The best diet is still the one where a person gets all the nutrients he or she needs for the day, without exceeding the daily recommended amounts. With the hundreds of thousands of choices available, how does one go about picking the most nutritious food items?
That question is exactly what the research team funded by the National Research Foundation of Korea was trying to answer in their paper called "Uncovering the Nutritional Landscape of Food."
They identified the key nutrients that the most nutritious food have in abundance, and using this criterion, they were able to rank over 1,000 raw foods in terms of how well their nutrient composition satisfies the daily recommended intake for a person.
Among the top scorers, these are the top ten most "nutritionally fit" food items in the world that a healthy eater can get.
Snappers are mostly marine fish and make for a versatile ingredient for anything from frying to baking. These are very nutritious, with a Nutritional Score of 69 out of 100, but care should be taken as they have been known to accumulate toxins and heavy metals.
#9: Beet Greens
It's hard to beat fresh greens for nutritional value, and beet greens are some of the most nutritious leafy vegetables one can get, earning it a Nutritional Score of 70.
#8: Pork Fat
It's fat, and that means it's a hefty source of calories. As far as fat goes, however, pork fat is healthier than beef or lamb fat, with more unsaturated cholesterol, B vitamins and minerals, giving it a score of 73.
#7: Swiss Chard
The unusual color of Swiss chard, a staple of Mediterranean cooking, indicates phytochemicals and antioxidants that offer health benefits, for an impressive Nutritional Score of 78.
#6: Pumpkin Seeds
These seeds are as nutrient-dense as anything one would find, packed with calories, iron, manganese and other minerals for a score of 84.
#5: Chia Seeds
Another concentrated nutrient source is chia seeds, tiny black specks that pack in all that protein, vitamins, fiber, phenolic acid and more in a compact form that earns it a Nutritional Score of 85.
The top five most nutritious foods are well-represented by marine fish, including sole and flounder. These are generally free of heavy metals and mercury, and a hefty supply of the essential vitamin B1 boosts this item up to a score of 88.
#3: Ocean Perch
Another healthy marine fish, the ocean perch is a deep dweller fished up from the Atlantic and elsewhere. With high levels of protein and nutrients, 89 is the score for this one.
The cherimoya's mild, sugary sweet and creamy flesh makes for an unusual treat, with its flavor described as somewhere between banana, vanilla, coconut, mango and pineapple mixed together. All the vitamins A, C, B1, B2, potassium and other good stuff packed in this exotic fruit gave it a score of 96.
At the top spot is the table variety almond, which, as common as it is, is actually jam-packed with nutrients and mono-unsaturated fatty acids. It is one of the nuts with the lowest calorie content per gram, too. It's a Nutritional Score of 97 for this versatile snack.