3 Foods that are secretly good for you

Not all 'bad' foods need to be ditched. Indulging a little now and then may actually boost your mood and wellbeing, reports Erin Kisby.

The secret's out. A growing body of research is finding that some so called 'bad' foods may actually be good for you. We've found 3 indulgences that may do your health more good than harm

Indulge in a little: Beer
It’s good for you because... it may protect your bones 
You know weight-bearing exercise and eating yoghurt helps keep your bones strong and reduces your risk of developing osteoporosis. But did you know drinking beer may also help? Research from the University of California found beer is a significant source of dietary silicon, which may be a key ingredient in the growth and development of healthy bones and connective tissue. Based on these findings enjoying a cold one – in moderation – may help fight osteoporosis.
Keep the habit healthy
Not all beers are created equal, as the researchers found compared to lagers, ales may contain more silicon and India Pale Ales have the highest levels. However, to avoid negating any health benefits, stick to the national guidelines for alcohol consumption, which recommends no more than two standard drinks a day.
Indulge in a little: Coffee
It’s good for you because... it may reduce your stroke risk
A preliminary study published in Stroke: Journal of the American Heart Association found drinking more than one cup of coffee a day may reduce your risk of stroke by 25 per cent. "Some women have avoided consuming coffee because they have thought it is unhealthy,” said Susanna Larsson lead author of the study. “In fact, increasing evidence indicates moderate coffee consumption may decrease the risk of some diseases such as diabetes, liver cancer and possibly stroke.”
Keep the habit healthy
To avoid having too much of a good thing, the Dietitians Association of Australia recommends sticking to a limit of four to five cups of instant coffee or 300 to 400mg per day. One teaspoon of instant coffee = 60-80 mg.
Indulge in a little: Chocolate
It's good for you because... it may keep your heart healthy
Cut yourself some slack and enjoy a piece of chocolate, it may boost your cardiovascular health, suggests new research cited in the British Medical Journal. The researchers compiled a review of seven studies using data from 114,000 patients and found those who consumed the most chocolate had a 37 per cent reduced chance of developing heart desease and a 29 per cent reduced risk of suffering a stroke. Researchers are uncertain if it's the feel-good benefit of eating chocolate that improves people's quality of life, or if it's the antioxidant properties of chocolate that provides the protective effect.
Keep the habit healthy
The key to enjoying chocolate for a healthy heart may be sticking to dark chocolate and watching the amount you eat. As additional research published in the Journal of Nutrition found just 6.7 grams of dark chocolate - a small square two or three times a week - may be the ideal amount for protecting your health against inflammation and cardivascular disease.

Did you know chocolate is also a natural aphrodisiac? Or that caffeine can reduce your pain following a workout? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the latest health news and research.


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