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Health Blog

The MSN Healthcare Health Blog offers news and analysis on weight loss, fatigue, personal health, and health news. It includes contributions from Dr. Mark Neumann and others. Click now.


6 Diet-Friendly Foods with Unique Health Benefits

Mark Neumann

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Achieving weight loss goals can be a difficult task, but what many of us find the most challenging is sacrificing our favorite foods. Good news – this list is full of diet-friendly foods tasty enough to be guilty pleasures – and they have some unique health benefits too.

Strange But True

Pancakes with syrup, coffee and pizza are all foods commonly surrendered at the beginning of a diet. You may think twice after reading these:

●     Maple Syrup could help inhibit cancer growth. Due to the antioxidant properties of certain phytochemicals it contains, maple syrup could reduce cell damage and slow cancerous growth. Two caveats – you must use real maple syrup instead of artificial pancake syrup, and since maple syrup is high in sugar, very little goes a long way.

●     Coffee could lower risk for Type 2 diabetes and Alzheimer’s. Not only does coffee actually contain nutrients such as potassium, niacin, and riboflavin, but it could also help combat Type 2 diabetes. Its memory-boosting effects have even been linked to a significantly lower risk of developing Alzheimer’s – as much as 65% lower risk in women compared to non-coffee drinkers.

●     Tomatoes help wounds heal faster and prevent scarring. Tomatoes are rich in Vitamins A and C, which help with cellular growth and skin tissue growth and repair.  In addition, tomatoes boast healthy amounts of lycopene, an antioxidant known for boosting the immune system and improving blood flow, both of which aid in healing. Bonus – tomato sauce, soup, ketchup and other tomato products still provide these same benefits. Pizza, anyone?

Dense in the Best Sense

Other foods are surprising in the sheer density of the nutrients they provide. Try one of these tasty, nutrient-dense foods next time you’re looking for a weight loss friendly snack or meal:

●     Potatoes. Potatoes contain a ton of nutrients, including potassium, magnesium, copper, iron, Vitamin C and many B vitamins. They get a bad rap due to their starch content, but often, it’s the toppings that get you. Try a small baked potato with a dab of skim cottage cheese for a filling snack.

●     Blueberries. Blueberries are a well-known antioxidant and are higher in vitamins and minerals than other fruits. Try a handful on cereal, Greek yogurt, or simply by themselves.  

●     Dark Chocolate. Real dark – read: high in cocoa content – chocolate contains fiber, magnesium, iron, and manganese, as well as being a prime source of antioxidants. Chocolate is also linked to a lower risk of heart disease. Keep your portions reasonable, but do we really need to give you snack suggestions for this one? Enjoy!

If you’re concerned about maintaining a healthy body weight, Dr. Mark Neumann can help. Develop an individualized weight loss program for maximum success when you contact MSN Healthcare today.