by Henry Gould – Sept 16th, 2020
As much as we like to pretend we’re above clickbait, “listicle’s” and Top 10 lists, we’re really not. At least not me…!
Ranking the best movies, albums, TV shows, restaurants and other forms of pop culture is inherently intriguing as it plays on our pattern seeking behavior as humans; we want to know if the things we enjoy are shared by others, and if they are, reconfirm our biases that what we like is actually good for us. Or, we see other people’s opinions and disagree with them, which in itself can be somewhat therapeutic (i.e. “rage clicks”).
Psychology aside, ranking the healthiness of foods has become a huge trend, especially in the world of discussing superfoods. In reality, there isn’t such thing as a superfood. We need to eat a balanced diet to stay healthy; if you only ate kale and blueberries for a month, you would soon become protein deficient and probably develop some serious issues.
Having said that, there are foods we can assess for nutritional value (vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, good fats) that may be better than others. Safe to say that 100g of almonds and 100g of iceberg lettuce are not created equal.
I stumbled across this list put out by the BBC on the World’s Top 100 Most Nutritious Foods. It’s a cool list as there are definitely a few wildcards in there that might surprise you (lard anyone?).
For brevity I’ve included the Top 10 below, but it’s worth reading the whole thing. If you’re living an active lifestyle, exercising 3-4 times a week, the body needs to repair and recover the torn muscle fibers from your activity in addition to replacing the glycogen in your muscle cells that has depleted during exercise. All the physiological processes that allow this to happen require different nutrients, hence why a balanced diet is so important.
Have a read through the list and start expanding your grocery shopping list accordingly.
- Rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids. Promote cardiovascular health and may help with diabetes.
- Lightly toast in a warm oven for a couple minutes to bring out more flavor.
- Cherimoya fruit is fleshy and sweet with a white pulp. Rich in sugar and vitamins A, C, B1, B2 and potassium.
3) Ocean Perch
- The Atlantic species. A deep-water fish sometimes called rockfish. High in protein, low in saturated fats.
- Perfect for fish tacos, chowder / soup or simply grilled or pan fried.
- Sole, flounder, halibut species. Generally free from mercury and a good source of the essential nutrient vitamin B1.
5) Chia Seeds
- Tiny black seeds that contain high amounts of dietary fibre, protein, a-linolenic acid, phenolic acid and vitamins.
- Great in smoothies, granola or yogurt.
6) Pumpkin Seeds
- Including the seeds of other squashes. One of the richest plant-based sources of iron and manganese.
- Save the seeds from your halloween pumpkin, wash, coat in olive oil and sea salt then roast in the oven until brown.
7) Swiss Chard
- A very rare dietary source of betalains, phytochemicals thought to have antioxidant and other health properties.
- Sautee with garlic, chili flakes and olive oil then squeeze over fresh lemon at the end.
8) Pork Fat
- A good source of B vitamins and minerals. Pork fat is more unsaturated and healthier than lamb or beef fat.
- Save the fat when you cook bacon then store in a jar in the fridge to use instead of butter or oil.
9) Beet Greens
- The leaves of beetroot vegetables. High in calcium, iron, vitamin K and B group vitamins (especially riboflavin).
- Farmers market sometimes sell beets with the greens still on; use as you would spinach or swiss chard
- A family of mainly marine fish, with red snapper the best known. Nutritious but can carry dangerous toxins.