6 Surprisingly Healthy Foods

cole slawWhen it comes to food and drink, the surprises lurking about usually aren't in our favor. Wait, what, that innocent-looking sandwich has more than 1,200 calories?! We have to be constantly vigilant to make sure what we're eating and drinking isn't packing some extra fat and calorie punches that blindside our attempts to stay healthy.

So it's nice when there are actually pleasant food surprises -- foods that you thought were on the naughty list that are actually quite good for you, or those with hidden nutritional benefits you never knew you were getting. So instead of always focusing on trying to eliminate the bad from your diet, think positive, and think about adding some of these six foods and drinks that are unexpectedly healthy.

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1. Coleslaw

Side dishes in general are usually landmines loaded with mayonnaise, fatty dressings, and butter. Coleslaw, however, is one of the good ones because it's made up primarily of one of the healthiest foods you can eat -- raw cabbage. Make your own low-fat version, and pile it on your plate.

2. Wine

We've heard about its heart benefits for some time now, but did you know that red wine can also help prevent muscle deterioration? A new study found that the resveratrol it contains can slow down muscle loss when exercise isn't an option. While it's not a substitute for exercise, perhaps a glass instead of a workout on vacation once in awhile might be alright.

3. Mustard

While it's long been known as the less-fatty choice when next to the mayo, it also packs some nutritional punch. Full of antioxidants, mustard seeds can speed up your metabolism and even lower blood pressure. Pass the mustard, please.

4. Coffee

Coffee gets a bad rap sometimes for being such an addiction for many of us caffeine-dependent beings, but it's also chock-full of some good stuff. From lowering your risk of heart attack, stroke, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, and liver cancer to warding off depression, there are all sorts of reasons to go for the joe. Just make sure you don't go for the 1,200-calorie variety mocha.

5. Guacamole

One of the most delicious healthy foods out there, guacamole is loaded with good-for-you ingredients. From the awesome avocados full of the good kind of fat and cholesterol-lowering abilities to the tomatoes, which are rich in lycopene, to the goodness of garlic that may promote heart health, this is one divine dip.

6. Curry

That Indian food that tastes so good may also prevent cancer. Turmeric, the main ingredient in curry, is full of anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties. Takeout tonight?

What are your favorite surprisingly healthy foods?


Image via Shreveport-Bossier: Louisiana's Other Side/Flickr

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