We all like to eat organic, stay away from carbs, and gorge on veggies when eating healthy, but there are also some surprisingly healthy foods that may have been on your "no touch" list before today. Finding out about some of these surprisingly healthy foods transformed my diet and the guilt I feel about splurging. Finally, I can feel like I am splurging without actually doing it. The only question left is which one to eat first?
Yes, beer is on the top of the list for surprisingly healthy foods because we can all be rather surprised by this together. For so long we heard to stay away from beer because of all the carbs that are bound to bring on bloating and weight gain. Now, researchers in Greece have discovered that beer can actually do the body good. Researchers found that 8 ounces of beer help increase cardiac health because it dilates the arteries surrounding the heart. Unfortunately, they found no increased benefits with more than one glass.
Before you go ordering that extra large, buttery theater popcorn, I should tell you that one is still on the "no touch" list. So sorry. Popcorn that does not have butters, caramel, or extreme flavor powders coating it are the ones we want to eat. Plain popcorn has antioxidants equal to certain fruits and veggies. Antioxidants help our bodies fight free radicals, reduce the risks of cancer, and increase our immune systems.
Thank the good sweet Lord for this one. My slight coffee addiction is now paying off since it is [somewhat] healthy for me! Researchers have found that the caffeine in coffee can increase nervous function and reduce the risks of Parkinson's disease and type 2 diabetes. Coffee also has antioxidants that increase our metabolic productivity and help hydrate our body. The creamers and sugars we add are still on the bad list, but a great sweetening alternative is cinnamon- another great health food!
4. Fatty Fish
Yes, we all know that certain fish in the right quantities is good for us, but did you know the fatty ones make that list as well? Fatty fish are filled with omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids, which help joint lubrication, organ function, and brain function. If you do not like fish, do not fret, you can still get all of these benefits by taking a fish oil multivitamin. The one I take uses omegas from squid, so there is lower environmental impact.
I just made your day, didn't I? Now, you can go out and eat all those little whole fish, eyes and all- you're welcome. On a serious note though, anchovies pack a major punch in the healthy fish category. Like other fatty fish, anchovies are filled with those super good omegas that help our bodies work at their best. Unlike their big fish counterparts, anchovies do not have nearly as much mercury. This means we can eat more of them, get more health benefits, and reduce the amount of pollutants consumed.
Pistachios have been getting a lot of positive publicity lately, and with good reason. These little nuts have less calories than many of their cousins and are filled with nutrients. These little guys are packed with minerals like copper and manganese and are also a great source of vitamin B. They also taste great and are sure to dress up any meal!
There has been quite a debate about the healthiness of eggs, and honestly, for some they are still not good. Eggs are extremely high in cholesterol for their small size. If you have high cholesterol already, stay away. If you do not, enjoy! These guys are high in proteins, unsaturated fats, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and a fantastic amino acid count.
There we are, seven surprisingly healthy foods that we all can enjoy. For me, coffee is the greatest win on this list. What is your favorite surprisingly healthy food?