Researchers are constantly reevaluating the foods we eat and determining whether they are good for us. Surprisingly, some foods that have been in the negative column are now listed in the positive one. New research on some old familiar food choices reveals good news.
1. CHOCOLATE: Nutritionists once thought that chocolate tasted so good it had to be bad for you. But dark chocolate with a cocoa content of at least 70 percent is rich in flavonoids, a beneficial compound found in berries, red wine and tea. An ounce of chocolate a day has been found to reduce risks of heart disease and an ounce and a half may help reduce emotional stress.
2. SOY: The word on the street used to be that soy increased your risk of certain cancers. But if you are using sources of soy that are not genetically modified, studies show that the isoflavones and protein in this food provide many benefits: reduction in cancers of the breast, prostate and colon and improvement in heart health. For more on soy and cancer, read here.
3. POTATOES: The old adage was that potatoes are just fattening. But a 2012 study found that purple potatoes helped lower blood pressure in hypertensive and obese persons without causing weight gain. This food is naturally high in fiber and truly contains virtually no fat. Eating potatoes with sour cream and butter adds the calories.
4. COFFEE: The word used to be that drinking coffee harmed your growth and bone density. But studies now show that the more coffee we drink, there are benefits. Regular consumption of this beverage is associated with lowered risk of developing cancers of the mouth, endometrium, prostate and skin. It is also helpful in lowering the risk of getting diabetes and has been associated with a decrease in the development of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
5. NUTS: Everyone said that this food is just plain fattening. Truth to tell–if you sit and snack on large quantities, yes. You are taking in lots of calories. But nuts contain protein and healthy fats, like omega 3 oils. Eaten in moderate quantities they can help fill you up and keep you from overeating. Substituting nuts for chips might help you lose weight. Nuts are also associated with reduced risk of heart attack and stroke.
6. EGGS: We all remember that eggs will raise your cholesterol and thus your risk of heart disease. But eggs are loaded with antioxidants, protein and nutrients that are vital to good everyday health. A 2011 study found that regular eating of eggs may be connected to reduction in the risk of heart disease and cancer because of the high antioxidant content in eggs. Yale University research found that eggs with a heart-health diet do not have a negative effect on cholesterol, weight or endothelial function.
The following lists are probably familiar to you. When shopping for fruits and vegetables, be concerned about pesticide exposure. The dirty dozen are those that have the highest level of pesticide residue. And the clean fifteen have the lowest.
DIRTY DOZEN: apples, strawberries, grapes, blueberries, celery, tomatoes, cucumbers, hot peppers, peaches/nectarines, potatoes, bell peppers, spinach/kale/collard greens, summer squash (zucchini)
CLEAN FIFTEEN: sweet potatoes, sweet peas, pineapple, onions, mushrooms, mangoes, kiwi, grapefruit, eggplant, sweet corn, watermelon, cantaloupe, avocado, cabbage, asparagus
Make good nutrition part of your New Year Resolutions and keep current with research that often brings good news! You can celebrate on New Year’s Day with some dark chocolate, a cup of flavorful coffee, and a meal that contains eggs and lots of fruits and vegetables. Tip: when desiring the dirty dozen–buy organic or wash each item carefully with Veggie Wash. HAPPY NEW YEAR, And GOOD HEALTH to EVERYONE!!
For more foods that are especially good for brain health, read the article here.
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