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100-foods

100 Super Healthy and Filling Foods

TIME Health
For more, visit TIME Health.

You know the basics of a healthy diet: lots of fruit and vegetables, some nuts and seeds, full-fat dairy, and a few servings of fish and lean meat. Of course, most of us don't always abide by those rules, our food choices guided by cravings or hunger instead of proper planning.

That's why we compiled a list of 100 of the most satisfying, hunger-quelling foods that are also easy to find at a grocery store (and taste great, of course). We’ve also provided our favorite ways to eat them, and recipes from our friends at Cooking Light and Food & Wine. Most importantly, we got rid of some of the guesswork behind determining if a food is filling and healthy, and provided tips for how to identify these foods on your own (hint, look for fiber, not just protein).

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Sure, 100 foods is a lot of options, but our goal is to emphasize that there are endless ways to eat healthy, regardless of your diet or food preferences. With this list, we hope you find or rediscover the joy of cooking, and that your meals keep you happy, healthy and satisfied. Bon Appétit!

Also, keep an eye out for the book version of this list, 100 Healthiest Foods to Satisfy Your Hunger, on newsstands and online.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Acorn Squash

How to eat it

Cut it in half horizontally, skin on, and scoop out the seeds before slicing into rings. Season with olive oil, salt, pepper and a little honey, and bake at 375°F for about 30 minutes for a nutty, sweet side dish that pairs well with just about any protein.

Why it’s good for you

This nutritionally dense vegetable is low in calories and high in vitamin A, which is important for the immune system and vision. Acorn squash is one of the sweeter squashes, but it won’t spike blood sugar thanks to the abundant fiber content.

Nutrition
One cup of cooked acorn squash contains as much as 9 grams of filling fiber, which aids digestion.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Almonds

How to eat them

Noshing on almonds by the handful is a healthy, on-the-go way to snack. You can also add sliced almonds to a breakfast bowl of oatmeal or yogurt, or add a smear of almond butter to slices of fresh fruit, like apples.

Why they’re good for you

Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fats that can help keep cholesterol at healthy levels. They’re also a good source of calcium, which provides muscle support and strengthens bones and teeth.

Nutrition

The reason they’re so filling is that just half a cup of almonds contains 9 grams of fiber and 15 grams of protein.

healthy and filling, health food, diet, nutrition, time.com stock, amaranth
Danny Kim for TIME

Amaranth

How to eat it

This ancient grain can be eaten as an oatmeal substitute in the morning or even popped like popcorn as a snack.

Why it’s good for you

Amaranth is a good source of plant protein, containing all of the essential amino acids that humans can’t make on their own. That makes it a vegetarian source of so-called complete protein, which is also abundant in eggs and meat. Thanks to its high amount of filling fiber, amaranth can help keep digestion on track. It’s also naturally gluten-free.

Nutrition

One cup of cooked amaranth has nearly 30% of your daily recommended iron, which is essential for moving oxygen through the body and can affect everything from energy levels to skin and nail health.

healthy and filling, health food, diet, nutrition, time.com stock, apple
Danny Kim for TIME

Apples

How to eat them

Eat apples sliced or whole with the fiber- and vitamin-rich skin on—
but be sure to give them a quick rinse before snacking, since apples often have high levels of pesticide residues on them.

Why they’re good for you

Eating an apple a day may, in fact, help keep the doctor away. A recent study found that regular apple eaters used fewer prescription medications than those who eat them less often, perhaps due to the naturally present antioxidants and gut-healthy fiber.

Nutrition

Apples contain pectin, a compound that slows digestion and promotes fullness.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Artichokes

How to eat them

You can cook artichokes by steaming them whole in a couple of inches of water. Once tender, the leaves can be pulled off and the ends dipped in butter or lemon juice as an appetizer. Baby artichokes, which you can buy frozen at most grocery stores, are delicious roasted at 425°F with olive oil until slightly browned, about 25 minutes; turn them halfway through.

Why they're good for you

Don’t let this veggie’s thorny appearance scare you off—it happens to be one of the most antioxidant-rich vegetables available. Artichokes are high in calcium, vitamin K and vision-promoting vitamin A.

Nutrition

Artichokes are high in gut-friendly fiber and promote healthy gut bacteria.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Asparagus

How to eat it

It’s hard to go wrong with asparagus: you can shave it raw into a salad; steam it in water; or roast it with olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon and Parmesan cheese at 425°F for about 15 minutes. The versatile spears have a woody flavor that pairs well with meats.

Why it’s good for you

Four asparagus spears contain 22% of your recommended daily amount of folic acid, which is especially important for pregnant women since it can prevent neural tube defects and premature birth.

Nutrition

The amount of nutrition packed into a single spear makes asparagus one of the healthiest vegetables.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Avocados

How to eat them

Avocados can add healthy fat to salads and can sub in for butter on toast. You can also eat these creamy fruits by the spoonful: slice a ripe avocado in half, drizzle it with olive oil, salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, and then dig in.

Why they’re good for you

Half an avocado contains 14 grams of healthy monounsaturated fat. Experts say substituting fats for some carbohydrates can support weight loss by keeping hunger in check.

Nutrition

It’s not just fat that makes avocados healthy. One avocado also has close to 14 grams of filling fiber.

Recipe: Avocado Tartare

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Danny Kim for TIME

Bananas

How to eat them

Peeling a banana and calling it a day is easy. You can also eat it sliced with a side of peanut butter, on top of whole-grain toast or mixed into oatmeal. Frozen, bananas add a lovely creaminess to smoothies.

Why they’re good for you

Bananas are full of resistant starch, a special type of fiber that’s shown in studies to improve gut health, keep blood sugar under control and increase feelings of fullness. Some studies have also linked resistant starch to weight loss.

Nutrition

Bananas contain “prebiotics,” which feed healthy bacteria in the gut.

healthy and filling, health food, diet, nutrition, time.com stock, barley
Danny Kim for TIME

Barley

How to eat it

Consider barley a delicious, nutritious and chewy substitute for rice. Boil one cup of barley in three cups of water until cooked but still a bit toothy, 25 to 40 minutes.

Why it’s good for you

A cup of cooked barley has 6 grams of filling fiber, 17 milligrams of calcium, and various other micronutrients, like magnesium. Barley may also be heart-protective, thanks to its high fiber content and small amount of healthy polyunsaturated fat.

Nutrition

One cup of barley confers 61% of your daily magnesium intake, which is important for normal blood pressure and heart rhythm and can help ease muscle soreness too.

Recipe: Miso-Ginger Braised Chicken with Barley

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Danny Kim for TIME

Beets

How to eat them

Sliced raw or roasted, beets are delicious as a base for salads, especially when combined with a tangy ingredient like goat cheese or feta. Avoid boiling them, which can cause nutrients to escape into
the water.

Why they’re good for you

Beets’ deep purple or red color comes from betalains, a class of pigments that also work as inflammation-lowering antioxidants. Though beets can be higher in sodium than other vegetables, they are also full of potassium, which can offset
the effects.

Nutrition

One cup of beets contains less than 60 calories, and their bright pigment means they’re packed with nutrients.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Black Beans

How to eat them

Black beans are one of the most versatile—and inexpensive—legumes at the grocery store. Canned or soaked at home, they can be added to tacos, chilies or soups, or blended with onion, garlic, lime juice, cumin and salt for a delicious and
healthy dip.

Why they’re good for you

Beans are one of the most fiber-rich foods around, making them very filling. They also help keep the colon healthy and digestion on track. That’s because beans take a long time to move through the digestive track, preventing dramatic dips in blood sugar.

Nutrition

One cup of black beans has 15 grams of fiber. Beans are also a good source of folate.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Blackberries

How to eat them

Add them to oatmeal or yogurt for breakfast, toss a handful into a smoothie, or, for a sweet-tangy punch in an otherwise savory dish, add them to salads, paired with a citrus-based vinaigrette.

Why they’re good for you

Nature often gives us nutrition cues with colors. Blackberries’ deep purple means they’re high in a kind of antioxidant that can help keep cells healthy. Like most berries, blackberries are also high in vitamin C, which is thought to have a role in cancer prevention and healthy wound healing.

Nutrition

Blackberries are especially high in satisfying fiber—that’s what makes them so filling. They’re also low in sugar. One cup has just 7 grams of the sweet stuff.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Black Pepper

How to eat it

In moderation, the dinner-table staple improves the flavor of many dishes, adding heat or bitterness to otherwise rich or sweet meals. It’s a crucial ingredient for marinades, and it gives salads and pastas
a kick too.

Why it’s good for you

Studies indicate that spicy food may help people eat less. Pepper also contains something called piperine, which has been shown in lab settings to slow the maturation of fat cells. It’s early evidence, but it suggests that black pepper may have some fat-burning properties.

Nutrition

Black pepper contains protein, fiber and iron, all of which are important for health and appetite control.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Blueberries

How to eat them

Blueberries are often served at breakfast in porridge and pancakes, but they’re also delicious in a spinach salad with goat cheese or tossed into a green smoothie.

Why they’re good for you

Purple foods are suspected to be a powerful weapon in fighting heart disease, since they’re a rich source of phytonutrients—naturally occurring plant chemicals that are thought to have disease-preventing capabilities. Berries are also a good source of vitamin C.

Nutrition

Blueberries contain anthocyanins, which can help improve heart health by combating plaque buildup. They’re also what give the berries
their coloring.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Bok Choy

How to eat it

Sauté bok choy in a warm skillet with olive oil, garlic and a little ginger. When the leaves are bright and translucent, that means it’s well-cooked and ready to eat (though you can also just eat it raw, in salads).

Why it’s good for you

Known as Chinese cabbage, bok choy is high in vision-supportive vitamin A. It’s also a cruciferous vegetable, which means it’s high in fiber and linked to a lower risk of certain cancers, such as colorectal, lung and breast cancer.

Nutrition

Bok choy has been shown to help reduce inflammation, which is at the root of many health problems.

Recipe: Steamed Bok Choy with Mapo-Style Pork

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Danny Kim for TIME

Broccoli

How to eat it

Broccoli can be eaten raw, of course, but we prefer it roasted. All it needs is a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast it at 450°F for about 20 minutes for dense stems with slightly crispy heads that are browned at the edges. Sprinkle on a little Parmesan cheese for extra flavor, or serve with a yogurt-based dipping sauce.

Why it’s good for you

Broccoli is extremely rich in cancer-fighting properties. It’s also high in fiber and very low in calories—one cup of broccoli has just slightly over 80 calories and a negligible amount of fat.

Nutrition

It’s high in vitamins K, B6 and C; fiber; folate; potassium; and countless other nutrients. Is there anything broccoli can’t do?

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Danny Kim for TIME

Brown Rice

How to eat it

It should be a companion to—not the star of—a dish, due to its high carbohydrate content. Add a scoop of brown rice to a vegetable soup to make it a little heartier or use it as a bed for any stir-fry.

Why it’s good for you

If you’re going to eat rice, opt for the nutty-tasting brown variety. It’s higher in nutrients than white rice, and a serving contains nearly all the cell-protective manganese that is recommended for one day. It’s also less likely than white grains to spike blood sugar.

Nutrition

Brown rice contains resistant starch, which can tamp down hunger and help regulate blood sugar, so it may play a role in weight maintenance and possibly weight loss.

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Brussel Sprouts

How to eat them

Roast halved Brussels sprouts with olive oil, salt and pepper at 425°F until slightly browned. If some of the leaves fall off, don’t discard them. Instead, think of them as savory, salty chips, and dig in.

Why they’re good for you
As a member of the family that includes broccoli and collards, Brussels sprouts are also effective at lowering cholesterol and fighting cancer. Just one cup contains well over a day’s worth of vitamin C, which is important for bone and skin strength.

Nutrition

Every bright green vegetable is packed with nutrition and fiber, but Brussels sprouts are especially healthy.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Buckwheat

How to eat it

On its own, buckwheat can taste a bit bitter, but the grain also has a nutty quality that pairs well with tangy foods. It’s the grain used to make soba noodles—a delicious way to add it to your diet.

Why it’s good for you

Buckwheat is a complete protein and is very high in magnesium, a nutrient that helps regulate muscle and nerve function as well as blood pressure and blood sugar control. Some studies suggest that people who regularly eat truly whole grains have a lower risk of developing Type 2 diabetes, possibly thanks to that high amount of magnesium. Buckwheat is a good source of carbs in moderation.

Nutrition

It’s gluten-free, making it ideal for people with celiac disease or wheat sensitivity.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Butternut Squash

How to eat it

Butternut squash may look intimidating to chop up, but it’s easy to cook. Coat it with olive oil, cinnamon, salt and pepper, and roast it for around 40 minutes at 400°F. Squash makes a great side dish or topping for pastas and tacos.

Why it’s good for you

Squash is relatively low in carbohydrates and high in fiber, and the butternut variety has a little protein too. Beyond its filling properties, butternut squash is also a heart-healthy food.

Nutrition

Given its high potassium levels, butternut squash can undercut the effects of a high-sodium diet.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Cardamom

How to eat it

Cardamon is a zingy aromatic spice that is common in Indian dishes, such as curries. It also adds extra flavor to a chai tea latte.

Why it’s good for you

This spice has been shown in scientific studies to slightly increase body temperature and rev up metabolism, which is helpful for people trying to lose weight. Research also suggests that eating food with lots of flavor keeps people more satisfied and that spicy foods in particular can support slimming down.

Nutrition

Cardamom, which is in the same family as ginger, can help ease digestive discomfort. It’s also high in antioxidants, like many spices used in Indian food.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Carrots

How to eat them

Whole carrots are a healthy and tasty portable snack. Thanks to their crunch and slight sweetness, they’re especially satisfying with a little dip, like hummus or a yogurt-based spice dip. Carrots are also great roasted, which highlights their natural sugars, topped with a cumin and tahini dressing.

Why they’re good for you

Carrots may taste sweet, but they’re actually very low in sugar. They’re high in antioxidants like beta-carotene and lycopene, the latter of which has been linked to a lower risk of certain cancers.

Nutrition

Carrots are high in vitamin K, which is important for bone health, and other antioxidants, like all brightly colored produce.

Recipe: Chipotle-Roasted Baby Carrots

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Danny Kim for TIME

Cauliflower

How to eat it

Boiled or steamed, cauliflower makes a nutritious substitute for mashed potatoes. First cook it, then puree it with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, and then top with chives.

Why it’s good for you

Cauliflower is highly fibrous and surprisingly high in vitamin C. The combination of water content and fiber makes cauliflower a good vegetable for people with digestion problems. It also boasts more folate than broccoli and is known to have low pesticide residue levels.

Nutrition

The orange and purple varieties of cauliflower are also nutritious.

Recipe: Roasted Cauliflower

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Danny Kim for TIME

Cherries

How to eat them

Cherries are best eaten as is: freshly washed, to remove pesticide
residues, and whole.

Why they’re good for you

Cherries can be sweet or tart, depending on the variety, and all are high in vitamin C. They’re also high in potassium, which keeps the heart and kidneys in tip-top shape. Cherries can also reduce inflammation by lowering the production of C-reactive protein produced by the body. Tart cherries may also improve sleep, since they contain the hormone melatonin.

Nutrition

It’s all natural and balanced out with fiber, but keep in mind cherries have a high amount of sugar.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Chia Seeds

How to eat them

Add chia seeds to yogurt, granola or smoothies for extra protein and a thicker consistency. You can also mix them with milk or milk alternatives to make a healthy breakfast pudding.

Why they’re good for you

Chia seeds may be tiny, but they’re full of good fat and protein. They can absorb up to 10 times their weight in water, and that makes them a popular ingredient for bulking up recipes. Chia seeds are also high in calcium and phosphorus, which work together to strengthen
bones and teeth.

Nutrition

Two tablespoons of chia seeds contain 5 grams of omega-3 fatty acids.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Chicken

How to eat it

Even for a novice, we promise that roasting a whole chicken is far easier than it looks. Just rub the raw chicken with salt and pepper and olive oil before roasting for golden and crispy skin.

Why it’s good for you

Meat is one of the most filling foods you can eat, thanks to its high protein content, and chicken is naturally very low in fat. The fat that is present in dark poultry meat contains a hormone called cholecystokinin, which plays a role in satiety—which means it keeps you fuller and more satisfied, longer.

Nutrition

Chicken is a good source of vitamin B12, a hard-to-get nutrient that provides healthy blood-cell function.

Recipe: Maple-Mustard Roasted Chicken with Vegetables

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Danny Kim for TIME

Chickpeas

How to eat them

It doesn’t matter if you consume chickpeas whole or in the form of hummus or falafel—they’re a great way to add fiber and healthy carbohydrates to a meal. A handful of cooked chickpeas can also be tossed into almost any finished soup to add a
little heft.

Why they’re good for you

Studies find that adding chickpeas or other legumes to a meal can help people feel up to 31% fuller. Chickpeas are also a good source of vitamin B6, which is involved in metabolism. Another recent study found that eating foods like chickpeas can keep you fuller longer throughout the day.

Nutrition

They’re great for gut and bowel health.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Cinnamon

How to eat it

Cinnamon can add just the right amount of flavor to chai tea or even to roasted vegetables, like squash or carrots. It’s also a nice addition to a smoothie and can help balance out the natural sugars present in the fruit you’re using.

Why it’s good for you

This spice has been shown to help balance blood sugar, which can keep people satisfied for longer. And unlike table sugar, cinnamon contains nutrients like calcium, fiber and iron.

Nutrition

Artificial sweeteners come with a host of potential health concerns, so consider sticking to spices like this instead to perk up a drink or dish.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Cod

How to eat it

Cod is a flaky fish that cooks quickly and is delicious when paired with green beans or leeks, or inside a fish taco with fresh salsa and cilantro.

Why it’s good for you

A single fillet contains fewer than 200 calories and, like most fish, its high protein content makes it a filling dinner option. Some studies suggest that fish like cod have a greater effect on satiety than even chicken or beef. The fat in cod is the good kind, making it appropriate to eat regularly.

Nutrition

It’s hard to get enough vitamin D from food—and most of us are deficient in the nutrient—but cod is a great source.

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Collard Greens

How to eat them

Collard greens are good bun substitutes for burgers. If you want a more flexible leaf, blanch the greens for around 30 seconds before using them (and don’t forget to cut off the rough stems). Collards are also great sautéed in a bit of butter or oil.

Why they’re good for you

Just one cup of collard greens provides a third of daily recommended vitamin A and a quarter of daily recommended vitamin C. Collards are a cruciferous vegetable, which means they may also be cancer-protective.

Nutrition

They're very nutrient-dense greens.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Corn

How to eat it

Boiled or grilled on the barbecue, corn tastes great with just a little butter and salt. You can also mix raw corn with cherry tomatoes and feta for a summery salad.

Why it’s good for you

Corn has a high water content, which makes it a more filling vegetable with fewer calories. It’s also high in lutein and zeaxanthin, phytochemicals that aid in healthy vision. The natural sugars make it an easy sell too.

Nutrition

A cup of boiled sweet corn has nearly the same amount of potassium as a small banana.

Recipe: Shrimp and Corn Chowder

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Cottage Cheese

How to eat it

Cottage cheese is a very versatile kind of dairy: it’s tasty with fruit but can also become a savory dip with olive oil and a pinch of pepper.

Why it’s good for you

This cheese is a clear champion when it comes to appetite suppression. Just one cup of cottage cheese has 25 grams of protein—that’s more than half the amount in a cup of chopped chicken. It’s also a good source of bone-building calcium, and it’s naturally low in fat when compared with its protein content.

Nutrition

Opt for a full-fat variety for an even more satisfying snack.

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Cranberries

How to eat them

Fresh cranberries—which are tart and sweet at the same time—can be chopped and blended into a relish or jam, just like you would at Thanksgiving (but minus the sugar).

Why they’re good for you

Cranberries are low in fat and sugar and have a healthy dose of vitamin C and fiber. There’s also some evidence that compounds in cranberries can lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Nutrition

Evidence that cranberries can treat urinary-tract infections is scant, but all is not lost: the fruit’s vitamin E content can improve overall immune-system health.

Recipe: Cranberry-Nut Dressing

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Danny Kim for TIME

Cumin

How to eat it

Adding cumin to chicken or beef adds a kick to homemade tacos. It’s also a key ingredient in chili and tastes great sprinkled on roasted veggies.

Why it’s good for you

Cumin is high in phytosterols, compounds that can inhibit the absorption of cholesterol in the body. There’s some evidence that cumin may increase your metabolic rate, at least in the short term. Compounds in cumin are also thought to help digestion.

Nutrition

Some studies suggest that flavorful food is more filling.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Currants

How to eat them

Currants are sour yet edible when raw. They taste much sweeter when they’re cooked, which releases their natural sugars.

Why they’re good for you

Currants come in red, pink, white and black and are a great source of both plant protein and fiber. Be sure to eat them as a garnish, though, as they are high in natural sugar.

Nutrition

One cup of currants contains more than a quarter of daily recommended iron.

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Dates

How to eat them

Dates are a delicious natural sweetener for smoothies and baked goods. They can also be eaten whole as a natural source of iron.

Why they’re good for you

One cup of chopped dates has nearly 50% of daily recommended fiber. Though they are one of the more sugary fruits, they’re also high in potassium.

Nutrition

Dates contain virtually no fat.

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Edamame

How to eat them

Japanese restaurants do this one right: steamed, with just a light sprinkling of salt, is one of the best ways to enjoy edamame.

Why they’re good for you

Edamame are young soybeans, and that means they’re high in protein and fiber. They also boast nearly a quarter of daily recommended magnesium, which can tamp down inflammation.

Nutrition

Edamame are a good vegetarian source of protein that’s also high in enzymes and phytochemicals that fight disease.

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Eggs

How to eat them

You can eat eggs scrambled, boiled or sunny-side up—just make sure you eat the whole thing, yolk included. And pair them with greens. Having eggs and vegetables together actually helps you absorb more nutrients from the greens.

Why They’re good for you

Yolks make eggs’ fat-soluble nutrients easier for the body to digest, and they don’t elevate cholesterol levels as doctors previously thought. One egg contains 35% of a person’s daily choline, which is important for cognitive function and may protect against Alzheimer’s disease.

Nutrition

Eggs are a complete protein and contain all nine essential amino acids the body can’t make itself.

Recipe: Avocado Egg Salad

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Fava Beans

How to eat them

Once cooked, make sure to squeeze fava beans out of their thick skin before eating.

Why they’re good for you

Fava beans are one of the most fiber-rich vegetables available. One cup contains 9 grams of fiber for less than 115 calories. They’re also a good source of dietary calcium.

Nutrition

Fava beans store well in the freezer.

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Figs

How to eat them

Eat them on the go, or add them to your cheese board. Halve figs and pair them with other nutritional powerhouses like nuts or goat cheese.

Why they’re good for you

Figs—which are actually members of the mulberry family—are slightly sweet, but they are also high in fiber. That fiber slows the release of sugar into the bloodstream, which means figs won’t leave you with a sugar crash later in the day like other sugary foods will.

Nutrition

Figs are a good source of vitamin C and calcium. They’re also an unlikely source of vitamin B6, which can be hard to get enough of from food alone.

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Flaxseeds

How to eat them

Grind flaxseeds, and sprinkle the fine powder on top of toast with almond butter. You can also include about a tablespoon of ground smoothies into your morning smoothie or on top of a bowl of yogurt
or oatmeal.

Why they’re good for you

They’re tiny but mighty. Flaxseeds are a good source of plant-based fats and are especially high in heart-healthy omega 3s. Just one tablespoon of whole seeds contains 10% of your daily recommended magnesium, which can help
increase energy.

Nutrition

You’ll get more nutrients from flaxseeds if you grind them right before eating.

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Full-Fat Milk

How to eat it

Use full-fat milk to thicken your oatmeal while also adding extra nutrients to it. You can also use it in smoothies to add protein.

Why it’s good for you

For years, we’ve been told to drink skim over full-fat milk, but the latest science shows that people who drink more full-fat dairy have a lower risk of diabetes and obesity-related health problems. Full-fat is also more filling and satisfying.

Nutrition

One cup of full-fat milk packs 8 grams of protein.

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Garlic

How to eat it

There’s hardly any dish that couldn’t benefit from a little fresh garlic. The bulb’s smell and flavor come from its sulfur compounds, which offer health benefits like lower inflammation. For disease prevention, some people also swear by swallowing a clove whole, once a day.

Why it’s good for you

Antibacterial properties from garlic have been linked to a lower risk for certain cancers, like cancers of the stomach, colon, esophagus and pancreas. If you add garlic to a recipe toward the end of the cooking process, you may retain even more of its nutrients.

Nutrition

Garlic is a very low-calorie food but also one of the most flavorful. Use it to spice up otherwise dull dishes.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Goat Cheese

How to eat it

It doesn’t take much goat cheese to taste delicious and satisfy. Spread it on some healthy crackers as a snack, or stuff it inside dates for a scrumptious appetizer. It’s also nice dotting a greens-heavy salad.

Why it’s good for you

Goat cheese is easier to digest than other varieties of cheese, not to mention it’s one of the tangiest. Goat milk has also been shown in some studies to increase absorption of iron more than cow’s milk.

Nutrition

One ounce of goat cheese has 6 grams of filling, muscle-building protein.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Grapefruit

How to eat it

Halve a grapefruit and eat it with a spoon, or peel the whole thing like you would an orange. Grapefruit also adds a nice tang to salads.

Why it’s good for you

By keeping blood sugar stable, grapefruit can lower levels of hormones that increase feelings of hunger. A 2014 study found that grapefruit juice was just as effective as the Type 2 diabetes drug metformin at lowering blood glucose in mice.

Nutrition

Half a fruit has 60% of your vitamin C content.

Recipe: Grapefruit, Endive and Arugula Salad

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Danny Kim for TIME

Grass-Fed Hamburger

How to eat it

Before grilling, marinate hamburger patties with garlic, salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce.

Why it’s good for you

Burgers are naturally high in protein that will keep you satisfied throughout the day, and grass-fed beef has a healthier balance of fat than grain-fed. It’s the condiments that will cost you, though. Go easy on sugary ketchup and salt-filled mustard. Eaten occasionally, burgers are a great source of vitamin B12 and iron.

Nutrition

Grass-fed meat is more expensive than grain-fed, but it packs more nutrition.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Grass-Fed Steak

How to eat it

Grilled steak is one of the tastiest ways to load up on iron and protein, but try not to burn it. Charred steak can produce chemicals that are considered carcinogens by major health groups.

Why it’s good for you

Red meat tends to get a lot of heat, but grass-fed varieties (consumed in moderation) can be a part of a healthy diet and keep you full.
Beef is high in protein, at 22 grams for three ounces. Meat from grass-fed cows has less saturated fat and more heart-healthy omega-3
fatty acids.

Nutrition

Don’t go crazy on portion size. Aim for a three-ounce steak, which is about the size of a deck of cards.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Guava

How to eat it

Blend a little of this tangy fruit into your smoothie along with mango and a little fresh mint. When it’s very ripe—usually that means yellow and very soft—you can eat the whole thing, seeds and all.

Why it’s good for you

Guava has a low glycemic index, which means it’s higher in fiber and takes longer to digest than other fruits and won’t cause your blood sugar to spike.

Nutrition

Guava keeps blood sugar stable and cravings at bay. It’s also high in the antioxidant lycopene, best known for its presence in tomatoes. Plus, one guava contains more than 600% the amout of recommended daily vitamin C.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Halibut

How to eat it

Garlic, lemon juice, salt and pepper are all you need to season halibut for a delicious roasted fish dish. To preserve all its natural juices, make a pocket out of parchment paper and bake it en papillote.

Why it’s good for you

Vitamin D can be tough to get from diet alone, but just half a fillet of halibut has more than double the nutrient amount recommended per day. It’s also high in healthy omega-3 fat (just like salmon) that can benefit the heart and brain.

Nutrition

Halibut is high in both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat.

Recipe: Halibut with Potatoes and Romanesco

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Danny Kim for TIME

Jalapeño Peppers

How to eat them

Cut off the top of one and gently remove all the seeds to avoid its being extra spicy. Then slice it and add to homemade guacamole, toss it with roasted vegetables, or use it to top a simple green salad. Don’t forget to wash your hands immediately after chopping to prevent any accidental eye exposure.

Why they’re good for you

Research has shown that spicy food can increase satiety, and researchers have also found that peppers may encourage the body to burn more calories.

Nutrition

Capsaicin, the compound found in peppers, may lower inflammation and improve gut bacteria.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Kidney Beans

How to eat them

Kidney beans are a key ingredient in chili and Mexican rice dishes. They can also be blended into a kidney bean and hummus dip to be served with veggies as a snack or an appetizer.

Why they’re good for you

Nearly every kind of bean tends to top dietitians’ lists of super-filling foods, thanks to their digestion-slowing fiber and high protein content. A 2016 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition also found that when people add beans to their diet, they lose weight.

Nutrition

A cup of boiled kidney beans has 11 grams of fiber. Research shows that fiber feeds the good bacteria that live in our digestive system, keeping them happy (and you healthy).

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Danny Kim for TIME

Kiwi

How to eat it

Kiwi skin may be fuzzy, but it’s still edible, nutritious and delicious, once you get comfortable with the texture. Mix chopped kiwi with one onion, a jalapeño and some lime juice for a sweet, tangy salsa. You can also eat it whole, like you would an apple.

Why it’s good for you

It doesn’t look like it, but the kiwifruit is a member of the berry family. Like other berries, it’s full of antioxidants and other nutrients, including vitamin C and fiber, while also being naturally low in calories.

Nutrition

Just one kiwi has all the vitamin C you need in a day.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Lentils

How to eat them

Lentil soup is a fall and winter staple for good reason. You can mix up your recipe by adding a dash of lemon juice or red pepper flakes. Use red lentils for fastest cooking.

Why they’re good for you

Anyone looking to curb their hunger pangs should consider a diet that includes lentils. One cup of the legume contains a whopping 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein, making it one of the most filling foods available.

Nutrition

Lentils contain more than twice the amount of folate as spinach.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Lima Beans

How to eat them

Include cooked lima beans in a salad to add some heft and extra protein. They also complement sautéed, garlicky greens and can be tossed into a soup or stew to bulk it up.

Why they’re good for you

Lima beans are one of the more nutritious vegetables. They’re low on the glycemic index, so they are ideal for people with insulin sensitivity and Type 2 diabetes. Lima beans also contain a good amount of protein and fiber, which balances out their carbohydrate content.

Nutrition

Like other high-fiber foods, lima beans may help lower cholesterol.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Mozzarella

How to eat it

Stack sliced mozzarella cheese with tomatoes and basil as a caprese salad, the ultimate appetizer for late summer, when tomatoes are at their peak. Finish it off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.

Why it’s good for you

Just one standard one-ounce slice of mozzarella boasts 8 grams of protein and about half that many grams of fat. Research also shows that people who eat full-fat dairy tend to have lower rates of obesity-related disease.

Nutrition

Eating cheese in moderation doesn’t increase blood pressure and may help the heart. Plus, full-fat dairy can curb binging.

Recipe: Pesto Pasta Salad with Tomatoes and Mozzarella

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Danny Kim for TIME

Mustard Greens

How to eat them

Mustard greens, like many other leafy greens (including kale and collards), add extra nutrition to salads and sandwiches. They’re also sturdy enough to toss
into soups.

Why they’re good for you

Mustard greens are in the same family as cabbage, broccoli and radishes and contain many of the same compounds that make those foods nutritious. Mustard seeds have long been used in Chinese medicine to ward off infections.

Nutrition

Mustard greens are high in vitamin K. Some compounds in the greens are also being studied for cancer prevention.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Oat Bran Flakes

How to eat them

Put down the sugary cereal and replace it with bran flakes. Have them for breakfast with some almond or full-fat dairy milk and a handful of berries for some natural sweetness.

Why they’re good for you

Bran flakes contain vitamins A and D, which are both fat-soluble. This means they are more easily digested if eaten with a fat, such as that in milk. If eaten in the morning, bran flakes can help keep your digestion on track for the rest of the day.

Nutrition

Bran flakes are a double whammy for satiety, with lots of fiber, a good dose of protein and a low amount of sugar.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Oatmeal

How to eat it

Overnight oats are easy to eat without slowing you down in the morning. Put oats, milk, nuts and a little honey in a jar. Keep in the fridge overnight. Top with berries in the morning.

Why it’s good for you

Oats are one of the most fiber-rich foods on the planet, and oatmeal is an especially absorbent food, making it even more filling. When it’s cooked with milk or water, the oats swell in size and take longer to digest, which slows the onset of hunger.

Nutrition

The fiber in oatmeal can help stabilize blood sugar and balance out the fact that it’s high in carbohydrates.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Oranges

How to eat them

It’s fine to consume oranges in the form of pulp-filled juice (be sure to check the label), but keep in mind that some orange juices are not 100% juice, and most contain lots of sugar. Fresh-squeezed juice is the ideal. But really, whole oranges are best.

Why they’re good for you

We all know oranges are high in vitamin C—just one fruit has 85% of your daily recommended intake—but oranges also contain fiber and a high amount of heart-healing potassium. Fiber in fruit is key—it prevents blood-sugar spikes that come with juice.

Nutrition

Eating fruits like oranges on a regular basis can lower the risk of heart disease by up to 40%, a 2014 study found.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Oysters

How to eat them

Oysters are best eaten raw, whole and—importantly—chilled, which is why they’re often presented on a bed of ice. Keep that in mind if you’re shucking at home.

Why they’re good for you

Oysters are a very low-calorie source of protein and are also a great source of hard-to-get vitamin B12. What’s more, a dozen oysters confer more than a quarter of the daily recommended amount of iron, a nutrient in which many people are deficient. Like many ocean foods, they’re also high in trace minerals that can be hard to get otherwise.

Nutrition

Oysters tend to taste best in the fall and winter, but it’s a myth that they’re unsafe to eat during other times of the year.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Parmesan Cheese

How to eat it

Sliced Parmesan cheese tastes great when paired with apples or grated and sprinkled on popcorn.

Why it’s good for you

Dairy can get a bad rap, but a daily serving of cheese has been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. Eating a moderate amount may even increase the likelihood of living longer. Parmesan cheese is also high in protein.

Nutrition

The bacteria in cheese—which is a fermented food—may improve gut health.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Passion Fruit

How to eat it

Passion fruit seeds—which look a little like oversize pieces of grapefruit—are delicious when blended into a smoothie with other fruits like pineapple, mango or raspberries. They are naturally a
bit tart.

Why it’s good for you

Passion fruit is low in calories but has a significant amount of fiber and vitamin C. It’s also a good source of the compound lycopene, an antioxidant that is thought to lower risk for heart disease and
improve immunity.

Nutrition

The vitamin C in passion fruit can help maintain connective tissue, bones and skin.

Recipe: Brazilian Passion Fruit and Mango Smoothie

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Danny Kim for TIME

Peaches

How to eat them

Chop up peaches and mix them with tomatoes, cilantro, lime and red peppers for a sweet and savory salsa that pairs well with pork or fish.

Why they’re good for you

These fuzzy fruits have been shown in studies to ward off obesity-related health problems like diabetes and heart disease, thanks to compounds that can lower inflammation and unhealthy cholesterol. One fruit has about 13 grams of natural sugar, which means it’s best eaten in moderation, like most fruit.

Nutrition

The potassium in peaches can help lower risk for heart disease.

Recipe: Peach Salad with Crisp Tofu

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Danny Kim for TIME

Peanut Butter

How to eat it

A dollop of peanut butter on an apple or banana is a great post-workout snack. It’s also a delicious way to add a little fat to a smoothie, to top whole-grain bread or to spoon into a bowl of oatmeal.

Why it’s good for you

Peanut butter is high in fullness-inducing fiber and protein, and it’s just the right amount of salty and sweet to satisfy cravings. It’s also high in niacin, which helps the body harvest energy and improves circulation and inflammation levels.

Nutrition

Steer clear of low- or non-fat peanut butter, which is high in sugar.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Pears

How to eat them

Eat a pear as you would an apple—whole, one bite at a time—or slice it up and use it in a salad paired with blue cheese and arugula. They’re also a nice addition to morning smoothies and can be eaten smeared with nut butter as a snack. Healthy fat makes some of the other nutrients in pears more available to your body.

Why they’re good for you

Pears are a very fibrous fruit—about 6 grams per pear—which means they contain around the same amount of fiber as half a cup of almonds, but they are far lower in calories.

Nutrition

Pears are high in antioxidants that can prevent damaging free radicals.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Pecans

How to eat them

Pecans are commonly used in desserts like pies and cookies, but they’re also tasty in stuffing and sprinkled on vegetables or just eaten plain. They also make a nice addition to homemade low-sugar granola (look for an olive-oil-based granola recipe that uses a sweetener like maple syrup or honey).

Why they’re good for you

The disease-fighting antioxidants and healthy-fat omega-3s from pecans can improve overall health and help keep the heart in tip-top shape. One cup of pecans has as much as 10 grams of fiber, which will keep hunger satisfied too. Still, pecans are, like all nuts, calorie- and fat-dense.

Nutrition

Pecans are high in both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats, so moderation is key.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Pineapples

How to eat it

Pineapple is a simultaneously sweet and tangy fruit, which is why it’s often used to make smoothies and also turns up in savory side dishes and condiments,
like salsas.

Why it’s good for you

Pineapples are high in natural sugar, fiber, protein and vitamin C. The fruit also contains manganese, which is partially responsible for metabolizing fats and carbohydrates. Pineapples have a host of nutrients that are important for eye health and preventing vision loss. They also contain a compound called bromelain, which some studies suggest can help digestion.

Nutrition

One pineapple has half of the daily recommended vitamin B6. It’s also thought to be anti-inflammatory.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Pistachios

How to eat them

Pistachios are best eaten by the handful. If you’re not buying them whole, pay attention to the amount of added salt.

Why they’re good for you

Here’s a little-known fact about the little green nuts: they’re lower in fat than most other nuts. As many as 50 pistachios contain fewer than 200 calories, making them a healthy snack. Eating pistachios can also curb hunger and support healthy insulin responses, which is especially important for people with diabetes. A 2015 study found that people who added pistachios to their diet for 10 weeks had healthier levels of blood fatty acids.

Nutrition

Pistachios contain healthy fats that regulate blood sugar and hunger.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Plums

How to eat them

Instead of using grapes, add chopped plums to a chicken salad for a new twist on a classic recipe. You can also eat them whole, minding the pit in the middle,
of course.

Why they’re good for you

Plums are not only low in calories and fat but are also a low-glycemic-index food. So even though they’re sweet, they won’t send blood sugar soaring and can help modulate fat-gene expression. That means they’re less likely to cause the weight gain that can come with sugary foods.

Nutrition

Plums can help good bacteria in the gut flourish. Plus, one plum has only 30 calories and contains heart-healthy potassium, which is also good for muscles.

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Pomegranate Seeds

How to eat them

To eat a pomegranate—one of the most popular so-called superfoods in recent memory—cut off the top and bottom of the fruit and then cut it in half and spoon out the whole seeds, being careful not to burst them. Pomegranate juice is also an option but should be consumed in moderation, as it’s high in sugar and low in fiber.

Why they’re good for you

A chemical compound in pomegranate fruit called punicalagin may slow the progression of diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s by treating inflammation in the brain.

Nutrition

One pomegranate meets half the daily calcium recommendation.

Recipe: Curried Chicken Thighs with Pomegranate-Mint Sauce

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Danny Kim for TIME

Popcorn

How to eat it

Don’t be wary of cooking popcorn on the stove—it’s easy and fast and can be done with just a small splash of oil. Add a pinch of salt, a little olive oil and a sprinkle of nutritional yeast for umami flavoring. Other spices that pair well are smoked paprika, garlic powder and chili flakes.

Why it’s good for you

Popcorn may be mostly air, but it’s an antioxidant-filled grain that helps soothe your appetite. It’s also high in fiber.

Nutrition

Some microwaveable popcorn varieties contain unhealthy chemicals.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Pork Tenderloin

How to eat it

Rub pork tenderloin with salt, pepper, brown sugar, garlic powder and cumin. When cooking, make sure the meat has an internal temperature of at least 145°F.

Why it’s good for you

Pork tenderloin is a lean cut of meat and is high in protein and vitamin B12. It’s also one of the most concentrated food sources of zinc, which is important for normal growth and development as well as senses of taste and smell.

Nutrition

Opt for antibiotic-free varieties to avoid the spread of drug resistance, which is an outgrowth of meat production. If you can afford it and it’s available, go organic. Studies suggest it’s healthier.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Potatoes

How to eat them

Chop up potatoes (with the skin on), and coat them with olive oil, salt, pepper and thyme. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes at 375°F. Roasting is a good way to preserve the potatoes’ fiber and nutrients; boiling can leach out some nutrients.

Why they’re good for you

Potatoes are often criticized as carb-heavy, but as long as they’re not fried, they’re healthy and filling, and the skins are especially good for you. A 2014 study found that people who regularly consumed potatoes did not gain weight compared with people who ate them less.

Nutrition

Eat potatoes with beans or lentils to prevent blood-sugar spikes.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Pumpkin

How to eat it

Step away from the pumpkin-flavored lattes. There are other ways to eat pumpkin, like in chili or a hummus.

Why it’s good for you

Eating pumpkin is good for your vision—just one cup has nearly 200% of the recommended amount of vitamin A per day. Pumpkin is also very low in calories but high in fiber, which makes it a dieter’s friend.

Nutrition

The antioxidant beta-carotene in pumpkin is thought to have anti-cancer effects.

Recipe: Pumpkin-Poblano Casserole

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Danny Kim for TIME

Pumpkin Seeds

How to eat them

Pumpkin seeds are delicious toasted with a little olive oil and salt. They can be eaten on their own or tossed into a homemade granola or a bowl of oatmeal or ground up in a smoothie.

Why they’re good for you

Pumpkin seeds have many of the same nutritional benefits as the fleshy part of the vegetable, but the seeds also contain phytosterols that can help regulate cholesterol. Like most seeds, pumpkin seeds contain heart-healthy fats. They’re also high in magnesium, which is good for the heart as well as muscle recovery when you’re sore.

Nutrition

Pumpkin seeds contain tryptophan, which can help improve mood.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Quinoa

How to eat it

Simple is best here: Bring two cups of water to boil. Add one cup of quinoa, and turn the water down to a simmer for around 25 minutes. Once fluffy, add quinoa to a salad or eat on its own. To add a nutty taste, toast the seeds for a couple of minutes in a bare pan before boiling.

Why it’s good for you

Quinoa is one of the only plants that contain a complete protein, which means it has all the necessary amino acids needed for good health. Eating quinoa whole, rather than in a nutrition bar, means you’re getting the full amount of vitamins and fiber.

Nutrition

One cup of cooked quinoa has more protein than a large egg.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Quinoa Pasta

How to eat it

Quinoa pasta is just as tasty as wheat versions but packs even more fiber. Unlike some other gluten-free pasta, it doesn’t get mushy when it’s cooked. Once it’s ready, top it with a spicy tomato sauce or with vegetables, a little olive oil and Parmesan cheese.

Why it’s good for you

Quinoa contains more folate than other common gluten-free grains like rice and corn, making it especially good for expecting moms. Quinoa pasta also has a good amount of iron and fiber, and it cooks quickly.

Nutrition

Quinoa pasta may help lower inflammation and improve allergy symptoms.

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Radishes

How to eat them

Radishes add the right amount of crunch to salads and tacos. They can also be substituted for crackers as a vehicle for hummus and other dips.

Why they’re good for you

Radishes are a diet-friendly vegetable thanks to their high water content and fiber. They also contain glucosinolates, sulfur-containing compounds that can reduce risk for cancer. The vitamin C in radishes may also prevent cellular damage and helps the body absorb nutrients
like iron.

Nutrition

Radishes can soothe digestion and relieve bloating. And, like other spicy and slightly pungent foods, radishes contain compounds that are being studied for disease prevention and reversal.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Raspberries

How to eat them

Mix raspberries with full-fat Greek yogurt and a little granola for a filling breakfast.

Why they’re good for you

Compounds in raspberries known as anthocyanins may lower insulin resistance and improve blood-sugar control among people with diabetes. Raspberries are sweet, but they won’t cause a blood-sugar spike, which means they keep you feeling full longer than other sweet foods. Eating berries has also been linked to a lower risk for heart disease.

Nutrition

Fresh berries should be eaten right away. Frozen is a good way to get them at their peak of freshness.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Romaine Lettuce

How to eat it

Romaine lettuce is having a comeback. Often dismissed as a nutrient-free, watery green, it’s now being embraced as an ideal base for any salad. It also tastes great mixed with spicier greens, like arugula.

Why it’s good for you

This lettuce may not be as dark green as its leafy peers, but it’s still full of nutrients like potassium and fiber. One serving has more vitamin A than you need in a day, and it contains antioxidants that may help prevent colon or liver cancer.

Nutrition

Romaine lettuce is a good source of folate, which prevents birth defects and encourages healthy cell division.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Rye Bread

How to eat it

Look out for whole-grain rye varieties, as many loaves in the U.S. are made with refined grains that don’t have the same amount of nutrition. Top rye bread with a dollop of tuna salad for a healthy and filling sandwich. For a twist, try olive oil and lemon instead of mayonnaise as the binder.

Why it’s good for you

You don’t have to say goodbye to all carbs if you want to lose weight. Rye bread is a good source of fiber, which can help people feel full longer.

Nutrition

Rye is high in magnesium, which keeps blood sugar healthy. It’s also a whole grain, which is heart-healthy.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Salmon

How to eat it

Grilled salmon is delicious, but even canned salmon is a rich source of vitamin D, healthy fats and protein. Consider adding a little wasabi to a salmon marinade for extra flavor.

Why it’s good for you

Omega-3 fatty acids, which are linked to better memory and blood health, are what make salmon one of the healthiest fish in the sea. They’re heart-healthy and may serve as an appetite suppressant. Salmon is also high in vitamin D, which is important for nutrient absorption.

Nutrition

Choose wild salmon, which may have fewer pollutants and antibiotics than farmed.

Recipe: Roasted Salmon with Kale-Quinoa Salad

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Danny Kim for TIME

Scallops

How to eat them

These mollusks only need to be cooked in a pan for a few minutes on each side before they’re ready for serving. Both sides should look golden brown when they’re done.

Why they’re good for you

Scallops are lean but still meaty, and since they have a high water content and a lot of protein, they can keep you fuller longer than some other proteins. Scallops also tend to be one of the more sustainable seafood options, with low amounts of mercury, which make them a good choice for health-conscious eaters.

Nutrition

Three ounces—which is about four scallops—has 17 grams of protein.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Seaweed

How to eat it

A popular ingredient in many Asian dishes, seaweed can be eaten in many forms—as a dried snack or seaweed salad. Some seaweeds, such as kombu, can also be added to broth.

Why it’s good for you

Seaweed is very low in calories and contains a good amount of protein. It is also high in iodine, which can be hard to find naturally in food. Iodine is important for thyroid health and hormone regulation, and one sheet of seaweed—depending on the variety—can contain far more than the recommended daily amount of the nutrient.

Nutrition

Even though it’s a low-calorie food, seaweed has nutrients that can keep appetite in check.

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Sesame Seeds

How to eat them

Also called benne seeds, they can be tossed by the tablespoon into a rice dish or a stir-fry. You can also use them to top salads or salmon or eat them in the form of tahini.

Why they’re good for you

Sesame seeds may be small, but they contain a fullness-inducing trifecta of fiber, protein and fat. The seeds are high in copper, which is thought to help tame some of the pain and swelling associated with diseases like rheumatoid arthritis. They are also a good source of calcium, magnesium and iron.

Nutrition

Sesame seeds are high in zinc, which helps immune health.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Soy Milk

How to eat it

If you’re a coffee drinker, consider using soy milk instead of conventional milk for sweeter flavor and creamier consistency. It can also be a base for smoothies and oatmeal.

Why it’s good for you

Soy milk is a protein-rich alternative to cow’s milk, which makes it ideal for people who are sensitive to dairy or are vegan. It also contains less sodium than some other milk alternatives. Soy milk is a good source of vitamin B6, which is important for both metabolism and preventing brain disorders in infants.

Nutrition

One cup of soy milk has 8% of your daily potassium.

Recipe: Steel-Cut Oatmeal with Soy Milk

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Danny Kim for TIME

Spinach

How to eat it

Spinach is an obvious choice for a healthy salad, but it also adds a lot of nutrition to smoothies—fresh or frozen—without overpowering the other ingredients, including fruit.

Why it’s good for you

Spinach is full of plant membranes called thylakoids that increase fullness and lower cravings for sweet foods, according to a 2015 Swedish study. It’s also high in zinc, fiber, thiamine, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, manganese, and vitamins A, C, E, K and B6.

Nutrition

If you boil your spinach, you’ll lose three quarters of its nutrient content. It’s better to eat it raw or flash-sautéed.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Spelt

How to eat it

Use spelt flour to make bread or baked goods. Some people with a gluten intolerance can tolerate spelt, but people with celiac disease should not eat it, as it may contain some gluten.

Why it’s good for you

Spelt is an ancient grain that’s made a resurgence in recent years. It has a higher amount of protein than other types of grain, and it’s a great substitute for people who are sensitive to wheat. It’s high in iron and magnesium, both of which are important for normal growth and development and keeping the body’s many systems working well.

Nutrition

One cup of spelt has 25 grams of protein.

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Split Peas

How to eat them

Split peas are a staple of vegetable soup and Indian food, and they don’t need to soak before you cook them, making them a good weeknight option.

Why they're good for you

Split peas are low in sugar and high in both fiber and protein—the golden combination for filling foods. They are also a potent source of potassium, which can keep blood-sugar levels stable. If you decide to eat split-pea soup from the can, consider a low-sodium variety in order to get the best taste without sacrificing nutrition—many canned soups can pack pack at least half of your daily salt limit.

Nutrition

They contain more than 30% of daily protein.

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Strawberries

How to eat them

Strawberries need no hard sell: they’re a sweet summer favorite. Of course, they taste great mixed into oatmeal or yogurt, but they also pair well with savory items, such as spinach salads and on cheese or meat platters.

Why they’re good for you

Compared with some other fruits, strawberries are surprisingly low in sugar. Just make sure you give them a good wash before eating since they tend to have a higher amount of pesticide residue than any other type of produce, according to
recent studies.

Nutrition

Washing strawberries in a vinegar-and-water mix can extend their freshness for a couple of days once they’re at home with you.

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Sunflower Seeds

How to eat them

Add a tablespoon or two of sunflower seeds to salads for extra crunch and a good dose of healthy fat. Salted seeds are fine, but keep an eye on portion sizes, since some conventional varieties can be overly salty.

Why they’re good for you

Eating sunflower seeds is an easy way to get dietary vitamin E, which functions as an antioxidant, helps reduce inflammation and promotes a healthy immune system. The healthy fats in these seeds can also keep your appetite more regular and, like all seeds, they contain concentrated amounts of nutrients.

Nutrition

Thanks to their high fat content, sunflower seeds can keep hearts healthy and cholesterol low.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Sweet Potatoes

How to eat them

Make a healthier version of fries at home with sweet potatoes sliced into spears and tossed with a small amount of salt and olive or coconut oil. They’re also tasty tossed with paprika, cumin and garlic.

Why they’re good for you

Sweet potatoes are especially high in vitamin A, which is a vision-supportive nutrient. Unlike some other carbohydrates, sweet potatoes are low on the glycemic index scale, which means they don’t wreak havoc on blood-sugar and insulin levels.

Nutrition

Sweet potatoes contain glutathione, an antioxidant that can improve immunity.

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Tumeric

How to eat it

Add turmeric to smoothies, curries or roasted vegetables like carrots. It can also be added to lemon water and consumed as a kind of daily health tonic spiked with the trendy superfood.

Why it’s good for you

Turmeric is called the golden spice for more reasons than one. Compounds in turmeric may drive down pesky inflammation, and it adds extra flavor to foods, which can make meals more filling. While more research is needed, it’s been a culinary staple for centuries for
good reason.

Nutrition

Eating turmeric and a variety of other spices can have real health benefits for healthy eaters.

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Tuna

How to eat it

Tuna doesn’t need a ton of mayo to taste great, in a sandwich, on top of a salad or as your main course. With canned tuna, simply add some chopped celery and a bit of lemon for more flavor, if you want to skimp on fat. Tuna steaks are also exceptionally good as a main.

Why it’s good for you

The high levels of omega-3s in tuna can keep blood pressure under control. Tuna’s protein is also filling and low in added fat.

Nutrition

The American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of fish each week.

Recipe: Seared Tuna with Shaved Vegetable Salad

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Danny Kim for TIME

Turkey

How to eat it

This shouldn’t be a once-a-year bird. Roasted, a small turkey goes a long way. Eat it plain with a side of veggies, or shred it up and use it in soups. Home-cooked turkey is lower in sodium than store-bought.

Why it’s good for you

Turkey is high in lean protein, which breaks down into amino acids to help the body repair cells and build muscle. Though turkey does contain L-tryptophan, which is linked to sleepiness, it has about the same levels as other types of meat, making the turkey-tiredness connection something of a myth.

Nutrition

The niacin content in turkey may help lower the risk of heart disease. Turkey is also a healthy source of lean protein.

Recipe: Smoky Spatchcocked Turkey

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Walnuts

How to eat them

Walnuts can add extra fat to any meal and are a hearty afternoon snack. In fact, when we polled experts, they named walnuts the single healthiest weekday work snack thanks to its combination of fiber, protein and fat.

Why they’re good for you

Walnuts are high in fiber, which means they can help keep cholesterol down. Thanks to their healthy fats, walnuts can also improve blood-vessel health and circulation. That combination of fiber and fat can also lower the risk for hunger pangs.

Nutrition

Some research suggests that walnuts may help combat memory loss when eaten regularly.

Wheat Germ

How to eat it

Wheat germ is the embryo of the grain, making it a very concentrated and flavorful form of wheat that you can sprinkle on top of yogurt for extra nutrients without compromising taste. You can also use it mixed with (or in lieu of) bread crumbs in recipes.

Why it’s good for you

The germ is the most nutritious part of the wheat kernel. It’s also high in folate, which can be hard to get enough of every day and can prevent birth defects.

Nutrition

Wheat germ is high in B vitamins, which can improve mood and energy.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Whole-Fat Greek Yogurt

How to eat it

Full-fat Greek yogurt tastes great with natural sweeteners like berries or a little honey. It’s also a great thickener for smoothies and can be used instead of sour cream in dips and toppings.

Why it’s good for you

A Harvard study of 100,000 people found that higher yogurt consumption was linked to a lower risk for Type 2 diabetes, possibly due to probiotics in yogurt that can lower inflammation and insulin sensitivity. One cup of Greek yogurt can also contain as many as 20 grams of protein—depending on your needs, that could be a third of your daily total.

Nutrition

Greek yogurt is high in protein and low-calorie.

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Danny Kim for TIME

Whole-Grain Bread

How to eat it

Make a sandwich with healthy nut butters and banana, or fill it with hummus and veggies like tomatoes and peppers. Just be mindful that “whole grain” claims can be misleading, since the term isn’t legally enforced. Look at the ingredient list to make sure that whole grains are, in fact, at the top.

Why it’s good for you

You don’t have to cast off all carbs to be a healthy eater. Whole-grain bread is a good source of resistant starch, which will keep you full longer than refined carbohydrates like white bread and pasta.

Nutrition

Whole-grain bread is digested more slowly than processed grains, which means it’s more filling.

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Whole-Wheat Pasta

How to eat it

If you have the time, cook your own sauce for your pasta rather than settling for sugar-laden brands sold at the store. All you need is a can of sugar-free tomato purée, an onion, salt and pepper. Cook pasta until al dente and toss sauce in with the drained noodles to finish cooking.

Why it’s good for you

Pasta has a place in a healthy diet if you’re using whole-grain noodles, which are high in vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber.

Nutrition

Fiber in whole-wheat pasta has a prebiotic effect that spurs healthy bacteria growth in the gut.

Recipe: Asparagus Pesto with Whole Wheat Pasta

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