Junk foods get a bad rap and it is certainly deserved in some cases. However, in other instances, they really aren’t. Studies suggest that certain junk foods are actually healthy as they contain good amounts of antioxidants and other nutrients. While thriving on these foods is not recommended, indulging in some of them can be good for your health. There is a number of junk foods that are actually very healthy.
Popcorn is everyone’s favorite movie snack. When devoid of the excess salt, caramel, butter, and other flavorings, popcorn is one of the healthiest and nutritious foods containing manganese, vitamin B, antioxidants, and fiber. These translate to a wide variety of health benefits that include prevention in cognitive decline, protection against osteoporosis, improved digestive process, lower cholesterol levels, regulated blood sugar, weight loss, and preventing digestive aging. Apart from this, research also shows that popcorn contains the highest polyphenol level of all snack foods.
To take advantage of all these health benefits, it is recommended that you use quality kernels, from Non-GMO, organic corn, and pop it the right way than in a pan or in a microwave.
Dark chocolate is the healthy variant of milk chocolate that is usually laden with sugar. Unlike milk chocolate, dark chocolate is rich in nutrients that can have a positive effect on your health. It is loaded with micronutrients like manganese, copper, magnesium, iron, and fiber and it also contains highly beneficial biologically active organic compounds, e.g. catechins, flavanols, and polyphenols that function as antioxidants.
The bitter tasting chocolate offers many health benefits. It may help decrease the risk of heart disease and it lowers blood pressure. Apart from these, dark chocolate can also help stimulate the production of endorphins and enhance mood. Since the bitter treat is calorie rich, you will need to stick to 1-2 ounces per day if you want to prevent weight gain.
Tortilla chips have become very popular as of late, making a huge splash on the healthy snack scene. Ingredients like whole grains make them extremely nutritious and high in fiber. Thanks to their relatively high nutritional value and great taste, tortilla chips made of kale, beans, seaweed, and other grain-free products have become incredibly popular.
Whether you prefer a classic tortilla chip or one of the many varieties available nowadays, make sure that your dip of choice is always guacamole. Avocados are rich in healthy fats and if you make guac on your own, you can make sure that it is free from unhealthy additives. The pairing of tortilla chips and guac is the perfect appetizer for virtually every occasion.
We are constantly told to stay away from junk foods because they are considered unhealthy. However, some of these junk foods are actually very healthy and can play a big part in your diet. The above-listed are some of the junk foods that you can and should be eating, regardless of what you have heard.
Photos by: Mahmoud Fawzy, Kelly Lacy, Monika Grabkowska, Markus Winkler