Food Features

Did you know that references to yogurt and health date all the way back to 6000 BCE? Or that before its dramatic rise in popularity, kale was more often used as a garnish?

What makes food so enjoyable—beyond the flavors, textures, and variety it brings to everyday life—is that each one has some unique story behind it; from where it was first cultivated, to how it’s been used and adapted for changing tastes and preferences from one decade to the next. Of course, there’s also the relationship between food and health, though we know it’s more important to focus on an overall healthy eating pattern, rather than a few magic-bullet “superfoods.”

Indeed, these food features aren’t about promoting any individual foods, but an opportunity to explore a bit of the history and research behind them, along with some practical tips for when you’re shopping and cooking. Take a look!

Pile of almonds


Although native to the Mediterranean region, 80% of the world’s almond supply is now grown in California. Learn more about this popular tree nut.
apples lined up in rows on a table


Does eating an apple every day really keep the doctor away? Learn about apples and health, and the best types for cooking versus munching.
A variety of aquatic foods chilling on ice including, octopus, fish, shrimp, lobsters, mussels, scallops, oysters, and more

Aquatic Foods

Explore about the wide variety of animals, plants, and microorganisms originating in bodies of water, including finfish, crustaceans, cephalopods, mollusks, seaweed, and more.
avocado cut in half on green background


Avocados or “alligator pears” are known for their creamy smooth flesh and bumpy skin. Learn more about this popular food found throughout many cultures.
bunch of bananas


Some people consider this iconic golden fruit a healthy choice while others avoid it, after seeing it on Internet lists of “Worst Foods.” Clearing up confusion surrounding bananas.
Brussels sprouts cut in half lying on a wooden cutting board

Brussels Sprouts

Learn all about Brussels sprouts—their history, nutrient profile, as well as tips on how to prepare and cook them.
Wedge of cheese cut from a larger wheel; sitting on top of a wooden cutting board


Countries around the world have experimented with cheese-making, varying the types of milk, how long the cheese is allowed to age and ripen, and using different additives like salt or acid to produce unique textures and flavors.
Chia Seeds in a spoon

Chia Seeds

Ch-ch-ch-chia! These versatile seeds come from the plant Salvia hispanica L., and are a complete plant-based protein.
bowl of submerged chickpeas

Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)

Whether you call them chickpeas or garbanzo beans, learn more about these versatile legumes which are a staple of diets worldwide.
wooden spoon scooping out coconut oil from a jar

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is made by pressing fresh coconut meat or dried coconut meat called copra. An overview of the research and culinary uses for this tropical oil.
cup of coffee


Coffee lovers around the world who reach for their morning brew probably aren’t thinking about its health benefits or risks. And yet this beverage has been subject to a long history of debate.
Two squares of dark chocolate resting on dark chocolate shavings

Dark Chocolate

Learn all about dark chocolate—from its Mayan origins in 2000 BCE, to the potential heart health benefits from its flavanol-rich cocoa solids.
Brown eggs lined up in egg carton


“Are eggs healthy?” is a frequently-asked nutrition question. Get an overview on eggs and health, along with some purchasing and preparation tips.
bundle of kale


Who knew a vegetable could be so cool? Learn more about the history and research behind this popular leafy green, as well as recipes and cooking tips.
a bowl full of yellow lentils


Lentils are one of the earliest domesticated crops, seen in the diets of ancient Rome and Egypt. Learn more about this staple legume.
glass of milk against dark blue background


Research on milk and health often produces contrary findings. Some reasons may be the wide range of different nutritional qualities in milk and how milk intake is measured. Learn more about this popular beverage.
a variety of mushrooms include white button mushrooms, portabello, and shiitake


There are thousands of varieties of mushrooms, with different colors, shapes, sizes, and tastes. Learn more about these umami-packed fungi.
Pile of oats


Oats are available in a variety of forms, based on their processing. Learn about the different types, oats and health, and how to cook with them.
bowl of quinoa


Often eaten like a whole grain, quinoa is actually an edible seed and a complete protein. Learn more about this unique pseudo-grain.
mixed rice


Did you know there are over 40,000 varieties of rice? Learn more about this global staple grain.
Dry seaweed, sea vegetables, top shot on a light blue background


Seaweed may bring to mind the slippery plants that curl around your toes when walking in the ocean, while less recognized as an aquatic food on your dinner plate. But “seaweed” (the common name for countless species of marine plants and algae) has been consumed globally for centuries.
chopped sweet potato

Sweet Potatoes

True to their name, sweet potatoes have a naturally sweet flavor, which is further enhanced through cooking methods like roasting.
tea brewing from tea bags in a glass mug


Tea is the simple preparation of pouring hot water over cured leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant. The flavor of tea varies by where the tea leaves are harvested and how they are grown and processed. Learn more about this popular global beverage.
Bottles of vinegar lined up


Not many foods play the role of both a prized cooking ingredient and household cleaner. Check out this feature on vinegar in its many varieties.
water being poured into a glass


There are many options for what to drink, but water is the best choice for most people who have access to safe drinking water. It is calorie-free and as easy to find as the nearest tap. Learn more about water and health, and fun flavoring ideas to help you hydrate.
Varieties of winter squash at a farm stand

Winter Squash

Along with being uniquely beautiful in a variety of colors and shapes, the firm flesh of winter squash is ideal for soups and other warming dishes.
Cup of yogurt topped with blueberries


Did you know that references to yogurt and health date back to 6000 BCE? Learn about the history and current research surrounding this fermented food.

Check back often as new food features are regularly added. 

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The contents of this website are for educational purposes and are not intended to offer personal medical advice. You should seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The Nutrition Source does not recommend or endorse any products.