Foods which are surprisingly good for you

Chocolate

 

Cocoa is rich in magnesium (maintains a healthy nervous system and strong bones) and iron (helps to maintain healthy red blood cells) as well as antioxidant flavonoids. Opting for a good-quality dark chocolate with more than 70 per cent cocoa can make for a healthier sweet treat, but go easy as it still contains quite a bit of sugar.

 

Opting for a good-quality dark chocolate with more than 70 per cent cocoa can make for a healthier sweet treat
Opting for a good-quality dark chocolate with more than 70 per cent cocoa can make for a healthier sweet treat

 

Dried herbs and spices

As well as adding flavour to food, dried herbs and spices are a very rich source of iron and can be a useful way to top up your daily intake. Two teaspoons of curry powder provides more than ten per cent of your recommended daily iron intake.

 

White bread

 

White flour in the UK is fortified with calcium, iron and vitamin B1, so there is no need to give yourself a hard time if you don’t like wholegrain varieties. But opt for a good-quality fresh white loaf over the packet stuff (which tends to have an ingredients list as long as your arm).

 

Cheese

 

Often seen as an unhealthy food as it is high in saturated fat and calories, cheese is one of the richest sources of bone-loving calcium and also rich in zinc, which is especially important for men’s health. Cheeses such as feta, halloumi and cottage cheese have all the same benefits but contain lower levels of saturated fat and calories per serving.

By nutritionist Rob Hobson