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Photo: CTCA
Photo: CTCA
Although moderation is key, it is important to note that not all good things are bad for us.

These delicious foods have developed a bad reputation over the years. But science says otherwise. Add these five foods to your daily plate for a boost of health and happiness.

Photo: iStock
Photo: iStock

1. Chocolate

This ‘food of the Gods’ is often demonised for it’s high sugar content and consequent health scares. In it’s closer to ‘pure’ form, chocolate is a good addition to your nutritional platter. Dark chocolate (not the ones loaded with sugar) has an abundance of health benefits. Not only will your friends think you are classy, you will also have better health. Dark chocolate is high in nutrients such as iron, copper and magnesium. Also, chocolate may lower blood pressure and improve heart health. No wonder chocolate is an essential part of Valentine’s Day.

2. Potatoes

Yup. Potatoes. Are. Not. Unhealthy. This versatile vegetable is packed with Vitamin B &C and minerals such as iron, potassium and magnesium. There’s a condition, though. You must keep the skin on to reap the full benefits of potatoes. They may also improve digestive health and combat signs of aging. Potatoes are also quite filling, which means they may help you lose weight by curbing hunger pains and cravings. All in all, potatoes are a great addition to your diet in moderation. Also, they are gluten free. Is there anything the humble potato cannot do?

Photo: CNN
Photo: CNN

3. Coffee

Mainly seen as a dose of caffeine, coffee is a much more complex food. Some studies argue that decaf and caffeinated coffee may have the same health effects and suggest that it’s not the caffeine that is responsible for most of coffee's health benefits. Coffee contains magnesium and potassium, which helps the human body use insulin, regulating blood sugar levels and reducing your craving for sugary treats and snacks. This obviously means that adding sugar to your coffee is what turns this super-food against you. Coffee is also packed with antioxidants.

4. Corn

Boiled, roasted, grilled, popped or pan-roasted Pakistani ‘makai’ style, corn is a healthy (and cheap) choice to make as a snack or a side. It can be a low calorie option too, if you leave the butter out of it. Which is why our desi style, grilled or salty pan roasted corn is a great option to your weight loss plan. Although it is primarily carb, a 100 gm of corn weighs in at only 96 calories. It is also loaded with essential fibers, niacin, potassium and magnesium.

Photo: Healthline
Photo: Healthline

5. Coconut Oil

Many of us have used coconut oil as part of our hair care and even skin care regime. But we have usually steered away from consuming it as food. Commonly used in South India and Sri Lanka as a cooking medium, the rest of the world is now also waking up to its benefits. Research suggests that coconut oil has the ability to boost HDL cholesterol — the good cholesterol — and also contains antioxidants. Taking a spoonful of extra virgin coconut oil daily has also shown improvement in brain function and memory for the elderly.

While nature intended for us to reap the benefits of all her bounties, we often forget that moderation is key. While we do not recommend deep frying your potatoes in coconut oil and then coating them in dark chocolate, we do suggest consuming all the good things as nature intended.

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