10 Surprisingly Nourishing Foods Often Considered Unhealthy

Unhealthy foods and drinks have faced criticism for their high calorie, sodium, fat, and sugar content for years. Not to mention the negative consequences that follow indulging in fast food or comforting favorites like Domino’s pizza. Despite the addictive nature of these foods, you don’t have to give them up completely. In fact, here are 10 “unhealthy” foods that may actually have some health benefits!

10 Coffee

Millions of people worldwide start their day with a cup of coffee, and it’s no wonder why. While coffee has been labeled as harmful, there is evidence to the contrary. Moderate coffee intake has been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, liver and endometrial cancers, and depression. However, it’s important to avoid excessive consumption or adding unhealthy ingredients.

9 Ice Cream

Ice cream is a popular treat that can actually provide some health benefits. It contains important nutrients like protein, calcium, and vitamins D & A, which protect against illnesses and support bone health. Additionally, the psychological benefits of indulging in ice cream should not be underestimated, as it can release dopamine and contribute to a healthier mindset.

8 Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate, a beloved treat, is often thought to be high in sugar. However, it contains less sugar than other chocolates and has a higher flavanol content, which can reduce the risk of heart disease. Dark chocolate is also rich in vitamins and minerals and can improve blood flow, skin health, and cognitive function.

7 Pizza

While pizza is typically seen as an unhealthy choice, it can be a relatively healthy meal when prepared with the right ingredients and consumed in moderation. Pizza can provide nutrients from multiple food groups and be a good source of protein. Customization options also allow for healthier choices to be made.

6 Salsa

Salsa, a delicious snack, is surprisingly healthy. It is high in vitamins A and C due to its main ingredients of onions, tomatoes, and lime juice. Salsa is also low in calories, hydrating, and full of fiber.

5 Eggs

Eggs have gained some cautionary advice due to their reputation as an unhealthy food. However, they contain essential nutrients like Vitamin D, B12, and choline, and are rich in amino acids that support brain function and tissue repair. Eggs can be a versatile and budget-friendly option for a healthy diet.

4 Red Wine

Red wine, when consumed in moderation, offers health benefits such as protecting the heart’s blood vessels and reducing the risk of blood clots. However, excessive alcohol consumption can lead to negative health effects, so it’s important to drink responsibly.

3 Candy

Candy, contrary to popular belief, can have physical health benefits. Certain candies can improve digestion, reduce stress, and relieve coughs. Peppermint and ginger candies, for example, can settle an upset stomach and soothe symptoms of nausea and motion sickness.

2 Popcorn

Popcorn, a favorite movie snack, can actually have health benefits when prepared without excessive unhealthy seasoning. It contains polyphenols, which can support blood circulation and digestive health. Popcorn is also low in calories, making it a healthy option.

1 Gum

Gum not only freshens your breath but also offers cognitive benefits. Chewing gum increases blood flow to the brain, leading to improved focus, attention, and relaxation. It has even been shown to enhance memory recall when chewed during studying and testing.


Written by Katie Curtis

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