Most Nutrient Dense Foods:
There are many ways to eat healthy, but many health experts disagree on what the most nutrient dense foods on the planet are.
This can be confusing for people who are just trying to eat as healthy as possible! In order to simplify things, we’ve compiled this list of ten of the most nutrient dense foods on the planet!
We’ll start with the number one most nutrient dense food and work our way down to the bottom of our list. Without further ado, here are some nutrient dense foods you should incorporate into your diet!
1. Black Beans
Black beans pack a real nutritional punch. They contain more than 15 grams of protein per cup, so they make an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans.
They are also high in fiber, which will help you feel full faster and can aid with weight loss. Black beans are rich in antioxidants like flavonoids and quercetin, and also help boost your immune system thanks to their high levels of manganese.
The only negative about black beans is that they contain phytic acid, which can cause digestive issues for some people when consumed in large amounts; soaking or fermenting them before consuming can reduce or eliminate these issues for many people.
One ounce (24 almonds) contains 9 grams of protein, 20% of your daily fiber needs, 18% magnesium, 16% vitamin E and 20% manganese.
Almonds are rich in zinc, which is essential for maintaining a healthy immune system. Zinc helps with tissue repair and increases libido!
Finally, almonds are high in magnesium which is an important nutrient to keep stress levels under control and regulate blood pressure.
While we should be getting more than enough calcium from our diet, it’s still important to remember that 80% of our body’s calcium stores come from our bones.
Studies show that increased intake of magnesium may improve bone density and reduce bone loss. Daily recommendations for magnesium range from 320-420 mg per day depending on age and gender.
Known for its cancer-fighting properties, broccoli is a cancer-fighting powerhouse. Eating more than three servings per week may help cut your risk of breast cancer by 48 percent and your risk of prostate cancer by 45 percent.
According to one study. Broccoli is also high in lutein, which can improve vision, and vitamin C which can reduce inflammation.
But to get more benefits from eating broccoli, try adding some to soups or pairing it with hummus instead of eating it plain.
It’s also a good idea to steam or blanch broccoli first so that you don’t damage its nutrients when cooking it in water or oil.
Dark green spinach may be one of the most nutrient-dense foods around. It’s loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
It also contains beta-carotene and lutein, two phytochemicals that may help protect you from certain cancers. Spinach is a good source of potassium—which helps lower blood pressure—and calcium.
The calcium in spinach is particularly important for healthy bones because it’s also an excellent source of vitamin K, which helps your body absorb calcium better. This leafy green veggie is also rich in iron and magnesium.
Low in calories, fat and high in fiber. Artichokes are an excellent source of vitamin C and thiamin. In addition to offering an impressive amount of iron per serving, they are also a good source folate, which helps support heart health and bone formation.
The artichoke is a potent antioxidant as well, so go ahead — eat your heart out! Asparagus: A great source of folic acid, manganese and vitamins K and A, asparagus has been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol levels. It’s also been linked with helping protect against cancer due to its rich antioxidants content. (1 cup cooked)
6. Pine Nuts
Pine nuts contain a fair amount of iron and zinc, plus calcium, magnesium, potassium and vitamins B-2 and E. They also contain phytosterols (plant sterols), which lower cholesterol.
Rich in flavor, pine nuts pair well with most other foods including meats and cheeses. Pine nuts are available at most grocery stores and Asian markets.
Look for raw pine nuts that have been cured—or treated—with heat to prevent molding. Keep them in an airtight container in a cool dark place for up to 3 months; longer if you’re freezing them.
7. Chia Seeds
These tiny seeds can pack in a whopping 10 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber per 28-gram serving. What’s more, research suggests that chia seeds may help lower cholesterol, among other health benefits.
They’re super versatile too: Chia is often sprinkled onto cereal or yogurt, used to thicken puddings, or added to smoothies. All are healthy ways to incorporate these mighty seeds into your diet. And with a shelf life up to five years—you’ll have plenty of time to make them part out!
This is an ancient grain-like seed that’s similar to couscous in both appearance and taste. Although quinoa isn’t technically a grain, it can be treated like one since it serves as a great alternative to wheat.
The reason why quinoa is considered so nutrient-dense is because it packs more protein than most other grains (6 grams per serving), but contains fewer calories, carbohydrates and fats than grains such as rice or oats.
Quinoa is also a great source of dietary fiber, potassium and iron. It’s also gluten-free and has an added benefit for diabetics – unlike many grains, quinoa doesn’t cause blood sugar levels to rise quickly after eating it.
flaxseeds are an excellent source of alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, which can be converted by our bodies into EPA and DHA.
These omega-3 fatty acids are linked to everything from healthy blood pressure levels to a lowered risk for heart disease and cancer.
The fat in flaxseeds also contains lignans that have been shown to fight breast cancer cells. Flaxseed oil is also thought to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women and some research has found it lowers cholesterol.
A 1-ounce serving (about 1/4 cup) provides almost 4 grams of fiber, more than 11 grams of fat and nearly 9 grams of protein!
10. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are a healthy, low-carb alternative to traditional white potatoes. They’re high in vitamin A, which is great for your vision and heart health.
Sweet potatoes also contain vitamin C and B6, as well as potassium—an essential mineral that helps keep blood pressure levels under control.
They also have plenty of fiber to help you feel full and satisfied after a meal or snack. Just make sure you leave off toppings like marshmallows or chocolate chips—which aren’t exactly nutrient-dense!