What to Read Next

Five surprisingly healthy foods

Jo Romero
Yahoo Lifestyle
18 January 2013

Some foods’ health benefits are shouted from the roof tops and make us feel smug every time we munch on them

Everyday foods such as green tea, chillies and chocolate have well-documented health benefits but there are some lesser-known healthy foods that haven’t had the praise they deserve.

Until now. Here are five unlikely foods and drinks that can benefit health, when eaten as part of a balanced diet. Did you know about them?  

This fluffy snack has a lot more to offer than just something to nibble on at the cinema.

We’ve known for a while that popcorn is low in calories, but scientists have found some other benefits to eating it. Joe Vinson and his team from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found that popcorn contains concentrated levels of antioxidants, due to its low water content.

[Related: The superfoods you should be eating]

However, popcorn toppings can contain hidden calories. Researchers stated that air-popped popcorn had the lowest calories, while microwave popcorn contained twice as many, and as much as 43 per cent fat. To get the most out of popcorn, go for the air-popped varieties without lots of salt, sugar or toffee glaze.

Black Tea
Up until recently, green tea seemed to get all the ‘health’ headlines. But drinking black tea can also benefit your health too.

[Related: Lies to encourage children to eat healthy food]

In one Iranian study, researchers found that participants who drank more than three cups of black tea daily had a 70 per cent lower risk of coronary artery disease. And a study carried out in the Netherlands found that just two servings of black tea per day improved brain function and focused attention. Better get the kettle on, then.


It’s refreshing, it wakes you up and too much of it might give you the shakes. But a 2012 study found that coffee could also help protect against certain forms of cancer.

The 26-year study found those who drank four or more cups of coffee each day were 50 per cent less likely to die from mouth or throat cancers. The researchers concluded by saying, ‘there may be beneficial effects to coffee, particularly caffeinated coffee and its daily enjoyment.’

[Related: Five fantastic flu fighting foods]

But that’s not all. A joint study by the University of South Florida and the University of Miami found a link between drinking coffee and the onset of Alzheimer’s.

‘We are not saying that moderate coffee consumption will completely protect people from Alzheimer’s disease,’ lead author of the study Chuanhai Cao said, ‘however we firmly believe that moderate coffee consumption can appreciably reduce your risk of Alzheimer’s or delay its onset.’

For a long time, eggs tended to get a bad got a bad rep because of worries over cholesterol. But health experts now agree that it’s saturated fat intake and not dietary cholesterol which we should watch for a healthy heart.

[Related: Superfast, superfood salad

Eggs contain many vitamins and minerals that are essential to health, including folate, calcium, iron and selenium. They also help you feel fuller for longer and contain choline - important for memory and brain function, as well as helping to maintain a healthy liver.  

In 2011, researchers at Copenhagen University studied the effects of a cheese-rich diet on levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. They found that when people ate a set (but regular) amount of cheese for six weeks, their LDL cholesterol levels did not increase, and actually lowered when they switched from a butter-rich diet to eating cheese.

[Related: Superfoods that fire up your metabolism]

Researchers think that because cheese contains high levels of protein and calcium, our bodies find it easier to break down the cholesterol.

But, unfortunately, this isn’t an excuse to suddenly eat lots of cheese - participants ate cheese instead of other fats in their diet, and not to excess. It’s worth remembering that it is still a fatty food, and should be eaten in moderation.

How Much Could Drivers Actually Save By Comparing?

EverQuote's simple online tool allows drivers to identify the best rates for them. Find out how much you could be saving on auto insurance.

VA Mortgage Rates In 2016

VA Rates as Low as 2.75% (3.028% APR) 15 Year Fixed. Exclusive For Veteran & Military Takes 1 Min!

Banks Are Worried Homeowners Will Do This.

Homeowners are surprised and furious. If you owe less than $625,000 on your home, you better read this.

9 Cards for People Who Have Great Credit

What card offers up to 5% cash back? And which one offers 24/7 concierge service? See the best credit cards of 2016. Apply online, quickly & easily.

Don't Let Your Bundle Of Joy Cost You A Bundle.

Expenses can add up. Take advantage of a top rated 0% APR credit card and don't pay interest for up to 15 months. Learn more & apply securely here.

Update Your Look: Bell Sleeves

Insane Navy Seal Flashlight, should it be banned?

The Military has recently released technology that is now available to the public. Get yours before they run out - Limited Supply!

Starwood Credit Card

Earn 25,000 Bonus Starpoints®! Use toward Award Nights or Flights.

How To Make Sagging Skin Look Tight and Lifted

[Watch] The easy and effective way consumers across the country are improving the look of their wrinkled and sagging skin without cosmetic procedures.

Ever Googled Someone? Do A "Deep Search" Instead

Entering a Name and State on this site could reveal info you thought wasn't available. Have you searched yourself or someone you know yet?

Powerful Tactical Flashlight Flying Off Shelves!

This new tactical flashlight was just released to the public and is flying off shelves in the United States. Limited supplies left, act quick!

Compare rates. Save big.

We compare rates with those of our competitors, so you don't have to.

This Movie Deal Is Sure To Get Your Attention!

Get 4 Disney Movies For $1 With Membership. See Details. Exclusive Titles, Merchandise, Offers & Discounts. Plus, Free Shipping On Your Initial Order!

$200 Military Flashlight Surplus Dumped

Highly anticipated LumiTact G700 Tactical Flashlight Overrun - Now available to civilian population

Why Women Love This New Shopping Site

This site features names like Coach, SmashBox, and Kate Spade - and unlike Amazon or Gilt it's fast, fun and really exciting.