BreakingModern — Every week it seems like the media is telling us about something we should or shouldn’t consume. One week, milk is good for us. The next week we’re being told we should limit the amount of dairy in our diets. In recent years, there are three indulgences that aren’t as bad for you as we once thought. In fact, when enjoyed in moderation, these three things can actually be good for you.
If you thought alcohol was bad in any form — surprise! Experts are now touting the heart-healthy benefits of wine. A natural plant compound called resveratrol, found in red wine, has been connected with a reduction in bad cholesterol, prevention of blood vessel damage and blood clot prevention. Antioxidants in red wine can also prevent heart disease by increasing levels of good cholesterol.
While many doctors would hesitate to recommend prescribing red wine for heart disease prevention, one drink of red wine each day could help those who have cholesterol issues. A study found that Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Syrah and Pinot Noir wines have the highest concentration of the antioxidants that reduce heart disease risks.
If you have trouble getting started each day without your cup of coffee, this will be good news. In moderation, coffee may protect against type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver cancer, liver cirrhosis and cardiovascular disease. Contrary to popular belief, caffeine isn’t the beneficial ingredient in coffee. The beverage is loaded with hundreds of different compounds, some of which are believed to have real health benefits.
Because too much coffee can lead to issues like insomnia, nervousness, irritability and an upset stomach, it’s important to limit your consumption to an amount you can reasonably handle. Up to 400 milligrams of caffeine each day is believed to be safe for the majority of healthy adults. This is the approximate amount you’ll find in four cups of coffee.
Chocolate can be deceptive. Beneath that tasty sweetness is actually a substance that comes from cacao, a bean that is packed with healthy antioxidants. However, the healthy version of chocolate is bitter in taste, which means the chocolate you savor as an indulgence is packed with sugar, butter and milk. For best results, stick with chocolate that is at least 70 percent cacao and indulge less than four dark chocolate bars each week.
“As long as whatever you’re indulging in is making you feel good emotionally, then it can’t be bad for you,” says Diane D’Andrea, president and CEO of gourmet kitchen product company 4 STIR. “If you love chocolate, take small nibbles, keep it in your mouth for as long as you can so you get the fullness of the flavor and feel the satisfaction it’s giving you. Life is meant to be enjoyed. Savor it and don’t beat yourself up over every morsel of food we put in your mouth.”
Whether your favorite indulgence is a glass of red wine, a good cup of coffee or a small piece of chocolate, you can find how to stay healthy while still enjoying the finer things in life. Be sure to speak to your doctor if you have health issues or you want more information on the health benefits of your favorite food or beverage.