TAG: Nutrition

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

Natural Energy Foods

Natural Energy Foods

As power smart people we are always looking for sustainable energy sources, but do we think enough about what sustains us? We need fuel, too. Forget power bars and electrolyte replacement drinks. Check out these three nutrient dense foods that will keep your own energy at a steady and renewable pace. And they come in their own completely natural packaging, too. Bananas Bananas are one of the more popular fruits and are a staple in many households. They are known for their high potassium and manganese levels, and are also high in vitamins B6 and C. Bananas that appear greener… 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

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

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

Spelt Flour

Spelt flour

Spelt is considered to be an ancient grain because it has been cultivated for 7,000 years and modified very little by humans. This means that it is less inbred than standard wheat flour and more nutritious as well. Spelt offers a broader range of nutrients than those found in the more commonly used wheat flour. It is a good source of manganese, fiber, phosphorus, vitamin B3, magnesium, and copper, and provides 30% more protein per serving than standard wheat. Whole grains such as spelt provide a broad array of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, certain cancers,… read more

Baking Whole Wheat Bread

Whole wheat bread

Whole wheat flour is far healthier than white flour, which loses most of its nutrients to processing. As a whole food, whole wheat flour retains its fiber and high antioxidant content, which means that it’s not only more nutritious, but also helps to prevent disease. Research has also shown that those who eat whole grains regularly tend to weigh less (Slavin, 2004). Unfortunately, many people don’t like making bread with whole wheat flour because they find that the bread has a heavier texture or they just don’t like the taste. If texture is the issue (loaves of bread turning out… read more

Grass-Fed Beef

Cow, Jennifer Copley

In the past, all beef was grass fed but in recent years, most beef has been grain-finished, which means that cows spend the last months of their life gorging on grain in a feedlot. Grain-fed beef is a brighter red, while grass-fed beef is a more auburn shade, but the differences between the two go beyond color. Research has shown that grass-fed beef is higher in health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids, as well as conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which studies suggest may protect against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes as well as helping to reduce overall body fat (Agriculture and Agri-Food… read more

Christmas Recipes

Christmas fare

Christmas is a time for comfort food, but the Christmas feast doesn’t need to be unhealthy. Here are three nutritious recipes for the Christmas table. 1.  Healthy Pumpkin Pie This pumpkin pie is lower in sugar and fat than other most pie recipes but still delicious. Its wonderful flavor and aroma come from a rich blend of spices. Ingredients 1 9-inch unbaked pie shell 1 standard (398 ml) can pumpkin 3 large eggs, lightly beaten 1/2 cup skim milk 1/2 cup raw organic cane sugar or natural, unrefined Demerara sugar 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon ginger 1/2 teaspoon cloves 1/4… read more

Top 10 Antioxidant Foods

Blueberries and Cherry Tomatoes, Jennifer Copley

Antioxidants may help to protect against many diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, arthritis, cardiovascular disease, and macular degeneration, by neutralizing the free radicals that damage cells. Research indicates that it’s far better to get these nutrients from whole foods than supplements. Top antioxidant food sources include: Spices: Cinnamon, turmeric, cloves, ginger, and mustard power are particularly high in antioxidants. Nuts: Walnuts, pecans, pistachios, almonds, and hazelnuts are top nut choices for antioxidant content. Herbs: Oregano takes the top spot for antioxidant power, though peppermint, dill, rosemary, thyme, winter savory, and Vietnamese coriander are good as well. Berries: All colorful berries… read more