Five Foods You Didn’t Know Were Good for You

When most people think of healthy foods, fruits and vegetables are always popular choices, and whole grain breads have gained popularity, too. However, people do not recognize many other foods for their health benefits. In fact, some foods have reputations for being unhealthy but carry more benefits than you probably thought possible.

Chocolate

Chocolate has a reputation as a bad food. It’s said to cause weight gain, pimples, and other problems. However, scientists and doctors have recently found that chocolate is an antioxidant. It also contains anti-inflammatory compounds that promote heart health. Dark chocolate is the best choice if you want to reap these benefits. Have one or two 1-ounce squares a day or indulge in a larger dark chocolate dessert once or twice a week.

Popcorn

Popcorn can be unhealthy when you load it with salt and butter, but whole grain varieties are actually beneficial. Like chocolate, popcorn contains antioxidants, which can help remove toxins from your body. Air-popped varieties are usually low-calorie and go well in healthy snack mixes containing dried fruit or pretzels.

Beer

Recent studies indicate drinking beer can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke by about 30 percent. This is largely because beer contains plenty of vitamin B6, which promotes physical and emotional health. However, don’t overindulge; a pint a day is plenty and less may be ideal, depending on your body type.

Purple Potatoes

Most doctors agree the more color you have on your plate, the healthier your meals will be. With purple potatoes, you can reap health benefits without sacrificing the flavor of a favorite starch. Purple potatoes have all the basic nutritional components of their brown cousins, plus a few unusual ones. They help with hypertension and certain heart problems. Regularly eating purple potatoes may also boost your immune system.

Garlic

Garlic does much more than keep vampires away; it can help you stay healthy, too. Regularly eating garlic may help clear your sinuses and alleviate symptoms of allergies and other nasal conditions. Like the other foods on this list, it’s also high in antioxidants. Finally, garlic may alleviate sore throats and other respiratory symptoms. For optimum health benefits, try black garlic; it’s a bit pricier than white, but worth the cost.

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