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10 Common Foods in Your Diet that Are Making You Healthy

10 Common Foods in Your Diet that Are Making You Healthy

We’ve all heard the nutritional consultants, dietitians and food gurus who reprimand us about what not to eat – giving us warnings and statistics about the bad consequences of poor dietary choices. However, there are some common foods we eat every day that studies show provide great health benefits. While to the untrained eye our food is just, well…food, below I’ve listed 10 common foods found in your diet that are actually making you healthy.

1. Coffee

The caffeine in found in coffee can help aid physical performance, fat loss and mental alertness. However, what many people don’t know, is that coffee contains essential nutrients for human health, as well as antioxidants that have been shown to prevent certain types of cancer and disease.

It’s been recommended to drink five cups of coffee daily to receive these benefits. Anything more than five could be counterproductive, as too much caffeine has been shown to increase levels of anxiety and stress.

By choosing a quality brand, and perhaps leaving out the sugar, you could be receiving more than a pick-me-up for the morning – you’ll also receive a range of benefits that will aid your health down the line.

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2. Chocolate 

Normally it’s dark chocolate that gets a lot of attention for its antioxidants and health benefits. However, studies show that eating regular chocolate can bring us some good too. Chocolate releases the chemical serotonin in the brain, making us feel happy and also improving our stress levels.

Whilst dark chocolate seems to be a more sensible choice than your average chocolate brand, as long as you have a balanced diet in check then having a bit of chocolate from time to time, no matter the variety, is actually a good thing!

3. Peanut Butter

peanut-butter

    Peanut butter is a great source of vitamin E, which is good for the skin and helps reduce damage from high cholesterol. Peanut butter has also shown to be a great food supplement for women during and after pregnancy, as vitamin E is very important during the early stages of life.

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    Of course, choosing an organic brand of peanut butter is ideal to get the most benefits, as cheap supermarket brands contain high amounts of sugar, salt and vegetable oil. So if you – like many others – suffer with a mild peanut butter addiction, studies show it’s not all that bad.

    4. Eggs

    Eggs have been labeled as a superfood in recent years, as they contain essential vitamins, minerals, and protein and are a source of good fats for the body. Eggs have also become a staple food in some of the best fat-loss diets around.

    Having eggs in our diets is by no means a bad thing. Eggs got a bad reputation in the past because of high cholesterol concerns; however, further research has shown this to be a fallacy and that we can enjoy eggs as part of a healthy diet.

    5. Red Wine

    Red wine is becoming widely known for its various health benefits. This is chiefly because of the antioxidants it contains, which have been shown to prevent certain types of cancers and to increase longevity. In addition, red wine is a preferable choice for dieters because of its low sugar content. And whilst not wanting to encourage you to drink more alcohol, the studies on red wine are still very promising – you could be better off drinking one glass a day than none at all.

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    6. Curry

    Turmeric is a principal spice ingredient in most curries, and it’s responsible for a range of health benefits. Some of these benefits include the reduction of swelling and pain associated with the inflammation of the joints. Curries that contain chili, ginger and black pepper also aid a healthy metabolism, not to mention helping the immune system.

    7. Tomato Sauce

    tomato-sauce

      If you enjoy Italian food, make sure your pastas have a tomato-based sauce. Tomato paste, which is the main ingredient of common pasta sauces, contains vitamin B5, which supports our adrenal glands and improves our response to stress. One tablespoon of tomato paste contains just 13 calories, so not only is it good for our health, it’s also a wise choice for dieters looking to shed some pounds.

      8. Milk

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      dairy-milk

        While many of us are aware that milk has some health benefits, particularly its calcium levels and fat-soluble vitamins, one of the most interesting facts about milk is that it contributes to your hydration levels. Those of us who neglect drinking water but have time for a glass milk will find that milk is in fact 90% water! So if you’re not keen on eight glasses of water a day, studies show that substituting some of those for milk can be just as beneficial.

        9. Beef Burgers

        Believe it or not, a beef burger by itself is not all that bad; beef provides nutrients such as iron, zinc and B vitamins. Whilst a burger and fries from your standard fast food joint may not be the best way to go about health, creating your own burger at home and choosing a wholemeal bun is actually a rewarding meal in terms of good health and nutrition.

        10. Cereal

        cereal-image

          Most cereals – including high-sugar brands – contain folic acid, which is essential for our bodies’ cell replication and prevents cell mutation and cancers. Of course, choosing low-sugar cereals is advocated, but as with any balanced diet, if you weaken and indulge in a childhood favorite every once in a while, it might not be so bad after all.

          Final Note

          There are a lot of foods we commonly eat that offer a range of health benefits. And even some of the most energy-dense foods can still have their potential health properties. The real key is to find a balance in our lives and enjoy the food we eat, and if you want to lose some excess pounds, just cut back a little bit and increase your exercise level. You may just find the foods you are eating now are offering more than you realized.

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          Last Updated on December 9, 2019

          5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

          5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

          Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

          Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

          Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

          1. Get Rationally Optimistic

          Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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          This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

          In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

          The result: no more mental stress.

          2. Unplug

          Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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          How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

          It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

          Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

          3. Easy on the Caffeine

          Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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          Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

          4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

          That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

          How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

          • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
          • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
          • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

          While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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          5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

          This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

          The result: mental stress will be gone!

          So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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          Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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