The 5 Best Foods

A patient recently shared with me that she saw a nutritionist talk and he listed the what he thought were the five healthiest foods.  I can’t remember the whole list, but they included avocados, almonds, and eggs.  

I wouldn’t put these foods in my top 5 list because many people are sensitive to eggs and some are sensitive to tree nuts.  

Avocados are a vegetarian source of complete protein, high in fiber, and energy rich due to high amount of fat.  They contain a high amount of linoleic acid which your body primarily uses to make inflammatory fatty acids like arachidonic acid but also uses to make a generally anti-inflammatory fatty acid called Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA).

Avocados are an excellent food and, for taste, one of my favorites.  But I wouldn’t call it one of the 5 healthiest foods.

So, even though I don’t like to list the 5 best foods (I think it is best and most fun to eat a large variety of healthy foods), I thought it would be a fun exercise to list my top 5.  Let’s see how it goes…

  1. Cruciferous Vegetables – I know, this is a group of vegetables, not a single food, but they provide excellent nutrition, support detoxifcation, and even appear to reduce the risk of some cancers.  If I had to pick one cruciferous vegetable as my favorite, the winner would be… kale.  Other cruciferous vegetables include many types of greens, broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, and cauliflower.
  2. Seasonal fruits are rich in health promoting fiber and essential nutrients.  Fruit that is in season is richest in nutrients AND tastiest.
  3. Fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but low in mercury like sardines and wild Alaskan salmon
  4. Water – clean and pure water is important for tissue function, digestion, delivery of nutrients, and detoxification (urine and sweat)
  5. Medicinal spices – spices are herbs that are more tasty than medicinal herbs, but have excellent effects on health.  Healthful spices include garlic (anti-cancer and anti-microbial), cilantro (supports detoxification), ginger (improves circulation, aids digestion, and anti-inflammatory), turmeric (anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer), Rosemary (mildly anti-inflammatory), Thyme (supports lung function and weakly anti-microbial)
Well, I didn’t do a very good job of recommending 5 foods – looks like I listed about 30.  Oh well.
Be well,
Richard Malik, ND
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