What is the healthiest food to eat everyday?

Quick Answer:

The healthiest foods to eat every day are fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats. A diet rich in colorful fruits and vegetables provides vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Whole grains provide energy, fiber, and nutrients. Lean protein builds muscles and supports weight loss. Nuts and seeds are packed with healthy fats, fiber, and protein. Healthy fats like olive oil and avocados improve heart health.

What are the healthiest fruits and vegetables to eat every day?

The healthiest fruits and vegetables are:

  • Berries – Blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are full of antioxidants, fiber, and vitamin C.
  • Citrus fruits – Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and limes provide vitamin C, folate, and antioxidants.
  • Bananas – A good source of potassium, vitamin B6, fiber, and magnesium.
  • Apples – Rich in fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. May support heart health.
  • Melons – Watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew contain vitamins A, C, potassium, and magnesium.
  • Cruciferous vegetables – Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, and cauliflower are great sources of vitamin C, K, folate, and fiber.
  • Carrots – Full of vitamin A, potassium, and antioxidants like beta carotene.
  • Sweet potatoes – Provide vitamin A, C, potassium, fiber, and antioxidants like beta carotene.
  • Squash – Butternut, pumpkin, zucchini, and yellow squash have vitamin A, C, potassium, magnesium, and fiber.
  • Bell peppers – Contain vitamin C, A, carotenoids, B6, folate, fiber, and potassium.

Aim for 1-2 servings of fruit and 2-3 servings of vegetables daily. Choose produce in a range of bright colors to maximize the variety of vitamins and antioxidants.

What are the healthiest whole grains?

The healthiest whole grains are:

  • Whole wheat – Provides fiber, manganese, selenium, copper, and B vitamins.
  • Oats – Rich in beta-glucan fiber, antioxidants, magnesium, and manganese.
  • Brown rice – Good source of manganese, selenium, magnesium, and fiber.
  • Quinoa – Packed with protein, magnesium, zinc, iron, and lysine.
  • Barley – Contains soluble and insoluble fiber, manganese, copper, magnesium, and selenium.
  • Buckwheat – Provides magnesium, copper, manganese, fiber, and phytonutrients.
  • Wholegrain corn – Supplies vitamin A carotenoids, magnesium, and antioxidants like anthocyanins.
  • Wild rice – High in protein, fiber, zinc, phosphorus, magnesium, B vitamins, and antioxidants.
  • Millet – Has magnesium, copper, manganese, phosphorus, B vitamins, and fiber.
  • Rye – Rich in manganese, phosphorus, copper, fiber, and selenium.

Aim for 3-4 servings of whole grains daily. Look for 100% whole grain as the first ingredient. Ancient grains like quinoa, amaranth, and teff are also very nutritious.

What are the leanest protein foods?

The leanest protein foods are:

  • Skinless chicken breast
  • Extra lean ground turkey
  • Fish like salmon, tuna, cod, and tilapia
  • Shellfish like shrimp, crab, and lobster
  • Eggs and egg whites
  • Lean cuts of beef like top round, sirloin, 93% lean ground beef
  • Tofu and tempeh
  • Edamame and lentils
  • Low-fat Greek yogurt and cottage cheese
  • Whey protein powder

Aim for 0.5-0.75 grams of protein per pound of body weight. So if you weigh 150 lbs, target 75-112 grams of protein daily from lean meat, fish, eggs, legumes, yogurt, etc. Lean animal proteins should make up the majority of your intake.

What are the healthiest nuts and seeds?

The healthiest nuts and seeds are:

  • Almonds – Loaded with vitamin E, magnesium, fiber, antioxidants, and protein.
  • Walnuts – Rich in omega-3 fats, copper, manganese, biotin, B vitamins, and antioxidants.
  • Pistachios – Have B6, thiamine, copper, phosphorus, antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin.
  • Cashews – Provide copper, magnesium, zinc, iron, biotin, and vitamin K.
  • Pecans – Supply manganese, copper, magnesium, fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Brazil nuts – Extremely high in selenium. Also have magnesium, thiamine, copper, and zinc.
  • Macadamia nuts – Full of magnesium, manganese, potassium, calcium, copper, and vitamin B6.
  • Chia seeds – Loaded with fiber, protein, calcium, magnesium, manganese, and omega-3s.
  • Flax seeds – Provide fiber, omega-3 fats, magnesium, thiamine, copper, phosphorus, and phytonutrients like lignans.
  • Hemp seeds – Rich in protein, fiber, iron, zinc, magnesium, omega-3s, omega-6s, and all essential amino acids.

Aim for 1-2 servings of nuts and seeds daily. Measure servings, as they are calorie dense. Nuts and seeds complement salads, yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, etc.

What are the healthiest cooking oils?

The healthiest cooking oils are:

  • Extra virgin olive oil – Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants.
  • Avocado oil – Has monounsaturated fats and vitamin E. High smoke point for cooking.
  • Coconut oil – Contains medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) that may aid weight loss. Use unrefined virgin coconut oil.
  • Walnut oil – Provides omega-3 ALA fats. Use in dressings, not for cooking due to low smoke point.
  • Sesame oil – Has monounsaturated fat, polyunsaturated fat, magnesium, copper, zinc, vitamin E, and vitamin K.
  • Grapeseed oil – Very high in polyunsaturated fats like omega-6 LA. Neutral taste good for cooking.

Use 1-2 tablespoons of healthy oils daily in cooking, dressings, marinades, etc. Measure carefully, as oils are very high in calories. Avoid partly hydrogenated oils high in trans fats.

Sample 1-Day Meal Plan with the Healthiest Foods

Here is an example of eating the healthiest foods in a day:


  • 1/2 cup oatmeal cooked with 1 cup almond milk, topped with 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 Tbsp chopped walnuts, 1 tsp chia seeds, cinnamon.
  • 1 hardboiled egg
  • 1 cup green tea


  • Salad with 3 oz grilled chicken breast, 1 cup spinach, 1/4 avocado, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinaigrette.
  • 1 whole grain roll
  • 1 orange
  • Water


  • 1 oz pistachios
  • 1 apple


  • 3 oz salmon cooked in 1 tsp olive oil with 1 cup roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes.
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • Tossed salad with 2 cups mixed greens, 5 cherry tomatoes, 1 Tbsp olive oil and vinegar dressing
  • 1 cup green tea

This provides a balanced mix of protein, complex carbs, fiber, healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Drink lots of water and herbal tea throughout the day.

Foods to Limit

While the foods above make up the healthiest diet, also limit intake of:

  • Added sugars – Found in soft drinks, candy, cookies, cakes, energy/sports drinks. Causes weight gain and provides empty calories.
  • Processed carbs – Found in white bread, pasta, cereal, crackers. Linked to diabetes and heart disease.
  • Trans and saturated fats – Found in red meat, full-fat dairy, fried foods, margarine, packaged goods. Raises LDL cholesterol.
  • Sodium – Found in canned, packaged, and restaurant foods. Causes high blood pressure.
  • Alcohol – Provides empty calories and impairs liver function. Stick to 1 drink per day max for women, 2 for men.

Instead, make whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts, and healthy oils the mainstay of your diet. Read labels and choose low sugar, low sodium options.

Benefits of Eating The Healthiest Foods

Eating more of the healthiest foods each day provides many benefits:

  • Weight loss – Fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins are lower in calories than processed foods. Fiber also promotes fullness.
  • Reduced disease risk – Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and healthy fats lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and some cancers.
  • Increased energy – Lean proteins, complex carbs, and healthy fats provide steady energy levels.
  • Better gut health – Fiber from whole foods feeds beneficial gut bacteria and improves digestion.
  • Healthy aging – Antioxidants and phytonutrients help delay aging and cognitive decline.
  • Overall wellbeing – Nutritious whole foods help you feel and function at your best each day.

By crowding out junk food and emphasizing real, minimally processed foods each day, you will look and feel better than ever.

Tips to Eat More of the Healthiest Foods

Here are some tips to increase your intake of the healthiest foods:

  • Shop smart – Make a grocery list focused on produce, lean proteins, whole grains, nuts/seeds. Shop perimeter of store first.
  • Keep healthy snacks on hand – Stock up on fresh fruit, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, hummus, nuts and nut butters.
  • Drink water – Stay hydrated and drink water with lemon instead of sugary drinks.
  • Learn simple recipes – Find recipes using whole food ingredients. Grilled chicken and fish, roasted veggies, salads, oatmeal, etc.
  • Batch cook – Dedicate time to grill chicken, cook grains and roast vegetables for the week ahead.
  • Control portions – Use smaller plates, weigh protein foods, measure nuts and oils to avoid overeating.
  • Read food labels – Choose products with a short ingredient list, low added sugars, healthy fats.
  • Limit eating out – Prepare more meals at home where you can control ingredients and portions.

Focus on adding more real, wholesome foods into your regular diet vs eliminating all unhealthy foods. Moderation and balance is key for long term success.

Potential Nutrient Deficiencies

When increasing intake of healthy whole foods, there are few risks of nutrient deficiencies. However, some populations should take extra precautions:

  • Vegans – May need B12 and iron supplements and omega-3s from algae to avoid deficiencies.
  • Elderly – At risk for low calcium, vitamin D, B12, which can impact bone and brain health.
  • Heavy exercisers – Require more calories overall, carbohydrates to fuel workouts, protein for muscle repair.
  • Pregnant women – Need more iron, folate, calcium, and magnesium. Speak to your doctor.

Work with a doctor or dietitian to identify any potential deficiencies based on your individual diet, health conditions, medications, and needs. Bloodwork helps assess vitamin and mineral status.


Eating more fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts/seeds, and healthy fats as part of a balanced diet is ideal for good health. Limit processed foods high in sodium, sugar, and unhealthy fats. Aim for mostly whole, minimally processed foods. This provides the maximum vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, and beneficial plant compounds. While tasty, junk food lacks nutrients and promotes weight gain and disease when consumed regularly. Take simple steps each day to crowd your diet with the healthiest foods for increased energy, weight control, and reduced risk of illness.

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