The World's Healthiest Foods

The World’s Healthiest Foods website is run by a non-profit called the George Mateljan Foundation for the World’s Healthiest Foods, which “was established by George Mateljan to discover, develop and share scientifically proven information about the benefits of healthy eating, and to provide the personalized support individuals need to make eating The World’s Healthiest Foods enjoyable, easy, quick and affordable.”

The website is pretty extensive, with lots of resources. In the Eating Healthy section, The World’s Healthiest Foods List, A-Z includes about 100 foods based on their nutrient density, wholeness, familiarity & widespread availablilty, affordabilty, & tastiness. The foods chosen are listed by categories — vegetables, root vegetables, fish & seafood, fruits, low fat dairy, beans & legumes, poultry & lean meats, nuts & seeds, grains, spices & herbs, natural sweeteners, & “other” (which includes green tea & soy sauce). Each food is dicussed in detail, including its nutritional profile, health benefits (very detailed), a description of the food, its history, how to select and store it, how to enjoy it (e.g., preparation tips, serving ideas), its safety, & references.

That’s only one part of the site. Also under the Eating Healthy section are resources about organic foods & U.S. standards for labeling them; a “Food Advisor” to help people determine what types of foods they might need to add to their diets; and a place to ask questions about foods & nutrition — this week’s question is about whether dairy foods are necessary to prevent osteoporosis. There’s also a resource on essential nutrients that can only be found in the diet, like vitamins & minerals, with detailed discussion: description of the nutrient, its function, deficiency symptoms, toxicity symptoms, cooking, storage and processing of foods containing the nutrient, factors that affect its function, drug-nutrient interactions, nutrient interactions, health conditions, supplements, food sources, public recommendations, and references. As an example, here’s the page for chromium — which most of us with blood glucose regulation should be getting. Glad to know that all this chromium-rich onion I’m eating is helping me reverse my insulin resistance!

The Cooking Healthy section includes over 100 recipes, a recipe assistant to help find a good recipe based on what foods you have available or nutrients you’d like to include, a virtual cooking school to demonstrate healthy cooking techniques, & an information resource about seasonal cooking.

The Feeling Great section includes a menu planning guide & a group of articles called “How Foods Help You Stay Healthy” describing in detail with text, graphics, & animation the workings of cells, digestion, & food sensitivities; also, an article on the glycemic index. There are also articles on 12 popular diets, & a resource on “Eating Right for Your Disease.”

Besides all that, the site is updated every week with a new Recipe of the Week (this week’s offering is vegetable-rich “zesty Mexican soup”) & a Food of the Week (this week: collard greens). You can also sign up for a weekly newsletter, to have the food of the week & recipe of the week emailed to you. Also, if you visit the site, you can take them up on their pre-publication offer to get 20% off plus free shipping for the book The World’s Healthiest Foods: Essential Guide to Your Healthier Way of Eating, due for publication in March. (But they’re not set up yet for international shipping.) The book is over 800 pages including 300+ color photos, includes over 800 tips & recipes not on the website, & has seven-minute recipes for 95% of the foods. You can preview a few pages on-site. Check out the sample page with the 5-minute recipe for steamed broccoli — besides the basic recipe, there are also 8 “flavor tips” to add extra flavor & nutrition to the recipe. Pretty cool.

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