7 Fruits and Vegetables to Enjoy During National Nutrition Month

7 Fruits and Vegetables to Enjoy During National Nutrition Month

This month March, is National Nutrition Month. This year’s theme is “Put Your Best Fork Forward.” While of course, it is important to eat foods that are nutritious, taste is a key reason why people choose to eat what they do. Pairing good nutrition with great taste creates a win-win situation. National Nutrition Month, created annually in March by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, is a nutrition education campaign which focuses on the importance of making good food choices.

One way to “put your best fork forward” is to include a colorful diet. My suggestion, when choosing fruits and vegetables, is that you choose a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables as different antioxidants exist in the different color spectrums. The deep orange color found in cantaloupe and sweet potatoes contains beta carotene. The dark blue color of blueberries contains polyphenols which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. The deep red pigment found in tomatoes and watermelon contains the antioxidant lycopene.

Below (in alphabetical order) are several nutrition powerhouses, of varying colors and nutrients that I love to include in my diet and highly recommend. Continue reading

How To Naturally Treat a Cold

How To Naturally Treat a Cold

Let’s admit…no one likes being sick. So, when it comes to treating a cold, there are way too many cold medicines at the drugstore that are filled with potentially harmful ingredients. Have no fear…enter natural cold remedies to get us feeling better again quickly—and no, I’m not talking about vitamin C!

While most people reach for vitamin C when the sniffles come on, extensive research shows us that it doesn’t actually shorten the length or decrease the severity of a cold. It’s certainly useful for supporting the immune system to prevent a cold, but once you have one, it won’t be much help.

Additionally, keep in mind that the common cold is a virus, not a bacterial infection, so it can’t be treated effectively with antibiotics. Instead, when you’re starting to feel under the weather, try one of these natural remedies to shorten your cold’s duration and severity:  Continue reading

8 Reasons Why This Beverage May Be the World’s Healthiest

8 Reasons Why This Beverage May Be the World’s Healthiest

Did you know that next to water, tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world?

The story of tea begins in China, thousands of years ago. But, it’s only now that we are discovering how powerful and health-giving tea really is. And, when it comes to tea, I’m referring to the green leaves of the camellia sinensis plant—not herbal teas, like peppermint or chamomile, which have their own distinct health-giving properties.

There are 4 types of tea: green, white, black, and oolong. All of these can be derived from the same plant, and all are being studied for their considerable health-giving properties. Of the 4 types, it’s green tea that seems to be the most healthful. Dried green tea leaves are about 40% polyphenols by weight.  Both green and white teas contain the most EGCG, which is a powerful antioxidant.

Here are eight reasons why tea, and particularly green tea, could be one of the healthiest beverages in the world:

1) Fighting Prostate Cancer

Researchers have known for years that rates of prostate cancer are considerably lower in Asian countries. Many scientists believe this is because of the high consumption of plant foods among Asian populations. But some also think the consumption of green tea — the most popular tea in Japan, China, and other Asian countries — could play a role.

2) Burning Fat

Green tea contains catechins, which increase the body’s ability to burn fat as fuel, leading to improved muscle endurance.

3) Bone Strength

Green tea has been found to help improve body composition and fight osteoporosis by enhancing bone strength.

4) Cardiovascular Health

Studies have found that drinking tea can help to protect against cardiovascular disease, and may reduce the risk of heart attack.

5) Linked to Lower Rates of Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, & More

Tea consumption has been linked to reduced rates of Alzheimer’s Disease, diabetes, obesity, arthritis, infections, malaria, and even AIDS.

6) Antioxidants to Fight Cancer

The antioxidants in tea are believed to help protect against a broad range of cancers, including cancers of the breast (one study found that 3 cups a day of tea reduced the risk of breast cancer by a third), colon, skin, lung, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, pancreas, liver, and more.

7) Reduced Rate of Parkinson’s

When a team of scientists monitored 29,335 Finnish men and women over the course of 12.9 years, they came to the conclusion that drinking tea was linked to a meaningful reduction in the risk of Parkinson’s disease. This was true in both men and women, even after factoring for other variables like smoking, physical activity, age, and body mass index.

8) Caffeine (Yes, that’s a good thing!)

Of course, unless it’s been decaffeinated, tea has caffeine (more in black and oolong than in green or white). The health effects of caffeine are a controversial topic. But, a considerable body of evidence shows that the caffeine in tea may increase memory, help to ward off Alzheimer’s, protect against skin cancer and cataracts, prevent weight gain, help with asthma – and even be good for virility.

Enjoy Tea

Keep mind that many bottled tea products are mostly sugar-water. For example, Lipton’s Lemon Iced Tea comes with 31 grams of added sugar. If you’re going to buy pre-bottled tea, it’s best to check the label to be sure it’s either unsweetened or only lightly sweetened. And if you brew it yourself, try it plain, or with a squeeze of lemon, or brewed with some ginger or other herbal teas – or with just a dab of your favorite sweetener. Enjoy your teatime!

Adapted from Food Revolution
6 Major Types of Disease-Fighting Mushrooms

6 Major Types of Disease-Fighting Mushrooms

When it comes to sticking to a healthy diet, disease-fighting mushrooms check off all the boxes: They’re low in carbohydrates and calories, but a great source of B vitamins, trace minerals, fiber and even protein. They also an anti-inflammatory food, containing high levels of beta-glucans compounds that keep immune cells alert, plus a powerful antioxidant called ergothioneine that helps lower bodywide inflammation.

Here are the major types of disease-fighting mushrooms you should try to regularly include in your diet for their protective, immune-enhancing effects:

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Five Must-Knows on the Dangers of Synthetic Fragrance

Five Must-Knows on the Dangers of Synthetic Fragrance

1.What is “fragrance?” More than 95 percent of the chemicals in synthetic fragrances are derived from petrochemicals. These chemicals include: benzene derivatives, aldehydes, phthalates, and a slew of other known toxins that are capable of causing cancer, birth defects, nervous-system disorders and allergies–some of which are cited on the EPA’s hazardous waste list.

2. Where is it hiding? Continue reading

Best Oil for Dry Dehydrated Winter Skin

Best Oil for Dry Dehydrated Winter Skin

And, the winner is…

Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) is a good all-round moisturizer as it’s rich in fatty acids, vitamin A and E. Olive oil is similar to the oils naturally produced by our skin so it’s also absorbed well, helping to boost your skin’s elasticity. The antioxidants in olive oil may even help protect against skin cancer! However, Continue reading

Spice Up Your Health with 7 of These

Spice Up Your Health with 7 of These

If you like spicy food, you’ll love this news: Certain spices not only add a bunch of flavor, but have been proven to be very beneficial towards your overall health.

Here are a few favorites that can boost both the flavor of dinner and your well-being.

1. CARDAMOM

It might not already take residence in your spice cabinet, but it’s a pretty handy spice to have on hand. Not only is it known for its aroma, but black cardamom is often used to up the smokey flavor of meat. It is a common ingredient in Indian cooking, and cardamom is popular as a flavoring for coffee in the Middle East.

Here’s the really good news: Cardamom is often used in alternative medicine to treat digestive problems, and it’s been been tentatively linked to anti-tumor activity.  Continue reading

3 Food Hacks To Make Your Food Healthier

3 Food Hacks To Make Your Food Healthier

8 Incredible Food Hacks That Make Your Food HealthierToday, the largest cause of mortality in the Western World is not a lack of food or rampaging bacteria… In fact, it’s what we do eat that poses the greatest risk to our lives.

Diet and lifestyle now drive the top causes of death in America. Food is no longer our means for survival. For many of us, it’s a slow poison.

Food is truly a double-edged sword… On one hand, the modern, processed ‘Western’ diet causes many chronic diseases. But on the flip side, food can also be a powerful medicine to restore health, vitality and live a long and vibrant life.

Make food your weapon of wellness with these 3 fun hacks to supercharge your diet!

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4 Herbs and Spices that Naturally Stop Sugar Cravings

4 Herbs and Spices that Naturally Stop Sugar Cravings

stop sugar cravingsWith the holiday season in full swing, it’s (way too) easy to OD on sugary cookies, cakes, and treats at every turn. Of course, indulging in a Christmas cookie is good for the soul, but going overboard on treats may not be the best decision. The next time you find yourself tempted with holiday sweets, reach for one of these spices to stop sugar cravings in their tracks.

Stress, food sensitivities, loneliness, a yeast overgrowth in the gut, blood sugar imbalances, and even hormone fluctuations can leave you searching for the sweet stuff.

Why do we love sugar so much? When we consume sugar, our brains reward us with a release of the neurotransmitters serotonin (the feel-good hormone). And beta-endorphins, which act as natural painkillers, produces a sense of well-being, increasing self-esteem and settling anxiety. At least, temporarily.

This also happens when we consume other simple refined carbohydrates that are easily converted to glucose (sugar). This is why digging into that holiday cookie pile just feels so good.

Unfortunately, sugar overkill can lead to some serious health issues including obesity, heart disease, dental disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, type-2 diabetes, certain types of cancer, hormone irregularity, and depressed mood and anxiety. Not to mention, sugar is also rather addictive.

4 Herbs and Spices that Stop Sugar Cravings

1. Cinnamon: This warming and naturally sweet spice has been utilized for its medicinal properties for thousands of years. Loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory properties, and polyphenols, cinnamon helps the body to  Continue reading

The Best Foods to Control Your Hunger Pangs

The Best Foods to Control Your Hunger Pangs

apple-shutterstock_124592107Whether you’re trying to lose weight or simply focus on a heart-healthy eating regimen, a growling stomach can interfere with your eating goals. Hunger is a normal body reaction and survival mechanism. But in today’s environment of ample food availability, hunger can lead us to over-consume foods, especially those that aren’t so healthful.

Appetite control is a very complex issue; your body’s over-arching goal is to maintain a balance of energy in vs. energy out, and will send you a powerful hunger signal when it needs energy. Other issues also come into play, which may encourage you to eat even when you’re not hungry — triggers that tempt you to eat, emotions, easy access to food, and even large portion sizes. However, research is starting to shine the light on how your daily food choices can help you feel more satisfied. Here are some of the most promising diet strategies.

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