Health consciousness is a prominent feature of the 21st century. In the past decade, great emphasis has been laid on what to eat; more so on what not to eat. A whole gamut of diets has emerged, with people constantly trying to strike a balance between a perfect figure and a healthy lifestyle. Dietitians belonging to various schools of thought and swearing by certain diets for weight loss, for perfect skin and hair and for a healthy heart have created a skewed notion of healthy and unhealthy food. As a result, we now have jumbled up diets that have sacrificed many essential foods at the altar of ‘dieting’, a term that has acquired a negative connotation in the bargain. Here are some foods that you thought were bad for you but actually aren’t.
Chocolate is probably the most notorious foodstuff in weight loss and skin-related diets, probably because chocolate is widely used in desserts such as cakes, ice-creams and puddings which contain large amounts of sugar, butter and other saturated fats. However, dark chocolate in small quantities is actually instrumental in maintaining cardiovascular activity. Chocolate reduces the risk of Coronary Heart Disease (CHD), thus maintaining cholesterol and making heart strokes less likely to occur. Dark chocolate also contains antioxidants that decelerate the aging process and reduce the risk of cancer. Chocolate is also believed to release serotonins in the blood which uplift the mood. Besides, dark chocolate contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals such as potassium and iron.
With stress levels running high and sleep-cycles being disturbed left, right and center, most people require a regular dose of coffee to kick-start the day. Whereas excess consumption of coffee is highly deteriorating to the brain tissue, a moderate consumption of coffee is miraculous for the heart, reducing the risk of heart failure by over 10.9%. According to the Harvard Health Letter (2012 issue), a research conducted in 2011 showed that the consumption of coffee dramatically reduced the probability of clinical depression in adult women and of prostate cancer in adult men. Studies are being conducted to also explore the possible effects of coffee against Parkinson’s disease and Type 2 Diabetes.