20 Healthiest Paleo Approved Foods

By Jess

When you’re trying to zero in on the top healthiest foods you can eat while following Paleo, you need to sort out the top producers as far as nutrition goes. We’ve helped sort through all of the Paleo-approved foods you can have to bring you the best foods ounce for ounce you can put in your body. In no specific order, here they are:

20 Healthiest Paleo Approved Foods- on the planet.


1. Spinach
Spinach is a superfood and is one of the best foods you can eat, no matter what diet you’re on. It has a special place on the Paleo menu because it’s packed with phytonutrients, fiber, extra minerals, and just plain helps the body. You’ll be eating your fair share of meat on this diet so it’s a good idea to pile on veggies like spinach to help with digestion and create a broad nutritional profile. Eat it fresh whenever you can, and frozen when you can’t. Organic spinach is highly preferred over conventional since spinach leaves are very absorbent.

The main benefits you’re getting from spinach have to to be its anti-cancer benefits, as well as how it contributes to overall heart health so you’re avoiding many types of heart disease. It contains a mix of antioxidants and phytonutrients that help battle the free radicals that enter the body from our modern lifestyle. It helps your overall well-being, gives you energy, and helps stabilize blood glucose levels.

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup
Vitamin A – 56% – Helps with vision and overall health.
Vitamin C – 14% – A surprising source of Vitamin C.
Magnesium – 6% – An important mineral for avoiding osteoporosis and cardiovascular problems.
Potassium – 4% – Good for the heart and blood sugar levels.


2. Broccoli
Your mother probably told you to eat your broccoli, and as it turns out she was right on this one. It’s a paleo-approved food that also ranks as one of the healthiest foods you can eat, period. It’s also readily available year round, and you can find it fresh or frozen. There’s almost always broccoli in the organic section of the produce department, and if there isn’t there’s usually an organic brand in the frozen veggies aisle.

Perhaps the biggest reason to be eating broccoli is because its fiber content will help keep you regular. It’s important to keep the digestive system moving because meat can fester in the intestines if you aren’t getting enough fiber to help it along. In addition to this the levels of Vitamin C are through the roof, and this is one of the most popular antioxidants that most know helps the immune system and can help you ward off colds and flus.

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup, chopped.
Vitamin C – 135% – Wow! Your whole day knocked out with one serving.
Vitamin A – 11% – A good source to help round out your other meals and snacks.
Vitamin B-6 – 10% Gives you energy to kill dinosaurs or knock out your email inbox.
Fiber – 9% – Helps all of those animals through your digestive system.


3. Avocado
Avocado is a Paleo food that you need to have a ready supply of. That’s because it goes well with just about anything, and you can even eat it all by itself to hold you over until your next meal. Packed with healthy fats and potassium, avocadoes show up in many recipes, especially Mexican or Tex-Mex fare. Try adding them to any meal with chicken as your meat and you’ll get a flavor upgrade.

It’s the healthy fats that steal the show when it comes to avocados, with 14g of monounsaturated fat in a one cup serving. But equal attention should be paid to the high fiber content and large amount of potassium, as these will help you feel lighter and give you more energy that you can use throughout the day. For these reasons an avocado a day might not be a bad way to go.

Vitamin Breakdown per avocado
Potassium – 27% – Good for calming you down.
Fiber – 56% – Necessary for a clean digestive tract.
Vitamin B-6 – 25% – Part of the B Vitamin family, gives you energy.
Vitamin C – 33% – Everyone’s favorite antioxidant.


4. Watermelon
Watermelon may taste best during the summer, but you can find it all year long, and it’s worth seeking out. It’s one of the few sweet fruits that’s allowed on Paleo, so you don’t want to go overboard with your portions, something that’s easy to do with watermelon. It contains high amounts of lycopene, the same thing that gives tomatoes their healthy food title. It has plenty of potassium and is even recommended as a heart-healthy food by the AHA.

Lycopene often makes the news in relation to its anti-cancer properties and its ability to help prevent heart disease. Most of the time at the end of the news story they end up recommended you eat more tomatoes, but you can and should get a broad range of food and eating more watermelon on a more frequent basis may be a way to help ward off diseases of all types.

Vitamin Breakdown
Vitamin C – 37% – This is plenty of Vitamin C and will have you feeling good.
Vitamin A – 31% – An excellent source of Vitamin A.
Potassium – 8% – A decent source of Potassium, not a banana but it’s still pretty good.
Fat – 0.4g – It’s super low in fat, but you’ll want to watch your intake because of the sugar.


5. Kale
You may have heard about kale recently, as it’s quickly gaining in the ranks as one of the healthiest veggies you can eat, right up there with spinach. In fact in some areas it even outdoes spinach. You can have as much of it as you want, and a good rule of thumb when eating Paleo is to eat to match your meat intake with a vegetable so you’re getting plenty of both. Kale can be cooked and holds up to the heat much better than spinach, which ends up wilting and shrinking when cooked.

The benefits of eating leafy greens like kale is that they contain phytonutrients, special antioxidants that help the body fend of things like inflammation, and basically make you feel better both now and over the long term if eaten consistently.

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup, chopped
Vitamin A – 133% – Blows spinach out of the water!
Vitamin C – 134% – More Vitamin C than you even need in a day.
Vitamin B-6 – 10% – Plenty of energy to get you to your next meal.
Calcium – 10% – A plant source of calcium, important because you won’t be having dairy.


6. Almonds
A handful of almonds will help fuel you for several hours if you need it to. You can also add slivered almonds to many veggies and meat dishes to make it look more fancy, add a bit of crunch, and add more nutrients. Almonds are one food that has almost no disagreement as to whether or not it’s a Paleo food, and almond flour is used as a substitute for regular flour in many Paleo baked goods.

The fiber in almonds can’t be overlooked, as this is one of your main concerns while following the Paleo way of eating. They’re also big on calcium, which you’ll want to make sure you’re getting enough of because you’ll be passing on the dairy. Magnesium is an important mineral for the body and you need adequate amounts of it daily. You won’t be running a protein shortage on Paleo, and almonds help see to that.

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup
Calcium – 24% – A substantial amount of calcium in just one cup.
Magnesium – 61% – Over half the day’s need in just a snack-sized portion.
Fiber – 44% – Plenty of fiber for a non-fruit and non-veggie source.
Protein – 40% – Lots of protein to add to all the other protein you’re getting from meat.


7. Chicken
For many Paleo eaters chicken becomes a staple on their daily menu, and it’s easy to understand why. It’s one of the most common dishes in restaurants across the country, making it easier to stick with your Paleo plan even when you’re out to dinner with friends. It’s also easy to cook, and versatile, and there are plenty of recipes for how to make different chicken dishes, so you never run out of ideas.

The main benefit to be had from chicken is that it’s a quality protein, and if you buy organic free-range chicken you’re going to be closely replicating the kind of food a caveman might have eaten. Of course they’re actually nothing like what prehistoric man would have eaten, but we’re trying to make do with what we have.

Vitamin Breakdown per 100g
Vitamin B-6 – 25% – Gives you energy and helps you stay alert.
Protein – 42% – Takes a big chunk out of your daily protein requirement.
Magnesium – 6% – this is an important mineral for overall body function.
Vitamin B-12 – 5% – Increased energy levels.


8. Eggs
They say eggs are good because it’s like you’re eating an entire animal, without having to eat an entire animal. They provide a good amount of protein, and other vitamins and minerals, so you can feel free to eat eggs daily. They make up the main part of a breakfast meal, or you can eat them anytime during the day. Try not to eat them with meats because early man would have used them as sustenance all by themselves between hunts.

For years the American Egg Board ran public awareness commercials trying to get people to eat more eggs. Many diet programs out there try to clear the question of whether you should eat the entire egg or just the whites. Paleolithic man would definitely have eaten the entire thing, not stopping to separate the yolk from the white. The yolk is where the majority of the nutrients are.

Vitamin Breakdown per Large Egg
Protein – 12% – A respectable amount of protein, considering that’s just one egg.
Vitamin B-12 – 10% – This is an important vitamin for healthy hair and nails.
Vitamin A – 5% – Not as much as some of the veggies on our list, but not bad either.
Vitamin B-6 – 5% – Eggs will give you energy to power through your workday.


9. Salmon
Basically, you need to start eating more salmon. It may be one of the pricier seafood options, especially when you buy the wild caught kind, but it’s packed with so much protein, omega-3s, and other vitamins and minerals that there’s really not much else that ranks near it. Our fishing abilities is what helped us beat out rival Neanderthals, so it’s clear that Paleo man would have eaten their fair share of fish, especially fish that don’t try to eat you.

The omega-3s in salmon will help to battle inflammation, while the protein is going to help build a lean physique. It actually has a fair amount of other vitamins and minerals, so it has a broader nutritional profile than just being a big source of protein and omega-3s. When you eat salmon on a consistent basis, like every other day or every 3 days you are setting yourself up for both immediate benefits as well as long-term avoidance of inflammation-based conditions.

Vitamin Breakdown per 100g
Protein – 40% – In one meal you’re getting almost half of what you need.
Vitamin B-12 – 53% – Plenty of B12 to make your skin glow.
Vitamin B-6 – 30% – Energy to spare.
Potassium – 10% – Along with avocados and bananas you should be covered.


10. Asparagus
The main thing you want to keep in mind when eating asparagus is that it’s not just a healthy Paleo food, it makes the list of some of the mo most healthy foods around period. It has fiber in it to help with your digestion, and you might not know but you can totally eat it fresh and raw and it tastes amazing. Steaming them is perhaps the fastest way to get them to the table, but grilling them is a flavorful way to make them taste great.

Eating asparagus benefits you in several ways rather than just tasting good. You’ll be helping to keep things running smoothly as far as your digestion goes. With meat having no fiber in it, it’s important to eat plenty of vegetables. There is also a nice assortment of vitamins and minerals that are different than many other veggies, so eat asparagus regularly.

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup
Fiber – 11% – Fiber is essential to the Paleo way of eating.
Vitamin A – 20% – One of the most importants vitamins to keep topped up on.
Iron – 16% – A non-meat source of iron. Bonus!
Vitamin C – 12% – Plenty of immune boosting power.


11. Cabbage
Cabbage is a food that you can have while on the Paleo Diet, and one that you should have no matter what diet you’re following. They even have cabbage soup diets out there for weight loss. Cabbage finds its way onto all sorts of diet programs, even ones that are recommended by doctors after various surgeries. Cabbage is great for the digestive system, and therefore a fantastic food to enjoy while cavemanning it up.

One great thing about cabbage is that it’s cheap. You can buy a head of it for a song and it will provide you with sustenance all day long. It’s also versatile, you can make a go-to Paleo soup using it, or you can simply steam it until it’s easy to chew up and use it as a side dish alongside a meat. it’s going to provide anti-cancer benefits and help you get to your ideal weight.

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup, chopped
Vitamin C – 54% – Plenty of Vitamin C from a veggie source and not a fruit.
Fiber – 8% – A good source of fiber. Eat until you feel full.
Vitamin B-6 – 5% – Great for steady levels of energy.
Calcium – 3% – Get a bit of calcium, every little bit helps.


12. Cucumber
You can’t go wrong with cucumber as a cool and crisp snack or side while following the Paleo plan. Buy organic and eat the peel for maximum benefit and to replicate a caveman diet as much as possible. They are packed with water, so this is a hydrating vegetable that will make sure your body is getting enough water. It also makes a great salad topper, and when cut into slices makes a good dipping utensil.

Cucumbers don’t score off the charts in regards to vitamins and minerals, and you’re basically looking at them as a way to stay hydrated, to have a flushing effect on the body in regards to toxins, and can even be a way to help thwart cancer. What’s most important is to make sure that you’re having cucumbers on a regular basis. Add them to a smoothie or incorporate them into your daily or weekly menu as a snack.

Vitamin Breakdown per 100g
Vitamin C – 4% – Not a ton, but it’s better than nothing.
Vitamin A – 2% – Not a lot but you’re looking for a cumulative effect.
Magnesium – 3% – An important mineral found in many Paleo foods.
Fiber – 2% – Between the fiber and water content you’re all set digestively.


13. Tomato
Tomatoes make the news regularly for their health benegits, and the more they are studied the more is found out about how healthy they are. Almost every nutritionist on the planet is in sync with saying that we should eat more tomatoes, and they’re not too picky about what form it takes. You can cook them up or eat them raw depending on what you’re in the mood for, and in fact cooked tomatoes are said to be healthier for you.

The lycopene in tomatoes is what is responsible for most of the healthy benefits it provides. These includes helping to fighting off cancer, helping to prevent heart disease, helping you to maintain a healthy weight, and being an anti-inflammatory food. It also supplies good levels of Vitamin C to support your immune system, and calcium for healthy bones and teeth.

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup
Vitamin C – 37% – A great deal of Vitamin C, showing off its fruit nature.
Vitamin B-6 – 15% – Plenty of energy from this wonderfood.
Iron – 12% – A surprising source of iron, which you probably won’t be short of.
Calcium – 7% – A respectable amount of calcium, not from a dairy source.


14. Celery
Nothing will give you the Stone Age feel besides all the meat you’ll be eating than chomping on some fresh celery sticks. This is another highly hydrating vegetable which means it’s great in green smoothies to add some water to the mix. But it also cooks up well in soups and makes a great snack in stalk form that you can bring just about anywhere and eat anytime you need to.

Celery acts as a diuretic, so it’s going to help your body rid itself of excess fluids, which also helps to expel any built up toxins. It’s good for regulating blood pressure levels, and has even been shown to have anti-cancer properties. The

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup
Vitamin C – 5% – This will help contribute to your Vitamin C needs.
Vitamin A – 9% – The second most popular vitamin after C.
Vitamin B-6 – 5% – Not a huge source, but still it’s something.
Fiber – 6% – Getting your fiber intake up is crucial when eating so much meat.


15. Beets
Beets have been called “the new spinach” by none other than the New York Times, and they have been making quite a splash in recent years as more is discovered about just how good they are. As a Paleo follower you’ll want to buy fresh beats and either grill them or steam them in order to soften them up. Avoid the pickled beets you find on salad bars and in jars at the store.

There’s a specific nutrient in beets called betalains and there aren’t found in too many other vegetables, so beets get an almost exclusive status. That’s why it’s important to put them in your diet at least weekly, or more often if you like the taste. Betalains have been shown to have a strong detoxifying effect on the body, and would have contributed nicely to our early ancestor’s overall well-being.

Vitamin Breakdown per 100g
Vitamin C – 6% – Not a giant source, but still worth eating them.
Calcium – 2% – Just a little calcium, but we’ll take it.
Iron – 4% – No iron-fortification needed, it’s already got it handled.
Fiber – 8% – Another great source of fiber to round out your other fruits and veggies.

lean beef

16. Lean Beef
Meat is a big part of the Paleo diet, and there’s perhaps no more meatier meat than beef. You want to be sure that you’re eating lean cuts of organic beef. Organic is important here because it means the cows would have been grass that hasn’t been treated with a lot of chemicals, nor would the cows have been injected with antibiotics and other chemicals to keep them “healthy”. You’re trying to get meat as close as natural as possible and this is the best our modern world can provide.

By opting for lean beef you will be cutting down on the amount of saturated fat, and making sure that you’re getting quality protein. The protein will help you build strong muscles, as well as help you feel full for several hours afterward. Try to mix up the meat you eat, as early man would have been forced into eating an array of animals, whatever they would have happened upon on any given day.

Vitamin Breakdown per 100g, 95% lean
Protein – 52% – A whopping supply of high quality protein.
Fiber – 0g – Gotta eat your veggies!
Vitamin B-6 – 20% – Energy to spare.
Vitamin B-12 – 41% – Great for your hair.


17. Turkey
You don’t have to eat wild turkey, although that would be closer in makeup to what Paleo man would have feasted on. The best way to go is to buy a whole roasted turkey breast. This helps cut down on the amount of processing the bird has gone through. Likewise you’ll want to avoid turkey breast in cold cut form because this has added nitrates and sodium during the curing process.

Lean roasted turkey breast will give you a good supply of quality protein, but it also has some vitamin and mineral content that makes it a smart choice for Paleo followers. It’s a decent source of iron, and is a food that you could consume regularly if needed. Many Paleo dieters use chicken as their go-to source of protein but turkey is just as healthy and provides many of the same benefits.

Vitamin Breakdown per 100g
Vitamin C – 10% – Did you know that turkey contains Vitamin C?
Iron – 10% – Iron is one mineral you likely won’t come up short on.
Protein – 17g – Here’s where turkey fits into the grand Paleo scheme.
Fat – 2g – Get lean cuts and it’s low in fat and high in protein.


18. Grapefruit
It’s important to make sure that you’re getting at least some fruit while on the Paleo diet, and grapefruit makes for a good choice. You can start your morning off with some grapefruit to get a boost to your day. It also serves as a good snack for when you’re between meals and just need a snack with a nutritional punch.

The Vitamin C in grapefruit is going to go a long way in providing you energy, but this is also a great fruit for revving up your metabolism and helping you reach the weight you should be at naturally. It can also help prevent cancer and it has been shown to help get cholesterol levels to a healthy level, which is important because many of the foods you eat on Paleo contain cholesterol.

Vitamin Breakdown per 100g
Vitamin C – 52% – You can give your C levels a big boost with grapefruit.
Vitamin A – 23% – Vitamin A lags behind a bit, but still tons of it.
Vitamin B-6 – 5% – Provides a bit of energy, great for a pick-me-up.
Magnesium – 2% – Only a little, but it goes a long way towards a healthy body.


19. Cantaloupe
This is one food that ends up on plenty of diet lists. Some have even said that you burn more calories eating and digesting it than it contains. If that’s true or not is not really important to a Paleo dieter, what’s more important is that it’s a melon that was no doubt popular even way back in the day. Today you can find them in just about every supermarket all year long so it’s an easy fruit to enjoy consistently.

The main benefit to eating cantaloupe, besides its awesome flavor, is that it provides a lot of nutrition in the form of vitamins and minerals. When you consider that you’re getting a full day’s supply of key antioxidants from just one serving of cantaloupe it’s easy to see why this is a fruit you should be eating regularly, either as part of a meal or by itself as a snack.

Vitamin Breakdown per Cup, diced
Vitamin C – 95% – Call it a day, you’ve got all you need.
Vitamin A – 105% – More than what is needed for the day.
Vitamin B-6 – 5% – Provides a small amount of energy as well.
Fiber – 5% – Anything that helps get your fiber numbers up is a good thing.


20. Apple
Apples are one of those stereotypical healthy foods that actual is really healthy for you. It’s also one of the few fruits that is allowed on the Paleo diet. Apples are handy because they travel well and an apple all by itself is quite filling and can serve as a great snack. It can also be used in many Paleo-friendly recipes found online, so don’t be surprised if it becomes a big part of your eating life.

The fiber in an apple is going to help with your digestion and help all of the animal products through. But there are also plenty of other benefits, like helping to prevent cancer, and even helping to prevent degenerative diseases like Alzheimers. But don’t be scared into eating apples, simply eat them because that’s what man has always done throughout the ages. Go organic on this one, for sure, as apples have a knack at absorbing all sorts of chemicals and holding them in the peel.

Vitamin Breakdown
Vitamin C – 7% – Not a lot compared to other fruits, but that’s OK.
Fat – 0.2g – Essentially fat free but watch out for sugar spikes.
Fiber – 9% – Fruits and vegetables should get your fiber to 100% daily.
Potassium – 3% – A great mineral to have for added energy.


Ask a Question 

    • kale salad

      red onion
      oil of choice
      Braggs liquid aminos
      Bacon or other meat
      red pepper flakes (if you like it spicy)

  1. HI. 🙂 I’ve a paleo question…why is it that grains are bad because the lectins wreck havic on our digestive but fruits/veggies with them (especially nightshades) are fine? thanks! 🙂

  2. Great article, we’ve recently started to include more kale into our diet. My husband loves it when I bake it off in the oven after sprinkling with some olive oil first. Then when crispy love to sprinkle a little cayenne pepper on it for him.

    I will definitely have to give the recipe that you’ve suggested earlier a try.

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