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Healthy Lifestyle

Surprise! These 4 Foods are Actually Healthy

Eating a variety of foods diet ensures we get the nutrients needed for good health. However, there may be foods you thought were unhealthy, but surprisingly are good for you.

A healthy eating plan 

Check out this list of surprisingly healthy foods that are rich in nutrients and, YES, can be an important part of your healthy eating plan:

Coffee

Do you love coffee, but feel guilty when you pour a second cup? Don’t be, because drinking coffee (in moderation) may reduce your risk of some chronic diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and some cancers. Coffee contains antioxidants thought to reduce free radicals that can damage cells in our body. With only two calories per cup (without added sugar or creamers), coffee is a guilt-free hot beverage to boost your health. But be warned, more necessarily isn’t any better. There is still some controversy on the high amount of coffee and the risk of high blood pressure.

Potatoes 

Think potatoes are full of calories and carbohydrates? Think again! A medium-sized potato is only 110 calories (without the toppings), sodium-free, fat-free and cholesterol-free. Potatoes are also a great source of potassium (620 mg) which may improve your blood pressure. In fact, potatoes have more potassium than a banana. If you need more fiber, eat the skin of your baked potatoes, which will give you an additional two grams of fiber per potato. Also, potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin C, Vitamin B6 and iron. So don’t feel guilty when eating a potato with your meal, just keep your portion sizes in check and add reduced-fat sour cream or low-fat plain yogurt instead of the high-fat toppings (regular sour cream, butter, margarine, bacon or cheese).

Mushrooms

Have you paid much attention to those mushrooms on your pizza or in your spaghetti sauce? Well, these small jewels are a terrific source of Vitamin D, which is an essential nutrient that most of us need more of. Our main source of Vitamin D is from sunlight, which can be limited during the winter months. Mushrooms also have Vitamin B6 and Riboflavin which may boost your immune system and plays a role in building new red blood cells.

Spices and herbs

Adding spices and fresh herbs is a great way to enhance the flavors of your foods without adding a lot of sodium or sugar. But did you know you are adding much more than flavor to your foods? Many spices and herbs have polyphenols and antioxidants, which can reduce your risk of heart disease. These include cinnamon, rosemary, thyme, basil, oregano, garlic, turmeric and chili peppers. Besides adding flavor to your foods, using spices and herbs makes foods tastier and can be more satisfying and you may be less likely to overeat. So put down that salt shaker and get those spices and herbs out for fresh and flavorful meals.

 

About the Author

Martha Nepper, PhD, RDN, LMNT, CDE, is passionate about healthy eating and nutrition. Her favorite part of being a registered dietitian nutritionist is seeing someone become healthier through better nutrition and adding more activity in their lives.

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