Who doesn't want to lead a healthy life? There are so many diets and healthy lifestyle tips that keep doing the rounds that we try and modify our routine to lead the best kind of life. Diet, of course, plays a crucial role in our well-being. What we eat and what we choose to avoid affects our health more than we realise it on a day-to-day basis. With all sorts of information available online these days, there are many times we get fooled into believing fad diets, and avoid foods that may in fact be not harmful for health.
Here are some foods which are commonly perceived as unhealthy, but are actually loaded with essential nutrients -
1. Egg Yolk
While we all know that eggs are good for health, many of us eat only the whites and throw away the yolks. This is because of the fear of the saturated fat the yolk contains that is said to increase one's cholesterol levels. However, eating one or two whole eggs daily is not harmful. In fact eggs are rich in several nutrients that 'promote heart health' like they are a rich source of betaine. The yolks are the most concentrated source of choline, a key component of acetylcholine-one of the brain's key neurotransmitters.
Eggs are rich in several nutrients that promote heart health; Image credit: Istock
2. Peanut ButterWho doesn't love peanut butter? But we are all afraid to add it to our regular diet as it is considered unhealthy. Peanut butter in fact contains a substance called p-coumaric acid, which helps in offsetting the damage done to cells associated with cardiovascular diseases. Peanuts are one of the foods highest in niacin, and people who eat foods rich in niacin i.e. Vitamin B3, are less likely to develop memory disorders like Alzheimer's disease. The niacin contained within peanut butter helps in the recovery of cell damage of the brain, which provides protection.
Peanuts are one of the foods highest in niacin or vitamin B3; Image credit: Istock
Coffee intake is shunned upon due to its caffeine content. But this popular beverage is not really bad for health if consumed moderately. Coffee is rich in minerals like magnesium and chromium which help the body use insulin that controls the glucose in our body. As such it can ward off the risk of Type 2 diabetes, according to a research conducted by Harvard scholar, which proved that for each daily cup of coffee taken, risk of diabetes decreases by 9%. A cup of caffeinated coffee may also help small blood vessels work better, warding off cardiovascular disease.
Coffee is rich in minerals like magnesium and chromium
In the olden days, it was a custom to add a little ghee to foods like paratha, roti, dal, stir-fries, etc on a daily basis. It was considered to be one of the most easily digestible fats, and an ingredient that would boost immunity, keep the body warm, aid in digestion, prevent constipation and help in the excretion of toxins from the body. A little ghee in foods is actually much healthier than indulging in treats made in refined oil.
Ghee is considered to be one of the most easily digestible fats
Say potatoes and we immediately picture samosas, French fries, wafers, and other junk foods that are no doubt immensely satisfying to munch on, but are what gives potatoes its bad rep, being associated with obesity. No deep-fried food is good for health, but if you cook potatoes the healthier way, then they can benefit you in many ways. Potato is a carbohydrate-rich, energy-providing food with little fat. Potatoes are particularly high in vitamin C and are a good source of several B vitamins and potassium. The skins provide substantial dietary fiber, and many compounds in potatoes contribute to antioxidant activity.
Potato is a carbohydrate-rich, energy-providing food with little fat; Image credit: Istock
Considered to be a high calorie fruit, people often tend to stay away from bananas. Bananas are in fact loaded with fiber, which is good for the heart. It is loaded with essential vitamins and minerals such as potassium, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and B6. It is also known to aid in digestion and build up metabolism.
Bananas are in fact loaded with fiber, which is good for the heart;Image credit: Istock
So next time you come across these ingredients, don't push them aside thinking that they are unhealthy. The key to following a healthy diet is to always eat in moderation. Every ingredient comes with a host of health benefits. It is up to us how we make the most of it for our own health and well-being.