Tag >> nutrition

 

 Image credit: Magdus Hagdorn via Flickr Commons

Kiwi fruit is exotic in both taste and color. The flavor and fragrance of this fruit are both very inviting and refreshing. There are many reasons to get attracted to this wonderful creation of nature and those topping the chart are its health benefits. This sweet and sour fruit can work as the power house of vitamins and minerals with its rich properties. It is a wonder in itself and here are the reasons why you may include this fruit in your daily diet.

1. Say no to stress!

All fruits are good for health as they are protective foods. Kiwi is even better as it works for both, physical and mental health of the consumer. It keeps your mind and body fresh with high serotonin levels. Higher serotonin levels are known for uplifting mood and relieving stress. It will also positively affect the memory by making your brain alert and body active.

2. Super rich in Vitamin C


We’ve all heard this a million times that vegetables are healthy, and we should, at least, eat one vegetable, a day.All vegetables are packed with nutrients that can help boost our immune system and improve our physical and mental well-being. But, I’m not here to blabber about the obvious, we all know vegetables are high in protein and etc. I’m here to shed some light on a particular vegetable with a few facts you may benefit from.

Kale, being a highly nutritious leafy green, is very under rated and not widely recognized. Many of you may not have heard much about this vegetable or if you have, you might not have the right information abut its numerous benefits. So, listed below are some kale facts that may help you choose kale over a number of unhealthy options.

Cholesterol 

Cholesterol has numerous critical tasks in the body. One of them is making bile acids, which are substances that offer us some assistance with digesting fats. The liver turns cholesterol into bile acids, which are then discharged into the digestive framework at whatever point we consume a fatty meal. At the point, when all the fat has been absorbed and the bile acids have performed their job, they are reabsorbed into the blood stream and utilized again. Substances called bile acid sequestrants can prevent bile acids from being reabsorbed. This decreases the aggregate sum of cholesterol in the body. Kale really contains bile acids sequestrants, which can bring down cholesterol levels. This ought to prompt a decreased danger of coronary illness , after some time. 

Cancer

Kale is rich in 2 types of anti-oxidants: carotenoids, and flavonoids which are known as cancer preventative agents . Inside of the carotenoids exists lutein and beta-carotene which are excellent anti-oxidants. Researchers have really looked into these two carotenoids in kale by examining the human digestive system and the circulatory system; they witnessed that kale ended upraising blood levels of these carotenoid supplements. That discovery is vital in light of the fact that lutein and beta-carotene are key supplements that protect our body from oxidative stress and health issuesrelated to oxidative stress. Increased risk of cataracts, atherosclerosis, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are three such issues. Additionally, among these problems, the biggest is cancer, since the general danger of cells getting to be cancerous is related to oxidative stress. 

Eyes

Apart from kale being rich in vitamins, minerals and helping you develop stronger bones ; kale is also known to prevent eye disorders! Lutein and Zeaxanthin are 2 anti- oxidants that are found abundantly in kale. Some surveys have shown that individuals who eat substantial amounts of these two anti-oxidants are known to have a lower chance of encountering macular degeneration and cataracts.These2are very common eye disorders that many people fall victim to. 

Weight loss

Kale can be used in a variety of recipes such as salads and with pasta, so it fills you up relatively faster without giving you the feeling of starvation every few minutes. It’s known to be good for your digestive system so you don’t end up storing unnecessary calories and fats. It is also packed with a bunch of vitamins that gives you the strength, you need to hit the gym or exercise. No wonder, it’s known as the queen of vegetables!

Stronger bones 

Kale contains more calcium than milk, and if eaten on a daily basis it can help to improve over all bone health. A lot of people have fragile bones and eat various medications in order to recover their bone strength. What most people don’t know is if they eat this beneficial leafy green on a daily basis their bones can be stronger without the risk of any other health issues! Vitamin K which is also present in kale is excellent for promoting bone density. 

It’s a great detox!

Kale can be eaten raw, in a salad, or consumed as a detox drink. It helps rid the liver of all impurities and cleanses your body. This zero fat food rejuvenates the body and flushes out all toxins from within which is essential, at times, as it effects the working of your heart and brain. An over loaded liver, sometimes, can cause severe health complications and effect the performance of your organs. You may feel lethargic at work or experience trivial heart burns at home. It can be anything ranging from something minor to something big. Thus, one should detox their bodies every once in a while. It makes your mind and body fresher. 

Kale is packed with healthy compounds that go a long way in doing wonders! Plus, there are many delicious and scrumptious recipes in which this valuable vegetable can be used. Kale can be used in soups, salads, juices, as sideline dish with your steak or eaten stir fried. There are so many ways you can play with different recipes to incorporate kale into your diet. If your kids aren’t fond of it, serve it to them with a burger or as a smoothie, something that may balance the taste for them. So quit stalling and as of tomorrow, make sure your family gets a substantial intake of this vegetable!

 Written by Alex Malinsky


 Image credit for kale: Stone Soup on Flickr

When it comes to nutrition advice, one thing is for sure: there is a lot of information and even more opinions out there. However, through all of the information overload there seems to be one truth that everyone can agree upon: eat more plants, with a heavy emphasis on greens. Eating more plants, specifically green plants, means that your body will be gaining to benefit from a plethora of important vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients by default. Green foods also happen to high in amino acids (the building blocks of protein), high in fiber (which helps clear out the GI tract and balance blood sugar), and also helps both detox and alkalinize the body.

In honor of St. Patrick's Day - the "greenest" holiday of all - we're sharing our top 8 green superfoods! - one of which might actually be growing in your very own back yard.

1. Spirulina (or other superfood algaes like chlorella and E3 Live)

The queen of all green superfoods, spirulina really offers a complete package of nutrition. Like nature's multivitamin/mineral supplement, spirulina offers a wealth of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and antioxidants as well as very high levels of protein (60% by weight), omega fatty acids, and other unique compounds that help to protect the integrity of our cells. If you're looking for one green superfood to start incorporate, start with spirulina. Check out Amazing Algae from our brand Veggimins for a very synergistic blend of spirulina, chlorella, and E3 Live blue green algae.

2. Dandelion Greens

You might want to think twice before pulling this "weed" out of your garden. While most of us still consider dandelion greens to be a bit pesky, they are actually highly medicinal and potent superfoods for our bodies. Dandelion leaves are incredible for the liver, helping to cleanse and protect this often overworked yet under-loved organ. It is also a rich source of beta carotene (which our body converts to vitamin A), Vitamin C, fiber, potassium, iron, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus.

3. Arugula

Arugula can give thanks to sulfur containing compound sulforaphane for its delicious, signature wasabi-like spicy flavor, however, this compound does far more than just wake up those taste buds. This compound, found in many vegetables within the cruciferous family such as broccoli and cabbage, has been shown to help protect against certain types of cancer.

4. Kale

Once a green that only hard core health foodies were noshing on, kale can now be found in many manifestations on juice bar, cafe, and restaurant menus from coast to coast, as well as in many packaged foods like kale chips. Kale is a hearty green, and helps fortify the blood and build strong bones with calcium, magnesium, iron (more per calorie than beef ), Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and plenty of protein.

5. Parsley

Parsley is FAR more than just a garnish. This super herb is rich with Vitamin C (one of the best sources!), and Vitamin K for healthy blood. Parsley is also a powerful detox herb, and even helps freshen the breathe if chewed after a meal.

6. Watercress

Want to achieve a youthful, dewy glow? Eat more watercress. This flavorful leafy green is rich with Vitamin K, Vitamin A, B Vitamins,Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and also packs in the iron, calcium and iodine - a cocktail of beautifying nutrition.  

7. Avocado

For those of us who love avo it's hard to imagine life (or a single salad) without them!  While not technically a "green", avocados do have a beautiful muted lime green hue, and by pairing them with our salad greens, actually help aid in the proper absorption of all of those critical fat-soluble nutrients such as beta carotene and Vitamin K, thanks to their high levels of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats.  

8. Hemp Seeds
 
Don't consider hemp seeds to be a "green" superfood? Look a little closer. These powerhouse seeds contain specks of chlorophyll - in fact a high quality hemp oil will even have a slightly greenish hue. Hemp seeds are one of the best sources of plant based protein, have a perfect ratio of omega fatty acids 3, 6 and 9, and offer a wealth of vitamins and minerals. They're also very hypo-allergenic, meaning they don't tend to trigger allergic reactions like many other nuts and seeds do. As a food crop, hemp is also incredibly sustainable for the environment as well, needing very little in terms of natural resources or pest control to thrive - just one more reason why they make our "green" superfood list.

Written by Anna Speaks - Resident Blogger and Social Media Manager at Windy City Organics and RawGuru




























While most of us have experienced the refreshment and deliciousness that is watermelon fruit, the seeds are not typically something we give much thought to, let alone value as a source of nutrition. In fact, finding a watermelon with actual seeds these days is becoming more and more rare, as farmers hybridize them to meet a consumer demand for something ultra sweet and seedless.

However, before you seek out seedless watermelon, or spit out another seed, consider these 9 little known superfood benefits (plus a bonus at the end of how to get the benefits in the most delicious way possible...)

1. Essential Amino Acids - watermelon seeds contain essential amino acids such as tryptophan, arginine, lysine, and glutamic acids. Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins and aid in tissue repair, muscle strength, balanced metabolism, and immunity.

2. The Good Fats - the fats within watermelon seeds are both monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated fats. These heart-healthy fats are recommended by the American Heart Association for protecting against heart attack, stroke, and lowering bad cholesterol levels within the blood.

3. Magnesium - just 100 grams of watermelon seeds offer the body 139% of the RDA for this critical mineral. Magnesium is vital for optimal heart function, helps relax the muscles and prevent cramping, improves digestion and elimination, helps strengthen bones, and helps lower high blood pressure.


For anyone starting to think about going down the road of veganism, many of the more "seasons" veterans of the lifestyle will often extole its virtues. As one would expect, it offers many benefits, such as losing unwanted weight more easily, increasing your energy naturally, and decreasing risks of some pretty bad diseases like heart disease and cancer. Certainly these are all excellent and great benefits, and should be lauded at every opportunity. Yet, there are even more benefits that vegans tend to forget about when talking to those making the lifestyle switch.

Veganism brings with it one of the best treatments for your skin you could ever imagine, often turning dry, more acne-prone skin into healthy, supple and beautiful skin after switching to this lifestyle. A recent study by the University of St. Andrews in Scotland found that fruit and vegetable consumption led to significant benefits for the user's skin health and significantly more appealing skin tones . This probably doesn't come as much of a surprise to long time vegans, but it shows one of the truly great benefits of choosing this lifestyle that goes beyond the typical internal health effects we often associated with cutting out meat.

 7 Big Vegan Foods that Give Healthy and Beautiful Skin 

Out there are a variety of foods which not only help clear up your complexion, but can help you to protect your skin from dryness, make a more pleasant skin tone. Fruits and vegetables with carotenoids are those that have been identified as some fo the most useful for improving skin tone, as they are the red-yellow pigments often found in vegetables we eat every day. These make our skin naturally more supple in color, better looking and healthier. They also actually do make our skin healthier as it turns out. 

 1. Tomatoes 

Tomatoes are natural antioxidants, containing lycopene, which helps to protect skin from free radical and other aging properties that produce wrinkles. They are rich in carotenoids, helping your skin stay healthy and have a rosy tone. Though you'll want to ensure you use sunscreen as normal, tomatoes have also been shown to help reduce sun damage to your skin as they have anti-UV absorption properties as well. Slice and dice them alone or put them in a salad, tomatoes are an awesome vegan staple with some real "omph" for your skin's health. 2. Flax Seeds 

2. Flax seeds

 Flax seeds are rich in what are known as omega-3 fatty acids, which have been show to keep skin hydrated. This helps fight wrinkles and improves complexion. Flax seeds have also been used for decades to help lower trigylceride levels and reduce inflammation in the heart, helping to prevent heart disease. Flax is a common addition to many recipes, however, there's a difference in ground flax seeds and the naturally encased varieties that's important to consider. Whole flax seeds typically have more benefits according to health specialists.

 3.  Sweet Potatoes (Yams)  

Sweet potatoes offer loads of Vitamin C, which is a vitamin that's been shown to reduce the appearance of fine lines by boosting collagen in the skin. With a full serving of this vegetable, you will typically receive around 2 times your daily suggested Vitamin C and it will be yummy as well!

 4. Spinach 

As a vegan, you probably already eat a lot of spinach, in salads, as toppings on substitute meats or in quiches. Yet, there's more benefits than just the fiber and iron that we usually associate with spinach. In a recent publication in International Journal of Cancer an 11 year study was conducted that showed that consuming spinach and collard greens helped reduce the risk of skin cancers by over 40%. This is certainly no small feat, and represents one of the highest natural benefits for skin cancer reduction from food known to exist. Spinach also tastes great, so load up on those leafy greens!

 5.  Walnuts 

Walnuts have recently been described as a “superfood” due to its high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids, which help tremendously with heart health. Walnuts also have natural oils which help to moisturize the skin and give your skin a much younger appearnce. Over time, wrinkles are slowed as well due to the reduction in fine lines. Not only do you improve your heart health by lowering cholesterol but you make your outsides match your insides. 

 6. Carrots 

Certainly won't come as a surprise to many people, since carrots have often been discussed as having great benefits to your skin. Yet, these orange veggies don't always get the credit they deserve on the plate. Carrots are rich in carotenoids just like tomatoes, and give your skin a beautiful sheen and healthy color. They are also rich in vitamin A, an essential vitamin for our bodies and one that fights cancer, and antioxidants. Beta-carotine has been shown in recent NIH studies to offer UV protection of the skin as well, lowering risk of sun damage and wrinkles. Something as simple as adding some babby carrots with a hummus dip can help you capture these benefits whenever you snack.

 7. Safflower Oil  

Many vegans are probably familiar with use safflower oil to make scrambled tofu or cooking those faux bacon strips in the morning, but new research actually shows that it helps to protect and moisturize your skin as well. This oil is actually great for external uses, not just for cooking your favorite veggies. However, safflower oil also has the added benefit of helping tremendously with dermatological health in the body, helping to treat skin conditions like acne or eczema. 

There is certainly a lot of skin benefits to be had from the vegan lifestyle, beyond the health benefits we always think about. It's something to keep in mind when selecting among these seven foods as well, that they also provide these added skin benefits, helping to boost skin tone, skin health and sometimes even reduce fine lines over the long term.

More About The Author 

Timothy is a regular writer on topics related to weight gain and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. He often writes for HCG Plus on their online blog and web shop for real, non-homeopathic diet supplements. These supplements aid in burning stored fat and help people to naturally lose weight




Chlorella has proven to be one of the most pertinent superfoods in modern times. It's exceptionally high nutrient content alone is enough for recognition, however it is also highly detoxifying with a unique ability to bind and pull out heavy metals within the body. 

This superfood algae is a form of single cell blue-green algae with a beautiful emerald hue. It has been touted as nature's multi-vitamin/mineral due to its well rounded and balanced array of food-based nutrients. While synthetic vitamins are often flushed out of the body due to their inorganic nature, the nutrients within chlorella are synergistically combined with all necessary co-factors and are thus easily utilized by the body.This is especially beneficial for those with compromised digestive systems or low vitality. 

Consume chlorella daily for a dose of plant based, organic Vitamin A (carotenoids), C, E, B1, B2, B6, B12, potassium, iron, calcium, as well as essential amino and fatty acids. Carotenoids in particular offer the body strong protection against cellular oxidation which can lead to things such as cancer or cardiovascular disease. It also helps protect our eyesight and can play a huge role in the treatment macular degeneration as well as vision loss due to diabetes.

Chlorella contains all essential amino acids in a form which the body can easily utilize to build protein. It's high levels of chlorophyll are 10 x that found in wheatgrass, barley grass and alfalfa! This green plant pigment helps to build healthy human blood cells, oxygenate the entire body, and detoxify the bloodstream and colon. Chlorella has also been shown to support healthy gut flora making it a great addition to your daily probiotic/prebiotic protocol for healthy digestion, elimination and immune support. With its high level of nutrition chlorella can help stabilize the blood sugar and increase energy levels by nourishing every aspect of your body!






The positive impact that probiotics can have on our health is not news to anyone these days, yet prebiotics  - which play an equally important role in the health of our gut - don't get as much press.

What are they?

In short, prebiotics are sugars which act as a food source for our probiotic bacteria. Ingesting probiotics is critical, but if they can't survive or proliferate once in the digestive system, they can't have nearly the same potency or beneficial impact on our health long term.

Where are they found?

Do you have a sweet tooth? Your probiotic bacteria are in the same boat. Probiotics need particular forms of sugar to thrive. Anyone who has made a batch of kefir or kombucha at home has experienced the importance of adding a form of sugar for the bacteria to consume. In order to make a cultured food, the probiotics need something to feed on - a form of sugar such as honey or cane sugar is always added to a kombucha starter, or in the example of yogurt, the probiotics consume the lactose within the milk.

The best type of plant based prebiotic: inulin

Inulin describes a group of polysaccharide sugars found within many plant foods - such as apples, bananas, onions, asparagus, tomatoes, and other fruits, as well as root vegetables - most notably jerusalem artichoke, chicory root, burdock root, dandelion root and yacon root. These root vegetables contain a special subgroup of inulin known as fructooligosaccharides (or FOS for short) which have been shown to have a very positive impact on probiotic levels in the GI tract. While are probiotics love them, FOS sugars are not digested and absorbed by the human body, meaning they don't have the same blood sugar elevating effects of normal sucrose, therefore making them a safe sweetener option for diabetics. 

Probiotics and prebiotics are vital in terms of strengthening the immune system, enhancing the digestive process, and increasing the absorption of certain critical nutrients such as calcium and help synthesize B vitamins and Vitamin K. Our relationship with the trillions of microbes in our body is complex and there is still much to learn, but one thing is for certain: ingesting probiotics and prebiotics daily can have profound positive impacts on our health.

Visit our shop to learn about Sunbiotics probiotic supplements. These organic supplements come in formulas for both adults and children, and contain organic yacon root prebiotics with no additives.

Written by Jennifer Ljung - Guest Blogger at RawGuru and Windy City Organics

 














So you've finally called it quits with the white stuff this year…congratulations! Avoiding processed sugar is one of the best steps you can take towards becoming your healthiest self. If the thought of not having a sweet treat leaves you in a sour mood (pun intended) you'll be happy to know that there is no need to completely deprive that sweet tooth of yours. There are some incredible alternatives to standard refined sugar that will lend the sweet taste you crave, albeit in a much healthier way.

Coconut Sap Sugar



Perhaps the most versatile of sugar alternatives, coconut sugar can be used to replace white table sugar in a perfect 1:1 ratio. Coconut sugar is crystalized from coconut sap found within coconut palm flower blossoms. It has a delicious maple and caramel-like flavor that lends very well in a variety of dessert recipes. Your pancreas will also thank you, as coconut sugar contains a type of fiber called inulin, which slows glucose absorption helping to prevent a quick rise and fall of blood sugar levels. It is also rich with minerals potassium, magnesium, calcium, and phosphorus with trace amounts also of boron, zinc, manganese, iron and copper.

Find RawGuru's organic, fair trade Balinese coconut sugar HERE

Coconut Nectar

Like coconut sugar, coconut nectar comes from the coconut palm, however it is still in a liquid form. It provides the same health benefits of coconut sap sugar (low glycemic and rich with minerals), but is better suited for applications that require liquid sweeteners. It's flavor and texture is very similar to that of molasses.

Grade B Maple Syrup






A joint refers to where two or more bones are connected together. Joints can be movable or rigid. They are important in ensuring bending of knees and elbows, movement of hips and also bending your back. Joint health ensures that bones do not rub against each other.  

Between the joints is a cartilage and synovial fluid that prevents friction between the bones. Healthy joints therefore help in providing efficiency of the cartilage in allowing bones to glide over each other. Poor joint health results in wear and tear of the cartilage and can later cause arthritis. It is therefore necessary to ensure joint health to protect against such complications. Below are some of the foods and nutrients that are essential in maintaining joint health.

Broccoli

Studies have showed that broccoli together with other vegetables help maintain health of the joints.  Broccoli contains sulforaphane, a compound that blocks enzymes that destroy joints thus inhibiting joint inflammation. Vitamin K is another component found in broccoli. An increased intake of broccoli leads to high amounts of vitamin K in the body thus slowing down wear and tear of the joints. Joint soother contains compounds of sulforaphane thus its use helps block joint inflammation and damage of the cartilage.

Omega-3Fats

Omega-3 fats are mostly found in walnuts, flax seeds, salmon and sardines. These fats reduce inflammation by reducing the rate of production of enzymes that cause cartilage erosion. Reduction of cartilage erosion leads to little or no friction between joints of the bones hence less pain is experienced. Omega-3 fats, together with joint soother formula, play a major part in reducing rheumatoid arthritis related symptoms; this is mainly showed by patients experiencing less fatigue, reduced joint tenderness and swelling and also maximum reduction of body pain. Use of omega -3s from nuts and fish oils reduces depression caused by arthritis by boosting antidepressants effects. Omega-3 fatty acids also help in the reduction of cardiovascular diseases which can be a result of rheumatoid arthritis.

Ginger

For many years ginger has been used in the maintenance of joint health. According to Journal of medicine Food ginger plays a very important role of acting as an anti-inflammatory and an antioxidant by mainly acting as a blood thinner. According to Altman, “research shows that ginger affects certain inflammatory processes at a cellular level.” This is because it has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. It is advisable to consult a nutritionist before taking ginger as a medication to avoid excessive intake and also to avoid the reverse of the effects of the other drugs you might be taking. Correct intake of ginger combines with the three components of joint soother to help nourish and support joint cartilage.

Vitamins

Vitamins which are essential in maintaining joint health include vitamin A, C and E. They are usually grouped under antioxidants. Antioxidants play an important role in fighting against free radicals that damage joints and also cause joint pain. Vitamin C can be obtained from fruits such as papaya and vegetables such as broccoli while vitamin E is mainly found in avocados and cereals. Avocado is one of the ingredients that have been used in the manufacture of Cosamin ASU 180 caps, an advanced formula for managing health joints.  Vitamin E extracts in Cosamin ASU 180 caps combine with chondroitin sulfate in joint soother to promote joint health.

Conclusion

There are other foods in addition to the ones mentioned above that help maintain joint health. These foods include sour cherries, parsley, pineapple, turmeric and green tea. Putting together an anti-inflammatory diet is the best solution towards maintaining joint health. In addition to enjoying an anti-inflammatory diet, it is advisable that one avoids foods such as meat, foods containing gluten and also caffeinated beverages.

References

https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/joint-pain/3-best-foods-that-fight-inflammation.html

www.runnersworld.com/nutrition-for-runners/joint-food

www.blackstoneorthopedics.com/fuel-nutrients-fuel-joint-health/

Author Bio:

Ella James is an aspiring author who is pursuing Health Services Administration degree from St. Petersburg College. She is an active contributor to Consumer Health Digest . Her interests include reading and writing about Health Conditions, Fitness, Diet and Weight loss. Get connected with her on Facebook and Twitter.


Raw, stone ground nut butters make an excellent way to fuel and nourish your body, as they are rich with healthy fats and proteins for a stabilizing effect on blood sugar. They're also straight up delicious and satisfying in a way that is hard to trump, especially for something so simple, natural, and minimally processed.

While there is nothing wrong with enjoying nut butters in the time tested and ever-classic PB&J (or our personal favorite: the AB&J - A for Almond), if this has been the limits of your nut butter exploration, there is literally an entire world of deliciousness and versatility for you to explore!

Get your Dastony butters ready for dipping, dunking, mixing and drizzling.

(Pssst - there's a coupon code at the end...)

1. Instant Nut Milks with Zero Additives



As awareness rises on the often times detrimental health impacts that certain processed food additives like carrageenan can have on our bodies, more people are reading ingredient lists and are looking for alternatives to their favorite dairy less milk alternatives. Nut butter to the rescue! Simply blend 1-2 TBS of your favorite Dastony nut butter (think almond butter, coconut, cashew, or hazelnut) with 8oz of pure water or coconut water and you've just made instant nut milk in a flash with ZERO emulsifiers, sugars, salts, flavors, or processed funk of any kind.

2. Turn Breakfast Into Art 






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