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10 most nutritious foods in the world

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Published : 2014-03-09 15:15
Updated : 2014-03-09 15:15


Everybody knows the importance of consuming healthy foods to better combat diseases, but not everybody knows what foods are nutritious and what impact they have on our health.   

As there is only a limited amount of food you can eat a day, it would be wiser to maximize the intake of the key nutrients, Business Insider reported.

The U.S. news outlet compiled an ultimate list of 10 most nutrient dense foods on the planet that carry the greatest amount and variety of nutrients.

    1. Salmon

Salmon is prized for its omega-3 oils. Fatty fish like salmon are loaded with beneficial acids, protein, vitamins and minerals that are crucial for the optimal function of the body. They help lower the risk of many serious diseases such as heart disease, dementia and depression.

2. Kale

Kale is the king of all the healthy leafy greens. It contains abundant vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants and various bioactive compounds that have been shown to fight cancer in test tubes and animal studies.

3. Seaweed

Seaweed is one of the most nutritious foods the sea can offer. Seaweed is known to be particularly high in minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese. It has a high content of iodine, which is essential for optimal thyroid function.

4. Garlic

Garlic, widely used as one of the key ingredients to enhance flavor, is high in vitamins C, B1 and B6, calcium, potassium, copper, manganese and selenium. But garlic is also loaded with another important nutrient called allicin, which lowers blood pressure and cholesterol, leading to a reduced risk of heart disease. It is also noteworthy that garlic can cut the risk of several common cancers, especially of the colon and stomach.

5. Shellfish

Shellfish, including clams and oysters, are among the most nutritious organisms found in the sea. They are high in zinc and various types of vitamins. Shellfish can be a good option for those who want to be as close to vegetarians or vegans as possible, while getting most of the health benefits that meat has to offer.

6. Potatoes

A single large potato contains lots of potassium, magnesium, iron, copper and manganese with plenty of vitamin C and most of the B vitamins. Potatoes really are one of the world’s most perfect foods. They contain a little bit of almost every nutrient we need, and there have been accounts of people living on nothing but potatoes for a long time.

7. Liver

Although humans prefer animals’ muscle meat to the organs, the organs are the most nutritious parts of the animal. Liver is especially good, as it promotes metabolism and stores important nutrients for the rest of the body.

8. Blueberries

Blueberries are well known for their powerful antioxidants, including anthocyanins and various phytochemicals, some of which can exert protective effects on the brain. One study found that blueberries improved memory in older adults. Some other studies in test tubes and experimental animals also suggest that blueberries can help fight cancer.

9. Egg yolks

Egg yolks have been viewed as unhealthy due to their high cholesterol content, but recent studies show that dietary cholesterol does not necessarily raise the “bad” cholesterol in the blood. Egg yolks are loaded with vitamins and minerals. They also contain high amounts of lutein and zeaxanthine, antioxidants that can protect the eyes and reduce your risk of eye diseases like cataracts and macular degeneration. Several studies also suggest that they can help you lose weight.

10. Dark Chocolate (Cocoa)

Eating a small square of dark chocolate with 85 percent cocoa solids or higher is the best way to supplement your diet with antioxidants. Dark chocolate is loaded with fiber, iron, magnesium, copper and manganese. It is also linked to improved blood flow, a lower blood pressure, reduced oxidized LDL -- the “bad” cholesterol -- and improved brain function. One study found that people who consumed chocolate five or more times per week halved their risk of heart disease.

By Ock Hyun-ju, Intern reporter (laeticia.ock@heraldcorp.com)

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