The Surprising Health Benefits of Our Favorite Guilty Pleasures
Guilty pleasures are wonderful . . . except for the inevitable feelings of wrongdoing that follow. Sure, we love tasting the ever-so-satisfying cream-cheese frosting on a piece of homemade carrot cake, but feeling bloated and disappointed in ourselves moments after consuming our first (or second) slice makes the indulgence sometimes seem not worth it. We’re strong believers in the uplifting benefits of guilty pleasures, so to make your next indulgence a little easier on your conscience, pick something from our list below. Research proves that these aren't all that bad.
Online health authority the Mayo Clinic believes that antioxidants found in red wine may help prevent heart disease by increasing levels of HDL (aka “the good cholesterol”) and shielding against artery damage. We also believe in the beneficial powers of a good glass of pinot noir after a long day at the office.
According to WebMD, coffee has been linked to lower risk for heart rhythm disturbances in males and females alike, as well as lower risk for strokes in women. So enjoy the benefits of your morning java. Sidenote: We figured out that going caffeine-free isn’t totally worth it. Everything in moderation!
This is the perfect excuse to throw on a movie and chill out. Just make your popcorn butter-free (or at least butter-light) and add different sugars, spices, and salts for your favorite flavor—try this herbed parm popcorn, for instance. We're so happy this movie snack is full of antioxidants and fiber!
Dark chocolate is one of the richest sources of antioxidants on earth. The dark deliciousness also boasts magnesium, iron, and fiber, according to scientists at Authority Nutrition. Studies show that dark chocolate may lower blood pressure and, surprisingly, can help protect your sun against the skin. Consider a dark chocolate square a daily dose of medicine, not a guilty pleasure.
We can't say enough good things about avocado. You're probably aware of our avocado obsession, but this just proves that the creamy, green fruit is worth all of the hype. Authority Nutrition states that avocados are rich in vitamins, have more potassium than bananas, and are loaded with fiber. The nutrition resource states that "people who eat avocados tend to be healthier."
Not only is full-fat, regular salad dressing a less processed version of low-fat salad dressing, but it also provides crucial natural fat compounds. Women’s Health Mag says these fats are “needed to absorb carotenoids—the nutrient-rich compounds found in the vegetables on our salads.” It’s time to whip up some balsamic vinegar dressing with extra-virgin olive oil and toss one of our delicious green salads together.