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Category: Nutrition 101

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “W”

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “W”

Good Morning Everyone!

We are on to the letter “W” in our journey through the alphabet of healthy foods!

Walnuts-  

Walnuts originated in the Mediterranean region and Central Asia, and are among the oldest trees foods grown by man.  These nuts have been a part of the human diet for thousands of years.  They are rich in omega-3 fats and contain higher amounts of antioxidants than most other foods.  

Walnuts are most often eaten on their own as a snack, however, they can also be added salads, pastas, breakfast cereals, soups and baked goods.  They are also used to make walnut oil, an expensive culinary oil often used in salad dressings. 

9 Reasons to Eat Walnuts Every Day:

  1. Helps with weight loss
  2. Induces and improves sleep because they contain a compound called melatonin 
  3. Great for our hair because they contain biotin, vitamin B7, that helps strengthen hair, reduce hair fall and improve hair growth
  4. Prevents heart disease
    1. They have the highest amount of antioxidants among all dietary plants and nuts
    2. They are loaded with omega-3 fatty acids that lower bad cholesterol and increase the production of good cholesterol 
  5. Prevents diabetes
    1. All types of nuts are associated with a lowered risk of diabetes 
  6. Makes our skin glow and prevents wrinkles and signs of ageing 
  7. They keep our brains healthy and help ward off dementia and prevent Alzheimer’s 
  8. Helps you live longer as they reduce cancer risks
  9. Helps to lower blood pressure responses to stress 

For more information visit: 

http://authoritynutrition.com/foods/walnuts/

http://www.thehealthsite.com/fitness/go-walnuts-13-health-benefits-of-this-awesome-nut/

For more nutritional information go to: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/nut-and-seed-products/3138/2

Some great and healthy recipes for walnuts include:

Poached Eggs with Spinach and Walnuts – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/poached-eggs-spinach-walnuts

Orange-Walnut Salad with Chickenhttp://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/orange_walnut_salad_chicken.html

Cucumber Salad with Yogurt and Walnuts – http://www.walnuts.org/cooking-with-walnuts/recipes/bulgarian-cucumber-salad-with-yogurt-and-walnuts/

Chicken Salad with Walnuts – http://www.walnuts.org/cooking-with-walnuts/recipes/chicken-salad/

For many, many, many MORE healthy walnut recipes visit: http://www.walnuts.org/cooking-with-walnuts/recipes/

Wheatgrass – 

Wheatgrass is a nutrient-rich type of young grass in the wheat family.  It is sold as a dietary supplement in tablet, capsule and liquid forms.  Wheatgrass is often used for juicing, or added to smoothies or tea. 

*2 ounces of wheatgrass juice has the nutritional equivalent of 5 pounds of the best raw organic vegetables!

I get that it can appear to be inaccessible, expensive, and gross, but with so many health benefits on the line why not compromise and try it?

However, consuming too much at any given time can render you nauseous and feeling sick. You have to slowly build up your serving sizes.  For instance, when you are first incorporating wheatgrass juice into your diet, start with only 1 ounce per day and slowly work up to 2 ounces per day.  You don’t need more than that. 

*Equally important as the amount you take is when you take it!  Wheatgrass should always be consumed on an empty stomach or with other fruits and vegetables.  It should never be consumed right after a meal; otherwise it will make you feel nauseated. 

**Important Note: Young children, pregnant women, and elders should consult their doctors before adding wheatgrass to their diets!

Health Benefits:

  • Reduces food cravings 
  • Increases red blood cells in the body and improves immunity 
  • Increases the amount of oxygen in the blood, stimulating circulation 
  • Improves digestion 
  • Reduces fatigue and boosts energy 
  • Effective in fighting inflammation and treating arthritis 
  • Cures skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis 
  • Detoxes and cleanses the liver 
  • Helps in fighting the common cold 
  • Stabilizes blood sugar levels 

Chlorophyll is what makes wheatgrass so powerful.  Chlorophyll is known to reverse aging, suppress hunger, cleanse our blood, combat odor, and prevent cancer. 

For more information visit:

http://www.organicauthority.com/health/15-uses-for-wheatgrass-juice.html

For nutritional information go to: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/custom/900675/2

Some great and healthy recipes for wheatgrass include:

Healthy Green Smoothie with Wheatgrass, Lemon and Honey –http://www.nutribulletrecipes.org/healthy-green-smoothie-recipe-with-wheatgrass-honey/

Energizing Green Smoothie – http://www.insonnetskitchen.com/energizing-green-smoothie/

Ginger Wheatgrass Pear Smoothie – https://greenblender.com/smoothies/recipes/ginger-wheatgrass-pear

Wheatgrass Shots – http://blog.freepeople.com/2012/05/wheatgrass-shots/

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “U”

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “U”

Good Morning Everyone!

We are on to the letter “U” in our journey through the alphabet of healthy foods!

Ugli Fruit (aka Tangelo)- 

Ugli fruits are actually a type of tangelo from Jamaica.  This citrus fruit is a cross between a grapefruit, orange and tangerine – sort of like a tangelo but bumpier skin and more lopsided.  One fruit contains about 140 percent of the daily-recommended value of vitamin C and only about 90 calories. 

This fruit is available in between November and April and is a very good source of vitamins and minerals!

Health Benefits:

  • Reduces the risk of cancer, stroke, hypertension and muscle related problems 
  • Protects against kidney stone formation 
  • Rich in vitamin B, promoting good oral health 
  • Promotes gum health 
  • Helps lower blood pressure 
  • Rich in vitamin C, strengthening immunity and helping us fight off infections 
  • You can make good use of this fruit in the form of juice, salads and breakfasts. 

Tips for Purchasing:

  • Select the fruits that are heavy for their size 
  • Smaller fruits usually have better flavor than the larger ones 
  • Do NOT buy fruits with bruises or brown spots

Tips for Storing:

  • You can store the fruit at room temperature for up to 5 days 
  • When stored in the refrigerator, it stays good for a couple of weeks

You can find this interesting fruit at most Whole Foods Markets and specialty markets.  They are distributed throughout Canada and the US so it’s possible you may even find some at Publix or Kroger.

For more information visit: 

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-ulgi-fruit/

http://www.speedyremedies.com/7-health-benefits-of-ugli-fruit.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tips on How to Eat Ugli Fruit:

http://www.wikihow.com/Eat-Ugli-Fruit

A great and healthy recipe for ugli fruit is:

Ugli Jell-O (substitute regular orange jello for sugar-free orange jello) –http://www.cdkitchen.com/recipes/recs/122/Ugli-Jell-O82535.shtml

 

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “T”

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “T”

Good Morning Everyone!

We are on to the letter “T” in our journey through the alphabet of healthy foods!

Tomatoes-  

There is more to eating tomatoes than good taste, they are great for your health!  They are incredibly versatile and can be prepared in a seemingly endless number of dishes, as well as being great to eat alone. 

Health Benefits of Tomatoes:  

  • The more tomatoes people eat the lower their risks of certain cancers, especially lung, stomach and prostate cancers  
  • A substance called lycopene, which is responsible for tomatoes red color, is thought to be the reason for this cancer protective effect
  • High in important antioxidants such as vitamin C and vitamin A
  • Contain important nutrients, such as niacin, folate and vitamin B6, that are associated with the reduction of heart disease risk
  • Help to improve the functioning of the digestive system and the liver
  • Prevents the appearance of kidney stones and gall bladder stones in the long term
  • Help to maintain healthy bones 
Depending on which nutrition expert you choose to listen to, some, without question will tell you tomatoes will cause inflammation and others will tell you this is a myth.  We are all different in the way our bodies react to food, meaning, for some tomatoes may not be the right choice and for others, tomatoes are the best choice. Pay attention to your own body and make the decision for yourself based on how you feel after you eat them.  Personally, I do eat them and I feel fantastic! 🙂
Have You Ever Tried Tomato Juice?

One of the most popular options for consuming tomatoes is in tomato juice.  Raw tomato juice is rich, tasty, and filled with essential vitamins A and K and all of the B vitamins. 

*It is always best to squeeze your own tomato juice from fresh tomatoes!  If you choose pre-made, packaged tomato juice, be sure the sodium level is within a healthy range for your daily intake.  

For more information visit:

http://healthimpactnews.com/2014/20-amazing-health-benefits-of-tomatoes-that-should-make-them-a-daily-staple-in-your-diet/

http://www.newhealthguide.org/Tomato-Juice-Benefits.html

One medium whole tomato contains:

  • 22 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 5 grams of carbohydrates
  • 1 gram of dietary fiber
  • 1 gram of protein
  • 6 milligrams of sodium

For more nutritional information go to: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2682/2

Some great and healthy recipes for tomatoes include:

Greek Tacos – http://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a33693/greek-tacos-122088/

Turmeric – 

Belonging to the ginger family, turmeric has been used in the Middle East and East India for thousands of years, and is now one of the most highly prized spices in the world!  It is arguably the most powerful herb on the planet at fighting and potentially reversing disease.    

It is a spice that gives curry its yellow color.  Curcumin is the main active ingredient in turmeric.  It has powerful anti-inflammatory effects and is a very strong antioxidant. 

Health Benefits:

  • Improve your ability to digest fats
  • Reduces gas and bloating
  • Decreases congestion
  • Improves skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne
  • Curcumin is a powerful anti-inflammatory agent
  • Doesn’t produce the toxic effects of ulcer formation, internal bleeding, and even a lowered white blood cell count that synthetic drugs sometimes do
  • Provides relief from joint pain, such as rheumatoid arthritis, reduced joint swelling, and greater range of motion when used daily

Additional (Possible) Health Benefits:

  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Protects the heart
  • Relieves indigestion
  • Improves liver function
  • Prevents cancer and inhibits cancer cell growth, specifically breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancers

According to Dr. Axe and the extensive research he has done, turmeric benefits go beyond that of these 10 drugs – http://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/

***Always consult with your physician before making ANY changes to your current health routine***:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Anti-depressants (Prozac)
  • Chemotherapy
  • Anti-coagulants (Aspirin)
  • Pain killers
  • Diabetes drugs (Metformin)
  • Arthritis medications
  • Inflammatory bowel disease drugs
  • Cholesterol drugs (Lipitor)
  • Steroids

***One of the most powerful advantages curcumin has over the traditional medical approach is the lack of side effects***

Along with adding turmeric into your diet you may also consider taking it or curcumin in supplement form.  If you take it in supplement form, it is recommended that you take 800 to 1,000 mg daily.

Tip: Taking turmeric in combination with black pepper, which contains piperine, improves turmeric absorbability throughout the entire body!! 

7 Easy Ways to Eat and Drink Turmeric: http://www.thekitchn.com/7-ways-to-eat-drink-turmeric-198696

For more information visit:

http://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/

http://foodfacts.mercola.com/turmeric.html

http://draxe.com/turmeric-benefits/

For more nutritional information go to:  http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/spices-and-herbs/212/2

Some great and healthy recipes for turmeric include:

Anti-Inflammatory Turmeric Tea – http://autoimmune-paleo.com/anti-inflammatory-turmeric-tea/

15 Easy and Satisfying Low-Sugar Snacks

15 Easy and Satisfying Low-Sugar Snacks

Good Morning Everyone!!

We’re beginning week 2 of the Sugar *5* Challenge!!!  I know several of you were feeling the effects of cutting back on sugar last week – it’s not easy but it is worth it!!  From some of the feedback I’ve received, you’re already starting to feel so much better WITHOUT the sugar!!  Keep it up!!!  Check these snack options out below.  Feel free to share any of your favorites that aren’t on the list.

Have a fantastic Monday!!!

15 Easy and Satisfying Low-Sugar Snacks

1. 3 tablespoons of hummus and a red pepper (sliced)

     Calories: 121 calories

     Fat: 4 grams
     Carbs: 18 grams
     Sugars: 7 grams
     Protein: 5 grams

2. Vanilla ricotta crème (1/2 cup ricotta cheese, part skim, 1/4 tsp vanilla extract and one teaspoon stevia)

     Calories: 170 calories

     Fat: 10 grams
     Carbs: 6 grams
     Sugars: 1 gram
     Protein: 14 grams

3. 1 no-bake gluten-free oatmeal energy ball

(Recipe: http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/no-bake-gluten-free-energy-balls/ )

     Calories: 145 calories

     Fat: 8 grams
     Carbs: 16 grams
     Sugars: 4 grams
     Protein: 4 grams

4. 1 hardboiled egg (sliced) and served with 3 slices of avocado

Calories: 150 calories

     Fat: 7 grams
     Carbs: 4 grams
     Sugars: 1 grams
     Protein: 7 grams

5. 1/2 cup of boiled (shelled) organic edamame with sea salt

     Calories: 120 calories

     Fat: 4 grams
     Carbs: 11 grams
     Sugars: 5 grams
     Protein: 10 grams

6. 3 steamed asparagus spears, each wrapped in a piece of sliced turkey breast and dipped in mustard

     Calories: 100 calories

     Fat: 2 grams
     Carbs: 3 grams
     Sugars: 2 grams
     Protein: 7 grams

7. 8 cherry tomatoes and 1.5-oz of feta cheese

     Calories: 134 calories

     Fat: 6 grams
     Carbs: 6 grams
     Sugars: 5 grams
     Protein: 6 grams

8. Sweet potato fries — made from approximately ½ a sweet potato

(Recipe: http://www.livestrong.com/recipes/jess-bees-sweet-potato-fries/ )

     Calories: 174 calories

     Fat: 9 grams
     Carbs: 20 grams
     Sugars: 6 grams
     Protein: 3 grams

9. 6-oz plain Greek yogurt with 1 tablespoon of natural unsweetened peanut butter mixed in

     Calories: 200 calories

     Fat: 9 grams
     Carbs: 9 grams
     Sugars: 6 grams
     Protein: 23 grams

10. 2 cups popcorn (avoid microwave popcorn) sprinkled with 1 tablespoon of grated parmesan cheese

     Calories: 84 calories

     Fat: 2 grams
     Carbs: 12 grams
     Sugars: 0 grams
     Protein: 4 grams

11. 4 tablespoons of guacamole and 5 celery sticks and 5 baby carrots

     Calories: 105 calories

     Fat: 5 grams
     Carbs: 14 grams
     Sugars: 7 grams

12. 1/2 cup low-fat (2%) cottage cheese and 1/2 cup sliced strawberries OR 1/4 cup frozen blueberries

     Calories: 114 calories

     Fat: 1 grams
     Carbs: 12 grams
     Sugars: 9 grams
     Protein: 15 grams

13. 10 baby carrots and 1 tablespoon of almond butter

     Calories: 136 calories

     Fat: 9 grams
     Carbs: 11 grams
     Sugars: 6 grams
     Protein: 3 grams

14. 1 part skim mozzarella cheese stick and 1/2 sliced pear

     Calories: 133 calories

     Fat: 6 grams
     Carbs: 14 grams
     Sugars: 8 grams
     Protein: 8 grams

15. 1/2 sliced apple and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter

     Calories: 130 calories

     Fat: 8 grams
     Carbs: 13 grams
     Sugars: 8 grams
     Protein: 4 grams

http://www.livestrong.com/blog/15-easy-low-sugar-snacks/

Healthy Foods A-Z, “S”

Healthy Foods A-Z, “S”

Good Morning Everyone!

We are on to the letter “S” in our journey through the alphabet of healthy foods!

Sweet Potatoes- 

 

 

 

 

Packed with both nutrients and a sweet flavor, sweet potatoes are one of the most versatile and healthy vegetables available.  They are full of disease-preventing, cancer-fighting, and immune-boosting benefits.  They are good sources of the anti-inflammatory nutrients, vitamins A and C, making them an excellent food choice for those suffering from arthritis or asthma.  They rank medium on the glycemic index meaning they have less of an effect on blood glucose levels and will benefit individuals with diabetes. 

**Reminder**: Sweet potatoes are NOT yams even though they tend to be used interchangeably 

Health Benefits:

  • Being very rich in beta carotene, a major antioxidant, sweet potatoes are excellent immune boosters defending your body from various conditions and afflictions
  • They have anti-inflammatory properties, effective in curing internal and external inflammation
  • Effective in curing congestion of the nose and lung and providing relief from bronchitis and asthma
  • Their beta carotene and vitamin C content is beneficial for curing various types of cancers, mainly those of the colon, intestines, prostate, and kidneys 
  • They are soothing on the stomach and the intestines, easing digestion
  • Helps the body retain water; maintaining water balance in the body, keeping you hydrated and your cells functioning efficiently

White Potatoes vs. Sweet Potatoes:

Sweet Potatoes win every time!

Both pack a powerful nutritional punch, yet sweet potatoes provide 400% of our daily requirement of vitamin A!  They also have more vitamin C, fewer calories, more fiber and fewer total carbohydrates than white potatoes. 

*Sweet potatoes may cost more than white potatoes but the extra nutritional benefits outweigh the cost!

For more information visit:

http://health.clevelandclinic.org/2013/03/white-potatoes-vs-sweet-potatoes-which-is-healthier/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/vegetable/health-benefits-of-sweet-potatoes.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on the serving size above, 1 medium sweet potato contains 6g of sugar.

Some great and healthy recipes for sweet potatoes include:

Couscous, Sweet Potato, and Black Soybean Salad – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/couscous-sweet-potato-black-soybean-salad#mr-livefyre-ratings

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                  

Sweet Potato and Butternut Squash Au Gratin – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/sweet-potato-butternut-gratin

 

 

 

 

Cheesy Roasted Sweet Potatoes – http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/roast-sweet-potatoes

 

 

 

Roast Chicken and Sweet Potatoes – http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/chicken_sweet_potatoes.html

 

 

 

 

Sauerkraut – 

 

 

 

Sauerkraut is a German word that simply means sour white cabbage.  It is shredded cabbage and salt that has been fermented. 

**According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, fermenting foods increases their nutritional content, makes them easier to digest and adds probiotics.  

It is popularly used as a side dish or even as a condiment in certain cultures, which can be added to sausage or hot dogs.  Fermented foods are common throughout the world, but sauerkraut is one that has managed to become popular throughout Europe, Asia, and America.

It contains high levels of dietary fiber, as well as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K and various B vitamins.  It is a good source of iron, sodium, magnesium, calcium, and contributes a moderate amount of protein to your diet. 

Sauerkraut is a GREAT probiotic!

*In order to be beneficial to your health, your probiotics need to be alive and present in high concentrations and raw sauerkraut can contain a mixture of over 13 different species of live, gut-friendly bacteria

                **Tip: As long as you don’t heat or cook the sauerkraut, which would kill the probiotics, you are guaranteed to be ingesting high amounts of live beneficial bacteria in every mouthful!

Although the taste and smell of sauerkraut may not be favorable, it can be a major source of health benefits for you! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more information visit:

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/other/sauerkraut.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/538697-is-sauerkraut-better-than-probiotics-in-the-store/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For more nutritional information go to: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/7666/2

Some great and healthy recipes for sauerkraut include:

Apple, Sauerkraut and Cheddar Quesadillas – http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/apple_sauerkraut_cheddar_quesadillas.html

 

 

 

 

Turkey Pastrami Sandwich – http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/turkey_pastrami_sandwich.html

 

 

 

 

 

Quick and Easy Homemade Raw Sauerkraut –  http://vegetarian.about.com/od/rawfoodsrecipes/ss/homemade-sauerkruat.htm

 

 

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “R”

Healthy Foods from A-Z, “R”

Good Afternoon Everyone!

We are on to the letter “R” in our journey through the alphabet of healthy foods!

Raspberries- 

Vividly colored and refreshingly sweet, juicy and satisfying to eat, raspberries also offer an abundance of health benefits from helping to control weight to possibly helping prevent cancer.  Although it is hard to beat the flavor and texture of fresh raspberries, they can also be frozen, freeze-dried, and even dried and powdered without losing their nutritional value.

Raspberries are available in many hybrid forms and have numerous varieties including:

  • Red
  • Purple
  • Black
  • Blue
  • Golden

*For maximum health benefits snack on black raspberries!

Health Benefits:

  • Increases immunity and slows down aging
  • Protects against cancerous growths
  • Improves vision and prevents the eye and retina from infections
  • Prevents inflammation of the stomach, intestines and bones
  • Aid in diabetes management by preventing blood sugar spikes
  • Promotes healthy weight loss
  • Improves blood circulation and cardiovascular health

For more information visit:

http://wiki-fitness.com/health-benefits-of-raspberry/

https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/fruit/health-benefits-of-raspberry.html

http://www.livestrong.com/article/419257-benefits-of-raspberries/

1 cup of fresh raspberries contains:

  • 64 calories
  • 1.5 grams of protein
  • 8 grams of dietary fiber
  • 14.7 grams of carbohydrates

Some great and healthy recipes for raspberries include:

Raspberry Honey Parfait – http://www.eat-yourself-skinny.com/2013/01/raspberry-honey-parfait.html

Raspberry, Chicken, Feta and Hemp Salad  – http://noshingwiththenolands.com/raspberry-chicken-and-feta-salad/

Healthy Raspberry Blueberry Smoothie – http://thetoughcookie.com/2014/02/18/healthy-raspberry-blueberry-smoothie/

Energizing Beet Smoothie with Raspberries and Chia Seeds – http://thetoughcookie.com/2014/04/29/energizing-beet-smoothie-with-raspberries-and-chia-seeds/

 

Radishes- 

While many vegetables have been pushed upon us at the dinner table as kids, you don’t often hear “eat your radishes honey.”  Radishes have a host of health benefits but are typically under-appreciated.  They are definitely a food we need to start paying more attention to and eating on a daily basis. 

9 Reasons To Eat Your Radishes:

  1. They are a naturally cooling food, meaning they are able to decrease excess heat in the body that can build up during the warmer months
  2. Can help to fight a cold by eliminating excess mucus in the body, clearing the sinuses, and soothing a soar throat
  3. Help to break down food and toxins and aid in digestion
  4. Regular consumption can help prevent viral infections because of their high vitamin C content
  5. Help to break down and eliminate toxins in the body
  6. Protect against cancer
  7.  They have a calming effect on the digestive system and can help relieve bloating and indigestion
  8. Low in calories and high in nutrients
  9. Can help to keep your body hydrated and your skin looking fresh and healthy

For more information visit:

http://www.fullcircle.com/goodfoodlife/2012/05/14/9-reasons-to-eat-your-radishes/

For more nutritional information go to: http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2606/2

Some great and healthy recipes for radishes include:

Radishes with Creamy Ricotta – http://www.realsimple.com/food-recipes/browse-all-recipes/radishes-creamy-ricotta

Radish Tea Sandwiches with Creamy Dill Spread – http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/radish_tea_sandwiches_creamy_dill_spread.html

Radish and Arugula Crostini with Brie – http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/radish-arugula-crostini-brie

Cold Radish-Cucumber Soup – http://food52.com/recipes/17605-cold-radish-cuke-soup