For most of us, there are a handful of foods that always tend to appear on our grocery list. Those everyday foods that are a staple in a lot of our recipes and are a regular part of our diets.
Wouldn’t it be great if the foods we eat everyday happened to be packed with good stuff that keeps our whole family healthy?
Let’s take a look at some everyday foods with surprising health benefits.
#1 – Celery
Celery is one of those “love it or hate it” kind of vegetables.
Celery is incredibly versatile. It is probably best known for being one of the holy trinity of soup and stew vegetables. Along with carrot and onion, celery makes the base of most delicious crock pot meals.
Celery can also be eaten raw. It offers a great crunch when added to salads and is a fond favorite of many a dieter. One cannot forget that it also makes a great addition to any bloody Mary!
The good news is that eating celery regularly can help control blood pressure, it can also banish the burn of indigestion.
#2 – Mushrooms
Personally, I’m a big fan of the humble mushroom. This little fungus adds a delicious flavor to any meal and a meaty texture to vegetarian dishes.
A surprising health benefit of many modern mushrooms is that some are packed with vitamin D.
Many growers actually give their mushrooms regular short bursts of UV light in order to dramatically increase their levels of vitamin D. Some even provide 100% of the recommended daily amount.
Check the packaging label next time you’re in the grocery store to see if your mushrooms are a powerhouse for the sunshine vitamin!
#3 – Tomatoes
The little red fruit that we love in our salads does more than give Italian sauce its incredible flavor.
They also contain an antioxidant called lycopene. This free radical-fighting good guy gives tomatoes their red color (also watermelons and red grapefruits).
Recent research has found that lycopene can significantly lower your risk of stroke, one of the leading causes of death worldwide (source).
If you’re worried about pesticides, try organic tomatoes and remember to always wash your produce.
#4 – Almonds
Nuts sometimes get a bad rap and are considered a guaranteed weight gainer.
However, studies have shown that almonds can help to ease hunger pangs without making you pack on the pounds.
The key is to eat them in moderation, aiming for no more than 250 calories worth per day.
Research has also shown that eating almonds can help to lower LDL (the bad) cholesterol (source).
#5 – Raisins
Raisins, those sweet, dried fruits make an epic snack option.
Research has shown that eating raisins significantly lowers blood pressure (source). This is due to the potassium, fiber and phytonutrient content.
Hypertension (high blood pressure) is a leading cause of cardiovascular disease (heart attack and stroke) which kills more people throughout the world each year than anything else according to the World Health Organization. Reaching for a handful of raisins instead of the typical fat- and salt-ladened snack is a great way to keep your heart healthy.
#6 – Cheese
This will come as welcome news for the cheese lovers out there. Regardless of whether you prefer it melted on pizza, in a sandwich or as a simple cube, it turns out cheese is especially good for your pearly whites.
We all know dental health is important, after all, a brilliant smile makes a great first impression.
Cheese can prevent the loss of minerals from your teeth, protect them from decay as well as rebuild enamel.
#7 – Apples
They weren’t wrong when they said: “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.”
Apples are not only delicious hot or cold, raw or cooked, but they offer some surprising health benefits for your heart.
The polyphenols (an antioxidant) found in apples offer a protective effect and can lower oxidized LDL (low-density lipoprotein), which can cause the hardening of arteries.
Just like tomatoes, washed, organic varieties are the best choice.
#8 – Popcorn
Who’d have thought popcorn had any health benefits? Surprising right?
Well you may be shocked to learn that gram for gram, popcorn (especially the hulls that get stuck in your teeth) has more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables!
Of course, smothering your favorite movie time snack with butter and salt won’t do your health any favors, but overall, it’s a great way to protect your body against damage caused by harmful free radicals.
Just remember to have some toothpicks nearby!