There is a genuine movement in this country to eat healthier foods that is stronger now than it’s ever been before. People are rejecting processed and fast food more than ever and choosing fresh fruits and veggies, along with healthy ethnic dishes such as Korean Kimchi and Japanese Sunomo.
But some of the tastier foods that were thought to be detrimental to a healthier diet have been found to contain fats and carbohydrates that can be good for you. That really depends upon how these foods are processed and/or cooked. But if care is paid to natural preparation and watchful selection of ingredients, many of these traditional foods can have nutritional benefits.
Here are a few of the more common, traditional foods that have moved from the ‘Don’t’ list to the ‘Do (with discretion)’ file in the past few years, due to the efforts of dedicated foodies who’ve restored the natural portions and ingredients of these fine vintage recipes.
Chocolate Gets Back to its Roots
Cooks have been adding and subtracting various ingredients to cocoa, the product of dried and crushed Cacao beans, since it was first transported to Europe from the Americas, by the explorer Cortés, in the 16th Century. Sugar and honey were not added to cocoa until about a hundred years later, turning a bitter, Aztec, medicinal drink into a sweetened delicacy that eventually came to be called ‘chocolate’.
It took around a hundred more years, until the 1700s, for this new concoction of cocoa and sugar, both ingredients acquired from the New World, to make its way, literally around the world. By the 18th Century, the recipe for basic chocolate was known to practically every civilized society on Earth.
It turns out that the medicinal qualities that the Native Americans believed they received from cocoa were genuine. It is packed with Polyphenols – micronutrients rich in antioxidants, which are effective against neurodegenerative and cardiovascular disease, digestion problems, and diabetic issues. The essential ingredient in chocolate is definitely good for you.
But over the subsequent years, that cocoa has been contaminated with non-natural ingredients, like butyric acid, the emulsifier PGPR, palm oil and other chemical preservatives in the production of chocolate, particularly in the United States.
If you want to eat chocolate that’s all natural, and thus, much healthier than most American chocolate, try some chocolate from other countries that prohibit the use of these chemical additives, like Japan, where the ingredients are strictly regulated. If you want to discover how Japan does chocolate, check out royceconfectusa.com. You’ll taste the difference.
Bratwurst and Sauerkraut
A bratwurst sausage served on dark, crusty, country bread, smothered with grilled onions, hot mustard and a healthy load of sauerkraut is a taste sensation that, once tried, you’ll crave for the rest of your life. This is a truly delicious sandwich.
And you wouldn’t think that a sausage made from pork and/or veal, like bratwurst, would be healthy. Pork is a high fat food and also pretty high in cholesterol. But it is also an excellent source of protein that happens to be very low in carbohydrates, so it’s not that bad.
The fiber-rich bran, which consists of the outer shell of the wheat grain, is an essential ingredient of crusty, dark, country bread traditionally used on a “Brat”. This sort of bread is an excellent source of roughage, which is beneficial for your intestinal health and also serves to balance the body’s insulin.
But, truly, the most healthful ingredient in you bratwurst sandwich is the sauerkraut, which is, basically, fermented cabbage. This type of fermentation is a process in which the microorganisms of the cabbage are converted into carbon dioxide and organic acids.
These conditions promote the growth of Probiotics – bacteria that provide powerful health benefits. Probiotics are essential for your digestive system, especially in your body’s absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Probiotics bacteria act as a first line of defense against toxins and harmful bacteria in your stomach and improve the bacterial balance there. Recent studies have shown that probiotics are so beneficial that many vitamin makers have gone out of their way to develop pills that deliver these essential bacteria to your stomach. But none of these supplements work as effectively as good, old-fashioned sauerkraut.
Beer Is Not That Bad
Beer – in moderation – is not that bad for you. Why? The fermentation of hops, yeast, and grains into beer actually yields Polyphenols, which, as discussed above in the section on chocolate, have definite health benefits.
There are probably more sensible ways to drink in Polyphenols – green tea readily comes to mind, but natural-ingredient, craft beers contain these nutrients, too. That’s why so many beer drinkers like to say it’s good for their heart.
Article Submitted By Community Writer