Jennifer Copley

Garlic and Weight Loss

Garlic bulb

Garlic is a health-promoting superfood that helps to protect against cancer and heart disease. It also has antibacterial and antiviral properties, which means that consuming it regularly may reduce the risk of suffering colds and flus. In addition, new research suggests that garlic may provide weight loss benefits. Korean researchers spent eight weeks fattening up a group of mice, after which they continued to provide a fattening diet but supplemented it with garlic for seven additional weeks. Both fat and overall body weight were reduced among the garlic-eating mice, along with the negative health impacts of the fattening diet (Sass,… read more

Anti-inflammatory Foods

hot peppers

Inflammation is one way that the body defends itself against illness-causing microbes (viruses, bacteria, and fungi), as well as assisting in the repair of damage to muscles and other tissues. However, for many people, the inflammatory process becomes chronic, at which point it can trigger a broad array of health problems including heart disease, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, arthritis, and diabetes. There are a number of risk factors for chronic inflammation, including smoking, lack of exercise, exposure to toxins, stress, and a diet high in fast foods or processed snack foods. Many of these risk factors have become more common in… read more

Turmeric: A Super Spice

Turmeric

Turmeric, a yellow spice obtained from the root of the Curcuma longa plant, is commonly used in Indian curries and Ayurvedic and Chinese medicine. It is often listed among the superfoods because it contains a number of health-promoting compounds, including the potent antioxidant curcumin, which is showing potential as a treatment for a broad array of medical problems. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center (2011), evidence suggests that turmeric may: Help fight bacterial and viral infections Reduce the risk of certain cancers Treat digestive upsets and illnesses such as ulcerative colitis and stomach ulcers Reduce inflammation and by… read more

Ladybugs in the Garden

Ladybug in the garden

Historically, ladybugs (also known as ladybirds or lady beetles) have been considered lucky in many cultures, possibly because people recognized the link between plentiful ladybugs and good harvests. There are many ladybug species and the majority are beneficial due to their voracious appetite for garden pests. Ladybugs naturally control a broad array of garden pests (both bugs and fungal infections such as powdery mildew, depending on the species). These helpful insects can be purchased at many garden supply stores or attracted to the garden by creating a ladybug-friendly environment (even if you buy ladybugs, you’ll need to create the right… read more

Grow Food in Containers

Growing food in pots

One of the best things that you can do for the environment is to grow your own vegetables and herbs. Food grown organically at home doesn’t require the transportation that contributes to global warming, and it’s free of pesticides, fresher, and usually tastier as well. Many people believe that growing their own produce is not an option because they don’t have yards, but plenty of food plants grow well in containers of various sizes on decks, porches front walks, and driveways. Some produce plants don’t even require very large containers, others can tolerate partial shade, and a few can even… read more

Calcium Food Sources

Calcium rich foods

Calcium is best known for its role in promoting bone health and reducing the risk of osteoporosis, but it is also important for many other aspects of health. Calcium works synergistically with other minerals and nutrients, so even if you take supplements, it’s a good idea to obtain some calcium from whole foods as well. Foods with a very high calcium content include milk, yogurt (especially plain), cheeses (especially Swiss), and canned sardines and salmon (with bones). Fatty fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, and tuna are also good sources of vitamin D, which is required for proper absorption of… read more

Antibiotics in Food

Antibiotics in food

According to DeNoon (2012), 80% of all antibiotics used in the United States are given to animals. This has raised concerns about the development of superbugs – bacteria that have evolved a resistance to antibiotics due to constant low-level exposure. Because these germs can’t easily be killed with antibiotics, they are more likely to have fatal consequences. Many organizations, including the World Health Organization (WHO), the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), consider the development of drug-resistant bacteria to be among the greatest major health threats in the world. Farm… read more

Saving Seeds

Sewing seeds

There are plenty of good reasons to save your own seeds. You’ll save money, help to preserve the genetic diversity of food plants, and develop plant varieties that thrive in the growing conditions you provide and are more resistant to pests and blights. In addition, while agribusiness favors varieties that store well for shipping, home gardeners can select for traits such as great taste and suitability to local climate. When planning your seed collection strategy, keep in mind that some plants only produce seeds in their second year and hybrid plants don’t breed true to parental type – in other… read more

Winter Vegetables

Lettuce

There’s no need to give up on the food garden during fall and winter. Nutritional powerhouses such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peas, and broad beans can be grown during the cool seasons in many climates and there are plenty of other plants that thrive in cool weather, providing a steady supply of fresh produce. Leafy salad greens, which prefer cooler temperatures, include arugula (salad rocket), cabbage, chard, chervil, chicories (French Endive/Belgian Endive, Radicchio, Sugarloaf), collard greens, coriander (cilantro), kohlrabi, lettuces, mustard greens, parsley, spinach, and winter purslane. Some of these greens will grow throughout the winter in many climates. Root… read more

Oregano Health Benefits

Fresh oregano

Oregano has the highest antioxidant content of all the herbs, as well as being a source of vitamin K, manganese, iron, calcium, fiber, vitamin E, and other beneficial nutrients. Oregano also has anti-inflammatory properties, which means that it may be beneficial for those with inflammatory conditions such as arthritis. Although oregano is a nutritional powerhouse, consumers should be wary of inflated or false claims. For example, a company in Canada got into trouble recently for claiming that oregano supplements were a proven treatment for whooping cough and encouraging people to forgo the vaccine in favor of the company’s remedy. Oregano… read more