We need to eat healthy food for better health. But what are the names of such nutritious food for our everyday meals, and how do they benefit our health are two important questions. Let’s get down to the top 10 healthy food for better health that we should include in our everyday meals for better health.
1. Fish (Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health)
Fish includes many nutrients. Omega-3 fatty acids are abundant in salmon, trout, sardines, tuna, and mackerel and are higher in fat-based nutrients. It plays a vital role in growth and development. Omega-3 fat docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) is very important for brain and eye development.
Many people lack vitamin D. Fish are rich in fat-soluble nutrients Vitamin D. Vitamin D deficiency leads to bone density loss, osteoporosis, and fractures. In children, Vitamin D deficiency causes rickets. 42% of the U.S. population is vitamin D deficient. In India, Vitamin D deficiency ranges from 40% to 90%. Fishes like salmon and herring contain the highest amounts of Vitamin D.
2. Broccoli or any of the cruciferous vegetables (Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health)
Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables have anti-cancer properties. Plants in this category have unique, intense flavours.
Cruciferous vegetables include:
- Bok choy
- Brussels sprouts
100 gm of Broccoli contains (Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health)
|Energy (Atwater General Factors)||39||kcal|
|Energy (Atwater Specific Factors)||32||kcal|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.34||g|
|Total fat (NLEA)||0.07||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||6.27||g|
|Carbohydrate, by summation||3.8||g|
|Fiber, total dietary||2.4||g|
|Sugars, Total NLEA||1.4||g|
|Vitamins and Other Components:|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||91.3||mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||8||µg|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||745||µg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.15||mg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||102||µg|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0.04||g|
|Fatty acids, total monounsaturated||0.01||g|
|Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated||0.02||g|
These vegetables are low in calories. Cruciferous vegetables provide a considerable amount of folate, vitamins C, E, and K. They are rich in fibre. Fibre keeps us fuller and helps to lose weight.
Cruciferous vegetables provide phytonutrients, lowering inflammation and reducing the chance of developing cancer. There are also glucosinolates present in these vegetables, which have anti-cancer effects. Glucosinolates also provide aroma and flavour to these plants. Glucosinolates break down into indoles and isothiocyanates that protect cells from DNA damage, inactivate carcinogens, and have antibacterial and anti-viral effects.
3. Beetroots – Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health
Beetroots are packed with nutrients and contains betalains antioxidant. The antioxidant fights cell damage and reduces the risk of heart disease. It also gives beets their vibrant colour. Betalains reduce inflammation and have anti-cancer properties.
Beetroot and juice of beet help our lungs and heart. Beetroot container nitric oxide which helps to increase blood flow to our muscles. Nitric oxide also widens and relaxes blood vessels, lowering blood pressure.
They have vitamin B9 or folic acid and help in cell growth and function. Folic acid also reduces damage to blood vessels, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke. It also provides potassium which helps our heart and brain.
4. Spinach – Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health
100 grams of raw spinach provide
Protein: 2.9 grams
Carbs: 3.6 grams
Sugar: 0.4 grams
Fiber: 2.2 grams
Fat: 0.4 grams
Health Benefits of Spinach
Spinach is full of insoluble fibre. It helps our digestive system greatly and the same time prevents constipation.
Spinach is a rich source of many vitamins and minerals, like
High carotenoids in spinach are converted to Vitamin A by our body.
Vitamin C in spinach is a powerful antioxidant. It provides skin health and better immune function.
Vitamin K1 in spinach is essential for blood clotting.
Vitamin B9 or Folic acid is vital for cellular function and tissue growth.
Spinach is rich in iron. It helps the formation of haemoglobin, inevitable for oxygen supply throughout our body tissues.
Spinach is an excellent source of Calcium. Calcium is essential for healthy bones and a crucial signalling molecule for our nervous system, heart, and muscles.
Apart from the vitamins mentioned above and minerals, spinach also contains potassium, magnesium, vitamins B6, and E.
This vegetable contains many essential plant compounds like
Lutein and Zeaxanthin improve our eye health. They prevent macular degeneration and cataracts. They also reverse existing damage.
Kaempferol decreases the risk of cancer and chronic diseases.
Nitrates promote a healthy heart.
Quercetin prevents infection and inflammation.
Spinach contains antioxidants. It fights against the free radical, which causes oxidative stress.
Spinach contains two components, MGDG (Monogalactosyldiacylglycerol) and SQDG (Sulfoquinovosyl diacylglycerol), which slow down cancer growth.
It also has a high number of nitrates, which helps control blood pressure levels. Nitrate also decreases the risk of heart disease. These makes Spinach one of the Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health.
5. Kale – Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health
Kale contains many essential vitamins and plant compounds that help our body and mind.
100 gm of kale contains
|Energy (Atwater General Factors)||44||kcal|
|Energy (Atwater Specific Factors)||36||kcal|
|Total lipid (fat)||1.21||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||5.3||g|
|Sugars, Total NLEA||1.12||g|
|Vitamins and Other Components:|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||17.8||mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||146||µg|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||4980||µg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||1.61||mg|
Kale is rich in Vitamin A. Vitamin A is vital for eye health. It also helps with a robust immune system. Vitamin C helps against cold. It also prevents chronic diseases. Vitamin K is excellent for blood clotting and bone development. Folic acid or vitamin B9 is critical for brain development.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are present in kale. These nutrients give kale deep, dark green colour. Lutein and zeaxanthin protect us against macular degeneration and cataracts. Kale also contains minerals like phosphorus, potassium, calcium, and zinc. These kale nutrients help lower cholesterol, prevent cancer, and lose weight.
6. Peanut butter (Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health)
Peanut butter is a reliable source of protein. It also provides essential vitamins and minerals like magnesium, potassium, and zinc.
100 gm of peanut butter contain
|Energy (Atwater General Factors)||632||kcal|
|Energy (Atwater Specific Factors)||589||kcal|
|Total lipid (fat)||49.4||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||22.7||g|
|Fiber, total dietary||6.3||g|
|Vitamins and Other Components:|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||5.41||mg|
Magnesium is essential for health. It plays a vital role in various chemical processes in the body.
Phosphorus helps the body to build healthy cells and bones. It also helps cells to produce energy.
Niacin helps in digestion and nerve function. Niacin also produces energy.
Vitamin B-6 plays a crucial role in enzyme reactions in the body. Vitamin B6 is necessary for heart and immune system health. But more than the recommended amount of peanut butter provides nutritional disadvantages as it is high in calories and contains many saturated fats and sodium. Peanut butter is thus one of the Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health.
7. Almonds are highly nutritious – Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health
Almonds are highly nutritious. They are rich in healthy fats, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. Almonds are used to make almond milk, oil, butter, flour, or paste, called marzipan.
28-grams of almond contains:
Fiber: 3.5 grams
Protein: 6 grams
Fat: 14 grams (9 of which are monounsaturated)
Vitamin E: 37% of the RDI
Manganese: 32% of the RDI
Magnesium: 20% of the RDI
Health Benefits of Almonds – Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health
Almond also contains copper, vitamin B2 (riboflavin), and phosphorus. They are high in fibre, protein, and monounsaturated fats (healthy). Almonds are a rich source of antioxidants. Antioxidants protect against oxidative stress and are primarily present in the brown layer of the skin. Therefore, blanched almonds are not very healthy.
Vitamin E is a crucial nutrient present in almonds. Vitamin E lowers the chances of cardiac diseases, Alzheimer’s, and Cancer. They are also high in magnesium which helps to control blood sugar. Magnesium brings down blood sugar levels and improves the function of insulin. Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fat, fibre, and protein and low in carbohydrates. They are an excellent dietary choice for diabetic people. Almond can prevent metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes. Magnesium also helps lower blood pressure levels, thus reducing the chance of heart attacks, strokes, and kidney failure.
LDL lipoproteins are known as bad cholesterol and a risk factory cardiovascular disease. Studies indicate that almonds effectively lower LDL. Thus, reducing the chance of heart disease.
8. Mangos is tasty and healthy – Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health
100 grams of mango provides
|Total lipid (fat)||0.38||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||15||g|
|Fiber, total dietary||1.6||g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||13.7||g|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||36.4||mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||54||µg|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||23||µg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.9||mg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||4.2||µg|
|Fatty acids, total saturated||0.092||g|
Health Benefits of Mangoes
Mangoes are a rich source of vitamin C. Vitamin C helps protect against cold and supports the immune system. In the presence of vitamin C, the body absorbs more iron and promotes cell growth and repair. It also contains copper and folic acid, which are suitable for fetal growth and development in pregnant women.
Another benefit of mango is that fresh mango is low in calories. Mango is high in vitamin C and carotenoids, which prevent diabetes. Mango is rich in plant compounds or polyphenols, which act as antioxidants to protect our bodies. The plant compounds include
Mangiferin is one of the antioxidants that helps the body fight against free radicals. It helps to reduce the chances of cancers, diabetes, and other illnesses. It also reduces levels of cholesterol, triglycerides, and free fatty acids. Lutein and zeaxanthin contain antioxidants that keep the eyes healthy.
Vitamin A, present in mango, is essential for a healthy immune system. Mango also provides magnesium and potassium. These help blood flow in our body, relax blood vessels, and lower blood pressure.
Mango is excellent for digestive health. It contains an amylase enzyme. The enzyme breaks down larger food molecules, so the body can absorb them quickly. Amylase breaks down complex carbohydrates into glucose and maltose. Mango also has plenty of water and dietary fibre, as seen in the chart. They help with digestive issues like constipation and diarrhoea.
9. Blueberries is a superfood for better health
Blueberries have often been termed a superfood. 100 gm of blueberry contain
|Energy (Atwater General Factors)||64||kcal|
|Energy (Atwater Specific Factors)||57||kcal|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.31||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||14.6||g|
|Sugars, Total NLEA||9.36||g|
|Vitamins and Other Components:|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||8.1||mg|
Health Benefits of Blueberries – Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health
Blueberries contain plenty of antioxidants that protect our bodies from free radicals. Therefore, antioxidants help reduce the chances of cancer, repair damaged cells, etc. A group of polyphenols antioxidants called flavonoids provide the most beneficial health effects. The antioxidants of blueberries reduce DNA damage and lower the chances of cancer and ageing.
Blueberries are rich in anthocyanins. They reduce the risk of heart attacks. They also have beneficial effects on insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. With improved insulin sensitivity, metabolic syndrome and type 2 diabetes also decrease.
Oxidative damage also creates problems with LDL (bad) cholesterol. Antioxidants in blueberry reduce oxidative damage to LDL cholesterol and thus reduce the chances of coronary diseases. Oxidative stress accelerates the brain’s ageing process and hampers how the brain functions. Antioxidants present in blueberries reduce oxidative stress.
10. Milk is super healthy – Top 10 Healthy Food for Better health
100 gm of whole milk contain
|Energy (Atwater General Factors)||158||kcal|
|Energy (Atwater Specific Factors)||157||kcal|
|Total lipid (fat)||11||g|
|Total fat (NLEA)||10.3||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||6.86||g|
|Vitamins and Other Components:|
|Vitamin A, RAE||127||µg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.27||mg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||0.6||µg|
|Vitamin K (Menaquinone-4)||3.1||µg|
Health Benefits of Milk
Milk is nutrient-rich and acknowledged for its health benefits throughout the world. Milk is a super source of protein, vitamins, and minerals. It contains potassium, B12, calcium, and vitamin D. Milk is also rich in vitamin A, magnesium, zinc, and thiamine (B1). It also provides us with hundreds of fatty acids, including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3s.
Conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids reduce the risk of diabetes and heart diseases.
Milk is a complete protein as it has all 9 essential amino acids. Amino acids are crucial for many vital functions in your body, such as growth and development, cellular repair, and immune system regulation.
Casein and whey protein are two main types of protein present in milk. Whey protein contains branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These branched-chain amino acids help to build muscle and reduce muscle loss. Milk has power-packed nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and vitamin K2, which help maintain strong and healthy bines. Vitamin D, vitamin K, phosphorus, and magnesium present in milk help the process of proper absorption of calcium. Adding milk to the daily diet can prevent bone diseases such as vitamin D.
- FoodData central. (n.d.-a). Usda.gov. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/747447/nutrients
- FoodData central. (n.d.-b). Usda.gov. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/326196/nutrients
- FoodData central. (n.d.-c). Usda.gov. Retrieved August 2, 2022, from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/2262072/nutrients