Not all food is made the same, and there are many myths about different foods.
While some foods are incredibly high in nutrients, others are just empty calories and even harmful to our health.
This article takes a look at some of the most nutritious foods available.
And if you think that only means fruits and vegetables, then you’d be wrong.
Here are 7 of the most nutrient-dense foods in the world.
Berries are rich in vitamin C and fiber and a good source of folate and potassium. But what gives berries their superpowers are their phytochemicals, specifically anthocyanins, the pigments responsible for their intense colors. Those anthocyanins are powerful antioxidants that fight cell damage and may reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. Blueberries, in particular, have been shown to improve memory and brain function in lab animals.
Sardines are small, oily fish that can be eaten whole.
This includes bones, skin, organs, brains and everything.
Given that the organs are usually the most nutritious parts of an animal, it is not surprising to see that whole sardines are incredibly nutritious.
They contain a little bit of almost every nutrient that the body needs and are pretty close to being perfect from a nutritional standpoint.
Like other fatty fish, they’re also very high in heart-healthy Omega-3s.
Liver deserves its reputation for being a “superfood.” Liver is extremely rich in vitamin A, vitamin B12, and copper, providing well over 100% of the RDI for these nutrients. Liver is also rich in high-quality protein.
What’s more, liver is the best source of choline, a nutrient that like a vitamin in your body. Choline is important for brain health, metabolism, and protection of your cells’ DNA. Although the FDA hasn’t established an RDI for choline, it is an essential nutrient that modern diets often don’t provide enough of. In a 2007 study, researchers showed that inadequate choline intake led to muscle and liver damage in individuals with certain genetic profiles.
This is the raw, unprocessed source of chocolate. Raw, unsweetened cacao powder, which is high in antioxidant flavones, is very different from the common, commercial cocoa drinks and chocolates. Cacao is derived from cacao beans, one of nature’s most supercharged, nutrient-dense foods due to its mineral content and wide array of unique and varied properties. Raw cacao is one of the best food sources of magnesium. It is also exceptionally rich in chromium, which is used to help control blood sugar. It contains a number of compounds known to boost mood and relaxation such as tryptophan, theobromine and phenylethylamine (PEA). As well as the powder and butter, some recipes use cacao nibs, which are slightly bitter and have a strong chocolate flavor and a wonderful crunchy texture.
A radish-like, nutrient-dense root and food, maca is known for its adaptogenic properties and has the ability to help the body adjust to stress, build up resistance to disease and support immunity. It can also be taken as an energy food for combating fatigue. Its delicious, sweet butterscotch flavor means that it blends beautifully with cacao in drinks. Maca works directly on the hypothalamus and pituitary glands: the body’s ‘master glands’, which help to regulate other glands, such as the levels of sex hormones in men and women. Buy as a powder.
It’s time to start thinking twice before you toss the yolk of your egg. Too many people are in the habit of eating only egg whites because they think that the whole egg is too high in cholesterol. However as long as you have no pre-existing heart health concerns, eating one or two whole eggs as part of your balanced diet should pose no problem. Plus, most of the nutrition found in eggs is located in that yolk.
So what will you get from eggs? Eggs are an excellent source of protein, vitamin A, D, and E, along with folate, iron, zinc, and choline. Iron is an important nutrient to note because those who tend to fall short in this mineral will typically experience higher levels of fatigue on a day-to-day basis. By adding eggs to your diet, you can boost your endurance and keep up with your workout session. Eggs are also quick and easy to prepare, highly versatile, and very cost effective, so that’s another reason you’ll want to be adding them to your daily diet plan.
Spinach is rich in beta-carotene, a phytonutrient (literally “plant nutrient”) that your body converts to vitamin A. Beta-carotene and other phytonutrients found in spinach function as antioxidants that help protect your cells from damage and potentially reduce cancer risk. Spinach is also a good source of nitrates, which have been shown to improve arterial function and lower blood pressure in adults.
In addition, spinach contains thylakoids, compounds that have been found to increase satiety and reduce hunger. In one study, overweight women who took spinach extract reported less hunger and fewer food cravings than women given a placebo.
Sautéing spinach in a little butter, coconut oil, or olive oil enhances its flavor and helps maximize the absorption of beta-carotene.