10 Nutrient-Rich Ingredients for Optimal Health

Diets rich in these healthiest of foods keep weight in check, lower your odds of developing chronic disease, and provide essential nutrients for living well. Try these 10 foods and let them guide you on the road to a healthier you:

1. Blueberries Other berries abound that are also chock-full of antioxidants, but no other fruit tops the blueberry in terms of disease-preventing properties.

2. Oily fish Paying homage to its healthy fats, choose these oily fish for good cardiovascular health and reducing inflammation.

3. Walnuts For a quick vegan source of omega-3, reach for these nutritious nuts. For anyone on a restricted diet, toss walnuts into salads, smoothies, yogurt, and use them as a crunchy topping for grilled soy protein or whole-wheat pancakes.

4. Kale This cruciferous vegetable tops the charts as one of the most nutritionally dense foods, showcasing a high nutrient profile coupled with relatively few calories.

Fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish, unrefined beans, whole grains, nuts and seeds contain these vitamins and minerals in their natural forms.


Spinach is a vegetable that contains lots of antioxidants and micronutrients with many health benefits, such as protection against oxidative stress and the development of diseases and cancer. The fruit contains vitamin C, which is helpful for the immune system because it fights against infections and free radicals. Also, the fruit is a good source of the mineral elements: folate, calcium and iron. Besides vitamins A, C, E and K, and minerals, spinach nutrition contains a high content of antioxidants for example lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene. All of these compounds are beneficial for your skin health. Spinach also has anti-inflammatory properties and high content of chlorophyll.


What’s not to like about salmon? A source of calcium, vitamin D – and protein – just what the doctor ordered for good bone strength. Not just that, but it’s easy to eat: slice it to serve with brunch, as we did in this salmon salad spread recipe or, try our summer chicken with salmon traybake. In recent studies, a team from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus used metabolomics – a field that studies tiny molecules generated during metabolism – to find several salmon-specific metabolites that appear linked to indicators of cardiometabolic health, such as cholesterol levels.


Broccoli is an extremely nutritious green that is great eaten raw, steamed or roasted With a bit of broccoli added, soups, stews, casseroles, salads and pasta dishes always taste better. Supplied with broccoli’s health-promoting arsenal of sulforaphane and other isothiocyanates, phase 2 enzymes that help the body’s natural detoxification process come to the rescue, and could boost any anti-cancer activity that these compounds may offer. The vegetable is also rich in antioxidants along with key vitamins and minerals, offering a comprehensive nutritional boost.


Healthy fats and use of the flesh of this delicious fruit as part of guacamole spread offers avocado, with its vitamins C and K, folate as folic acid, not to mention magnesium and lutein (a powerful carotenoid that helps prevent age-related macular degeneration). In addition, avocado contains plant sterols, which detract inflammation and boost immune function. The oleic acid content of a pear-shaped avocado is great for glowing skin and healthy blood pressure. Plus, potassium acts as an antagonist to sodium to maintain a healthy cardiovascular system.


Oil The main nutrient in olive oil is vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant that reduces inflammation and prevents cholesterol from oxidising. As for preventing Alzheimer’s, as this 2024 study has found, the polyphenols and other antioxidants in olive oil likely work to stop excess plaque of beta-amyloid, a protein that proves harmful to neurons. Olive oil is also rich in the phenolic compounds that helps us fight ageing – hydroxytyrosol, oleocanthal and oleuropein – all of which reduce oxidation of cells continuously by damaging free radicals.

Whole Grains

Whole grains have been found to reduce cancer risk and potentially improve other outcomes, and are now also being used within treatment regimens. Among the latest references to whole grain effects are several observational studies with high usage scores and systematic reviews. To make sure your diet includes adequate whole-grain intake, check the label for the 100 per cent stamp or basic whole grain definition, or on fortified food products for folic acid.


Yogurt is nutritious and has been shown to promote health. Plain varieties without added sugars are best. Adding your own fruit is a tasty and filling snack or breakfast. Calcium, potassium, vitamin D and probiotics – and, yogurt also boasts an amazing amount of protein that helps keep muscles healthy! Use yogurt in place of sour cream or mayo in dips and dressings.


Nuts are an important part of many vegetarian diets but also of the typically Mediterranean and Asian eating patterns. They are a source of heart-friendly unsaturated fatty acids and contain phytochemicals with antiatherosclerotic activities. Epidemiological studies have found that nuts may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in men and women; of gall stones; of diabetes and other metabolic risk factors; as well as of inflammation biomarkers. Go for unsalted dry-roasted nuts.


Another important fact is that seeds are chock-full of vitamins and minerals: it makes them a great plant protein for vegans and anyone following the low FODMAP diet, but they’re also really helpful for us all to support hormonal and immune health. Textures are just as important to foods such as rice, vegetables, and yogurt and oatmeal, which can all be punctuated by seeds as part of a regular diet. ‘I’d encourage people to think about one or two seeds that could become a regular addition to the diet,’ says Russell. ‘All of them are high in fibre and healthy fats.


Aside from being lean protein and containing vitamins and minerals needed to protect against such deadly conditions as cancer, arthritis, high blood pressure and stroke, seafood is a low-calorie food. Nor does it provide the huge amounts of B12 and B6, selenium, iron, zinc and Omega-3 fatty acids that it additionally offers. Add kelp, nori and wakame to soups and stews to unstep your nutrition. Snack on dried versions as a dry food source.

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