ISLAMABAD – Researchers discovered that the fat in these five foods, mostly the monounsaturated kind, is extremely good for the heart and for health in general.
Scientists are looking beneath the surface at mushrooms, avocados, and peanuts as well as once-maligned eggs and coffee–redeeming qualities for each of these five foods are coming to light. They have nutritional respect and deserve a place at your table. Five important foods for good health are as below.
Misconception: This creamy spread is an indulgence best enjoyed occasionally because it’s high in fat and calories.
Why it’s good for you:At least five major studies confirm that eating peanuts can lower risk for coronary heart disease. So it’s no leap to think that peanut butter confers the same benefits. “Suffice it to say that eating peanut butter or peanuts has been associated with lower total cholesterol, lower ldl or ‘bad’ cholesterol, and lower triglycerides, all of which are associated with lower cardiovascular disease risk,” says Richard Mattes, Ph.D., R.D., a professor of nutrition at Purdue University.
Misconception: Eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, so they don’t have a place in my heart-healthy diet.
Why they’re good for you: Eggs contain a variety of substances that appear to promote good health. Choline, a nutrient that is critical to brain function, is one example. Eggs, it seems, are one of the richest food sources of choline. Scientists at the University of North Carolina find adding choline to the diets of pregnant animals improves memory performance in their offspring. It may seem like a leap to apply this finding to people, but researchers are already encouraging pregnant women to eat eggs and other choline-rich foods (such as beef liver) during pregnancy.
Misconception: The only thing you get from drinking coffee is a caffeine buzz.
Why it’s good for you: The average cup of coffee has hundreds of different chemical compounds. Maybe that’s why news reports about coffee vacillate between lauding its health benefits and labeling it harmful. Still, the benefits of coffee seem to outweigh the negatives.
Misconception: I shouldn’t eat avocados because they’re high in fat.
Why they’re good for you: A lot of attention centers on the fact that avocados are rich in monounsaturated fat, the heart-healthy kind. Yet scientists are now more interested in the active compounds in avocados that might help prevent cancer. One recent study found that those compounds can inhibit the growth of prostate cancer cells in the laboratory. While conducting the study, these researchers found avocados are loaded with a variety of antioxidants, including familiar disease-fighting compounds such as lutein, beta-carotene, and vitamin E.
Misconception: Mushrooms are a low-calorie food with little nutritional benefit.
Why they’re good for you: They may be 90 percent water and have only 18 calories per cup, but mushrooms are getting serious scientific attention. Laboratory reports and animal studies show that compounds in mushrooms may do everything from bolster immune function to suppress breast and prostate cancers to decrease tumor size.
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