Some people believe that healthy foods are tasteless and boring — but nothing could be further from the truth.
Here are 15 health foods that taste better than the most commonly eaten junk foods.
Strawberries are exceptionally juicy and have a sweet, delicious flavor.
They’re an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, folate, potassium, and various antioxidants and plant compounds.
One cup (145 grams) of strawberries contains 3 grams of fiber and as few as 46 calories.
Eating strawberries has been linked to improved heart health, better blood sugar control, and cancer prevention.
Suggested read: Strawberries: Nutrition facts and health benefits
If you don’t like them plain, try dipping the tip of the berry in some melted dark chocolate.
Summary: Strawberries are low in calories and contain many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They have been linked to improved heart health, better blood sugar control, and cancer prevention.
Blueberries are colorful, nutrient-rich, and sweet.
One cup (150 grams) of blueberries has only 84 calories but 4 grams of fiber.
It’s also rich in many vitamins and minerals, including C, K, and manganese.
Blueberries are an antioxidant superfood that may improve memory in older adults and protect against oxidative damage and chronic diseases.
They can be enjoyed either fresh or frozen and are especially delicious mixed with either yogurt or full-fat cream.
Summary: Blueberries are high in fiber and nutrients but low in calories. They’re an antioxidant superfood that may improve memory in older adults and protect against oxidative damage.
3. Dark chocolate
Many studies show that dark chocolate is incredibly healthy and may reduce your risk of several diseases.
It’s loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and minerals like iron, magnesium, copper, and manganese.
Plant compounds in dark chocolate have been shown to improve blood pressure and brain function and protect against heart disease and the harmful effects of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays.
To maximize its health benefits, eat dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70–85%.
A piece of dark chocolate is especially delicious when enjoyed with a good cup of coffee.
Summary: Dark chocolate is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and minerals. It may reduce your risk of heart disease, improve brain function, and protect your skin from the sun’s UV rays.
Almonds are the ultimate crunchy treat. They’re rich in heart-healthy fats, are very nutritious, and require no preparation.
Almonds are packed with antioxidants and provide large amounts of fiber, protein, and several vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin E, manganese, and magnesium.
They may reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and LDL (bad) cholesterol oxidation — all risk factors for heart disease.
They’re also very filling despite being high in fat and calories. One study showed that an intake of 42.5 g/day of almonds significantly lowered low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL).
If you’re craving something sweet, try putting 2–3 almonds inside a date for an incredibly tasty treat.
Summary: Almonds are rich in heart-healthy fats, fiber, protein, and other nutrients. They’re a satisfying food that may aid weight loss and reduce your risk of heart disease.
These crunchy, salty nuts are mouthwatering.
Pistachios are loaded with heart-healthy fats, high-quality protein, and fiber.
They’re also good B vitamins, phosphorus, potassium, and iron sources.
Rich in powerful antioxidants, pistachios have been linked to health benefits, such as improved blood fats and reduced oxidized LDL (bad) cholesterol, inflammation, and blood sugar levels.
Pistachios are very filling and may aid weight maintenance when consumed in moderation.
Just make sure not to eat too many of these at once, as pistachios are very high in calories. A single cup (125 grams) of pistachios may have up to 700 calories.
Summary: Pistachios provide heart-healthy fats, protein, fiber, and several vitamins and minerals. They’re very filling and have been linked to many health benefits.
These deep red, beautiful berries are a delicious and healthy snack.
Cherries are low in calories but high in nutrients like fiber and vitamin C.
They also contain many antioxidants and plant compounds.
Cherries provide nutrients that may protect against conditions like cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and Alzheimer’s.
Summary: Cherries are a low-calorie snack rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and plant compounds. They have been linked to a reduced risk of several conditions, including cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Mangoes are tropical fruit rich in soluble fiber, a wide range of antioxidants, vitamin A (from beta-carotene), and vitamin C.
They’re relatively low in calories and have glycemic index (GI) values ranging from low to medium, which means that they should not cause major spikes in blood sugar levels.
Mangoes are high in plant compounds and antioxidants that may reduce your risk of oxidative damage and many chronic diseases, including cancer.
Suggested read: 10 impressive health benefits of mango
Fresh mangoes are simply delicious; many like adding them to breakfast porridges, smoothies, or yogurt.
Summary: Mangoes are a relatively low-calorie fruit with high amounts of soluble fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. They may reduce your risk of oxidative damage and various diseases.
Many consider cheese one of the most delicious foods.
It’s highly nutritious — rich in vitamins and minerals like calcium, vitamin B12, phosphorus, selenium, and zinc.
Cheese and other dairy products are linked to improved bone health and may protect against osteoporosis, a disease characterized by bone loss and an increased risk of fractures.
There are many types of cheese — all of them consist mainly of protein and fat, and most are relatively high in calories.
As a high-protein food, cheese may promote lower blood pressure and increased absorption of minerals.
In addition to providing various health benefits, cheese is very tasty and filling.
Summary: Cheese is highly nutritious and rich in vitamins and minerals, such as calcium and vitamin B12. It provides high-quality protein, which is linked to several health benefits.
Avocados are an unusual fatty fruit with a smooth and creamy texture.
They’re packed with healthy monounsaturated fatty acids, antioxidants, fiber, and a great source of B vitamins, potassium, copper, and vitamins C, E, and K.
Eating avocados is very beneficial for heart health, as it may reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides by up to 22% while raising HDL (good) cholesterol.
Avocados are also very filling and don’t raise blood sugar levels very much, making them a weight-loss-friendly food.
If you don’t like your avocado plain, try adding some salt and pepper.
If that doesn’t do the trick, you can also create an avocado chocolate pudding by blending one small avocado, half a banana, one tablespoon (15 ml) of coconut oil, and two tablespoons (30 grams) of dark cocoa.
Just be aware that this pudding is rather high in calories and should be reserved for special occasions.
Summary: Avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat and fiber and provide several vitamins and minerals. They’re very filling and may reduce blood cholesterol and triglycerides.
Cameron Whitman/Stocksy Not many people know that popcorn is a whole grain. It’s relatively low in calories and high in fiber.
Whole grains may have numerous health benefits, including improved digestion and a reduced risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes. They may also aid in weight loss and maintenance.
Just be sure to avoid unhealthy popcorn varieties loaded with refined oils.
Popcorn is healthiest when it’s air-popped or prepared in a pan. Add salt, butter, dark chocolate sprinkles, or cinnamon for a different flavor.
Summary: Popcorn is a high-fiber whole grain with relatively low calories. It may improve digestion and reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.
11. Sweet potatoes
Sweet potatoes are very nutritious, high in fiber, and deliciously sweet.
They’re a great source of vitamin A (from beta-carotene) and provide decent amounts of vitamin C and other vitamins and minerals.
Sweet potatoes also contain several antioxidants and may reduce oxidative damage, potentially reducing cancer risk. One white variety may also help moderate blood sugar levels.
Whether boiled, baked, or fried, sweet potatoes taste great and are especially delicious with sour cream or salted butter.
Summary: Sweet potatoes are nutritious and rich in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A and C. They may reduce oxidative damage, potentially reducing your risk of cancer.
Few healthy dips are as delicious as hummus.
It’s made of mashed chickpeas, often mixed with garlic, sesame seed paste (tahini), olive oil, and lemon juice.
Chickpeas are rich in protein and fiber and contain many vitamins and minerals, including folate, thiamine, vitamin B6, magnesium, manganese, and copper.
They may also improve your blood sugar levels. One study showed that eating 26 ounces (728 grams) of chickpeas daily significantly reduced fasting insulin — an important marker of blood sugar levels.
Suggested read: Is hummus healthy? Top 8 benefits of hummus
Studies also indicate that chickpeas can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol — a risk factor for heart disease — and potentially improve digestive health.
Summary: Hummus is a healthy dip made from chickpeas. It contains beneficial fiber, protein, and various vitamins and minerals.
Yogurt is a fermented dairy product that’s both delicious and healthy.
It contains high-quality proteins, fats, calcium, and several vitamins.
Eating yogurt has been associated with both improved bone health and reduced blood pressure.
Certain types of yogurt — marketed as probiotic yogurt — contain active cultures of beneficial bacteria.
These probiotic bacteria are linked to many health benefits, including improved cholesterol, immunity, digestion, and synthesis of various B and K vitamins in your digestive system.
However, be sure to avoid yogurts that are loaded with added sugar. Instead, buy natural yogurt and add some fruit, berries, or muesli for more flavor and a crunchy texture.
Summary: Yogurt is high in protein and calcium. It may improve bone health and blood pressure. Probiotic varieties may enhance your immune system and promote the synthesis of B and K vitamins in your digestive system.
14. Peanut butter
Peanut butter is a great source of unsaturated fatty acids, protein, and fiber.
It’s also an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals, including B vitamins, copper, manganese, vitamin E, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Plus, peanuts are very rich in antioxidants — even more than some fruits.
They’re very filling and are not linked to weight gain despite being high in fat and calories. They’re associated with a reduced risk of obesity.
However, some people find it hard not to eat too much peanut butter at a time. Try to moderate your portions to avoid excess calorie intake. If you tend to binge on peanut butter, it may be best to avoid it.
Also, be sure to choose varieties without added sugar or oils. The ingredient list should only include peanuts and a small amount of salt.
Add some peanut butter to apple slices, celery, or a banana for a tasty snack.
Summary: Peanut butter is rich in healthy fats, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It’s very filling and may prevent weight gain when eaten in moderation.
Watermelons are packed with water, nutrients, and vitamins.
They’re low in calories and contain powerful plant compounds like lycopene and citrulline.
Watermelons and their juice may lower blood pressure, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
Due to their water and fiber content, they should not cause major spikes in blood sugar levels.
Suggested read: 9 proven health benefits of watermelon
Watermelons are incredibly refreshing and may be the ultimate snack on a hot summer day.
Summary: Watermelons are rich in water, nutrients, and vitamins. They should not cause major spikes in blood sugar levels and may lower blood pressure, increase insulin sensitivity, and reduce muscle soreness after exercise.
The next time you’re craving something tasty, opt for one of the healthy foods in the list above.
Not only are they even more delicious than most junk foods, but they will also improve your health and make you feel good about what you’re eating.