Contrary to popular belief, there are many foods out there that are equally delicious as they are healthy. In fact, most of these “reward” snacks get a bad reputation and they don’t necessarily deserve it. We aren’t suggesting that after reading this quickie list you stock up on the items that, as it turns out, do have some fairly significant health benefits. But, it’s certainly okay to keep a stash of them in your pantry to spice up your life (as well as your food!) for when you need to take a break from those mundane vegetables and whole wheat bread.
Don’t go to the movies and order a batch of super-soaked butter popcorn but next time you’re strolling down the snack aisle at the grocery store, grab some microwavable popcorn to stash in the kitchen. Not only is popcorn loaded with antioxidants, it’s made from 100% whole grain which makes it the perfect low-calorie snack. 1 cup is about 100 calories.
Peanut butter is a strange juxtaposition in the world health foods. While it’s true that the delicious spread is high in fat, it comes along with some pretty substantial health benefits that can increase your protein intake. Choose the right peanut butter next time you’re grocery shopping (anything organic or natural) and you’ll find that indulging in a spoonful here and there will not indulge a pesky sweet tooth, but you’ll feel satiated and have more control over your weight. Peanut butter will also give your body essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin E, niacin, folic acid, and magnesium.
As the major healthy myth goes – egg yolks are high in cholesterol and therefore, bad for your heart in the long run. In actuality, the cause of cardiovascular problems is saturated fat, not high cholesterol. Egg yolks are sublimely good for you for a number of reasons; not only are they riddled with vitamin D, phosphorous, riboflavin, choline, and pack 3 grams of protein. On the even brighter side, egg yolk has also proven to increase serotonin release in the brain and improve overall neurological function.
Just because they’re sweet, that doesn’t mean they aren’t good for you. Regardless of the high fiber content (which is always great for a colonic cleanse), sweet potatoes are also loaded with vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, and vitamin B6. A great recipe that’s healthy and tasty at the same time is sweet mashed potatoes – paleo style. Instead of using whole milk to mix the softened potatoes, opt for almond milk instead.
Black coffee is good for the soul, literally. It’s known to reverse the physical signs of aging (as long as you don’t consume more than 4 cups a day) and stimulates thermogenesis, which boosts metabolism as a result. Black coffee has also been proven to improve cardiovascular health and increases the stamina of runners and athletes. It’s you prefer milk with your morning coffee, replace whole with almond or skim and you’re good to go.
If you’re in the business of weight loss or management, white rice is an essential staple for any diet. White rice takes a bit longer to digest than the favorable brown but the nutrients you receive in return are worth the wait. Refined white rice, these days, now includes more substantial portions protein, thiamine, calcium, fiber, and potassium. Not to mention, you’re less likely to experience problems with your weight if you include it in your diet by moderation.