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Top Super-food Snack Essentials

7 Apr

Snack on these super-foods for sustained energy between meals.

 

Living the Plantlife

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100% Super-food for sustained energy between meals!  High in protein, Omega 3-6-9 and powerful anti-cancer antioxidants.

Walnuts, Almonds, Cranberries, Goji

Walnuts* – Walnuts are particularly nutritious, providing a healthy dose of omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E.

Almonds* – Rich in dietary fiber, vitamins and minerals and packed with numerous health promoting phyto-chemicals; the kind of well-balanced food ensuring protection against disease and cancer.

Cranberries – these colorful fruits are antioxidant superstar.  Weather the berries are dried, frozen or juiced, they are an excellent sources of antioxidants.

Goji – Goji berries have been linked with wrinkle reduction and slower aging. This is due to the aging process being slowed down by the antioxidants contained within the berries.

*Almonds and Walnuts are particularly nutritious, however, they are considered to be a concentrated source of calories, so be sure to consume only the amount necessary within your dietary necessities or restrictions.

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More Antioxidants In Your Diet May Not Mean Better Health (NPR)

7 Apr
Blackberries are a source of polyphenol antiox...

Blackberries are a source of polyphenol antioxidants (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In a new study, people who ate more antioxidants overall didn’t lower their risk of stroke and dementia in old age. That flies in the face of earlier research that found that the antioxidants in fruits and vegetables reduce stroke and dementia risk.

“We’re seeing strong and clear benefits with specific antioxidants but not overall,” says , an epidemiologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital who led the new study, which was online in the journal Neurology.

Read more:

http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/20/172511813/more-antioxidants-in-your-diet-may-not-mean-better-health

BIA Continued

23 Mar
English: bone density femur female

English: bone density femur female (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I thought I’d finally tell you the  results of the BIA I had last month. You’ve waited long enough. I know You could hardly wait. It’s ok. You can exhale now.

All kidding aside… the results overall were good. I’m in a healthy range on all the measurements. My weight which is perfectly fine for my height is about 10 pounds higher than I’m used to. I’m trying not to care about that. The one thing I am slightly worried about is my bone density. While in the normal range, my bone density is on the lower side of normal. The dietitian explained to me that you stop growing your bones at age 15 and after that it’s all about maintenance. I prefer not to take supplements but rather get my vitamins and minerals from my food.

I’d love to hear how you ensure you are getting enough calcium and vitamin d.

Wheat-free

19 Jan

Reading an interview of William Davis, M.D. (author of Wheat Belly) got me thinking… is wheat really that bad? According to Dr. Davis, it is. He says that wheat has been bred to increase the amount yielded, causing a change in a protein called gliadin which today is a very powerful appetite stimulant. Yikes! So, he is saying that the very wheat you think keeps you full is actually making you over-eat. According to Dr. Davis, glaidin, a component of gluten, stimulates hunger for carbs.

wheat-productionHe goes on to say that glaidin is unique to wheat but other carbohydrates should be limited for other reasons. Two-thirds of Americans are diabetic or pre-diabetic and to reverse that you much limit other carbs, says Dr. Davis.

Dr. Davis recommends nut meals and flax seeds in place of wheat flour as they don’t cause the spikes in blood sugar that lead to diabetes.

All that said, I’m still on the fence. I will need to do some more research. I might try more flax seeds since I have learned they are helpful for other reasons. But to cut out wheat completely? I just don’t see that being possible for me. What about you? Wheat or wheat-free?

Food is Medicine

3 Jan

I wanted to share are article I recently read on the Huffington Post Blog. Here is just an excerpt but you can read the article in entirety at Huffington Post Science.

“We are in the midst of the most significant public health crisis of all time — our national epidemics of obesity, diabetes, and heart disease, which threaten to bankrupt Medicare by 2024. Roughly 75 percent of health care costs are due to chronic disease, and roughly 75 percent of these costs are potentially recoupable. Although we can argue the myriad proximate causes of our health decline, the one reason we can all agree on is the plethora of processed food that started after World War II, but really ramped up starting in the 1970s. Processed food took off due to expense, time savings for two-parent working or single-parent families, and the women’s rights movement. Back then, only 4 percent of all food consumed was outside the home; currently, it is 34 percent. Americans eat 31 percent more packaged food than fresh food, usually consisting of a throw-in-the oven pizza or microwave TV dinner.

These alterations in our food supply and methods of food preparation (or lack thereof) have evinced several detrimental effects. First, Americans are getting sick. Processed food means the addition of sugar; of the 600,000 items in the food supply, 80 percent are laced with added sugar (added by the food industry for its own purposes). Sugar drives the development of all these chronic metabolic diseases. Second, processed food means fiberless food because you can’t freeze fiber (try freezing an orange, see what you get). Fiber is the stealth nutrient. Lack of fiber is associated with these same diseases. Our ancestors used to consume 100 grams of fiber per day, the USDA suggests we consume 25 grams, and our median fiber consumption is 15 grams. And third, we’ve lost an entire generation of cooks. Many parents today don’t even know how to boil water, let alone prepare a meal from scratch. And this is the “gift that keeps on giving.” Kitchen-illiterate parents mean kitchen-illiterate kids, and so on. The human and economic carnage of chronic disease escalates. And so on.

Hippocrates said it first and best: “Let thy food be thy medicine.” Numerous studies demonstrate when you switch to a low-sugar, high-fiber diet — and it doesn’t matter which diet you prefer (see the high-fat Atkins Diet or the low-fat Ornish Diet or the Paleolithic Diet) — they all work to treat, and in some instances even reverse these chronic diseases. All three have been shown to reduce reliance on anti-diabetic medications. You know what you call a low-sugar, high-fiber diet? Real food. You can’t buy these diets in a box. You have to prepare them.”

Have you tried any of the diets mentioned above? I’d love to hear how it impacted your life.

Crazy About Kale

26 Nov

Back to the NBC Today article that I mentioned in my last post

Source: organicauthority.com via Tsahia on Pinterest

I noticed kale popped up in three categories so I figured it had to be a super inflammation fighter.

Here are some of the benefits of kale relating to arthritis excerpted from Fight Arthritis with these foods:

Vitamin C:  Vitamin C is one of the nutrients most responsible for the health of collagen, a major component of cartilage. If you have osteoarthritis, I wouldn’t want you to risk your health with supplements, so you should only get vitamin C from food sources — not from an individual supplement (100% of the Daily Value found in a standard multivitamin is fine, but avoid brands with larger amounts).

Some of the best foods for vitamin C: guava, sweet peppers (yellow/red/green), oranges, grapefruit, strawberries, pineapple, kohlrabi, papayas, lemons, broccoli, kale, brussels sprouts, kidney beans, kiwi, cantaloupe, cauliflower, red cabbage, mangos, white potato (with skin) and mustard greens.

Carotenes: The carotenoids are a group of powerful antioxidant nutrients found in many fruits and vegetables. When it comes to arthritis, the carotenoid called beta-cryptoxanthin may reduce the risk of developing inflammation-related disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis. Researchers from the United Kingdom found that adding just one additional serving each day of a food high in beta-cryptoxanthin helped reduce arthritis risk.

Some of the best foods for beta carotene include: sweet potato, carrots, kale, butternut squash, turnip greens, pumpkin, mustard greens, cantaloupe, sweet red pepper, apricots and spinach.

Some of the best foods for beta cryptoxanthin include: winter squash, pumpkin, persimmons, papaya, tangerines, red peppers, corn, oranges and apricots.

Bioflavonoids — quercetin and anthocyanidins:  The bioflavonoids quercetin and anthocyanidins are both forms of antioxidants. The anti-inflammatory effects of quercetin may seem to be similar to those of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (such as aspirin and ibuprofen).

Some of the best foods for quercetin: onions (red, yellow, white), kale, leeks, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, blueberries, black currants, elderberries, lingonberries, cocoa powder, apricots and apples with skin (*Red Delicious).

I recently found kale salad in a box at the grocery store. It comes with shredded carrots and is perfect for lunch. I add some pears and goat cheese or strawberries and blue cheese with balsamic vinaigrette. The great thing about kale is you can dress it ahead of time with out it going soggy. So no need to bring a separate container of dressing to work for lunch.

Do you like kale? What’s your favorite way to eat it?

Fight With Food

23 Nov

In the early stages of my research on how to find relief for arthritis through diet, I found this fantastic article on NBC Today called Fight Arthritis with these foods.

I discovered that there are certain foods that can help with inflammation (which is what arthritis is).

I decided to try the first thing on the list: Omega-3 fatty acids.

According to the NBC Today Health people: “The healthiest of fats for people with arthritis or other inflammatory disorders are omega-3 fatty acids, one of the polyunsaturated fats… More than a dozen studies have demonstrated that omega-3 fish oils can reduce symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Study participants reported greater strength, less fatigue, reduced joint swelling and tenderness, less joint stiffness and less pain.”

The omega-3 fatty acids foods that I have tried are: salmon (canned in my case but wild or fresh are good too), flaxseed (ground but oil is ok too — not whole), and walnuts. Here are a few other good choices that I haven’t got to yet: herring, mackerel (not king), sardines, anchovies, rainbow trout, Pacific oysters, and omega-3-fortified eggs.

I can’t say if it is helping yet or not, but adding more omega-3 fatty acids can’t be a bad thing for my overall health.

My omega-3 power breakfast is a take on a hot breakfast you can get at a certain coffee company shop except my version has ground flaxseed and costs a lot less.

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Old Fashioned Quaker Oats – Quick Oats
1 cup Hot Water
Handful of walnut halves, crushed by hand
Handful of assorted raisins
1-2 Tbs of ground flaxseed*

Method:

Place oats in a bowl.
Pour hot water over oats.
Crush walnut halves as you add them to the bowl.
Add raisins to the bowl.
Stir.
Wait 3 minutes, add flaxseed and stir again.
Enjoy!

*Figure out if your stomach can handle two tablespoons at a time. That is the recommended daily serving but you might need to break it up. Try one tablespoon in your oatmeal and the second in your yogurt (plain Greek with honey, perhaps?) for a snack.