With nutritionists and self-confessed health gurus constantly bombarding us with new products to try and with so many options available on the shelves at the grocery store, it’s easy to just opt for the foods that you actually know are good for you.
But with so many choices available, we think it’s a great idea to give new foods and supplements a go, especially ones that can provide you with a whole variety of different health benefits that your current diet isn’t providing. These are beneficial for everyone, whether you are a professional sportsperson or mom or dad at home.
In this article, we will give you a rundown of our favorite food products that have health benefits that you might not know of, many of which you may have in your larder or refrigerator already, and some of them might just surprise you.
Whilst the butter-soaked popcorn that you get at the movie theatre definitely is NOT healthy for you, the plain kind that you pop yourself at home has numerous health benefits and can easily be added to your current diet.
Popcorn loaded with antioxidants, healthy grains, and polyphenols can help prevent degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis, but it is also high in fiber. This makes you feel fuller for longer and also stops you from snacking between meals if you are trying to lose a little bit of excess weight.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar is probably something that you’ve started to hear a lot about recently, and more than likely, is something that you have got in your kitchen or your larder already.
Made from fermented apples, there are many apple cider vinegar benefits that you probably don’t even know about.
Studies have shown that apple cider vinegar can help relieve symptoms of stress, is a great appetite suppressant, and can help you get rid of stubborn fat if you’re trying to lose some weight.
Chocolate (YES! Chocolate)
No, we’re not joking. Chocolate (in moderation, of course) is actually good for you! Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content surprisingly has many health benefits; one of the main ones is your heart health.
Studies have shown that dark chocolate with a high flavanol content may help with vascular (circulatory) protection.
And that’s not all … the cocoa polyphenols in dark chocolate have been shown to promote a positive mood and overall outlook on life.
Dark chocolate can lower cholesterol levels, help prevent memory decline, and reduce the risks of stroke or heart disease. Not only that, but dark chocolate contains more antioxidants than both acai and blueberries!
You’ve probably got this in your food cupboard as it seems it is one of the staples in the US, especially when married with its partner in crime, jelly, in a tasty sandwich.
What you probably don’t know, however, is that peanut butter is packed with proteins and a range of other essential nutrients that may offer you some health-boosting benefits.
It’s packed full of vitamins and minerals, including magnesium, manganese, vitamins B3, B6, and E. Plus, with enough good/healthy fats to sink a small boat, if you’ve not got some stashed away, then peanut butter should certainly be on your next grocery store list.
Alcohol (yes, you read that correctly)
Okay, so before you start trying to get the office water cooler replaced with a keg of beer, let’s look at this realistically. Alcohol can only be considered healthy in small amounts; the more you drink, the hazier everything gets, and the health risks increase.
However, if you are already in pretty good shape, moderate drinking makes you 25% to 40% less likely to have a stroke, hardened arteries, or a heart attack. This may be because, in part, consuming small amounts of alcohol can help to raise your “good” cholesterol (HDL), whereas drinking heavily will, in time, increase the risks of heart disease.
We hope that this article has given you some food for thought and has opened your eyes to foods with hidden health benefits that you probably didn’t know about.
This list isn’t exhaustive, of course. Many other foods can give your vitamin and nutrient intake a boost, including pumpkin, lean beef, avocados, cheese, and red wine – all in moderation!
Whilst we would always recommend a balanced diet if the foods we have mentioned in this article are NOT currently a part of your diet, then what are you waiting for? This is a great opportunity; now you know what to look for, to try something new.