What foods keep you healthy

Nutrition guide: The 50 healthiest foods at a glance

Everyone wants to eat healthily. But how does it work? The most common place of perplexity: the supermarket. Because that's where the decision is made about what should end up on our plates.

And this is exactly where our guide comes in: We have checked vitamin tables and hit lists for you, interviewed experts and scoured scientific publications.

The result: We introduce you to 50 healthy foods, divided into the categories heart protection, beauty food, slim food, fit food and immune food - and give you the reasons that speak for the respective food at the same time.

By the way, with our healthy diet you are well equipped for most recreational sports.

However, if you have special ambitions - for example a half marathon in front of your chest or as a goal really big muscles - then you should adjust your diet a little differently. The right fitness diet depends entirely on the type of sport being practiced:

  • Endurance athletes should ensure that they consume sufficient carbohydrates so that enough glycogen is available for energy supply during exercise. If the units last longer than 90 minutes, the body should also be supplied with carbohydrates during exercise.
  • For strength athletes, the protein is in the foreground. Because while carbohydrates and fats mainly provide the energy for muscle work, proteins are important for building biceps, triceps and the like - they consist of 20 percent protein, the rest is water.

What are healthy foods?

If you want to eat healthily, you should cover your daily energy and nutrient requirements sufficiently in order to be fit and productive and to prevent malnutrition.

The mixture of a high content of vitamins, phytochemicals, fiber, complex carbohydrates or valuable fatty acids is decisive for this and was also the prerequisite for a food to be included in our healthy food list.

The food pyramid of the Federal Center for Nutrition or the German Nutrition Society can serve as a guide to a healthy lifestyle in everyday life. It divides the eight food groups into portion modules and makes it clear which foods and in what quantities you should consume daily. These eight food groups include:

  • fruit
  • vegetables
  • Carbohydrates to fill you up (bread and cereals, rice, pasta, potatoes)
  • Animal products for muscles and bones
  • Good fats and oils such as olive or rapeseed oil
  • milk and milkproducts
  • Sweets, pastries, nibbles
  • water

The drinks form the basis. In second and third place are plant-based foods, i.e. vegetables and fruits as well as grain (products), which should be consumed frequently and in abundance.

Animal foods - milk, dairy products as well as fish, meat, sausage products and eggs - are in fourth place. They should be enjoyed in moderation. Economy is the order of the day when it comes to oils and fats in level five.

Sweets, snacks and alcohol can be found at the top of the pyramid. They are tolerated if the foods from the base and middle range are sufficiently represented in the menu.

The 50 healthiest foods - our categories

For the five most important categories of heart protection, beauty food, slim food, fit food and immune food, we have clearly listed all the top foods again. In addition, information on how often you should consume this food and a suggestion on how you can incorporate it into your diet.

Try to get our top 50 healthy foods on your menu more often - regardless of whether you go out to eat or cook yourself. It is also important to maintain balance. The following applies for orientation:

  • preferably fruits and vegetables 5 times a day
  • 2 to 3 liters of liquid daily (preferably mineral water or tea)
  • Complex carbohydrates from cereals or potatoes every day
  • daily low-fat dairy products
  • high quality vegetable oils every day
  • Fatty fish twice a week (fresh, frozen or canned)
  • Meat twice a week, if possible from species-appropriate rearing
  • Alcohol, sausages, sugar and hidden fats from processed products should rarely appear on your menu.
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Healthy foods with heart protection

Food from this category contains a particularly high amount of unsaturated fatty acids and / or folic acid, can lower the cholesterol level or keep the blood vessels supple thanks to their special combination of nutrients. These include the following foods:

FoodTop contentHow often do you eat?use
orangeFolic acid, hesperidin2-3 fruits a weekas a snack or freshly squeezed juice
garlicvein protecting allicinat willwith pasta with olive oil and lots of parsley
PurslaneAlpha-Linolenic Acid, Votamin E.1x a weekas a salad with apples and rapeseed oil
oatmealBeta-glucans, zinc3-4 tbsp dailyin muesli or as warm oat soup
linseedAlpha-linolenic acid, lignans1 tbsp dailyin muesli, in yoghurt, sprinkled over salad
herringOmega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D.1x a weekHerring in tomato sauce on bread
tunaOmega-3 fatty acids, iodine1x a weekfried with olive oil and lemon
olive oilOleic acid, phytosterols1-2 tbsp dailyfor stewing, roasting, with salad
Rapeseed oilAlpha-linolenic acid, vitamin E.1-2 tbsp dailyfor stewing, roasting, with salad
Red grape juiceantioxidant resveratrolseveral times a weekas a refreshing morning drink

Beauty food: these foods make you beautiful

Beta-carotene and other pigments protect the skin from external influences and improve cell renewal. Vitamin C tightens the connective tissue and vitamin E keeps the skin elastic.

FoodTop contentHow often do you eat?use
meloncell-protecting beta-caroteneoften in seasonChilled and pure, in salads, in muesli
paprikaVitamin C, carotenoidsoften in seasonin a salad, with a dip, steamed or fried
avocadoVitamin E, B 6, biotin1 x per weekas guacamole or spread
Tomatoes (can)antioxidant lypokine1 x per weekPasta with tomato sauce
Wild berries (frozen)cell protecting anthocyaninsseveral times a weekin muesli, with yoghurt or ice cream, as a drink
Apricot (dried)Beta-carotene, vitamin E.3-4 pieces dailyas a snack. Important: drink water with it

Slim food: healthy for the slim line

Here you will find foods that, despite their low calorie content, are rich in vitamins and minerals or filling fiber. This makes them ideal for those who pay attention to their line, but still want to eat healthily.

FoodTop contentHow often do you eat?use
mangoBeta-carotene, vitamin C. often in season as a snack, with lemon juice in a fruit salad
ChicoryBitter substances often in season as a salad with yogurt and honey sauce
ButtermilkCalcium, protein 2–3 times a week as a shake with mango
Turkey breastB vitamins 2–3 times a week with avocado cream on wholemeal bread
crispbreadFiber 1–2 slices daily with low-fat herbal cream cheese
sauerkrautFiber, mustard oils often in season steamed with apples, as a soup
Wild rice with vegetables complex carbohydrates 1–2 times a weeksprinkled with chopped parsley
chiliCapsaicin at willas a hotspot - sometimes for sweets
Mineral water different minerals 1.5 to 3 liters per dayStill water is more digestible
Healthy cooking without oil: TENUS pans with non-stick coating

Fed up with Fit Food for a long time

Complex carbohydrates ensure long-lasting satiety and a favorable insulin effect, B vitamins and magnesium support muscle function and provide cell protection substances that athletes need in particular in abundance. These are the characteristics of our Fit-Food category.

FoodTop contentHow often do you eat?use
ApplePectin, polyphenols1-2 fruits dailygrated raw with cinnamon and lemon
rose hipVitamin C, pectinseveral times a weekRosehip sauce in muesli, dressing, shake
blueberriesantioxidant anthocyaninsoften in seasonas a shake with milk and almonds
artichokeVitamin B 1, inulinoften in seasoncooked with yogurt and garlic dip
Jacket potatocomplex carbohydrates2-3 times a weekwith quark, linseed oil and chives
EmmentalerCalcium, vitamin D.2-3 times a weekon bread
Wholegrain rye breadDietary fiber, B vitamins2 slices dailythickly cut, spread thinly
Nut mueslicomplex carbohydrates3-4 times a weekrefined with seasonal fruits
milletMagnesium, vitamin B 62x a weekas an accompaniment to fish, tofu or meat
Kidney beansFiber, protein1x a weekas a salad with tomatoes and tuna
cinnamonPolyphenols, essential oilsat willin goulash, with desserts, on milk foam
Pumpkin seedsMagnesium, iron1 tsp dailyas a snack, on salads
Vegetable juiceCarotenoids, flavonoidsseveral times a weekas a healthy aperitif before meals

Power for the immune system: immune food

This category is characterized by a high content of cell-protecting polyphenols, flavonoids and other secondary plant substances. Consuming a lot of it lowers the risk of cancer and infection and supplies all cells with optimal nutrients.

Product tip
FoodTop contentHow often do you eat?application
kiwivitamin C3–4 times a weekas a snack, chutney, jam
broccoliIsothiocyanates2–3 times a weekin Asian vegetable stir-fries, in a salad
parsleyChlorophyll, carotenoidsseveral times a weekas a spice, pesto or tabbouleh
probiotic yogurtprobiotic bacteriaimportant: dailywith rosehip butter and flax seeds
tofuPhytoestrogens, protein1x a weekinstead of meat or fish, in the soup
Beef filletZinc, iron, vitamin B 122x a weekfried in strips in a wok, with sesame seeds
Spinach (frozen)Carotenoids, folic acid2x a weekwith tomatoes and olive oil for pasta
turmericCurcuminat willin curries and Asian food
horseradishMustard oils1x a weekwith smoked salmon, on bread
dark chocolateantioxidant flavonoids1 bar dailypure and with closed eyes!
Green teaPolyphenols1–2 cups daily1 teaspoon per cup for 2 minutes
Cranberry juiceProanthocyanidinsseveral times a week2 glasses a day for prophylaxis

Six fit foods: You can see some of the 50 healthiest foods in the picture gallery.

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German Nutrition Society V. (2019): Three-dimensional DGE food pyramid, accessed on November 20, 2019. https://www.dge.de/ernaehrungspraxis/vollwert-ernaehrung/lebensmittelpyramide/
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