By Kris Gunnars, BSc
It's easy to wonder which foods are healthiest.
A vast number of foods are both healthy and tasty. By filling your plate with fruits, vegetables, quality protein and other whole foods, you'll have meals that are colorful, versatile and good for you.
Here are 50 incredibly healthy foods. Most of them are surprisingly delicious.
1–6: Fruits and Berries
Fruits and berries are among the world's most popular health foods.
These sweet, nutritious foods are very easy to incorporate into your diet because they require little to no preparation.
Apples are high in fiber, vitamin C, and numerous antioxidants. They are very filling and make the perfect snack if you find yourself hungry between meals.
Avocados are different than most fruits because they are loaded with healthy fats instead of carbs. Not only are they creamy and tasty but also high in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C.
Bananas are among the world's best sources of potassium. They're also high in vitamin B6 and fiber, as well as convenient and portable.
Blueberries are not only delicious but also among the most powerful sources of antioxidants in the world.
Oranges are well known for their vitamin C content. What's more, they're high in fiber and antioxidants.
Strawberries are highly nutritious and low in both carbs and calories.
They are loaded with vitamin C, fiber, and manganese and are arguably among the most delicious foods in existence.
Other Healthy Fruits
Other health fruits and berries include cherries, grapes, grapefruit, kiwifruit, lemons, mango, melons, olives, peaches, pears, pineapples, plums, and raspberries.
Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on the planet.
Unprocessed, gently cooked meat is one of the most nutritious foods you can eat.
8. Lean Beef
9. Chicken Breasts
Chicken breast is low in fat and calories but extremely high in protein. It's a great source of many nutrients. Again, feel free to eat fattier cuts of chicken if you're not eating that many carbs.
Lambs are usually grass-fed, and their meat tends to be high in omega-3 fatty acids.
11–16: Nuts and Seeds
These foods are crunchy, filling, and loaded with important nutrients that many people don't get enough of, including magnesium and vitamin E.
They also require almost no preparation, so they're easy to add to your routine.
12. Chia Seeds
Chia seeds are among the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. A single ounce (28 grams) packs 11 grams of fiber and significant amounts of magnesium, manganese, calcium, and various other nutrients.
Coconuts are loaded with fiber and powerful fatty acids called medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs).
14. Macadamia Nuts
Macadamia nuts are very tasty. They're much higher in monounsaturated fats and lower in omega-6 fatty acids than most other nuts.
Walnuts are highly nutritious and loaded with fiber and various vitamins and minerals.
However, take it easy on the peanut butter, as it's very high in calories and easy to overeat.
Calorie for calorie, vegetables are among the world's most concentrated sources of nutrients.
There's a wide variety available, and it's best to eat many different types every day.
Asparagus is a popular vegetable. It's low in both carbs and calories but loaded with vitamin K.
18. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers come in several colors, including red, yellow, and green. They're crunchy and sweet, as well as a great source of antioxidants and vitamin C.
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable that tastes great both raw and cooked. It's an excellent source of fiber and vitamins C and K and contains a decent amount of protein compared with other vegetables.
Carrots are a popular root vegetable. They are extremely crunchy and loaded with nutrients like fiber and vitamin K.
Carrots are also very high in carotene antioxidants, which have numerous benefits.
Cauliflower is a very versatile cruciferous vegetable. It can be used to make a multitude of healthy dishes — and also tastes good on its own.
Cucumbers are one of the world's most popular vegetables. They're very low in both carbs and calories, consisting mostly of water. However, they contain a number of nutrients in small amounts, including vitamin K.
Kale has become increasingly popular because it's incredibly high in fiber, vitamins C and K, and a number of other nutrients. It adds a satisfying crunch to salads and other dishes.
Onions have a very strong flavor and are very popular in many recipes. They contain a number of bioactive compounds believed to have health benefits.
Tomatoes are usually categorized as a vegetable, although they are technically a fruit. They are tasty and loaded with nutrients like potassium and vitamin C.
More Healthy Vegetables
Most vegetables are very healthy. Others worth mentioning include artichokes, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, celery, eggplant, leeks, lettuce, mushrooms, radishes, squash, Swiss chard, turnips, and zucchini.
27–32: Fish and Seafood
Fish and other seafood tend to be very healthy and nutritious.
They're especially rich in omega-3 fatty acids and iodine, two nutrients in which most people are deficient.
Studies show that people who eat the highest amounts of seafood — especially fish — tend to live longer and have a lower risk of many illnesses, including heart disease, dementia, and depression ( 9Trusted Source, 10, 11).
Salmon is a type of oily fish that's incredibly popular due to its excellent taste and high amount of nutrients, including protein and omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains some vitamin D.
Sardines are small, oily fish that are among the most nutritious foods you can eat. They boast sizable amounts of most nutrients that your body needs.
Shellfish ranks similarly to organ meats when it comes to nutrient density. Edible shellfishinclude clams, mollusks, and oysters.
Shrimp is a type of crustacean related to crabs and lobsters. It tends to be low in fat and calories but high in protein. It's also loaded with various other nutrients, including selenium and vitamin B12.
Trout is another type of delicious freshwater fish, similar to salmon.
Tuna is very popular in Western countries and tends to be low in fat and calories while high in protein. It's perfect for people who need to add more protein to their diets but keep calories low.
However, you should make sure to buy low-mercury varieties.
Although grains have gotten a bad rap in recent years, some types are very healthy.
Just keep in mind that they're relatively high in carbs, so they're not recommended for a low-carb diet.
33. Brown Rice
Rice is one of the most popular cereal grains and is currently a staple food for more than half of the world's population. Brown rice is fairly nutritious, with a decent amount of fiber, vitamin B1, and magnesium.
Oats are incredibly healthy. They are loaded with nutrients and powerful fibers called beta glucans, which provide numerous benefits.
Quinoa has become incredibly popular among health-conscious individuals in recent years. It's a tasty grain that's high in nutrients, such as fiber and magnesium. It is also an excellent source of plant-based protein.
Many people eat a lot of highly processed white bread.
For those trying to adopt a healthier diet, it can be extremely challenging to find healthy breads. Even so, options are available.
36. Ezekiel Bread
Ezekiel bread may be the healthiest bread you can buy. It's made from organic, sprouted whole grains, as well as several legumes.
37. Homemade Low-Carb Breads
Overall, the best choice for bread may be that which you can make yourself. Here's a list of 15 recipes for gluten-free, low-carb breads.
Legumes are another food group that has been unfairly demonized.
While it's true that legumes contain antinutrients, which can interfere with digestion and absorption of nutrients, they can be eliminated by soaking and proper preparation (12).
Therefore, legumes are a great plant-based source of protein.
38. Green Beans
Green beans, also called string beans, are unripe varieties of the common bean. They are very popular in Western countries.
39. Kidney Beans
Kidney beans are loaded with fiber and various vitamins and minerals. Make sure to cook them properly, as they're toxic when raw.
Lentils are another popular legume. They're high in fiber and among the best sources of plant-based protein.
For those who can tolerate them, dairy products are a healthy source of various important nutrients.
If the dairy comes from grass-fed cows, it may be even more nutritious — as it's higher in some bioactive fatty acids like conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and vitamin K2.
Cheese is incredibly nutritious, as a single slice may offer about the same amount of nutrients as an entire cup (240 ml) of milk. For many, it's also one of the most delicious foods you can eat.
42. Whole Milk
Whole milk is very high in vitamins, minerals, quality animal protein, and healthy fats. What's more, it's one of the best dietary sources of calcium.
Yogurt is made from milk that's fermented by adding live bacteria to it. It has many of the same health effects as milk, but yogurt with live cultures has the added benefit of friendly probiotic bacteria.
44–46: Fats and Oils
Many fats and oils are now marketed as health foods, including several sources of saturated fat that were previously demonized.
44. Butter From Grass-Fed Cows
Butter from grass-fed cows is high in many important nutrients, including vitamin K2.
45. Coconut Oil
46. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Extra virgin olive oil is one of the healthiest vegetable oils you can find. It contains heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and is very high in antioxidants with powerful health benefits.
Tubers are the storage organs of some plants. They tend to contain a number of beneficial nutrients.
Potatoes are loaded with potassium and contain a little bit of almost every nutrient you need, including vitamin C.
They'll also keep you full for long periods. One study analyzed 38 foods and found that boiled potatoes were by far the most filling (17Trusted Source).
48. Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are among the most delicious starchy foods you can eat. They're loaded with antioxidants and all sorts of healthy nutrients.
49. Apple Cider Vinegar
It's great to use as a salad dressing or to add flavor to meals.
50. Dark Chocolate
The Bottom Line
Whether you want to overhaul your diet or simply change up your meals, it's easy to add a number of these foods to your routine.
Many of the foods above not only make a great snack but are also packed with vitamins and antioxidants. Some of them may even aid weight loss.
If you don't normally challenge your palate, don't be afraid of trying something new.
Reposted with permission from our media associate Healthline.
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The ghoulishly named ogre-faced spider can "hear" with its legs and use that ability to catch insects flying behind it, the study published in Current Biology Thursday concluded.
"Spiders are sensitive to airborne sound," Cornell professor emeritus Dr. Charles Walcott, who was not involved with the study, told the Cornell Chronicle. "That's the big message really."
The net-casting, ogre-faced spider (Deinopis spinosa) has a unique hunting strategy, as study coauthor Cornell University postdoctoral researcher Jay Stafstrom explained in a video.
They hunt only at night using a special kind of web: an A-shaped frame made from non-sticky silk that supports a fuzzy rectangle that they hold with their front forelegs and use to trap prey.
They do this in two ways. In a maneuver called a "forward strike," they pounce down on prey moving beneath them on the ground. This is enabled by their large eyes — the biggest of any spider. These eyes give them 2,000 times the night vision that we have, Science explained.
But the spiders can also perform a move called the "backward strike," Stafstrom explained, in which they reach their legs behind them and catch insects flying through the air.
"So here comes a flying bug and somehow the spider gets information on the sound direction and its distance. The spiders time the 200-millisecond leap if the fly is within its capture zone – much like an over-the-shoulder catch. The spider gets its prey. They're accurate," coauthor Ronald Hoy, the D & D Joslovitz Merksamer Professor in the Department of Neurobiology and Behavior in the College of Arts and Sciences, told the Cornell Chronicle.
What the researchers wanted to understand was how the spiders could tell what was moving behind them when they have no ears.
It isn't a question of peripheral vision. In a 2016 study, the same team blindfolded the spiders and sent them out to hunt, Science explained. This prevented the spiders from making their forward strikes, but they were still able to catch prey using the backwards strike. The researchers thought the spiders were "hearing" their prey with the sensors on the tips of their legs. All spiders have these sensors, but scientists had previously thought they were only able to detect vibrations through surfaces, not sounds in the air.
To test how well the ogre-faced spiders could actually hear, the researchers conducted a two-part experiment.
First, they inserted electrodes into removed spider legs and into the brains of intact spiders. They put the spiders and the legs into a vibration-proof booth and played sounds from two meters (approximately 6.5 feet) away. The spiders and the legs responded to sounds from 100 hertz to 10,000 hertz.
Next, they played the five sounds that had triggered the biggest response to 25 spiders in the wild and 51 spiders in the lab. More than half the spiders did the "backward strike" move when they heard sounds that have a lower frequency similar to insect wing beats. When the higher frequency sounds were played, the spiders did not move. This suggests the higher frequencies may mimic the sounds of predators like birds.
University of Cincinnati spider behavioral ecologist George Uetz told Science that the results were a "surprise" that indicated science has much to learn about spiders as a whole. Because all spiders have these receptors on their legs, it is possible that all spiders can hear. This theory was first put forward by Walcott 60 years ago, but was dismissed at the time, according to the Cornell Chronicle. But studies of other spiders have turned up further evidence since. A 2016 study found that a kind of jumping spider can pick up sonic vibrations in the air.
"We don't know diddly about spiders," Uetz told Science. "They are much more complex than people ever thought they were."
Learning more provides scientists with an opportunity to study their sensory abilities in order to improve technology like bio-sensors, directional microphones and visual processing algorithms, Stafstrom told CNN.
"The point is any understudied, underappreciated group has fascinating lives, even a yucky spider, and we can learn something from it," he told CNN.
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