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The World’s Most Nutritious Foods, According to Science

With so many good foods out there, it's hard to know what to eat. Here are the 10 best foods for your body.

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Large health food selection in bowls over lokta paper backgroundPhoto: Shutterstock/marilyn barbone
Photo: Shutterstock/marilyn barbone

Hitting that sweet spot with your healthy diet can be hard. In 2015, PLoS ONE published a study that came up with an unconventional way to rank foods according to their “nutritional fitness”. They grouped foods together in combinations that meet our daily nutrient requirements with the smallest number of foods possible. The foods that were included in the most combinations were ranked as having the most “nutritional fitness”. Find out how to incorporate these top 10 foods into your diet.

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Almonds in brown bowl on wooden backgroundPhoto: Shutterstock/Yulia Furman
Photo: Shutterstock/Yulia Furman

Almonds

Almonds are rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (i.e. the good fats), which can promote your cardiovascular health. We love them in everything from crostinis to pie crust and every salad topping in between. They are also a yummy snack on their own, and can definitely satisfy a craving for something salty and crunchy.

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closeup of some custard apples, one of them cut in half, on a rustic wooden surfacePhoto: Shutterstock/nito
Photo: Shutterstock/nito

Cherimoya

You may not have ever heard of or seen this fleshy fruit, but it’s definitely something to take note of once the spring and summer roll around. It tastes like a cross between a banana and a pineapple, would be great in a smoothie and is high in fiber, vitamin C and potassium.

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Fresh raw perch fish with spices,lemon and parsley on black background, top viewPhoto: Shutterstock/AnikonaAnn
Photo: Shutterstock/AnikonaAnn

Ocean Perch

Part of the rockfish family, you’ll usually find ocean perch available as small fillets, perfect for adding them to a fish taco or frying with a crumb crust. This fish, which is light brown in color when cooked, is high in protein and low in saturated fat.

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Raw fish flatfish on a wooden board with lemon and spices gray background. copy SpacePhoto: Shutterstock/Tatyana Malova
Photo: Shutterstock/Tatyana Malova

Flatfish

If you’re worried about your mercury intake, this is a great option because flatfish are generally very low in mercury. You probably know flounder, one of the most common species of flatfish, but halibut also falls in the same family. Both are a great source of protein and include B vitamins.

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Healthy Chia seeds in a wooden spoon on the table close-up. horizontalPhoto: Shutterstock/AS Food studio
Photo: Shutterstock/AS Food studio

Chia Seeds

One of the most popular nutritional superfoods over the last few years are these teeny tiny black seeds. You can make a versatile chia pudding or add them as a topping on your bowl of oatmeal or whirl into smoothies for an added boost of omega-3 fatty acids and fiber.

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Raw pumpkin seeds, food background, top viewPhoto: Shutterstock/5PH
Photo: Shutterstock/5PH

Pumpkin Seeds

Perfect as a snack on their own, whether roasted or candied, or baked into biscotti, pumpkin seeds shouldn’t be overlooked. Not only do they have anti-inflammatory properties, but they’re high in zinc, which helps support your immune system.

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Raw Organic Rainbow Swiss Chard on a BackgroundPhoto: Shutterstock/Brent Hofacker
Photo: Shutterstock/Brent Hofacker

Swiss Chard

Swiss chard is a perfect way to get in some extra greens, while adding a distinctive flavor and texture to a variety of dishes, including lasagna and quiche. Swiss chard is a powerhouse of vitamins K, A and C.

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pork fat with parsley on board backgroundPhoto: Shutterstock/ Krasowit
Photo: Shutterstock/ Krasowit

Pork Fat

This one might come as a shock to you, but the nutrient profile of pork fat complimented groupings in the research by supplying missing nutrients. You can use clarified pig fat (lard) in cooking, in rich pie crusts and even flour tortillas.

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Bunch of beetrootPhoto: Shutterstock/natalia bulatova
Photo: Shutterstock/natalia bulatova

Beet Greens

The greens of beets are often overlooked, but they’re in the same family as Swiss chard (#7 on the list) and are also a great source of vitamins K, A and C. They would make a great addition to your bed of greens to top with beets, berries and more this summer!

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row of red snapper catch in icePhoto: Shutterstock/Maria Dryfhout
Photo: Shutterstock/Maria Dryfhout

Snapper

There are so many species of snappers out there, named after their “snapping” teeth, but red snapper is likely what you know best. Snapper can help boost your nutrient intake, but beware because it can be high in mercury, so limit yourself to one dish of it per week, whether broiled or baked.

Jacqueline Weiss
Jacqueline is a blogger and writer, passionate about sharing the latest in helpful tips and trends in food and cooking. In her spare time, you’ll find her trying new restaurants and experimenting in the kitchen.
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