Often at the start of the year we all start to focus on “new year, new me”. This often involves copious amounts of exercise as well as an overhaul in our diet. And while we may have indulged over the festive period, it may surprise you to know that you don’t have to give up everything you love to get fitter and healthier. There are a number of foods out there that you might think are bad for you but that actually have surprising health benefits. Here’s 5 of them…
If you’re putting yourself on a low or no carb diet, starch-filled potatoes are often see as a big fat no. However, this humble vegetable is filled to the brim with heart-healthy nutrients including potassium, vitamin C and vitamin B6. Prefer them with the skin off? Next time you pull the peeler out of the drawer think again, as potato skins contain a flavonoid called quercetin, which boasts some serious anti-inflammatory properties!
No we’re not joking. Wrap your lips around a square of rich, dark chocolate and prepare to enjoy some seriously delicious health benefits! Whether you’re biting a chunk of a bar or indulging in moreish Easter eggs, dark chocolate helps to lower cholesterol levels, reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke, and even helps to prevent a decline in memory! Make sure you’re eating pure dark chocolate though.
It might make your breath smell delightful afterwards, but garlic has a high level of nutrients despite its small size. It boasts manganese, vitamin C and selenium. It’s also known to reduce inflammation, cholesterol, lower blood pressure and even ease cold and flu symptoms! Pretty powerful stuff.
We’re not talking about the stuff you get in the cinema that’s drenched in butter and other toppings, we’re talking about plain popcorn. And while it might be pretty dull in flavour, it’s actually loaded with healthy whole grains, fibre and antioxidants. Your favourite cinema treat also contains high levels of polyphenols which can help to fight against degenerative diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even osteoporosis.
Everyone’s favourite brunch addition just got even more impressive. Although they’re high in fat, they’re high in the good, heart-healthy kind of fat. Avocados contain high-density lipoproteins which can clear the bloodstream of low-density lipoproteins (otherwise known as the “bad” fat), and in turn, help to lower cholesterol. So instead of avoiding this high-fat food, don’t forget to add it to the top of your poached eggs on toast.