Although quinoa is a popular swap for rice, it offers a little more than that traditional white grain… Quinoa is considered one of the healthiest foods not only because it is a plant-based protein source, but the fact it is considered a complete protein, meaning it supplies all essential amino acids. Though not considered complete proteins like quinoa, rice, wheat, barley, and corn are also beneficial whole grains.
Apart of the legume family, lentils are an edible pulse mostly recognized in green, brown, yellow, and red color assortments, complimenting a wide-variety of dishes. Along with supplying protein and fiber, lentils are also supplied with valuable micronutrients, including potassium, folate, iron, phosphorus, manganese, thiamin, and vitamin B6.
Along with their well-known offering of fiber, beans are a significant plant-based protein source (15 g one cup cooked)! In addition to being one of the most cost-friendly healthiest foods, it offers versatile uses in soups and chili, eggs, casseroles, and rice dishes.
Similar to beans, chickpeas are a valuable plant-based protein source, supplying 12 grams per one cup, and offer extensive adaptability. See what delicious recipe bistroMD created with chickpeas here!
Though tofu is both popular and beneficial, tempeh deserves great recognition and is measured as one of the world’s healthiest foods. Comparing an equivalent 100 gram serving, tofu supplies a mere one gram of protein while tempeh boasts with nine! Find more on the disparities between tempeh and tofu, along with benefits and uses of each, here.
6. Grassfed Beef
Switching to grass-fed supplies the same well-recognized protein and other nutrients as traditional beef, but towards a larger extent. Compared to grain fed animals, grass-fed beef supplies lesser amounts of saturated fat, but more omega-3 fatty acids. Find more on the benefits of grass-fed beef here.
Chicken is touted and recognized as one of the world’s healthiest foods related to its large supply of protein without great worry of packing on calories. Chicken also has the ability to take on numerous flavors, including a chicken burrito bowl, chicken and feta meatballs, and cranberry stuffed chicken breasts.
(Even the yolk!) That morning breakfast staple is packed with protein, healthy fat, and fat-soluble vitamins. Find out where and how you should store those heart healthy eggs here!
9. Fatty Fish
Fatty fish (such as tuna, herring, and salmon) not only supply beneficial protein, but omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a recognized “good fat” and mostly admired for their role in the reduction of cardiovascular disease thanks to their anti-inflammatory properties. But aside from protecting the heart, omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to healthy skin and longevity.
Of all the nuts, walnuts contain the most omega-3 fatty acids. However, almonds, pecans, pistachios, and other mixed nuts have shown to protect against DNA damage, suppress cancer growth, and reduce inflammation.