Disclaimer: I’m not a dietitian or a doctor, and I don’t play either on TV. I also didn’t stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night, but that’s another blog.
Recently, I read a health article that highlighted five foods you should eat every day. Being the article it was, the foods obviously had some health benefit. The piece mentioned the benefits and included ways you could add the foods into your meals.
Spinach made the list (shocker there, I know). I learned that this leafy heavy weight is a rich source of plant-based omega-3s and folate, which can help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. The article also indicated that eating spinach can increase sexual arousal and performance (I think they just put that in there because it was a men’s magazine).
I’m all for eating foods to fuel your body and keep you healthy. However, I think I like my list better. Here goes:
1. Dark chocolate: It’s a great way to get your “sweet tooth” fix for the day. Plus, you don’t have to feel guilty because it’s good for you. Chocolate is made from plants, so it contains many of the health benefits of dark vegetables. These benefits are from flavonoids, which act as antioxidants. Flavonoids can help relax blood pressure, and antioxidants protect your body from aging. Heck, dark chocolate should be on this list twice!
2. Popcorn: I don’t mean butter-dripping, salt-covered movie popcorn (that’s on my once a month list). Good old fashioned, whole kernels popped on the stove with a little canola oil is what I’m talking about. It’s actually a whole-grain snack, and it provides a full complement of nutrition benefits, including dietary fiber, protein and B vitamins.
3. Tablespoon of Peanut Butter: When I’m hungry, but too lazy to fix a snack, this is perfect. It also provides protein, vitamins B3 and E, magnesium, folate, dietary fiber, arginine, and high levels of the antioxidant p-coumaric acid.
4. Ice cream: No health benefits I can think of. I just like it and could eat it every day.
5. Red Wine: It may or may not reduce your risk of a heart attack. Some studies even show that it can increase your HDL (good cholesterol) and decrease your LDL (bad cholesterol). I just think it’s a perfect way to unwind after a hectic (or not so hectic) day. Bubble bath optional.