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Do You Eat These 30 Healthy Foods?

According to the country’s top dietitians and nutritionists, these are the 30 healthiest whole foods we should be regularly incorporating into our diets.

These 30 healthy foods are packed with essential nutrients, providing you with a wide array of benefits to keep your body strong, healthy, and full of vitality.

Including these nutritious foods in your diet can help you lead a healthier and happier life!

Chard, edamame, lentils and fresh blueberries in a collage.

1. Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a powerhouse breakfast option loaded with fiber, which keeps you feeling full and helps with digestion. It also contains essential nutrients like iron and magnesium to keep your energy levels up throughout the day.

2. Avocado

Avocado is a superfood known for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that can lower bad cholesterol levels. It’s also rich in potassium, which supports healthy blood pressure and contributes to smooth muscle function.

3. Walnuts

Walnuts are a brain-boosting nut packed with omega-3 fatty acids that support cognitive function and reduce inflammation. They also contain antioxidants and vitamin E, which help protect your cells from damage.

4. Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a fantastic source of B vitamins that play a vital role in metabolism and energy production. They also contain selenium, a mineral that supports your immune system and helps protect against oxidative stress.

5. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a protein-packed dairy option that promotes gut health with probiotics. It’s also rich in calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth.

Make your own homemade Greek yogurt with our easy recipe!

6. Eggs

Eggs are a versatile protein source that contains all nine essential amino acids needed for muscle repair and growth. They also provide choline, a nutrient crucial for brain development and function.

7. Edamame

Edamame pods and shelled soybeans on a white plate.

Edamame is a plant-based protein snack that supplies your body with fiber for better digestion and a steady energy release. It’s also rich in folate, an important nutrient for cell division and DNA synthesis.

8. Kiwi

Kiwi is a vitamin C powerhouse that boosts your immune system and helps your body absorb iron better. It’s also a good source of fiber, aiding in digestive health.

9. Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene, which your body converts to vitamin A, supporting healthy vision and skin. They also contain fiber to keep you feeling full and steady your blood sugar levels.

10. Kale

Kale is a nutrient-packed leafy green filled with vitamins A, C, and K, supporting healthy eyesight, skin, and blood clotting. It’s also a great source of antioxidants that combat inflammation.

11. Barley

Barley is a whole grain loaded with soluble fiber, which lowers cholesterol levels and supports a healthy heart. It also contains antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals that boost overall health.

12. Pumpkin

Pumpkin is a vitamin A-rich food that keeps your immune system strong and your skin healthy. It also provides a healthy dose of fiber to aid in digestion.

13. Nut Butters

Nut butters like almond or peanut butter offer healthy fats that keep you satisfied and support brain health. They also contain protein for muscle repair and vitamin E for antioxidant benefits.

14. Chard

Colorful just-picked chard on a wood table.

Chard is a leafy green packed with vitamins A, K, and C, providing essential nutrients for bone health, blood clotting, and immune support. It also contains minerals like iron and magnesium.

15. Bulgur

Bulgur is a whole grain that supplies fiber to promote healthy digestion and keep you feeling full. It’s also a good source of plant-based protein and vitamins.

16. Whole Grain Pasta

Whole grain pasta is a healthier alternative to refined pasta, offering fiber for better digestion and sustained energy levels. It also provides essential nutrients like iron and B vitamins.

17. Black Beans

Black beans are a plant-based protein powerhouse that supports muscle growth and repair. They’re also rich in fiber, aiding in digestion and promoting a healthy heart.

18. Spinach

Spinach is a nutrient-dense leafy green containing vitamins A, C, and K, as well as iron and calcium for strong bones and teeth. It’s also loaded with antioxidants to protect against cellular damage.

19. Kidney Beans

Kidney beans are an excellent source of plant-based protein, fiber, and folate, supporting digestive health and cell division. They also provide iron for healthy blood.

20. Quinoa

Quinoa is a protein-rich grain that contains all nine essential amino acids, supporting muscle repair and growth. It’s also rich in fiber, iron, and magnesium for overall health.

21. Lentils

Dried orange lentils in a wooden bowl.

Lentils are another plant-based protein source that provides a good amount of fiber for digestion and heart health. They’re also rich in folate, promoting cell growth and division.

22. Salmon

Salmon is a fatty fish loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that support heart and brain health. It’s also a great source of high-quality protein and B vitamins.

23. Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a lean protein choice that supports muscle growth and repair. It also contains essential amino acids and vitamins B6 and B12 for energy production.

24. Oranges

Oranges are a vitamin C powerhouse that boosts your immune system and supports collagen production for healthy skin. They also provide fiber for digestion.

25. Sardines

Sardines are a small fish that’s big on omega-3 fatty acids, supporting heart health and reducing inflammation. They also supply calcium and vitamin D for strong bones.

26. Almonds

Almonds are a nutrient-rich nut packed with healthy fats that lower bad cholesterol levels. They’re also a good source of vitamin E, protecting your cells from damage.

27. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Extra virgin olive oil is a healthy fat that’s rich in monounsaturated fats, supporting heart health and reducing inflammation. It’s also high in antioxidants.

28. Blueberries

Blueberries are a powerful antioxidant-rich fruit that helps protect against cellular damage and inflammation. They’re also a good source of fiber and vitamin C.

For convenience, I keep a bag of frozen organic blueberries in the freezer and use it to top granola for breakfast.

29. Broccoli

Broccoli is a nutrient-packed vegetable that’s high in vitamins C and K, supporting immunity and bone health. It’s also a good source of fiber and antioxidants.

30. Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a superfood loaded with fiber, protein, and omega-3 fatty acids. They support digestion, heart health, and brain function.

Real Life Shopping and Eating Strategies

Check out the Dirty Dozen list for info about which fruits and veggies to buy organic, and the Clean Fifteen list to learn about the produce with the lowest pesticide levels.

On a monthly basis our family eats about half of the 30 healthy foods on the list above fairly regularly, but admittedly not barley, lentils, chia seeds, sardines, bulgur, kiwi, kidney beans, or chard.

Also, we eat regular pasta instead of the whole-wheat variety, and 1% milk and yogurt instead of nonfat.

So! I’m motivated to try exploring healthy foods and serve some new-to-us nutritious foods in the coming weeks.

I’ll add some of these items that we don’t usually eat to the grocery list and encourage our family to try some extra healthy foods.

How does your household stack up? Look at the list and post the number of things you eat often in the comments section below.

Also, if you have any thoughts about how to make sardines appealing to kids — please do share!

This article was originally posted April 7, 2011 and was completely updated on July 30, 2023.

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 17 books, including Small Bites and 101 Things To Do With Bacon. She shares ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, time and money. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

10 thoughts on “Do You Eat These 30 Healthy Foods?”

  1. I counted 17 regulars, so I have a long way to go. The offbeat grains are something rare for me–and I’ve yet to even figure out how to like sardines myself, let alone for kids!

    • I remember reading somewhere that you can get some great trace minerals by eating a wide variety in your diet — so it’s time to eat some of those offbeat grains you mention. I’ll have to work my way up to sardines! 🙂

  2. I wonder how often is regularly? I have eaten all of the foods on the list (and I like all of them), but on a regular basis? I doubt it.

    I’ve had all of them within the past year, though. Well, except skim milk. We drink whole milk here, and eat low-fat yogurt instead of non-fat yogurt.

    The bulgur and edamame would probably be the toughest items for us to eat regularly. Also kale. We grow chard and spinach, but we grow collards instead of kale; I rarely think of buying any.

    • We buy frozen edamame and make it fairly often, just steamed in the microwave with a sprinkling of sea salt. I’m just guessing, but I bet collards are as healthy as kale — full of all those vitamins and antioxidants…

  3. Hi Eliza, I’m at about 60%. I don’t like barley and I’ve cut back on nuts a bit recently, but I should stick them back on the list. I never eat pumpkin. (except pie:) Love Kale, sweet potatoes and I went back up to 1% because it’s better than non fat milk. Good ideas for some new ingredients!

    • I agree, Barb; I love barley in beef barley soup but that’s about the only time I have it. Pumpkin is good in muffins but I seem to think of it as an autumn thing. I agree with you about milk, too!

  4. I probably eat about 1/3 of these items on a regular basis. I’m glad to see that oatmeal was on there, as I usually eat that for breakfast most weekdays. But I notice that fish is on this list and I just don’t eat much fish, or lentils, or edame. I guess I need to start going back and shopping at Trader Joes for some of these items. 😉

  5. I too wonder what regularly means… I eat at least 10 a few times a month or week. Some are seasonal…so can’t eat regularly year round… I should definitely work on trying to add maybe 5 a month into my diet.

  6. I just picked up barley and quinoa today! These are two we have not tried but I am excited to cook with them.

  7. I would think if you eat something 3 times a month or more that would be regular…. I counted 19 but included only myself when thinking about it. My husband and daughter would be a bit less especially since our daughter went vegetarian 4.5 months ago.


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