High in vitamins and minerals, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids, the world’s healthiest foods can also surprisingly be some of the tastiest. We’ve taken 4 of the best, and used our imagination to bring you some lip smacking ideas to make the most of what nature has to offer.
We certainly don’t claim that the foods below constitute an exhaustive list of the world’s healthiest foods, but it certainly is a great place to start!
Four of the World’s Healthiest Foods
Quinoa is gluten free, high in protein and low in calories. It can be eaten in both sweet and savoury dishes and is extremely versatile. Low on the glycemic index rating system, and popular with people looking to lose weight, its small wonder that this grain has grown in popularity over the last few years.
Rich in vitamins and minerals, it’s been a staple food in South America for centuries, being high in dietary fiber which makes you feel fuller for longer. Quinoa is rich in amino acids, magnesium, calcium, and vitamin B12, and in studies has also been shown to help lower cholesterol.
Contrary to popular belief, quinoa is actually a seed and not a grain, making it an ideal breakfast choice. Try adding almond milk, cinnamon, almonds, blueberries and a drizzle of honey for a delicious alternative to those sugar laden commercial cereals.
A shot a day keeps the doctor away?
Wheatgrass has certainly got to be one of the top ten world’s healthiest foods. It contains chlorophyll, a pigment which allows plants to absorb energy from the sun. A 30ml shot of this bright green wonder stuff will boost blood oxygen levels, restore alkalinity, neutralize environmental toxins, boost your immune system and detoxify your liver. Could you really ask for more!
The healing properties of wheatgrass have certainly been well documented, and in recent times it’s been used to treat a wide range of digestive and skin disorders from ulcerative colitis to acne. It’s also proven beneficial to cancer patients dealing with the side effects of chemotherapy.
Admittedly, on its own it’s not the world’s greatest flavor, but mixed with ginger, oranges and fresh mint, it makes for a fantastic, antioxidant packed, mid morning pick me up.
Related: 6 Health Benefits of Kale
The health benefits of yogurt are pretty well known, but few people are familiar with kefir, a fermented milk product used to improve digestion and metabolism, boost immunity and keep gut flora in perfect balance.
Kefir is one of nature’s finest probiotics. It’s traditionally made with cow’s milk, but it can be made with almond or goat’s milk according to individual dietary needs.
The great news is it’s inexpensive, and can be made at home from powdered “kefir grains” made of bacteria and yeast. Consuming a diet high in sugar and refined carbohydrates (as is unfortunately often the case in the western world) can mean that gut flora quickly gets out of balance, leading to conditions like candida overgrowth and leaky gut syndrome. For this reason alone, Kefir should be a staple in every household.
Try making your own kefir with coconut milk and carob powder for a tasty, sugar free dessert.
4. Goji berries
Goji berries have a list of health benefits as long as your arm. Usually sold dried, the berries taste best when soaked, and are commonly eaten as a substitute for raisins. Also known as wolf berries, they’re packed with antioxidants that help stave off chronic disease.
Their use in traditional Chinese medicine is well documented, and some modern research suggests they may be beneficial in helping to prevent age related diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
Try making a goji berry, hempseed milkshake with raspberries, blueberries and cherries for a nutritious, delicious mid afternoon snack.
Related: 37 Superfoods to Start Eating Today
It would be a Herculean task to compile a complete list of all the world’s healthiest foods, but common sense tells us that there really is no big secret to knowing which ones really are the best for our wellbeing.
Sarah Murphy trained at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London, England, where she specialized in Western Herbal Medicine and Ayurveda. She writes widely about natural health, and is passionate about empowering people to take better care of their own well-being.
Photo by SweetOnVeg