The health benefits of food have been studied by countless ancient civilizations and modern herbalists, naturopaths, and dieticians. Doctors have always told us that a properly balanced diet will help us prevent the incidence of a number of illnesses and diseases, treat most ailments, and help us live a healthy and happy life. Despite that advice, most people limit themselves to only a few types of food items, and do not always get the nutrition their body needs.
Our body requires a variety of nutrients for its metabolic functions. Here is a short list of nutrients that our body requires – calories, carbohydrates, fats, proteins and fiber, minerals such as boron, calcium, chlorine, chromium, copper, fluorine, iodine, iron, magnesium, manganese, molybdenum, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, silicon, sodium, sulfur, vanadium and zinc. Along with minerals, the body also needs vitamins such as vitamin A, Retinol, Vitamin B, Vitamin B1, Thiamine, Vitamin B2, Riboflavin, Vitamin B3, Niacin, Vitamin B5, Pantothenic Acid, Vitamin B6, Pyridoxine, Vitamin B7, Biotin, Vitamin B9, Folic Acid, Vitamin B12, Cyanocobalamin, Vitamin C, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, Tocopherol, and Vitamin K. To get all these nutrients, it becomes necessary to eat a wider variety of food items.
Count the number of different food items that you have eaten in the past month. In most circumstances, you will not exceed 20 unique items. Now, look at all of the different types of food items that are popular throughout the world.
CerealsIn most parts of the world, cereals comprise a major part of every cultural diet. Some of the most important and widespread cereals are Barley, Buckwheat, Corn, Fonio, Kamut, Maize, Millet, Oats, Palmer’s grass, Quinoa, Rice, Rye, Sorghum, Spelt, Teff, Triticale, and Wheat.
PulsesThe options for pulses are even greater, although they are not commonly as vital to a cultural diet as cereals. Some of these pulses include Bengal Gram, Black Gram, Broad Bean, Butter Bean, Cajan Pea, Chickpea, Congo Bean, Cowitch, Cowpea, Field Bean, Garbanzo, Garden Pea, Groundnut, Haricot Bean, Horse Bean, Kidney Bean, Lentil, Lima, Lupin, Moth Bean, Mung, Navy Bean, Pigeon Pea, Pinto Bean, Protein Pea, Rice Bean, Tepary Bean, Toor, Urad, Velvet Bean, Winged Bean, and Yams.
VegetablesIt seems impossible to have a diet without a decent amount of vegetables, but plenty of people somehow manage to avoid these healthy, widespread, and delicious dietary items. Here are some of the major vegetables from around the world.
Ahipa, Amaranth, American Groundnut, Aonori, Armenian Cucumber, Arracacha, Arugula, Asparagus, Asparagus Pea, Avocado, Azuki Bean, Bamboo Shoot, Beetroot, Bitter Melon, Bitterleaf, Black Cumin, Black Eyed Pea, Brinjal, Broadleaf Arrowhead, Broccoli, Caigua, Cabbage, Canna, Cardoon, Carola, Carrot, Cassava, Catsear, Cayenne Pepper, Celeriac, Celery, Celtuce, Ceylon Spinach, Chayote, Chickpea, Chicory, Chile Pepper, Chinese Artichoke, Chinese Mallow, Chrysanthemum, Corn Salad, Cress, Cucumber, Dabberlocks, Daikon, Dandelion, Dolichos Bean, Drumstick, Dulse, Earthnut Pea, Eggplant Or Aubergine, Elephant, Endive, Ensete, Epazote, Fat Hen, Fava Bean, Fiddlehead, Florence Fennel, Fluted Pumpkin, French Bean, Garlic, Ginger, Globe Artichoke, Gobo, Golden Samphire, Good King Henry, Guar, Hamburg Parsley, Hijiki, Horse Gram, Iceplant, Indian Pea, Jerusalem Artichoke, Jicama, Kohlrabi, Kombu, Kuka, Kurrat, Lady Finger, Lagos Bologi, Land Cress, Leek, Lentil, Lettuce, Lima Bean, Lizard’s Tail, Lotus Root, Luffa, Maca, Malabar Gourd, Malanga, Marrow, Mashua, Mauka, Melokhia, Moth Bean, Mozuku, Mung Bean, Mushroom, Mustard, New Zealand Rock Lily, New Zealand Spinach, Nopal, Nori, Oca, Ogonori, Okra, Onion, Orache, Parsnip, Parwal, Pea, Peanut, Perennial Cucumber, Pigeon Pea, Pignut, Plectranthus, Potato, Prairie Turnip, Prussian Asparagus, Pumpkin, Radicchio, Radish, Rhubarb, Rice Bean, Runner Bean, Rutabaga, Salad Rape, Salsify, Samphire, Scorzonera, Sea Beet, Sea Grape, Sea Lettuce, Seakale, Shallot, Sierra Leone Bologi, Skirret, Snake Gourd, Soko, Sorrel, Soybean, Spinach, Summer Purslane, Sweet Pepper, Sweet Potato, Sweetcorn, Swiss Chard, Taro, Tarwi, Tepary Bean, Ti, Tigernut, Tinda, Tomatillo, Tomato, Turnip, Ulluco, Urad Bean, Velvet Bean, Wakame, Wasabi, Water Chestnut, Water Spinach, Watercress, Welsh Onion, West Indian Gherkin, Wild Leek, Winter Melon, Winter Purslane, Yacon, Yam, Yardlong Bean, Zucchini, and Courgette.
FruitsIn a similar vein as vegetables, fruits grow in various types all throughout the world, and have long been an essential part of the human diet.
Acai, Acerola, African Cherry Orange, Akee, Amazon Grape, American Grape, American Mayapple, American Persimmon, Amla, Apple, Crabapple, Apricot, Arhat, Longevity Fruit, Avocado, Babaco, Bael, Banana, Barbados Cherry, Barberry, Bearberry, Bilberry, Whortleberry, Bilimbi, Black Mulberry, Blackberry, Dewberry, Boysenberry, Olallieberry And Loganberry, Blueberry, Breadfruit, Buffaloberry, Burmese Grape, Butternut Squash, Calabash, Camucamu, Canistel, Carambola, Star Fruit, Cempedak, Che, Cudrania, Chinese Mulberry, Cudrang, Mandarin Melon Berry, Silkworm Thorn, Zhe, Cherimoya, Cherry, Chokeberry, Cooking Apple, Chokecherry, Citron, Clementine, Cloudberry, Coconut, Cocoplum, Cornelian Cherry, Cranberry, Crowberry, Currant, Cushaw Squash, Custard Apple, Bullock’s Heart, Damson Plum, Satin Leaf, Date Palm, Date-Plum, Dragonfruit, Pitaya, Durian, Eggfruit, Canistel, Yellow Sapote, Elderberry, Elephant Apple, False-Mastic, Feijoa, Fig, Goji Berries Wolfberries, Gooseberry, Goumi, Gourds, Grapes, Raisin, Sultana, Grapefruit, Greengage, Ground Plum, Guarana, Guava, Guavaberry, Rumberry, Hackberry, Hardy Kiwi, Hawthorn, Honeysuckle, Horned Melon, Hubbard Squash, Buttercup Squash, Huckleberry, Indian Prune, Jaboticaba, Brazilian Grape Tree, Jackfruit, Nangka, Jambul, Jatoba, Jenipapo, Jujube, Kaffir Lime, Kahikatea, Kandis, Keppel Fruit, Key Lime, Kiwifruit, Chinese Gooseberry, Kumquat, Kundong, Langsat, Longkong, Duku, Lapsi, Lemon, Lime, Lingonberry, Loganberry, Longan, Loquat, Lucuma, Lychee, Litchi, Lichi, Mabolo, Velvet Persimmon, Mamey Sapote, Mamoncillo, Quenepa, Genip, Fijian Longan, Mandarin, Mango, Mangosteen, Manoao, Marang, Mayapple, Medlar, Melon, Cantaloupe, Galia, Muskmelons, Honeydew, Monstera, Swiss Cheese Plant, Split-Leaf Philodendron, Mulberry, Murta, Nageia, Nannyberry, Sheepberry, Naranjilla, Lulo, Olive, Orange, Orangelo, Tangelo, Rangpur And Ugli Fruit, Oregon Grape, Papaya, Passion Fruit, Grenadilla, Galendar, Pawpaw, Annonaceae, Peach, Peanut Butter Fruit, Pear, Pequi, Souari Nut, Persian Lime, Persimmon, Pigeon Plum, Pineapple, Pitomba, Plum, Pluot, Aprium, Peacotum, Podocarpus, Poha, Cape Gooseberry, Poisonleaf, Pomegranate, Pomelo, Pond Apple, Alligator Apple, Monkey Apple, Prickly Pear, Prumnopitys, Pumpkins, Acorn Squash, Summer Squash, Pupunha, Peach Palm, Quince, Rambutan, Raspberry, Red Mombin, Riberry, Lilly Pilly, Lillipilli, Chinese Apple, Rimu, Rose Apple, Malay Apple, Rosehip, Rowan, Sageretia, Mock Buckthorn, Saguaro, Salak, Snakefruit, Salal Berry, Salmonberry, Santol, Sapodilla, Chiku, Mespel, Naseberry, Sapadilla, Snake Fruit, Sawo, Saw Palmetto, Sea Buckthorn, Sea Grape, Service Tree, Sorb, Sorb Apple, Serviceberry, Saskatoon, Shipova, Soursop, Guanabana, Star Apple, Caimito, Strawberry Guava, Strawberry, Sugar Apple, Surinam Cherry, Brazilian Cherry, Cayenne Cherry, Pitanga, Tamarillo, Tree Tomato, Tamarind, Tangerine, Texas Persimmon, Thimbleberry, Toyon, Watermelon, Wax Apple, Wineberry, Wolfberry, Yangmei, Yamamomo, Chinese Bayberry, Japanese Bayberry, Red Bayberry, and Chinese Strawberry Tree.
SeedsSeeds are some of the most power-packed little dietary staples that we should definitely include. They are essential for many bodily processes due to the chemical compounds and impressively compact nutrient load. Some of the most popular are listed below.
Ajowan Seed, Almond, Anise Seed, Bambara Groundnut, Barley, Beech, Black Pepper Seed, Brazilnut, Breadnut, Buckwheat, Butternut, Candlenut, Caraway Seed, Cardamom Seed, Cashew, Castor Seed, Cattail, Celery Seed, Cempedak, Chestnuts, Chia, Chickpeas, Chile Pepper Seed, Chilgoza Pine, Chinese Chestnut, Cockscomb, Colocynth, Colorado Pinyon, Common Bean, Coriander Seed, Cowpeas, Cubeb Seed, Cucurbita Ficifolia, Cumin Seed, Cycads, Dill Seed, Durian, Fava, Fennel Seed, Fenugreek Seed, Filbert, Fluted Pumpkin, Fonio, Ginkgo, Gnetum Gnemon, Grain Amaranth, Hemp Seed, Hickory, Hyacinth Bean, Jackfruit, Juniper, Juniper Seed, Kamut, Kañiwa, Kola Nut, Korean Pine, Lablab, Lentils, Lotus Seed, Lupins, Macadamia, Mace, Maize, Malabar Gourd, Mamoncillo, Maya Nut, Mexican Pinyon, Mongongo, Mustard Seed, Nigella Seed, Nutmeg, Oak Acorns, Oats, Ogbono Nut, Palmer’s Grass, Paradise Nut, Peanuts, Pearl Millet, Peas, Pecan, Pigeon Peas, Pili Nut, Pine Nuts, Pistachio, Pitseed Goosefoot, Podocarps, Pomegranate Seed, Poppy Seed, Pumpkin Seed, Quinoa, Rice, Rye, Sesame Seed, Shagbark Hickory, Single-Leaf Pinyon, Sorghum, Soybeans, Spelt, Stone Pine, Sunflower Seed, Sweet Chestnut, Teff, Tonka Beans, Triticale, Vanilla, Velvet Beans, Vetch, Vigna, Walnut, Wattleseed, Acacia Seed, Wheat, Wild Rice, Winged Beans, and Yam Beans.
Herbs and SpicesWhere would we be without our herbs and spices? Most people add one or two of these to almost every meal they eat, but they do more than flavor food. They represent a very important aspect of our diet, so try some new ones and see what good they can do!
Agar Agar, Agrimony, Ajwain, Alfalfa, Alino Crio, Alkanet, Allspice, Aloe Vera, Amaranth, Ambrosia, Amchur, Angelica, Anise, Aniseed Myrtle, Annatto, Apple Mint, Arrowroot, Artemisia Vulgaris, Arugula, Asafoetida, Asarum Europaeum, Ashwagandha, Astragalus, Avens, Avonsol Root, Balm Of Gilead, Balmony, Balsam Of Mecca, Balsam Of Peru, Balsam Of Tolu, Barberry, Basil, Bayberry, Bay Laurel, Bay Leaves, Bearberry, Belladonna, Berebere, Bergamot, Bethroot, Birch, Bison Grass, Bistort, Bitters, Black Cardamom, Black Cohosh, Black Limes, Black Pepper, Black Tea, Blackberry, Bladderwrack, Blue Cohosh, Boldo, Bolivian Coriander, Boneset, Borage, Brahmi, Broom, Bryony, Buckthorn, Buchu, Burdock, Calamus, Calendula, Calumba, Camomile, Candle Nut, Cannabis, Caper, Caraway, Cardamom, Carob Pod, Cascara Sagrada, Cassia, Casuarina, Catnip, Cat’s Claw, Catsear, Cayenne Pepper, Celery Salt, Celery Seed, Centaury, Chervil, Chickweed, Chicory, Chile Pepper, Chili Powder, Chives, Cicely, Cilantro, Cinchona, Cinnamon, Clary, Cleavers, Clover, Cloves, Coffee, Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Condurango, Coptis, Coriander, Costmary, Couchgrass, Cow Parsley, Cowslip, Cramp Bark, Cress, Cudweed, Cumin, Curry Leaf, Curry Powder, Damiana, Dandelion, Demulcent, Devil’s Claw, Dill, Dill Seed, Echinacea, Edelweiss, Elderberry, Elderflower, Elecampane, Emmenagogue, Epazote, Ephedra, Eucalyptus, Eyebright, Fennel, Fenugreek, Feverfew, Figwort, Filé Powder, Fumitory, Galangal, Garden Cress, Garlic, Garlic Chives, Ginger, Ginseng, Goat’s Rue, Golden Rod, Golden Seal, Gotu Kola, Green Tea, Ground Ivy, Guaco, Gypsywort, Hawthorn, Hawthorne Tree, Hemp, Hibiscus, Holly, Holy Thistle, Hoodia Gordini, Hops, Horseradish, Horsetail, Hyssop, Jalap, Jasmine, Jiaogulan, Juniper, Knotweed, Kokam, Labrador Tea, Lady’s Mantle, Land Cress, Lavender, Ledum, Lemon, Lemon Basil, Lemon Mint, Lemon Myrtle, Lemon Thyme, Lemongrass, Lime Flower, Lingzhi, Linseed, Liquorice, Long Pepper, Lovage, Luohanguo, Mace, Mahlab, Malabathrum, Mandrake, Marjoram, Marshmallow, Mastic, Meadowsweet, Mei Yen, Milk Thistle, Mint, Motherwort, Mullien, Mustard, Mustard Seed, Neem, Nepeta, Nettle, Nigella, Nigella Sativa, Noni, Nutmeg, Oenothera, Olida, Olive Leaf, Oolong Tea, Oregano, Orris Root, Osmorhiza, Pandan Leaf, Paprika, Parsley, Passion Flower, Patchouli, Pennyroyal, Pepper, Peppermint, Perilla, Pine, Plantain, Pomegranate, Poppy Seed, Primrose, Psyllium, Purslane, Quassia, Ramsons, Raspberry, Red Rooibos Tea, Reishi, Restharrow, Riberry, Ringwood, Rooibos, Rosehips, Rosemary, Rowan Berries, Rue, Safflower, Saffron, Sage, Sage, Salad Burnet, Salvia, Sassafras, Savory, Schisandra, Senna, Sesame Seed, Sheep Sorrel, Sialagogue, Siberian Chaga, Sichuan Pepper, Skullcap, Sloe Berries, Sonchus, Sorrel, Southernwood, Spearmint, Speedwell, Squill, Star Anise, Stevia, Strawberry Leaves, Suma, Sumac, Summer Savory, Sweet Cicely, Sweet Grass, Sweet Woodruff, Tacamahac, Tamarind, Tansy, Tarragon, Tea, Teucrium Polium, Thai Basil, Thistle, Thyme, Toor Dall, Tormentil, Tulsi, Turmeric, Uva Ursi, Valerian, Vanilla, Vasaka, Vervain, Vetiver, Wasabi, Watercress, Wattleseed, Wild Lettuce, Wild Thyme, Winter Savory, Witch Hazel, Witches Grass, Wolfberry, Wood Apple, Wood Betony, Woodruff, Wormwood, Yarrow, Yerba Buena, Yohimbe, Zaatar, and Zedoary Root.
Vegetable OilsVegetables oils are another unavoidable part of a diet if you eat a lot of vegetables, or do a lot of cooking. Extracted oils are concentrated versions of the health benefits you get from eating the vegetables, so make sure to include these, and try some exotic new ones as well!
Acai Oil, Almond Oil, Amaranth Oil, Apricot Oil, Argan Oil, Artichoke Oil, Avocado Oil, Babassu Oil, Ben Oil, Blackcurrant Seed Oil, Borage Seed Oil, Bottle Gourd Oil, Buffalo Gourd Oil, Canola Oil, Carob Pod Oil, Carob Seed Pods, Cashew Oil, Coconut Oil, Cohune Oil, Coriander Seed Oil, Coriander Seed Oil., Corn Oil, Cottonseed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Flax Seed Oil, Grape Seed Oil, Hazelnut Oil, Hemp Oil, Kapok Seed Oil, Lallemantia Oil, Macadamia Oil, Meadowfoam Seed Oil, Mustard Oil, Okra Seed Oil, Olive Oil, Palm Oil, Peanut Oil, Pecan Oil, Pequi Oil, Perilla Seed Oil, Pine Nut Oil, Pistachio Oil, Poppyseed Oil, Prune Kernel Oil, Pumpkin Seed Oil, Quinoa Oil, Ramtil Oil, Rice Bran Oil, Safflower Oil, Sesame Oil, Soybean Oil, Sunflower Oil, Tea Oil, Thistle Oil, Walnut Oil, Watermelon Seed Oil, and Wheat Germ Oil.
Animals and Animal ProductsWe need to get our solid amounts of protein and impressive amount of vitamins and minerals from somewhere, so animals and their subsequent food products are an absolutely essential aspect of this. Obviously, you can be a vegetarian in a healthy way, but it requires a lot of attention and dedication to make sure you get the nutrients that most people only access through animal products. The most popular animal-derived products are as follows.
Fish Oil, Cod Liver Oil, Honey, Milk, Cheese, Curd, Butter, Ghee, Eggs, Yoghurt, Whey, Kumis, Casein, Cream, American Bison, Cattle, Chicken, Conch, Crab, Crayfish, Cuttlefish, Duck, Emu, Goat, Goose, Kangaroo, Lamb, Lobster, Mussel, Octopus, Ostrich, Oyster, Pheasant, Pig, Prawn, Quail, Rabbit, Scorpions, Sheep, Shrimp, Squid, Turkey, Turtle, Wild boar, and Yak.
Salmon, Cherry Salmon, Chinook Salmon, Chum Salmon, Coho Salmon, Pacific Salmon, Pink Salmon, Norwegian Atlantic Salmon, Atlantic Salmon, Australasian Salmon, Black Cod, Blowfish, Bluefish, Bream, Brill, Dogfish, Kingfish, Lamprey, Mullet, Pike, Pomfret, Pompano, Sablefish, Surimi, Tilefish, and Wahoo.
This is definitely a huge list and a single person cannot eat everything that is mentioned on it. However, we should make sure that we have as much variety of food in our diet as possible, since the nutritional value and health benefits of each food item is different. 5-6 cereals, 8-10 pulses, 20-25 vegetables, 15-20 fruits, and 20-25 spices and herbs, and 6-8 animal products on a monthly average is a good idea, provided you are not a vegan. Click on the food items above to learn more about their health benefits and select the food items you want to add to your dietary regime based on your health requirements! Enjoy!