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Home arrow Nutrition arrow Healthy Eating arrow 30 Healthy Foods: Give Your Body What It Needs

30 Healthy Foods: Give Your Body What It Needs

Wendy Lord, RD
Written by Wendy Lord, RD
Dr. Donika Vata
Fact checked by Donika Vata, MD
Last update: September 1, 2023
8 min read 955 Views 0 Comments
clock 8 eye 955 comments 0

To enjoy good health, you must eat food that provides all of the essential nutrients your body needs. Here’s a list of healthy foods you can include in your diet.

healthy food

Your body requires a regular supply of energy and nutrients to maintain the structure and function of all the tissues and organs that make life possible. 

The food you eat determines your health. If you choose to eat foods such as refined grains, added sugar, and processed fats, your health is going to suffer.

On the other hand, if you choose healthy foods that are rich in nutrients and contain more fiber, lean protein, and good fats, then not only will you feel healthy and energized, you will have a lower risk of chronic disease.

Below is a list of 30 foods to add to your healthy eating shopping list. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it’s a great place to start.

Fruits

Fruits are packed with crucial nutrients and fiber. Each different fruit contains varying levels of nutrients and offers different health benefits. 

#1 Apples

Apples
Fruits & Berries
are-apples-keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
11.4g
Total carbs
13.8g
Fats
0.17g
Protein
0.26g
Calories
52
Glycemic Index
28-44
Fiber
2.4g
Sugars
10.4g

You’ve heard it said that “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples are a source of vitamin C which supports the immune system. They also contain quercetin, a powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant, and pectin, a soluble fiber that helps lower cholesterol levels.

#2 Bananas

Bananas
Fruits & Berries
Are-bananas-keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
20.2g
Total carbs
22.8g
Fats
0.33g
Protein
1.09g
Calories
89
Glycemic Index
51
Fiber
2.6g
Sugars
12.2g

Dietary fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6 are just 5 of the nutrients found in bananas. They are easy to digest and help keep the gut healthy, maintain healthy blood pressure, support muscle function, boost immunity, and regulate your appetite. 

#3 Oranges

Oranges
Fruits & Berries
Are-oranges-keto
Keto If Limited
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
9.8g
Total carbs
11.8g
Fats
0.15g
Protein
0.91g
Calories
47
Glycemic Index
43
Fiber
2g
Sugars
9g

Eating oranges and other citrus fruits is a tasty way to get your daily dose of vitamin C, the immune-boosting micronutrient that also promotes the absorption of iron. 

#4 Blueberries

Blueberries
Fruits & Berries
are-blueberries-keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
12.1g
Total carbs
14.5g
Fats
Protein
0.74g
Calories
57
Glycemic Index
53
Fiber
2.4g
Sugars
9.96g

Blueberries are a rich source of important nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, fiber, and potent antioxidants. They may help improve cholesterol levels, control blood glucose, lower blood pressure, and prevent oxidative damage in the body. 

Vegetables

Vegetables are top of the list of healthy foods, and you should aim to eat between 2–4 cups of vegetables per day. That’s because most are low in calories and high in nutrients and dietary fiber. 

#5 Spinach

Spinach
Vegetables
is spinach keto
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
1.43g
Total carbs
3.63g
Fats
0.39g
Protein
2.86g
Calories
23
Glycemic Index
15
Fiber
2.2g
Sugars
0.42g

Leafy green vegetables like spinach provide your body with nutrients such as potassium, vitamin K, folate, and β-carotene. Eating spinach is associated with reduced blood pressure and improved brain health and offers several other health benefits too. 

#6 Carrots

Carrots
Vegetables
Are-carrots-keto
Keto If Limited
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
6.78g
Total carbs
9.58g
Fats
0.24g
Protein
0.93g
Calories
41
Glycemic Index
16
Fiber
2.8g
Sugars
4.74g

The orange color in carrots comes from β-carotene, the precursor of vitamin A. Carrots contain significant amounts of this nutrient, which helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and reduces the risk of cancer. 

#7 Broccoli

Broccoli
Vegetables
is-broccoli-keto
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
3.87g
Total carbs
6.27 g
Fats
0.37g
Protein
2.82g
Calories
34
Glycemic Index
15
Fiber
2.6g
Sugars
1.7g

Broccoli belongs to a family of vegetables called cruciferous. It is a nutrient-dense vegetable that contains compounds called glucosinolates which have anti-cancer properties. It also contains fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, thus supporting gut health, immunity, and healthy bones.

#8 Sweet potatoes

Sweet Potatoes
Vegetables
are sweet potatoes keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
14.4g
Total carbs
16.8g
Fats
4.28g
Protein
1.31g
Calories
109
Glycemic Index
54
Fiber
2.4g
Sugars
5.45g

Orange sweet potatoes are a good source of β-carotene and contain more fiber than regular potatoes. Eating sweet potatoes will also boost your intake of other essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, and potassium.

Whole Grains

Healthy eating includes whole grains such as whole-grain bread, whole-grain pasta, oatmeal, and barley. They contain more fiber than refined grains, and they contribute to your nutritional intake with nutrients such as vitamin E, selenium, magnesium, and zinc. 

#9 Oats

Oats
Pantry
Are oats keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
50.8g
Total carbs
66.2g
Fats
7.03g
Protein
17.3g
Calories
246
Glycemic Index
55
Fiber
15.4g
Sugars
1.45g

Oats are an excellent source of oat β-glucan. It is a soluble fiber that helps to control blood sugar and cholesterol levels, helping to prevent and manage diabetes and heart disease.

#10 Quinoa

Quinoa
Pantry
is-quinoa-keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
17.5g
Total carbs
20.2g
Fats
4.75g
Protein
4.18g
Calories
140
Glycemic Index
53
Fiber
2.7g
Sugars
6.2g

The seed of the Chenopodium quinoa plant, quinoa, is not strictly a grain. However, it should be included in your diet as a healthy, gluten-free, whole-grain food. It is a source of protein, fat, vitamins, minerals, and fiber and supports gut and heart health.

#11 Brown rice

Brown Rice
Grains
is brown rice keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
23.8g
Total carbs
25.4g
Fats
0.96g
Protein
2.73g
Calories
122
Glycemic Index
55
Fiber
1.6g
Sugars
0.24g

Brown rice is a tasty grain that contains numerous nutrients, including vitamins B1, B3, and B6, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and fiber, all of which can reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

#12 Whole-wheat bread

Sourdough Bread
Pantry
is sourdough bread keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
49.7g
Total carbs
51.9g
Fats
2.42g
Protein
10.8g
Calories
272
Glycemic Index
54
Fiber
2.2g
Sugars
4.62g

Whole-wheat or whole-grain bread not only tastes better than bread made from refined flour, but it is also more nutritious. Food made from whole grains is rich in fiber and contains a variety of nutrients, including protein, B vitamins, magnesium, and zinc. 

Dairy and Eggs

Containing saturated fat, dairy and eggs haven’t always made it onto lists of healthy foods. However, they are an excellent source of protein and contain small amounts of vitamin D.

#13 Yogurt

Yogurt
Dairy
Is-yogurt-keto
Keto If Limited
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
4.66g
Total carbs
4.66g
Fats
3.25g
Protein
3.47g
Calories
61
Glycemic Index
14
Fiber
Sugars
4.66g

Yogurt is a fermented dairy food that offers numerous health benefits due to its protein, calcium, and probiotic content. Eating yogurt promotes bone health, helps lower blood pressure, and supports gut health.

#14 Low-fat cheese

Cottage Cheese
Dairy
is-cottage-cheese-keto
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
4.31g
Total carbs
4.31g
Fats
2.3g
Protein
11g
Calories
82
Glycemic Index
30
Fiber
Sugars
4.1g

Cheese is rich in protein and calcium. However, like other dairy products, cheese is also high in saturated fat, which is linked to raised cholesterol levels. However, some studies suggest that eating cheese, especially low-fat cheese, may help to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. 

#15 Milk

Milk
Dairy
is-milk-keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
4.9g
Total carbs
4.9g
Fats
1.9g
Protein
3.36g
Calories
50
Glycemic Index
27
Fiber
Sugars
4.89g

Drinking milk helps you meet your daily nutrient requirements as it contains protein, fat, carbohydrate, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Some milk is also fortified with vitamin D. It is beneficial for healthy bones, cardiovascular disease, weight loss, and type 2 diabetes.

#16 Eggs

Eggs
Poultry & Eggs
are-eggs-keto
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
0.72g
Total carbs
0.72g
Fats
9.51g
Protein
12.6g
Calories
143
Glycemic Index
Fiber
Sugars
0.37g

Eggs are a healthy food, but they should be consumed in moderation. Most research suggests limiting your intake to no more than 1 egg per day due their saturated fat content. However, they are also a source of healthy fats and other important nutrients, including choline, vitamin B7, folate, and lutein.

Legumes

Add legumes to your healthy food shopping list for their high levels of soluble fiber and plant protein. Use them as a side dish or a vegetarian meal to boost gut health, improve blood sugar control, and lower cholesterol. 

#17 Beans

Black Beans
Beans
are-black-beans-keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
46.9g
Total carbs
62.4g
Fats
1.42g
Protein
21.6g
Calories
341
Glycemic Index
30
Fiber
15.5g
Sugars
2.12g

Black beans, kidney beans, or any other beans should form part of everyone’s diet. The nutrients present in this plant-based food are associated with improved gut health and chronic inflammation, as well as a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

#18 Lentils

Lentils
Beans
are lentils keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
11.4g
Total carbs
18.7g
Fats
6.86g
Protein
8.38g
Calories
165
Glycemic Index
22
Fiber
7.3g
Sugars
1.67g

Lentils help control blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels. Lentils are high in soluble fiber and resistant starch, as well as potassium, folate, and antioxidants.

#19 Peas

Green Peas
Vegetables
are green peas keto
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
8.7g
Total carbs
14.4g
Fats
0.4g
Protein
5.42g
Calories
81
Glycemic Index
51
Fiber
5.7g
Sugars
5.67g

Research shows that peas have a low glycemic index which makes them an ideal food to add to your shopping list for controlling blood sugar and insulin levels. They are also good for gut and heart health due to their fiber content.

#20 Chickpeas

Chickpeas
Plant-Based
Chickpeas
Not Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
16.1g
Total carbs
22.5g
Fats
2.77g
Protein
7.05g
Calories
139
Glycemic Index
28
Fiber
6.4g
Sugars
4.01g

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are a source of complete plant-based protein containing all of the essential amino acids. Chickpeas also contain calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium and are beneficial for weight loss, heart and gut health, and blood sugar control.

Protein

Meat, fish, chicken, and plant-based protein foods are essential for maintaining the structure and function of the human body.

#21 Lean beef

Steak
Meat
is steak keto
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
Total carbs
Fats
11.4g
Protein
27.3g
Calories
212
Glycemic Index
Fiber
Sugars

Red meat is typically high in saturated fat, and the consumption of fatty meat is associated with raised cholesterol and heart disease. However, eating small amounts of lean beef as part of balanced meals containing whole grains and vegetables does not have the same negative impact on your health. 

#22 Chicken

Chicken Wings
Meat
are chicken wings keto
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
Total carbs
Fats
16.7g
Protein
22.6g
Calories
247
Glycemic Index
Fiber
Sugars

High-quality protein, B vitamins, and a selection of minerals make chicken a good choice for healthy eating. It contains less saturated fat than red meat, and eating chicken as part of a balanced diet is associated with good health in numerous research studies. 

#23 Fish

Haddock
Fish
Is haddock keto-friendly
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
Total carbs
Fats
0.45g
Protein
16.3g
Calories
74
Glycemic Index
Fiber
Sugars

Eating fish such as haddock and pollock can help increase your intake of unsaturated fats. However, oily fish, like salmon, are a particularly good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are good for brain and heart health.

#24 Tofu

Tofu
Plant-Based
Tofu
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
1.1g
Total carbs
1.4g
Fats
2.5g
Protein
4.8g
Calories
47
Glycemic Index
15
Fiber
0.3g
Sugars
0.2g

Made from soybeans, tofu is an excellent source of plant protein, polyunsaturated fat, calcium, iron, and vitamin A. It has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease.

Nuts and Seeds

Nuts and seeds make healthy eating tastier. Add a selection of nuts, seeds, and nut butters to your weekly shopping list.

#25 Almonds

Almonds
Nuts & Seeds
are-almonds-keto
Keto If Limited
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
5.2g
Total carbs
16.2g
Fats
57.8g
Protein
20.4g
Calories
667
Glycemic Index
Fiber
11g
Sugars
4.17g

A source of unsaturated fats, almonds, like other nuts, are also rich in fiber and a variety of other essential nutrients such as vitamin E, zinc, and magnesium. They are good for bone health, lowering cholesterol, helping weight management, and blood glucose control.

#26 Walnuts

Walnuts
Nuts & Seeds
are walnuts keto
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
7g
Total carbs
13.7g
Fats
65.2g
Protein
15.2g
Calories
654
Glycemic Index
15
Fiber
6.7g
Sugars
2.61g

High in omega-3 fatty acids, eating walnuts can help reduce your risk of developing cardiovascular disease. They also support brain health by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress in the brain.

#27 Chia seeds

Chia Seeds
Nuts & Seeds
are-chia-seeds-keto
Keto If Limited
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
6.8g
Total carbs
41.2g
Fats
30.7g
Protein
16.5g
Calories
486
Glycemic Index
1
Fiber
34.4g
Sugars

The greatest benefits of these nutrient-dense seeds come from the unsaturated fats and fiber they contain. Regularly consuming chia seeds can improve your cardiovascular and gut health.

#28 Flaxseeds

Flaxseed
Nuts & Seeds
is flaxseed keto
Keto If Limited
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
11.3g
Total carbs
34.4g
Fats
37.3g
Protein
18g
Calories
545
Glycemic Index
35
Fiber
23.1g
Sugars

If you are looking for a vegan-friendly source of omega-3 fatty acids, look no further than flaxseeds. They are also rich in lignans, protein, fiber, and potassium.

Healthy Fats

Apart from nuts, seeds, and oily fish, there are other food sources of monounsaturated fats you should consider including on your shopping list. For example, olive oil, avocados, and olives are also great sources of unsaturated fatty acids.

#29 Olive oil

Olive Oil
Oils & Butters
Is-olive-oil-keto
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
Total carbs
Fats
100g
Protein
Calories
884
Glycemic Index
Fiber
Sugars

Olive oil, especially extra virgin olive oil, has been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol levels due to its monounsaturated fat content. It also helps to manage blood pressure and has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.

#30 Avocados

Avocado
Vegetables
Is avocado keto
Keto Friendly
Key nutritional facts (per 100g):
Net carbs
1.83g
Total carbs
8.53g
Fats
14.7g
Protein
2g
Calories
160
Glycemic Index
15
Fiber
6.7g
Sugars
0.66g

When you eat avocados, you are eating a nutrient-rich food that provides your body with monounsaturated fats, potassium, vitamin E, folate, and vitamins C and B6. 

A Word From a Nutritionist

The cornerstone of healthy eating is a balanced diet that contains nutrient-dense foods from all food groups, including fruit, vegetables, whole grains, dairy products, legumes, protein, nuts, seeds, and good fats.

The healthy foods included in this list can help you stay healthy and reduce the risk of developing conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.

When you regularly eat foods such as kidney beans, fresh herbs, olive oil, whole grain pasta, and lean meat, you will get more fiber, healthy unsaturated fats, vitamins, and minerals than if you eat a diet rich in processed foods.

FAQs

Can you overeat healthy foods?

Yes. You can overeat healthy foods. Just because they are good for you doesn’t mean you can eat as much as you want. You must still be aware of your calorie intake.

What foods should you eat daily?

Fruits, vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, whole grains, lean protein, and healthy fats should all be eaten daily.

What foods are good for brain health?

Walnuts, fatty fish, leafy green vegetables, and berries offer omega-3 fatty acids and other anti-inflammatory and antioxidant nutrients that support brain health.

Conclusion

Healthy foods are found in all of the food groups. They are packed with nutrients and fiber and contain little saturated fat and no added sugars. 

Get your daily dose of good nutrition by choosing whole grains, vegetables, and foods packed with healthy fats to boost your health and reduce your risk of chronic disease.

Written by Wendy Lord, RD
Wendy is a Registered Dietitian with a passion for writing about nutrition, health, and medicine. Her aim is to translate the medical jargon to make information accessible to everyone so that they can make informed decisions about their health.
The article was fact checked by Donika Vata, MD
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Wendy Lord, RD
Written by Wendy Lord, RD
Dr. Donika Vata
Fact checked by Donika Vata, MD
Last update: September 1, 2023
8 min read 955 Views 0 Comments
0 Comments

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