10 Healthiest Foods: Super Foods for Super Health

6 Comments | December 8, 2012

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The 10 Healthiest FoodsSaying I have put together a list of the top 10 healthiest foods may seem like I am telling you there are magic foods. We all know there are no real magic foods.

The road to total health is not in a pill or any one magical food. Still, there are foods whose nutritional content is so powerful and the benefits of eating them so amazing, that they are often referred to as “super foods”.

Below you will find CookingNook.com’s list of the top 10 healthiest foods, arranged alphabetically, with a brief note about the health benefits of each.

Just click on the first link for each food listed to read why each of these “super” foods is so good for us and how they help to create health.

The delicious recipes that are listed in the second link after each super food description feature our top 10 healthiest foods and show you how easy it can be to make healthy food choices while enjoying the great flavor these super foods bring to the table.

The Top 10 Healthiest Foods

 

Divider Citrus

1. Berries

The nutritional content of raspberries, blueberries and strawberries make these sweet little jewels a must have in every diet. High in antioxidants, berries are a great source of health giving nutrition.

Find out more about the health benefits of blueberries, strawberries and raspberries.

Try these wonderful strawberry, raspberry and blueberry recipes.

2. Broccoli

This low calorie nutritional powerhouse is high on the list of top 10 healthiest foods. It helps prevent cancer, heart disease and much much more.

Read more broccoli nutrition facts and find out why broccoli is one of nature’s best foods.

Get some great broccoli recipes.

3. Citrus Fruits

The vitamin C in citrus fruits alone is enough reason to include these juicy fruits as a must have in our diets, but you’ll find other health benefits to eating these luscious treats.

Orange, grapefruit, lime and lemon facts reveal the amazing health giving properties of citrus fruits.

Get lemon recipes and more to help you add citrus fruits to your everyday food menu.

4. Garlic

The health and medicinal benefits of even one clove of garlic a day are astounding and include help with heart disease, diabetes, cancer and much more.

Read more about the health and medicinal benefits of garlic, an amazing super food.

Get tasty garlic recipes and punch up your menus.

5. Nuts

Thinking that nuts are a high fat no no for a healthy diet? You’ll think again when you read the cholesterol lowering, heart disease preventing and other amazing health giving properties of these tasty little treats.

This walnuts and almonds nutrition information will show you why nuts are on the list of super foods.

Look here for delicious walnut and almond recipes.

6. Oats

High in fiber and protein and low in fat, oats reduce the risk of heart disease, lower cholesterol and much more. A great grain for diabetics.

Read more about oats and the powerful nutritional qualities of this healthy grain.

Find oat recipes (including Quaker oats recipes) and how to make oats a part of your menu more often.

7. Salmon

Very deserving of a spot on the list of top 10 healthiest foods, salmon is rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and other health giving nutrients that help prevent heart disease and much much more.
Salmon nutrition facts show why this fish is a must have on any healthy diet.

Look here for great salmon recipes that are so easy to prepare.

8. Spinach

Loaded with Vitamin C, fiber, calcium and much more, spinach is the best food you can eat to prevent macular degeneration (poor eyesight leading to blindness).

Find out more about why the health benefits of spinach put it on our list of 10 healthiest foods.

Try some of our spinach recipes to add this amazing vegetable to your diet.

 

9. Tomatoes

These luscious red gems are actually powerful fighters against cancer and heart disease. Not just for BLT’s any more.

More information on the amazing health giving facts about tomatoes.

Easy recipes that take sweet tomatoes’ nutrition and add great taste.

10. Turkey

An excellent source of low fat, low calorie protein and other nutrients, turkey is not just for the holidays.
Read these turkey facts and you’ll want turkey on the menu more often.

Find easy turkey recipes and recipes for turkey leftovers.

Did You Know?…

This healthy food list consists of foods that are exceptionally nutrient dense. That is, they have more nutrients per calorie than most other foods.

They have also been proven to contain vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that prevent disease: from cancer and heart disease to arthritis, eye diseases and many more.

These super foods are perfect for low fat heart healthy cooking and most make excellent low carb cooking choices as well, if you are going the low carb route.

The 10 healthiest foods are foods that are so amazingly good for us that we really should include them in our diets on a regular basis for optimal health. I have included tips on how to add more of these wonderful foods to your every day menus on each food’s health benefits page. Have a look and see if there are ways to add these healthy food choices to your table more often.

The 10 healthiest foods are part of an overall healthy diet. Look here for more information.


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  1. posted by Evie Dawson on October 7, 2013

    Looks great! Smoothies is the best choice for me to make sure I have all the required nutrition. I would just put some healthy fat in that smoothie so that I would absorb all those vitamins and nutrients as well as keep me full longer! Just read an amazing post on the related topic here at http://topoften.com/10-superfoods-for-good-health/

  2. posted by Karen Ciancio on August 25, 2013

     

    Miracle Food

     
    Originally posted by Liz.
     
    I found Miracle Noodles online, and ordered them, they have no calories, carbs, or fat, and they taste like regular pasta, so I saved myself hundreds of calories a day eating these every time at supper with sauce, veggies and a little meat.
     
    Plus I eat cereal for breakfast, salad, low cal dressing, a 100 calorie choc bar, and 60 cal pudding plus for lunch plus a fruit for night time snack, which all equals 1,100 calories a day, which is what works.
     
    I also work out 4 days a week, cardio 30 min, and weights 20 min, and I have lost 3 pounds a week so far.
     
    From Karen:
    I recently noticed them too Liz but haven’t tried them yet. May give them a try.

  3. posted by Karen Ciancio on August 25, 2013

    Cayenne for Better Health

    This post about the health benefits of cayenne was originally submitted by Nestor Cabintoy, Manila Philippines

    About Cayenne
    Originally from South America, the cayenne plant has spread across the globe both as a food and as a medicine.

    Cayenne is very closely related to bell peppers, jalapeños, paprika, and other similar peppers.
    The fruit is used. Bright Fruits Can “Hit Arthritis”.

    In what conditions might cayenne be supportive? Bursitis, diabetic neuropathy, osteoarthritis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, shingles (herpes zoster), postherpetic neuralgia.

    Historical or traditional use: The potent, hot fruit of cayenne has been used as medicine for centuries. It was considered helpful for various conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, ncluding stomachaches, cramping pains, and gas.

    Cayenne was frequently used to treat diseases of the circulatory system. It is still traditionally used in herbal medicine as a circulatory tonic (a substance believed to improve circulation). Rubbed on the skin, cayenne is a traditional, as well as modern, remedy for rheumatic pains and arthritis due to what is termed a counterirritant effect. A counterirritant is something which causes irritation to a tissue to which it is applied, thus distracting from the original irritation (such as joint pain in the case of arthritis).

    Active constituents: Cayenne contains a resinous and pungent substance known as capsaicin. This chemical relieves pain and itching by acting on sensory nerves. Capsaicin temporarily stimulates release of various neurotransmitters from these nerves, leading to their depletion. Without the neurotransmitters, pain signals can no longer be sent.1 The effect is temporary. Capsaicin and other constituents in cayenne have been shown to have several other actions, including reducing platelet stickiness and acting as antioxidants.

    How much should I take? Creams containing 0.025-0.075% capsaicin are generally used. There may be a burning sensation for the first several times the cream is applied, but this should gradually decrease with each use. The hands must be carefully and thoroughly washed after use, or gloves should be worn, to prevent the cream from accidentally reaching the eyes, nose, or mouth, which would cause a burning sensation. Do not apply the cream to areas of broken skin. A cayenne tincture can be used in the amount of 0.3-1 ml three times daily.

    Are there any side effects or interactions? Besides causing a mild burning for the first few applications (or severe burning if accidentally placed in sensitive areas, such as the eyes), there are no side effects from use of the capsaicin cream. Very high intake of cayenne internally may cause ulcers, but the necessary amount is rarely achieved with sensible intake.

    As with anything applied to the skin, some people may have an allergic reaction to the cream, so the first application should be to a very small area of skin.believe the doctor of the future will be a teacher as well as a physician. His real job will be to teach people how to be healthy.” Dr. D.C. Jarvis

    THERAPEUTIC ACTION: Stimulant, tonic, carminative, sialogogue (stimulates the secretion of saliva), stomachic, rubefacient, pungent, alterative, astringent, antispasmodic, sudorific, emetic, antiseptic, condiment, anti-rheumatic.

    • Cayenne is a medicinal and nutritional herb; it is the purest and most certain stimulant. There can be little doubt that Cayenne furnishes one of the purest and strongest stimulants, which can be introduced into the stomach; while at the same time it has nothing of the narcotic effects of ardent spritis. It is said to have been
    used with success in curing some cases or disease that had resisted all other remedies. It is no doubt the most powerful stimulant known; its power is entirely congenial t nature, being powerful only in raising and maintaining the heat on which life depends. It is extremely pungent, and when taken, sets the mouth as it were
    on fire; this last, however, but a few minutes, and I consider it essentially a benefit, for its effects on the glands causes the saliva to flow freely, and leaves the mouth clean and moist.

    • Practice has proved Cayenne to be a PURE STIMULANT; one that may be safely administered and
    efficaciously applied, under every disease, whenever anything in the form of a stimulant is required by the system; in fact, no other medicine can as easily restore and retain the vital heat of the body. It also excites and
    promotes profuse perspiration, and in all cases in perfect harmony with the animal economy. It imparts a pungent heat to the throat and mouth, but this may be considered as indicative of its good qualities, for it is thus made to act powerfully on the salivary glands without injuring them and preserves a good tone to the digestive organs. The warmth that it imparts to the stomach causes an equal distribution of the fluids, without which health cannot possibly be retained in a animal economy. When taken into the stomach, it retains its heat longer than any other stimulant; at times it imparts a powerful sense of heat to the bowels, occasioned by the sudden expansion of the parts which have previously been cramped and contracted with pain. The active stimulus of the pepper thus operating upon the parts affected, produces a speedy reaction in the system, removing the obstructions by natural evacuations and profuse perspiration.

    • Cayenne as a nutritional herb: start with a small amount of 40 thousand Skoville unit Cayenne, take approximately a level ¼ teaspoon, or one ‘0’ capsule full. Stir into a small amount of water and drink. Do this twice a day. When adjusted to this level of Cayenne then increase the daily amount gradually over a period of time, I suggest 12-18 months, until one teaspoon is being consumed three times a day. To begin with it is best to use Cayenne just before a meal. Over time Cayenne can be taken on an empty stomach, again start out with small amounts and increase gradually over time.

    • This herb is a great food for the circulatory system in that it feeds the necessary elements into the cell structure of the arteries, veins and capillaries so that these regain the elasticity of youth again, and the blood pressure adjusts itself to normal. It rebuilds the tissue in the stomach and heals the stomach and intestinal ulcers; in equalizing the blood circulation, Cayenne produces natural warmth; and in stimulating the peristaltic motion of the intestines, it aids in assimilation and elimination.

    • When the venous structure becomes loaded with sticky mucus, the blood has a harder time circulating; therefore, higher pressure forces the liquid through. Cayenne regulates the flow of blood from the head to the feet so that the pressure is equalized; it influences the heart immediately, then gradually extends its effects to the arteries, capillaries, and nerves (the frequency of the pulse is not increased, but is given more vigor).

    • CIRCULATION—Warming; dilating; specific for varicose veins; equalizes the blood pressure in the arterial and venous system; equalizes;
    • FOR: allergies; muscle cramps; improved digestion; more pep and energy; wound healing with minimal scar tissue.

    • Cayenne is a counter-irritant; brings blood t the surface to take toxins away.

    • Capsicum supports the natural beat (rhythm) of the viscera and interior actions of the glandular, circulatory, lymphatic, and digestive systems. It has been used with great success as a cure for spotted fever (?); the most active stimulant to support and re-animate feeble or exhausted powers. (p. 66)

    • This is a medicine of great value in the practice, and may be safely used in all cases of disease, to raise and retain the internal vital heat of the system, cause a free perspiration, and keep the determining powers to the surface. The only preparation is to have it reduced to a fine powder. For a dose, take from half to a teaspoonful in hot water or tea sweetened with honey.

    Note from Karen:
    Not to be taken as medical advice from Cookingnook.com

  4. posted by Karen Ciancio on May 29, 2013

    More great comments from previous visitors:

    top 14 with these four added

    Where are beets, kale, lentils and sweet potatoes? They are at the top of my list!

    From Karen: Yes, these are also fantastic. Kale is included in with broccoli because it is part of the same food family.

    ——————————————-

    Only Bring Healthy Food into the House

    by Michelle

    I just don’t buy junk food, and eat foods that would be possible for me to make at home (if I could cook). That means no preservatives, excess oils, fats, and all those fancy ingredients that no one understands. If this is all I have in the house, then I’m too lazy to go to the store to satisfy my sweet tooth cravings, and eat something else that’s healthy and sweet.

    ———————————-
    4 spices that are super

    by Daniel Mcrae
    (Oshawa Ont Canada)

    1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper : for intestinal cleanse
    1/2 teaspoon cinnamon: cleans cholesterol from blood, helps arthritis
    1/2 teaspoon of yeast everyday
    1/2 teaspoon of regular pepper enhances our vitamins
    lots of mustard

    Mustard seeds emerged from our food ranking system as a very good source of selenium a nutrient which has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, decrease some of the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis, and help prevent cancer. They also qualified as a good source of magnesium. Like selenium, magnesium has been shown to help reduce the severity of asthma, to lower high blood pressure, to restore normal sleep patterns in women having difficulty with the symptoms of menopause, to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, and to prevent heart attack in patients suffering from atherosclerosis or diabetic heart disease.
    Mustard seeds also qualified as a very good source of omega-3 fatty acids as well as a good source of iron, calcium, zinc, manganese, magnesium, protein, niacin and dietary fiber.

    Mustard seeds are from the mustard plant, which is a cruciferous vegetable related to broccoli, Brussels sprouts and cabbage. While there are approximately forty different varieties of mustard plants, there are three principal types used to make mustard seeds: black mustard (Brassica nigra), white mustard (Brassica alba) and brown mustard (Brassica juncea). Black mustard seeds have the most pungent taste, while white mustard seeds, which are actually yellow in color, are the most mild and are the ones used to make American yellow mustard. Brown mustard, which is actually dark yellow in color, has a pungent acrid taste and is the type used to make Dijon mustard.

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    Eat Like 1000 Years Ago

    by Joe Griffey
    (Wabash, IN)

    The best way to eat healthy is to eat like you lived a thousand years ago. If they didn’t eat it then don’t eat it now. plus multivitamins of course.

    ———————————

    Just do it!

    by Steff
    (Brampton, ON, Canada)

    I think that the easiest way to eat healthy is to simply ‘Eat Healthy’. No one makes you eat the way that you do, only you do. So if you have any unhealthy ways of eating – stop them and find a better way to eat.

    Read up on what foods benefit you, knowing that information should be enough to say ‘I want to change’. Its not too hard and it is possible for every one of us. You can start today, right this second to begin to eat healthy and change your lifestyle, but only YOU have that power, so what are you waiting for? I don’t understand how people can complain about being overweight but yet they still order that extra large pizza, eat at that fast food restaurant and drink that extra large hot beverage with the extra whipping cream. Just say ‘no’ to yourself.

    ‘No’ is a word we better start becoming familiar with because it is a word that will be helping us throughout our whole life. We choose what goes into our body, it is all our own decision. Do you want to be healthy? Do you want to make a change? Do you want to look and be the best you can be? So do it! You can! Simple.

    ————————–

    proper meal on time meal and hard work pays

    by sam khan
    (oakville,canada)

    To keep yourself in shape i eat 3 times full meal,it goes like this,homemade 2 whole wheat pitas with a banana for breakfast,for lunch small portion of rice with meat and tomatoes,onion gravy,small portion of salad,with a small dessert at end,tea and biscuit or cake for evening snack,some salad and fruits with some chicken or meat of my choice at supper. Thats it. Missing or starving of healthy foods which god gave us will not help just have to eat everything in small proportion what ever we eat,do not abuse yourself by overeating and it helps me maintain my weight and health.

    ———————-

    Eat More Fruit

    by Ashlyn
    (Kentwood, LA)

    Eat lots of fruit! Fruit is amazing! You will be shocked by what the scale has to say about more fruit in your diet! DELICIOUS and HEALTHY!.. What more can you ask for?!

  5. posted by Karen Ciancio on May 29, 2013

    More comments and tips from previous visitors. A cautionary note: Please check with your own medical practitioner before following anyone’s advice.

    TTgrandmaof6

    by T T
    (Paradise, CA USA)

    If you are at the stage of dieting, where you have been doing it for many years, by now you know what you can and can’t eat to lose weight. At age 58 after many ups and downs, weight wise, I was going to retire, I worked in a grocery store, working anytime from midnight to 6am. I was the dept., manager for the price changes in the store.

    I took my lunch EVERY day for with everything I needed to eat for the day. Breakfast, lunch, and all snacks, drinking water most of the time. I started at 225 lbs., and by the time I retired, 7 months later I was down to 160 lbs. I drank water most of the time and because of the job, walked a lot of steps. When I went home, I continued the good, healthy eating. After I retired I continued, eating healthy and in portions suitable for my dieting and got to 145 after 6 months. I did find that losing it slowly actually works.

    I am now retired almost 4 years, and have been as low as 125, which was waaaayyy to low, to my present weight of between 135 – 140, size 10 and very happy. I didn’t follow anybody elses plan, as I have done in the past, it didn’t cost me any extra money, and to this day my portions are still within reason. I can’t say I don’t splurge, but I get right back to business. Going from a size 22 – 24 to a nice fitting 10, is such a good feeling. I figure all the money I spent on Jenny Craig, Weight Watchers etc., taught me a good lesson once I found the secret (for me, at least) to losing weight. Watch your portions, my husband and I share a dinner 95% of the time, one dinner, cut in half. Eat more salads and veggies etc.,, it works!

    ———————————

    Lost 10 pounds

    by Dennis T
    (South Shields – England)

    For 5 weeks now I has adopted a diet which is based on NOT eating any processed foods, NO coffee No alcohol and eating plenty of fresh fruit and veg, plus a small handfull of nuts every day, hit the 10lb lost mark this morning and I am chuffed to bits. Age 49 – 13st 10lb – just under 13st this morning.

    ————————————–
    Spinach

    by Rose
    (Sudbury, On. Canada)

    For those of you who tried canned or cooked spinach and hated it!

    Try raw baby spinach salad with a strawberry vinaigrette. It is absolutely delicious and has changed me from hating spinach to loving it.

  6. posted by Karen Ciancio on May 29, 2013

    Here are some great comments and tips left by visitors to the previous version of this site:

    Broke my ankle, sat down, lost 100 pounds.

    by T. MacLeod
    (Canada)

    two and a half years I ago, I had an accident and broke my ankle. I was unable to work out or do any exercise for 2 years. Half-way through my injury, I had surgery, and had to lie down for 6 months following that.

    6 months before I had surgery, I weighed 275 pounds. 6 months after, I weighed 174. I read a book called “The Hungry Years” by William Leith. It’s about a guy who is addicted to junk food. I was so inspired by that, that I decided it was time to start eating right.

    I then read “An Apple a Day” by Dr. Joe Schwarcz. This is what got me off on the right food to eating well. Since then I’ve read everything I can about eating properly. No junk food. LOTS of fruits and vegetables… Fish!!

    I haven’t been sick in 2 years, I look better, I feel great, and I have helped others do the same thing. it’s not about going to the gym 10 times a week, it’s about what you eat. You’re not fat because you watch tv. you’re fat because you don’t eat well.

    For anyone who struggles with weight loss, I recommend picking up those books that I mentioned.

    I didn’t go on a diet. I changed my diet.

    ——————————————–

    starstarstarstarstar Lost 100 pounds — that’s fantastic!
    by: Linda J.

    T. MacLeod,
    I think that my biggest problem is that I’m a binge eater (also called a compulsive eater).

    Do you think the 2 books you mentioned would be helpful for me? I find that most diet and “healthy eating” books don’t address the issue of compulsive eating.

    ——————————————-

    Rating: 5 star

    re: Linda J.
    by: T. MacLeod

    I would absolutely recommend ‘The Hungry Years’… that was the inspiration for me. ‘An Apple a Day’ was more like my guide book.

    Learning about nutrition is key. Understanding why you eat the way you do is the first step in stopping the way you do it. It’s incredibly difficult for the first 4-5 weeks, but after that, it’s quite simple. And enjoyable.