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Meals

10 Foods with Hidden Health Benefits

We all hear about the importance of healthy eating, but why? What do we gain from eating more fruits and vegetables? Well, here’s a list of 10 “super foods” that can give you some serious health benefits when added to your diet. I listed just a few of the benefits found in them, because they are packed full of nutrients! Besides sharing what and why you should eat these foods, I also included potential snacks to make with them! All of these snacks are definitely worth a try in my opinion.
1. Chia seeds- Add to breakfast smoothies or in Greek yogurt. 2 tablespoons have double the antioxidants found in blueberries, 41% of your daily fiber, 100% more omega 3 fatty acids than salmon. Omega 3 lowers cholesterol levels, boosts brainpower, and improves blood vessel functions. Chia seeds are amazing!2d7b16370ae35ae88aa09f5ae52acdda
2. Blackberries- Blackberries make a delicious treat, especially when they are juicy and in season. Try a handful with cottage cheese, or with yogurt and granola or sliced almonds. Blackberries provide excellent source of iron and Vitamin K. Vitamin K prevents blood clotting and strengthens your bones.
3. Grapes- Have you tried frozen grapes? A healthy snack when you’re craving something cold. My roommate and I always eat these after we work out. Grapes are anti-inflammatory, stimulate your metabolism, and improve your vision. They also contain Vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, and C.
4. Tomatoes- Sprinkle a slice with mozzarella, garlic, basil, and olive oil. These contain beta-carotene that protects against sun damage. These colorful fruits also contain Vitamin A to improve vision and reduce risk of macular degeneration in your eyes.
5. Oatmeal- Add cinnamon, honey, and bananas to oatmeal for breakfast! (And always eat breakfast!) Oatmeal has high levels of soluble fiber, which makes you feel full longer, and controls blood sugar levels. Oatmeal also has 5 grams of protein for ½ cup, and it is low calorie! I used to really hate oatmeal, but over the years I’ve come to love it and now I have it for breakfast almost every morning.94822b42f68fbc4cefb80fce1661ff56
6. Avocadoes- I wish avocadoes were in season all year, they are one of my favorite snacks. Sprinkle half an avocado with garlic salt and olive oil for a quick and filling snack. They are rich in Vitamin E, which gives you healthier hair and skin- who doesn’t want that?! They also contain 35% more potassium than a banana. Avocadoes have more natural fiber than any other fruit- so you feel full longer. Natural fiber also aids in digestion and helps regulate blood sugar.
7. Kale-Sauté it first to bring out flavor, then add pine nuts, cranberries, and lemon-flavored dressing. Kale increases your metabolism and helps detoxify your liver and kidneys. It contains iron, Vitamins A and C, calcium, and is anti-inflammatory.
8. Sweet potatoes- Slice and drizzle with olive oil and bake at 375 for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese after. Sweet potatoes possess high levels of fiber and beta carotene. Those nutrients promote a healthy digestive tract, they and contain Vitamin C. Vitamin C boosts your immune system and your skin because it produces collagen.

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9. Apples- Try with carob ships and peanut butter as a filling snack. Apples contain phyto-chemicals plus solid doses of flavonoids and carotenoids which lower disease risk and protect against cancer. They protect against osteoporosis, cataracts, and diabetes because of the antioxidants and high levels of soluble fiber.

10. Quinoa- Try it with black beans, corn, and salsa. It contains amino acids- the building blocks of protein (thank you high school biology for that fact). Quinoa is high in iron and calcium for strong bones. This grain also has riboflavin to improve your metabolism and energy production. It has twice as much fiber as other grains and carbs with a low glycemic index, so your body can convert it and use it without storing the carbs as fat.
Which of these are you going to try? Is there another super food that you love to snack on or cook in meals?

Categories
Food News

5 Recipes that Prove “Healthy” is the New “Delicious”

shellyWith adventurous food tastes and concerns ranging from personal health to ethical agriculture and livestock practices, more people are exploring alternative diets.

But that’s not always easy – or palatable.

You have paleo and primal diets, pescatarian and raw foods, vegetarian and vegan, and they all have wonderful merits, especially when compared with the processed foods many Americans continue to eat.

“My focus is on easy-to-follow healing foods recipes that make delicious, completely nourishing meals. Some will appeal to those who adhere to a strict diet, such as vegan, and all will make people feel noticeably healthier without sacrificing any of the enjoyment we get from sitting down to eat.”

Alexander offers five recipes that can be used for any meal of the day or night, including:

  • Mango chia ginger granola (raw, vegan): 2 ripe mangos, peeled, cored and sliced in one-inch cubes; 2 cups Living Intentions chia ginger cereal; 2 cups nut or seed milk. Put ingredients in a bowl and enjoy! The cereal is gluten-free, nut-free, and raw- and vegan-diet friendly, and extremely nutritious. Preparation takes five minutes or less and is hearty enough to satisfy appetites the entire morning. The ingredients can be substituted for dietary needs or preferences.
  • Portobello mushroom and grilled onion burgers (vegan): Marinade for the mushroom is essential – 2 tablespoons Balsamic vinegar; 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil; 1 tablespoon wheat-free Tamari or organic Nama Shoyu soy sauce; 1/8 teaspoon smoked sweet paprika; 1 peeled garlic clove (grated or minced); 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper; 2 teaspoons organic maple syrup – grade B. The burgers include 4 large Portobello mushrooms – cleaned and patted dry; 1 large white onion (peeled and cut into thick slices); olive or avocado oil to cook mushrooms and onions; 2 sprouted whole grain hamburger buns –toasted; Dijon mustard; ¼ cup baby romaine lettuce – washed and patted dry. Marinate mushrooms and onions for 30 minutes. Drizzle with oil and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, turning mushrooms halfway through. Serve immediately.
  • Wild blueberry smoothie (raw, vegan): 3 cups vanilla Brazil nut milk (there is an additional recipe for this); 2 cups fresh or frozen wild or organic blueberries; 1 peeled banana – organic or fair trade; 2 to 3 cups organic baby spinach; 1 small avocado – peeled and pitted; ¼ teaspoon cinnamon; (optional) a preferred protein powder or superfood. Blend until creamy. Blueberries are an amazing fruit packed with antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytonutrients.
  • Raw corn chowder (raw, vegan): 4 cups organic corn kernels (best during summer months); 2¼ cups unsweetened almond milk; 1 clove peeled garlic (remove inner stem); 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice; ½ teaspoon smoked sweet paprika; 1/8 teaspoon pure vanilla extract; ½ avocado (peeled and seed removed); unrefined sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste. Blend ingredients and strain; top with corn kernels and diced organic red bell pepper. Among other nutrients, corn provides lutein – an important carotenoid that protects eyes from macular degeneration.
  • Dijon honey chicken wings: 1/3 cup Dijon mustard; ½ medium peeled lemon – remove all the white pith; ¼ cup raw honey; 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt; 2 large, peeled garlic cloves – grated; 1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper; 12 whole chicken wings – rinsed and patted dry; ½ teaspoon paprika. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Blend ingredients in a blender, except for wings and paprika, until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove tips of cleaned wings and store in freezer for future stock. Place wings on lightly greased baking dish, sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper, place in oven. After 30 minutes baste wings with juices from pan, then brush mustard sauce all over wings, sprinkle with paprika and continue baking for an additional 25 to 30 minutes. Wings should have internal temperature of 165 degrees when done. These are a healthy and tasty alternative to deep-fat-fried wings.
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Blog Food and Health Food News

Eating dark chocolate daily may reduce risk for heart disease

(Media Credit/Tom Morris via Wikimedia Commons)

A piece of dark chocolate a day could reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in some people, finds a study published Thursday in BMJ.

The 10-year Australian study looked at 2,013 people with metabolic syndrome, a combination of medical disorders that puts them at high risk for heart disease and diabetes. Participants had high blood pressure, but had no history of heart disease or diabetes, and were not undergoing blood pressure-lowering therapy.

Using a mathematical model, researchers found that a 10-year daily consumption of dark chocolate, which contains at least 60% cocoa, could reduce the number of cardiovascular events, such as heart attacks and strokes, by 85 per 10,000 people.

Dark chocolate contains flavanoids, which have been found to lower blood pressure and cholesterol. The study’s authors conclude that “daily dark chocolate consumption could be an effective cardiovascular preventive strategy” for people with metabolic syndrome.