The 7 Healthiest Plant Foods on the Planet

By: Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

There are so many “healthiest foods” to choose from, especially in the plant kingdom; this list could be a mile long!  But if I had to pick just 7…

Quinoa is a naturally gluten-free grain, often called an ancient grain because it’s grown on earth for thousands of years.  In fact, quinoa is not a grain at all but a seed that can be ground into flour.  Quinoa is rich in protein – it’s actually a complete protein which means that it contains all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa is also rich in fiber and minerals like iron, magnesium and calcium plus phytonutrients like quercitin, an antioxidant.

Here are some great quinoa Reboot recipes:
Quinoa and Teff Pizza
Spicy Bean and Quinoa Chili
Quinoa Black Bean Burgers
Quinoa with Lentils and Roasted Veggies 

Walnuts boast many important health promoting nutrients like fiber, protein and omega-3 fats.  Walnut oil has been shown to help lower high triglyceride levels.  Walnut oil also provides anti-inflammatory activity being studied to help treat rheumatoid arthritis.  Walnut’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant compounds are also being examined for the prevention of breast cancer.

Add walnuts to your favorite Reboot salad, like:
Roasted Beet
Perfect Summer Salad (for all our Aussie friends!)
Portobello Salad with Fennel, Orange and Scallions

Avocados are densely packed with vitamin E, potassium, folate and anti-inflammatory, healthy fats.  They are being studied as a potential treatment and preventive agent for osteoarthritis.

Try these yummy Reboot recipes with avocado:
Roasted Carrot and Avocado Salad
Reboot Sushi Wraps
Sweet Potato Sliders
Island Green Smoothie

Bet you knew kale would be on this list!  Kale is rich in calcium, lutein, iron, and vitamins A, C, and K and contains protein. Drinking kale juice has been shown to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol, increase HDL (good) cholesterol and raise antioxidant levels in the blood.

SO many reboot recipes include kale, here are a few goodies to try:
Mean Green Juice
Kale and Avocado Salad
Stuffed Delicata Squash with Kale, Leeks, and Chickpeas
Great Green Fruit Blend

Turmeric is a staple in Indian diets and used in the Indian Ayurvedic medicinal tradition for its cleansing and purifying properties.  It has been shown to have multiple forms of anti-cancer activity in prostate, ovarian, colon, uterine, and breast cancer cells.  It also has many anti-inflammatory effects.

Enjoy these reboot recipes spiced with turmeric:
Garam Masala Spiced Collard Greens
Quinoa with Lentils and Roasted Vegetables
Curried Butternut Squash Soup
Coconut Curried Sweet Potato 

Garlic is among the oldest known horticultural crops. Egyptian and Indian cultures referred to garlic as many as 5000 years ago. Garlic has been used to treat many aliments, including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis, and even the common cold.

The phytonutrients allicin and alliin in garlic inhibited tumor cell invasion and angiogenesis in tumor cells.  In population studies, researchers have found that the more garlic people eat, the greater the decrease in risk of developing some types of cancer.

Try these garlicky reboot recipes:
Bruschetta Juice
Herbed Marinated Grilled Veggie Skewers
Green Vegetable Soup
Roasted Acorn Squash Stuffed with Mushroom and Sage

Ginger root reduces nausea, pain and inflammation, and provides heartburn relief.  Ginger is used in traditional Asian medicine to treat stomachaches, nausea, and diarrhea.  It is also used for rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, and joint and muscle pain.

You’ll find many reboot recipes that include ginger, here are a few favorites:
Carrot Apple Ginger Juice
Vegetable Stir Fry
Reboot Moussaka
Ginger Soy Honey Dressing


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Stacy Kennedy, MPH, RD, CSO, LDN; Reboot Nutritionist

Stacy is a Board Certified Specialist in Oncology Nutrition and an Integrative Nutritionist. She consults for various companies, focusing on health, wellness and innovative strategies to help increase individual’s fruit and vegetable intake. Stacy is an American College of Sports Medicine Certified Health Fitness Specialist; she holds a BS degree in Dietetics from Indiana University, completed her dietetic internship at Massachusetts General Hospital, and earned a Masters in Public Health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is a Senior Clinical Nutritionist at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Brigham & Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School teaching affiliates, in Boston, MA, with more than 20 years of experience. Stacy created and now serves as project manager and lead writer for nutrition services content on the Dana Farber website and the affiliated, nationally recognized nutrition app. Stacy is regularly featured on TV, radio, print and social media on behalf of Dana Farber and other organizations. Together with her husband, Dr. Russell Kennedy PsyD, they have a private practice, Wellness Guides, LLC. Stacy is an adjunct professor in Wellness and Health Coaching at William James College, currently teaching a graduate course in Health Coaching. Stacy is featured in the award winning documentary films, “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead” and “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 2,” and serves on the Reboot with Joe Medical Advisory Board. Stacy lives in Wellesley with her husband, two sons and three dogs. She enjoys cooking, yoga, hiking and spending time with friends and family. Stacy is also one of the nutritionists who runs our Guided Reboot programs.

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