By November 14, 2012 19 Comments Read More →

The 8 Most Nutrient Dense Foods on Earth

Jill Ettinger, Guest Writer
Waking Times

We all know which foods we do best to avoid (right?). Despite the alluring appeal of Oreos, Mountain Dew or McAnything, processed foods provide little nutrition and a whole lot of risks. But when it comes to the good stuff—what are the best foods to put into our bodies? While experts all agree we need a variety of foods for a healthy diet, do you know which are the healthiest of the bunch? The answers may surprise and delight you.

1. Spirulina: While the thought of eating lake algae might gross you out, spirulina is actually pretty tasty, especially blended into a smoothie or hidden in a chocolate bar. It has more antioxidants than any other food on earth and is loaded with protein and minerals making it the most nutrient dense food.

2. Kale: According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, kale is the most nutritious food, loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber and amino acids, as well as important antioxidants that reduce inflammation and can prevent cancer. It’s also delicious and an easy to prepare, versatile food.

3. Hemp Seeds: What do you get when you combine protein, fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids, vitamins and minerals? Hemp, of course. This easily digestible seed is versatile, easy to use and extremely tasty, too.

4. Chocolate: Yes, you read right. Cacao beans are so nutrient-dense that scientists haven’t even begun to identify all the benefits in the little bean yet. Don’t grab a Snickers though—the good stuff is found only in raw cacao beans or nibs (or really, really dark chocolate). Minerals, vitamins and tons of antioxidants are great for your heart, skin, and release chemicals in the brain that make you feel like you’re in love.

5. Broccoli: Mom was right, you should eat your broccoli if you want a healthy digestive system and to decrease your risk of cancer. Broccoli has a wide range of yumminess too, from soups and stews to stir fry.

6. Spinach: Popeye was onto something with that spinach fixation. But skip the canned stuff and stick with fresh or frozen for an antioxidant, protein and fiber-rich burst of healthy goodness. Fresh or cooked, spinach’s sweet and hardy flavor brightens any meal.

7. Chia: The Aztec warriors may have died out, but their legacy is alive and strong in the chia seed. This yummy, unassuming ancient favorite is loaded with omega fats, protein and fiber. Dr. Weil says it’s a better choice than flax because “chia is so rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored for long periods without becoming rancid.”

8. Berries: Unlike other fruit, berries tend to be less sugary and full of vital vitamins, minerals and those free-radical avenging antioxidants. Wild berries are always a great choice, especially black raspberries.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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  • Dr. Heath Motley

    Actually the top 3 aren’t even listed. Beef, liver and eggs. All the one’s listed are weaklings comparatively.

  • Carl Jones

    I thought eggs were the most nutrient packed food.

  • Be sure to look for the ORGANIC version of all of these

  • Rmaxd

    This is typical Vegan extremist propoganda

    You cant live off any of the listed items, spirulina & kale contain too many toxicities to be taken in any large quantities

    Dried Meat & beef, not nuts or fruits, have been the staple food for tribes & nomads for centuries, specifically because it has REAL protein & fats

    Plants dont have the ability to create fully formed bio-available protein & fats

    • “Plants dont have the ability to create fully formed bio-available protein & fats”

      That’s bunk, they most certainly do. In fact they have greater “Bio-availability” and provide far greater nutrition and ultimately, health for metabolic processes than does “Meat”. “Real” protein? What are you talking about? I believe your referring to a MYTH promoted from RDA and FDA to support the Livestock industry.

      The Genetically Modified Organism’s (GMO), Antibacterial agent’s, Steroid, Mood and appetite ‘enhancer’s’ fed to these animals translate to first hand inoculation to these animals. The Second Hand inoculation of the same transfer’s to the organism that ingest’s it (YOU).

      Ever wonder why there’s rampant obesity these days? Chicken’s used to take two years to become big enough to slaughter. Today it’s maybe six to eight weeks?! Our kids show it most readily.. Ever say to yourself “that girl look’s like she’s in her 20’s”. When in reality she’s 14/15? How about boys towering over their Dad’s and their’s no “height” in their lineage???

      “Real” Protein IS IN Vegetable’s my friend.

      • Bobby

        Great point Jack. What many of these people fail to realize is that billions of people in the world are vegetarians and live to 90 plus years of age. Nations like India and China are examples. Meat is NOT NEEDED to sustain a healthy human being.

        • Bonnie Camo MD

          Not everyone can be a vegan, even if they want to. It’s not a matter of will-power. It depends on your biochemical make-up. The brain requires long-chain omega-3 fatty acids like DHA which only occur in animal products (and a few sea weeds). Some people, especially those with type O blood (half of the population), are unable to convert the short-chain omega-3 found in plants into DHA, as well as EPA, needed by the heart. Many well-meaning people try to be vegetarian or vegan, only to find that they become sick, weak and have trouble thinking. Other people, especially blood type A and AB (40% of the pop) thrive on a vegetarian diet. There is no vitamin D in a vegan diet – they could get it by spending a lot of time naked in the sun! Also no vitamin B12, needed to prevent nerve degeneration and anemia. There are no primitive people who lived on a totally vegetarian diet, according to the research of Dr Weston Price, a dentist who traveled the world in the 1930’s, documenting the diet and health of people on their native diets. He found that people still eating their native diet, which always included some animal products, were very healthy and had perfect teeth, while the same people, after being contacted by Europeans, and eating the white man’s white food: white bread, sugar, rice, became sick, stunted and had rapid tooth decay. (see Nutrition and Physical Degeneration.) It is certainly true that the wild game eaten by Paleolithic hunters and Native Americans, accompanied by a lot of exercise catching it, had nothing in common with today’s high fat supermarket meat, laden with pesticides, synthetic hormones, and fed on genetically modified grain. Cows shouldn’t be eating grain or corn anyway – they are meant to eat grass. Those who eat meat and dairy should choose organic, grass-fed products. It is also true that a mostly plant based diet is better for the earth than meat fed on corn grown by fossil fuel-based mechanized agribusiness using chemical fertilizer and pesticides and GM seed from MonSatan. I think we should try to eat a diet of mostly plant foods, with as much clean animal products as we individually need to be healthy. But people should not feel guilty or failures if they are unable to be totally vegetarian.

    • island waif

      are you kidding? You should do some research! And read what’s being written before you start spewing ridiculous claims!

      The article doesn’t say you can live off any one of those… It says they’re nutrient rich. Meaning, for example, this one little berry contains 40 different nutrients that your body needs (you can get a lot from eating a little) vs. an almond which is incredibly good for you but contains only a dozen vits/mins.

      There’s no one food you can eat and not starve to death from malnutrition and related diseases.

      It doesn’t say “don’t eat almonds or don’t eat meat.”

      Spirulina & Chlorella are not toxic. They cleanse toxins from your body. Spirulina is naturally sterile because of its ability to grow in hot, alkaline environments, where other polluting organisms can’t survive. Spirulina contains a staggering array of essential nutrients for our bodies. Not only does it contain over 60% complete protein (almost three times as much as that found in beef!), it has high concentrations of many other important vitamins and minerals, such as B complex vitamins, vitamin E, carotenoids, iron, manganese, zinc, essential fatty acids such as gamma linolenic acid (which is only otherwise found in mother’s milk), and more beta carotene than you can find in carrots! Spirulina is also one of the few plant sources of vitamin B12, which is essential for healthy nerves and tissues.
      Studies suggest that Spirulina can help stimulate the immune system, increasing production of antibodies, and promoting a healthy response to allergens. It may also help reverse age-related declines in memory and learning, help maintain healthy cholesterol and blood pressure levels, and promote the formation and development of red blood cells. Spirulina has also been shown to promote the growth of probiotics, which can help maintain intestinal health..

  • john

    the number one nutrient dense food is beef liver you can totally live off of it none of the other foods listed have complete protein with out which you die. second best is eggs name one vegetarian who has lived to be 100 yrs of age you cannot they only live on average 7 years longer than the sad diet.

    • island waif

      You can live off liver but you’ll be deficient in Vit C, D, E, K, Calcium, chromium, selenium, iodine and the list goes on. Is your family in the liver biz? Where are you getting your “facts”??

    • Nikki

      I haven’t eaten beef (or any other meat for that matter) in over a decade so, why am I still here genius? I’m also healthier now than I’ve ever been.

      What none of you people have been able to explain logically, is why humans have the long intestinal tract that’s typical for herbivores. Carnivores, conversely, have short intestinal tracts which means it takes them significantly less time to pass their food. The longer intestines means that your meat (especially eaten in mass quantities) ends up putrefying in your bowels. Not only is this sound reasoning, it’s also pure scientific FACT.

      I’ve nothing against people who eat meat (though I think it’s ultimately an unhealthy lifestyle choice), but if you’re going to criticize vegetarianism or veganism then get your bloody facts straight first, mate.

  • Broccli as a Gmo raw and cooked taste like FISH! I hate the produce section. Then spend only necessary needs time. My moneys spent dropped for fresh produce at least 150.00 a month. Huge losses on the horizon for coporate farmers. I HATE the TASTE OF FISH ON FRUITS AND VEGGIES. I wait until bananas are near speckels and serious ripe before I purchase. The fish taste on bananas leaves at super ripe. But melons are disgusting, also tomatoes, cukes, bell peppers. I hate apples they are seriously messed up, frightenly so. They ruined the peaches this year. Potatoes haven’t reached the mark of eddible yet. Wood fill in flour is disgusting, rye bread is frightening. All in All I hate shopping now.

    • William Burke

      Well, there’s always SAWDUST, Priss Pot.

    • island waif

      Norma… you got alotta hate there…You need to be sure you’re not ingesting all your anger!

      I eat only fruits & veggies and haven’t ever experienced the fish flavor you’re talking about… Are you buying organic produce? Where?? I’d definitely find a new source. Buying local in-season fruits/veggies helps. If you’re buying something Not in season you’re paying waaay too much for the luxury of having foods that have been “pushed” in greenhouses to get to market..and transported from far away, losing lots of nutritional value on the way. Peaches & Tomatoes are perfect examples.

      I grind my own flours. (Only takes ONE minute – and a VitaMix) Your grains stay fresh (keep’em in the freezer til you grind) and your flour is fresher than you’ve ever tasted, making your baked goods so much better!

  • * the minute you heat broccoli in soup or stir fry you are killing the nutritive values, the longer you cook it…eat it raw, with the ‘life-force’ still intact….this holds true for all vegetables & fruit.

  • shiftpro

    You missed acai.

    • Anonymous

      açai is a berry

  • warbaby

    A lot of the favorite foods we used to indulge in do not even taste the same anymore. Good article.

  • Erik

    What about Chlorella?!

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