14 Whole Foods That Start With H

Looking for an extensive list of whole foods that start with the letter H? 

Look no further, we’ve got you covered!

Browse this list of 14 natural foods that start with H to get some new cooking inspiration, learn more about where each food comes from, and understand the health benefits of each food.

Let’s dive in!

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Bowl of fresh orange habanero peppers

1. Habanero Pepper

The habanero is a bright orange (or sometimes red) chili pepper that originated in the Amazon region of South America. 

It has a citrusy, smoky flavor and was once considered the world’s hottest chili pepper, measuring 100,000-350,000 SHU on the Scoville scale (1). 

Consider wearing gloves while chopping habaneros. Capsaicin, the chemical responsible for their spiciness, can also cause a burning sensation that lingers for hours on the skin.

Look for fresh habaneros in the produce section at supermarkets and specialty stores, or purchase the dried peppers online.

Habanero peppers can be added to soups, chilis, and other savory dishes, or used to make hot sauce and salsa.

Fresh haddock fillets on a large white platter.

2. Haddock

Haddock is a type of saltwater fish found in the Atlantic ocean, and a member of the cod family (2). 

It has lean, white flesh that is similar to cod but with a slightly more tender texture and fishier flavor.

A 3-ounce serving of haddock provides nearly 100% of the Daily Value for vitamin D, a nutrient that helps maintain strong bones and lowers inflammation in the body (3, 4, 5).

You may be able to find fresh haddock if you live near the coasts. Otherwise, frozen haddock is available at most supermarkets.

Haddock is a versatile fish and can be prepared using almost any method. It is often served breaded and baked with a drizzle of lemon butter on top.

Cross section of fresh halibut fillet

3. Halibut

Halibut is a large type of flatfish, a family of fish known for having a flat body with both eyes on one side of the head.

Its firm, white flesh has a mild, slightly sweet flavor that’s similar to tilapia and pairs well with most seasonings.

A single serving (3 ounces) of halibut provides 449 mg (10% DV) of potassium, 47 mcg (85% DV) of selenium, 6.7 mg (42% DV) of niacin, and 1.08 mcg (45% DV) of vitamin B12 (4, 6).

Halibut can be purchased frozen at most supermarkets and may be available fresh depending on your location.

It holds up well to most cooking methods, but is often grilled and served with steamed or roasted vegetables and grains or pasta.

Brown aper bag with hazelnuts spilling out on wooden background

4. Hazelnuts

Hazelnuts (also called filberts) are the nuts of the hazel tree, which is mainly grown in Turkey and Italy (7).

They are rich and buttery with an earthy, nutty flavor that pairs well with chocolate and other desserts.

Their reddish-brown skin has a very bitter flavor. To remove the skin, simply roast the nuts for 10-15 minutes at 350°F, then rub them with a dish towel until the skin flakes off.

Hazelnuts are high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and eating them regularly may lower cardiovascular disease risk by improving cholesterol levels (8, 9).

Whole hazelnuts can be difficult to find, but check for them in the bulk section at health food stores. Most grocery stores carry chocolate hazelnut spread (brand name Nutella).

Hazelnuts are often used in desserts like chocolate tarts and truffles, but they can also be a delicious topping for savory dishes such as roasted meats.

Platter of raw chicken hearts

5. Heart

The heart is the muscle that pumps blood throughout the body, but it also happens to be a versatile, nutritious cut of meat.

It is typically a dark red color and has a rich, gamey flavor that’s a bit milder than other organ meats (liver, kidneys, etc.).

Heart is a very lean, nutrient-dense meat. Just one ounce of cooked beef heart provides 128% of the daily requirement for vitamin B12, along with lots of B vitamins and minerals (10).

Most of the heart available in butcher shops and grocery stores comes from cows (beef heart) or chickens.

Try adding ground heart to the ground beef used in chilis, burgers, and meatballs. This can be a great way to boost the nutrient content of these foods.

Canned hearts of palm drained and served on a platter

6. Heart of Palm

Hearts of palm are the edible inner portions of the Cabbage Palm, the official state tree of Florida (11). They have a mild flavor, often compared to white asparagus or artichoke hearts, and a tender texture.

They are higher in iron than most vegetables, with 4.6 mg (26% DV) in each one-cup serving (4, 12).

Fresh hearts of palm are expensive and difficult to find, but they are available canned or brined at most grocery stores.

They can be sliced and thrown into a salad, baked with olive oil and garlic, or pureed and mixed with sour cream and cheese for a creamy dip.

Two whole herring fish on a wooden background sprinkled with coarse sea salt and peppercorns

7. Herring

Herring are a small, oily fish found mainly in the Atlantic and Pacific oceans (13, 14).

They taste similar to sardines but milder, and have a soft, flaky texture. Their low mercury content makes them a great choice for pregnant women and children (15).

Regularly eating herring and other oily fish lowers triglyceride levels and may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease due to their high omega-3 fatty acid content (16, 17, 18, 19).

At the grocery store, you’ll find a variety of herring options — canned, smoked, pickled, fresh, or frozen. 

Smoked or pickled herring can be paired with cream cheese and toast for a convenient, nutrient-rich snack. 

Hijiki seaweed on a metal tray

8. Hijiki

Hijiki (also called hiziki) is a type of seaweed that grows along the coastlines of Asia and is very popular in Japanese cuisine.

After harvesting, it is dried into thin, black strands that take on a noodle-like appearance when reconstituted before cooking. It has an earthy, mushroom-like flavor.

Unfortunately, some studies have found that hijiki contains much higher levels of arsenic (a common contaminant) than other seaweeds, so its sale has been restricted in some countries (19, 20).

The best place to look for dried hijiki is in Asian supermarkets, but it can also be purchased online.

In Japan, hijiki is most commonly used to make hijiki no nimono, a side dish that also includes carrots, edamame, and fried tofu along with a soy-based dressing.

Two chunks of honeycomb on a white background

9. Honey

Honey is a sweet, amber-colored liquid produced by honeybees from the nectar of various types of flowers.

There are many different varieties of honey, typically named based on the type of flower nectar (clover, orange blossom, etc.), which makes a big impact on the flavor and color.

Although it is primarily made up of sugar and water, honey contains about 200 compounds, including vitamins, minerals, and polyphenol antioxidants (21, 22).

Liquid honey has been removed from the comb (and sometimes pasteurized to extend the shelf life), while comb honey is cut directly from the beehive and still includes the chewy, edible comb.

Another popular product is whipped honey — a form of crystallized honey that has been processed to give it a smooth, spreadable consistency.

You’ll easily find clover honey at the grocery store, but consider checking your local farmers’ market for unique varieties.

Add honey to salad dressings and marinades, drizzle over cheese and fruit, or use as a flavorful sweetener in beverages and baked goods.

Fresh honeydew melon cut in half on a white background

10. Honeydew melon

Honeydew melon is a fruit belonging to the species Cucumis melo, which includes other melons, like cantaloupe.

It has a smooth, milky white (or sometimes yellow) rind with pastel green flesh that tastes similar to cantaloupe, but sweeter and with a hint of honey flavor.

One cup (155 grams) of honeydew melon has 28 mg (31% DV) of vitamin C and 353 mg (8% DV), along with smaller amounts of vitamin K and folate (4, 23).

Honeydew is available year-round at most supermarkets, but their peak season is between June and October.

This sweet, juicy fruit is perfect for making sorbets, smoothies, and other refreshing summer beverages, but it’s also a welcome addition to salads and salsas.

Fresh hops growing on a hop plant

11. Hops

Hops are the green, cone-shaped flowers of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus) (24).

They are typically used to make beer, imparting a unique, bitter flavor that helps balance the sweetness of malt (a grain product used in brewing).

Hops are responsible for 70-80% of the polyphenols (mainly flavonoids) found in beer (25). These compounds lower inflammation in the body and may reduce the risk of heart disease (26).

Hop shoots — the tender, young shoots of the hop vine — are sometimes used as a vegetable. They have a flavor similar to asparagus or green beans.

You can buy dried hops online, often in the form of pellets made up of finely powdered hop flowers, which are ideal for brewing.

Fresh hops aren’t available at most grocery stores, so some people choose to grow their own. 

Fresh horseradish root and grated horseradish root on a wooden background

12. Horseradish

Horseradish is a long, white root vegetable, known for its strong, spicy taste that can bring tears to the eyes.

It is believed to have originated in Eastern Europe but is a popular ingredient in dishes throughout the world (27). Horseradish gets its pungent flavor from glucosinolates — sulfur-containing compounds that may protect against cancer and heart disease (28, 29).

Look for fresh, whole horseradish in the produce section at grocery stores and Asian food markets. Another option is to purchase prepared horseradish or horseradish sauce. 

Prepared horseradish is a condiment consisting of grated horseradish, vinegar, salt, and sugar. Horseradish sauce is made by adding sour cream or mayonnaise to prepared horseradish.

Use horseradish for a spicy kick in deviled eggs, potato salad, and creamy soups. It also pairs well with red meats like steak and pork tenderloin.

Grey blue hubbard squash on white background

13. Hubbard squash

Hubbard squash is a large winter squash with bumpy skin that ranges in color from dark green or gray-blue to bright orange.

Its yellow-orange flesh is rich, sweet, and buttery — like a cross between sweet potato and pumpkin — but can sometimes have a more dry, mealy texture than other squash varieties.

One cup (205 grams) of cooked hubbard squash provides a whopping 10 grams (36% DV) of fiber and 687 mcg (76% DV) of vitamin A (4, 30).

They are in season during the fall and winter months, where they can often be found at grocery stores and farmers’ markets.

You can substitute hubbard squash for almost all other varieties of winter squash. It can be steamed, baked, or boiled and served as a side dish or added to soups and pastas.

Handful of fresh huckleberries

14. Huckleberries

Huckleberry is the common name for the berries of several plant species that grow throughout North America.

They look very similar to blueberries but have 10 small, hard seeds in the center and tend to be less sweet. 

Similar to other berries, they are very high in anthocyanins, a group of plant pigments that combat oxidative stress and may reduce the risk of many chronic diseases (31, 32, 33).

Outside of foraging, huckleberries can be difficult to find. Check for fresh berries at farmers markets or purchase frozen and dried options online.

They can be used in baked goods like berry crisp and cobbler, or processed into jams, syrups, and sauces.

Final Thoughts

From habanero peppers to huckleberries, there are plenty of delicious foods that start with the letter H.

We hope this list has inspired you to be adventurous and try some new foods, or to gain a new appreciation for some of the foods you already eat every day. 

Comment below to let us know which of these foods are your favorites, and how you use them in the kitchen!

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