World's Healthiest Foods website: 
World's Healthiest Foods. 

The best fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, meats and grains in your diet are organic and rich in minerals.

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.

You can achieve dynamic health with simple clean living and easy lifestyle changes that will build your immune system and help you live a long healthy life.