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Good Foods Gone Bad

Not all healthy foods are created equal. Nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos says we have to purchase them carefully. Here's how she suggests we go about it.

Raw Honey

Raw honey is nutritionally superior to all other forms of honey, as it contains loads of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, and more than 5,000 live enzymes. It helps your body fight off illness and disease and can give your digestive system a real kick-start. Raw honey has antiseptic, antibiotic, and antibacterial properties, and has been used for healing wounds, cuts, and burns for centuries.

Purchase: 100 percent raw honey. It will look a bit milky and thicker in texture.

Don't purchase: Pasteurized honey. This means the honey has been heated. The heating undergone by most commercial honey causes a destruction of many of the enzymes and yeasts that benefit the body.

Chocolate

Chocolate is the number one craved food in the world; an oft-cited survey even suggests 50 percent of women would rather eat chocolate than have sex!

Chocolate releases the same feel-good endorphins that suppress pain and stress, and gives the same euphoric feeling you get from having sex or going for a run. Pure, raw chocolate is one of the highest sources of magnesium, which is essential in reducing muscle-tension, calming the nerves, and promoting relaxation.

Purchase: 70 - 100 percent pure cacao! Cacao contains a compound called phenylethylamine (PEA), which promotes a happy, elated feeling and alleviates stress and depression.

Don't purchase: Milk chocolate, white chocolate and high sugar candy bars! These don't count!

Olive Oil

Olive oil is a high-antioxidant, antiviral, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory and has anti-fungal properties that treat a large number of diseases and ailments, including heart disease, several cancers (breast cancer, prostate cancer, and colorectal cancer), candida, fungal infections, the flu virus, and yeast infections. Olives can be used to lower cholesterol, protect the liver, reduce inflammation, and improve the look of your hair and skin, giving you the glow!

Purchase: Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO). It's the highest quality olive oil, made through an extraction process that doesn't alter or treat the oil in any way. When purchasing extra virgin olive oil, make sure it's in a dark glass bottle, as light, heat, and oxygen destroy its nutrients and antioxidant properties and accelerate the oxidization process. Olive oil starts to degrade the moment it's squeezed from the olive, which is why it's essential that the oil be stored in a dark bottle away from light.

Don't purchase: Olive oil that isn't virgin or extra virgin. You shouldn't ever use the "olive oil" sold in clear glass bottles. These have been refined and chemically treated, and are hence devoid of nutrients and antioxidants. Oxygen attaches to the fats (oxidization) to produce hyperperoxides. Then the hyperperoxides break down and cause rancidity. Rancid oils cause free-radical damage in our body, which leads to disease and premature aging.

Yogurt

Yogurt contains probiotic cultures that help keep the immune system. healthy.

Purchase: Plain (non-flavoured) yogurt or greek yogurt

Don't purchase: Watch out for fat-free yogurts. They're high in sugar and have none of the nutritional benefits that 100 percent full fat yogurt has. Fruit-at-the-bottom yogurt is high in sugar and the fruit they often use is not real fruit.

Nuts

Nuts are heart-healthy as they are rich in mono-unsaturated fats, which help to lower cholesterol. Almonds are a great source of many B vitamins, which are essential for smooth nervous system function. High levels of magnesium support a relaxed mind and body and promote nervous-system health.

Purchase: Raw or sprouted nuts

Don't purchase: Salted and roasted nuts. These are typically roasted in unhealthy fats (rancid vegetable oils), which are terrible for your heart and body. Plus, they're way higher in fat and calories. The excess sodium is also terrible for blood pressure. Even dry-roasted almonds can be difficult to digest and lose some of the nutritional benefits raw nuts have.

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