23 Nutrition Packed Foods to Add to Your Diet

Nature provides an abundance of highly nutritious foods that provide the vitamins, minerals, fiber, and macronutrients that help our bodies feel and perform their best. No matter what your taste preferences are, there are nutrient-rich foods that are worth adding to your grocery list. Eating a wide variety of whole foods is a fantastic way to meet your daily nutritional needs.

These 25 whole foods are nutritious, versatile, and full of fiber and antioxidants.

*All calorie values and nutrition information have been verified and confirmed current with the US Department of Agriculture's FoodData Central database.

1

Kale

Kale

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Kale is incredibly nutritious. It's high in most vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C and calcium. It's also an excellent source of fiber and contains beneficial antioxidants. It's no wonder kale is included on almost every list of superfoods. Perfect for a big salad or side dish.

2

Arugula

Arugula in a bowl

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Arugula is another green leafy vegetable that's high in several vitamins and minerals, including beta-carotene, vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, and magnesium. It makes a perfect base for a big salad (topped with fresh fruits, nuts, and a light dressing). Or arugula can be wilted in a little bit of olive oil and garlic and served as a side dish. 

3

Carrots

Carrots

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Carrots are good for any healthy diet because of their versatility and mild taste. They're not as bitter as other vegetables, and they can be served as a side dish or raw as an appetizer or snack. Carrots are high in vitamins A and C, plus they provide potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, folate, vitamin E, and vitamin K.

4

Broccoli

Broccoli

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Broccoli is a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which are all high in nutrients and antioxidants. Broccoli is particularly high in vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium, manganese, and potassium. It's also high in fiber; one cup contains 2.4 grams.

5

Swiss Chard

Chard

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Swiss chard is another leafy vegetable with colorful stems that's rich in nutrients. One cup of chopped cooked chard provides calcium, iron, potassium, and Vitamins A, C, and K. Swiss chard doesn't require a lot of effort to prepare and can be boiled or sauteed with a little olive oil and white balsamic vinegar.

6

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Cauliflower is related to broccoli and kale, and although it doesn't have the dark green pigment of other cruciferous veggies, it's still high in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Cauliflower is perfect as a steamed side dish or served raw with a light veggie dip. 

7

Spinach

Spinach

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Spinach can be served as a healthy side dish, or it can be used as the base for a salad. Spinach contains iron, fiber, vitamin C, and potassium.It is excellent in salads, smoothies, stirfries, and can be eaten raw or cooked.

8

Green Beans

Green beans

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

It seems like green beans don't usually get much attention, which is too bad because they provide vitamins A and C along with minerals, B vitamins, and fiber. They make an excellent quick side dish since they steam easily. Try them with butter and lemon on top or some minced garlic. Add them to your next stir fry for additional nutrients.

9

Brussels Sprouts

Brussel sprouts

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Brussels sprouts look like cute little cabbages. They're good for you because Brussels sprouts are high in most vitamins and several minerals, plus they have quite a bit of dietary fiber (talk about a perfect side dish).

10

Chicken Breast

Chicken

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Lean chicken breast meat without the skin is an excellent source of protein, and also provides niacin, selenium, and vitamin B-12. Boost the nutrition of your chicken dish by combining it with other healthy ingredients such as the vegetables in this list. One serving of chicken breast meat is about the size of a deck of cards.

11

Grapefruit

Grapefruit

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Grapefruit is a healthy citrus fruit that's loaded with potassium, vitamins C and A, and fiber. Grapefruit makes a sweet addition to breakfast or can be eaten as a snack. There are different varieties, some sweeter than others such as ruby red. If grapefruit is too sour, try adding them to a fruit salad with sweeter fruits such as bananas, grapes, and melon.

12

Cod

cooked cod on a dish

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Cod has a mild flavor compared to the more-oily ocean fish such as salmon and tuna and is lower in mercury than some other fish. A 3-ounce portion of cooked cod has about 90 calories and is high in Vitamin B-12, niacin, selenium, and protein. Try it with lemon and dill sauce, or tucked into tacos with some cabbage slaw.

13

Mushrooms

Mushrooms cropped

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

There are many varieties of mushrooms, and they all vary a bit in their nutritional value. Some, like chanterelles, are high in Vitamin D. But, in general, mushrooms are an excellent source of B vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Mushrooms can be added to salads or used as ingredients in a variety of recipes. They also make nice additions to or replacements for meat.

14

Shrimp

Shrimp

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Shrimp contains selenium, niacin, vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, protein, copper, phosphorus, choline, and zinc. Cooked cold shrimp can be added to a salad or served as an appetizer with cocktail sauce. Try them in curries, soups, tacos, and enchiladas.

15

Tomatoes

Tomatoes

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Tomatoes contain vitamins A and C, many B vitamins, and some minerals. Plus they're high in fiber and antioxidants. Add tomato slices to salads and sandwiches or snack on a handful of cherry tomatoes. They are also delicious cooked or found in concentrated form in products like tomato paste which may boost lycopene content.

16

Zucchini

Zucchini

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Zucchini can be served raw as an appetizer or snack, or they can be sauteed in a little bit of olive oil for a filling and nutritious side dish. You can add it shredded to bulk up oatmeal or baked goods, use it in place of pasta, or add it to stirfry and casseroles. Zucchini is high in fiber and packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, B6, A, folate, riboflavin, and thiamin.

17

Celery

Celery

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

A pile of fresh celery sticks makes an excellent addition to a raw veggie plate or can be topped with a little peanut butter and eaten as a healthy snack. It's also great added to soups, casseroles, and stirfry. Celery contains fiber, calcium, potassium, and vitamin C and is high in volume, helping you stay full.

18

Radishes

Radishes

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Radishes have a peppery flavor and a pleasant crunch that can add interest to salads, or they can be served with a light veggie dip or hummus. They're also delicious pickled along with cucumber and carrot. Radishes contain vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin B6, vitamin K, and several minerals.

19

Strawberries

Strawberries

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Strawberries as sweet, juicy, and a huge favorite with young and old alike. Strawberries are high in Vitamin C, fiber, magnesium and potassium. Serve them after dinner with a bit of cream or dark chocolate, blend them in a smoothie, or add them to a bowl of oatmeal or yogurt.

20

Scallops

seared scallops on a plate

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman 

Scallops are perfect for those looking for a unique protein to try. They provide protein, minerals, and vitamin B-12. Serve sauteed scallops with a little lemon, cooked greens, or a large salad. Scallops are excellent in pasta, chowders, or as an appetizer on a bed of arugula.

21

Blueberries

Blueberries

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Blueberries are super high in fiber, vitamin K, manganese, and vitamin C. They also contain antioxidants and are commonly thought of as a superfood. Serve blueberries as a nutritious dessert, add them to cereal, or use them in smoothies.

22

Clementines

Clementines

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Clementines are those cute little oranges that are easy to peel and super tasty. They're high in Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. They're perfect for an afternoon snack or an addition to a balanced breakfast.

23

Watermelon

Watermelon

Verywell / Alexandra Shytsman

Watermelons are a staple at summer picnics for good reason, they're sweet and refreshing. Watermelon is also an excellent source of Vitamins A and C, plus potassium, and lycopene. Serve watermelon as a tasty sweet mid-afternoon snack or after dinner as a healthy dessert.

A Word from Verywell

Nutritious eating doesn't have to be boring or bland when you incorporate these fresh and delicious choices. Finding whole foods that you enjoy can help you meet your nutritional goals while enjoying every last bite. Trying new foods or cooking classic ones in new ways helps add variety and interest to your meals.

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23 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. FoodData Central. Washington, DC: US Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service 2020 https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/index.html

  2. Kale, raw. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central.

  3. Arugula, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  4. Chard, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  5. Broccoli, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. April 1, 2019

  6. Cauliflower, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. April 1, 2019

  7. Spinach. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. December 6, 2019

  8. Beans, snap, green, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. April 1, 2019

  9. Brussels sprouts, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture. April 1, 2019.

  10. Chicken, broiler or fryers, breast, skinless, boneless, meat only, cooked, grilled. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  11. Grapefruit, raw, pink and red, all areas. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  12. Cod. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central.

  13. Mushrooms, raw. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central.

  14. Shrimp, steamed or boiled. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  15. Tomatoes, red, ripe, raw, year round average. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  16. Squash, summer zucchini, includes skin, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  17. Celery, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  18. Radishes, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  19. Strawberries, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  20. Scallops, steamed or boiled. U.S. Department of Agriculture FoodData Central.

  21. Blueberries, raw. FoodData Central. U.S Department of Agriculture.

  22. Clementines, raw. FoodData Central. U.S. Department of Agriculture.

  23. Watermelon, raw. U.S. Department of Agriculture. FoodData Central.