5 Foods You Never Knew Were Good For You
If you are trying to eat healthy or stick to a certain diet in order to lose fat, weight, or increase your performance and enhance your running, you are probably consuming the old stand-by “healthy” food. Your diet probably consists of a balanced amount of fats, carbs, and protein, with plenty of vitamins and minerals. Your meals probably cycle between foods like Greek yogurt, almond milk, oatmeal, nut butter, fruits and vegetables, lean meats and fish, quinoa or brown rice, and protein bars and powders thrown in when you are running low on time. And chances are, you have probably cut out a lot of those foods the diet industry has labeled as “cheats” or “indulgences,” thinking that will help you reach your goals. But avoiding our favorite foods is unhealthy for a whole other list of reasons! Fortunately, you do not have to cut out all the foods you love. In fact, eating them in moderation – just like ALL foods, including “healthy” foods,- will actually benefit you!
1. Whole Milk
Whole dairy milk gets a bad rap. Not only have leaders in the diet and fitness industry recently taken to bashing milk from animals and, instead, touted the benefits of drinking almond, cashew, or other nut milks, but whole milk in particular gets shunned because of its fat content. However, whole milk is not just a good choice for children in need of Vitamin D and calcium to grow strong bones. Adults, too, need these vitamins and nutrients to stay healthy and avoid osteoporosis. When compared to other milks (i.e. skim, 1 percent, etc), whole milk does not actually contain THAT many more calories. In reality,a cup of whole milk only has about 150 calories.
And if you are one of the many who are afraid of fat, do not be! As a macronutrient, fat is absolutely necessary in our daily brain and body functioning, and plays a crucial role in many of the body’s systems. But all that aside, fat helps keep you full. So a cup of whole milk (with 8 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein per cup) poured over your morning bowl of cereal will really help satiate you throughout the morning!
Chocolate lovers, rejoice! If you have a sweet tooth but have been trying to watch your waistline or train for a big race, then chances are you have tried to turn down indulgent desserts loaded with chocolate.
And we are not saying that daily consumption of rich milk chocolate is a good idea necessarily, but a daily serving of deep, dark chocolate with at least 70 percent cocoa content is chock full of antioxidants, which have been linked to helping your body fight free radicals (which may help fend your body from carcinogenic cells from forming) as well as linked to increased heart health. Time to let go of the food guilt and enjoy that candy bowl!
Not only does a glass of red wine pair terrifically with a piece of the above dark chocolate, but it offers similar health benefits. A glass of wine is rich in antioxidants called polyphenols, and has been linked to heart health. Specifically, drinking red wine has been linked to helping prevent coronary heart disease, which is what typically leads to heart attacks.
Red wine has also been linked to helping increase good cholesterol levels (HDLs) and reduce bad cholesterol (LDLs). So when you have had a rough day, are eating a steak dinner, or hey just because it is Tuesday, do not be afraid to wind the evening down with a glass of red wine.
4. Red Meat
Speaking of a glass of wine with your steak dinner, that eight ounce filet is also a healthy option that you probably have subconsciously written off as an (expensive) indulgence. First off, if you are a runner or a female (and, well, all humans really), you need to make sure to pump yourself with iron, a vital nutrient for keeping your hemoglobin levels high and for carrying oxygen to your muscles when you are exercising. (Not to mention, it is also an excellent source of other vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin B and zinc).
Plus, red meat is loaded with protein which means just a little bit goes a long way in helping you stay full and satiated, and contributes to muscle recovery and growth after a tough workout.
So perhaps the sugary, marshmallowy, carby cereal favorites of our childhoods should only be eaten sparingly on occasion, but there are plenty of dry cereals on the market that are fortified with one hundred percent of our daily necessary vitamins and minerals. A quick check of one of these cereal labels will make it clear that most actually contain a long list of key nutrients.
Most cereals range from 100 to 200 calories per serving, which is not bad at all- especially when they are packed with your daily dose of B Vitamins, Iron, Zinc, Magnesium, and there are even some options full of protein to help keep you full until lunch. So grab the (whole) milk and pour yourself a bowl tomorrow morning!