5 Foods That Are Surprisingly Good For You

Is that bowl of guacamole staring you down, begging for you to dig in?  Well, go ahead! Because guess what, it’s good for you!  Here are five good-for-you foods that you thought were off limits that you can now enjoy guilt-free.

 

  1. Avocado: Yes, they are high in fat, but it’s a heart-healthy fat called monounsaturated fat that contains compounds believed to help prevent cancer.  Avocados are also loaded with healthy antioxidants such as lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin E.  Another added benefit is that they help absorb phytochemicals from other foods.  For instance, the lycopene in tomatoes or the beta-carotene in carrots is better absorbed when digested with avocados.  It is believed that the fat content of avocados helps the body absorb these antioxidants.
  2. Coffee: Your morning cup of Joe does more than wake you up!  Based on recent studies, coffee may help improve memory in older adults, increase alertness, and improve performance on daily tasks.  It has also been linked to lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes.
  3. Mushrooms: A common misconception with mushrooms is that they have little nutritional value.  This is very much not the case.  Mushrooms contain compounds that may boost immune function and suppress breast and prostate cancers by decreasing tumor size.  They are also extremely rich in potassium which lowers blood pressure.  In fact, one medium portabella mushroom or five button mushrooms have as much potassium as one orange.
  4. Peanut Butter: This yummy spread isn’t just for kids!  Studies show that consuming peanut butter or peanuts can lower the risk for coronary heart disease.  It’s also been linked to lower total cholesterol, lower LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) and lower triglycerides, all of which will contribute to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease.  Peanut butter makes for a great breakfast, snack, or lunch as it’s filled with protein and will suppress hunger for longer periods of time.
  5. Eggs: It seems as if eggs are always questionable as a healthy food source, but recent studies show that the benefits far outweigh the bad.  Eggs are rich in choline, a nutrient critical to brain function (now we know why it’s a perfect breakfast food).  They also contain lutein and zeazanthin, healthy antioxidants that help prevent macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness).  They contain the highest-quality protein of any food and are loaded with tons of vital nutrients including folate, riboflavin, selenium, and B12.  Plus, they are only 75 calories and very inexpensive!