The 10 Best Superfoods for Good Health

The 10 Best Superfoods for Good Health

The 10 Best Superfoods for Good Health

Good health is priceless as you are able to get more done in your day and a live, prosperous and healthy life.

It is necessary to take care of your body today so that it is strong enough as you get older to keep diseases at bay.

Eating good foods does not have to be expensive or take too much of your time to prepare if you plan well. Make sure to stock your fridge with healthy foods to avoid the temptation of getting take-out or eating junk.

Get rid of unhealthy foodstuff in your car or home that could tempt you to eat when you get hungry.

Super Foods

Below is a list of the ten best super foods that you should include in your shopping list.

Salmon

Salmon is full of omega 3 fats which are beneficial for heart health. Hence, people at a higher risk of heart attack should eat salmon a few times a week.

Salmon contains a chemical substance called tryptophan that is important in promoting better sleep. Salmon is great for improved brain health and highly recommended for children’s proper brain development.

It also increases bone density to prevent breaks in children and the elderly.

Almonds

These nuts contain good fats that help reduce bad cholesterol in the blood; besides they curb hunger to ensure one does not eat too much. Almonds make a great snack; in addition they contain vitamin B, magnesium, prosperous and copper which are necessary minerals for good health.

Chocolate

The darker the chocolate the better the nutrition; chocolate is full of antioxidants that get rid of toxins in the body. It is also believed to lower blood pressure and reduce inflammation in the body for better quality of life. Moderation is required when consuming this super food.

Blueberries

Blueberries have a lovely blue-purple hue that contains a chemical substance called anthocyanin which is an antioxidant. This antioxidant helps to fight prostate cancer, which, is a common killer in the world. They also reduce the risk of developing glaucoma when eaten regularly.

Beans

Not enough words can describe the goodness of beans; they are high in fiber which is essential for colon health. They contain easy to digest proteins for building and repair of muscles. They reduce bad cholesterol in the blood when eaten regular; besides they are affordable and available in most localities.

Eggs

An egg a day is good for you; eggs contain complete protein which the body digests slowly for continuous supply of energy which is beneficial when working out. An egg is one of the few foods that contain natural vitamin D which is essential for strong bones.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt contains proteins that help in the building of strong muscles. Besides it contains good bacteria that strengthen the immune system to fight diseases.

Quinoa

Quinoa is a seed that is high in amino acids, iron, prosperous and dietary fiber. People suffering from anemia will benefit from eating the seeds. Quinoa leaves are also eaten as greens; however they are not easily available in the market. The seeds when cooked can be added to salads for a sumptuous meal full of healthy goodness.

Broccoli

This is a vegetable in the cabbage family that is full of antioxidants that lower the risk of cancer when eaten often. Broccoli can be eaten raw or steamed to ensure the vitamins present are not damaged by high heat.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes contain dietary fiber ideal for digestive health; furthermore they contain beta carotene for good eyesight. Vitamin C present is necessary in healing and repair of the body caused by exposure to the elements.

 

The Health Benefits of Licorice Root

The Health Benefits of Licorice Root

The Health Benefits of Licorice

There is nothing more distinct than the taste of licorice. This flavorful candy comes in black and red. While black licorice is a love hate relationship, you may be surprised to know that it doesn’t contain any actual licorice root.

The taste that we associate with “black licorice” is actually anise oil. In teas and other herbal medicines, the smell that people often think is licorice is actually anise.

Whether you love the taste of licorice or not, there is no denying the health benefits of licorice root. Licorice root has many healing properties when taken in small doses. Be careful when taking licorice to treat a medical condition, though, too much licorice can be toxic!

Medical Uses

  • Licorice is used intravenously to treat multiple forms of hepatitis
  • Licorice root is effective for treating eczema when applied as a gel
  • Treating heartburn and other gastrointestinal issues
  • Reducing stomach acids and treating peptic ulcers

Breaking Research

Licorice root is being studied in many different areas for effectiveness. One of those areas is in the treatment of obesity. According to the University of Maryland, people who ate licorice over a two month period had a reduction in body fat.

Another study showed that a topical ointment prepared from one of the acids found in licorice reduced the thickness of fat found on the thighs of human subjects.

Finally, a third study looked at the effects of licorice flavonoid oil. This was the most effective of the research studies aimed at analyzing licorice’s ability to help combat obesity.

Those who consumed the licorice flavonoid oil over an 8-week period saw a reduction in body fat, body mass index, LDL cholesterol, and body weight. There are more studies needed as the long-term health risks of licorice use are yet unknown.

Menopause

Early findings point to licorice as a possible source of relief from hot flashes for women in menopause. The University of Maryland highlights a study that found licorice root to be more effective than hormone replacement therapy when treating hot flashes.

This may come as good news for many women who have learned that hormone replacement therapy may not be the safest option to treat their menopause symptoms.

Toxicity
Licorice is one root you do not want to play around with. Studies have shown that those who ingest more than 20 g of licorice a day may experience increased levels of aldosterone. This hormonal increase can cause headaches, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

If you already suffer from heart disease, kidney disease or high blood pressure, these negative effects could be seen with as little as 5 g of licorice root a day.

The National Institute for Health highlights a Finnish study of mothers who ate a lot of licorice root during their pregnancy. This study indicated that there might be a link between the consumption of licorice root during pregnancy and brain development issues in children leading to behavior issues, attention problems, and aggression.

Interactions
Licorice root will interact with many prescription medications. There are major interactions noted on Web M.D. with the medications, Warfarin and Coumadin.

Those drugs with lower levels of interaction include but aren’t limited to:

  • Digoxin
  • Lasix
  • Medications changed in the liver
  • Ethacrynic Acid
  • Medications for high blood pressure
  • Corticosteroid
  • diuretics

Licorice root may have interactions that can complicate surgery. It is recommended that you stop taking licorice root 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery. In addition to surgical complications, licorice has been shown to lower libido in men.

It can also worsen the symptoms of erectile dysfunction by lowering levels of testosterone. These hormone-altering effects are also seen in women because licorice can act as a source of estrogen in the body. If you have hormone-sensitive conditions like uterine fibroids or breast cancer, you should avoid the use of licorice root.

Using licorice as a form of medicine should only be done so under the supervision of your physician. Even with their permission regular blood pressure, monitoring may be necessary to avoid any long- term damage.

Restaurant Guide for the Health-Conscious

Restaurant Guide for the Health-Conscious

Restaurant Guide for the Health-Conscious

Do you want to try out that restaurant but you’re on a diet and you don’t want to feel guilty eating those mouth watering dishes? You shouldn’t worry – there are plenty of options that you can take without gaining extra pounds.

These may help you in choosing delicious yet guilt-free foods from your favorite restaurants.

American Fast Foods

On the go people or those that prefer fast, convenient and relatively cheap foods – or what’s popularly known as fast foods. Fast foods are a no-no if you’re on a weight loss program. Basically, foods available are either swimming in oil, saturated with calories and grease or just plain empty carbs.

Fast foods are often served in huge serving – physically and calorie-wise. If you just can’t exist without shoving down a slize of pizza down your throat despite trying to commit on losing weight, then at least mind the portion. Eat just a tiny portion once in a blue moon just to satisfy your craving. Better yet, that plain burger can serve as your prize– you know, for sticking to your program for a certain amount of time.

Eventually, you will outgrow this craving and break your ties with fast foods.

Italian Foods

“Red always scores over white.” You should know that if you love eating in an Italian restaurant. So instead of picking a creamy carbonara topped with bacon bits, choose the seafood spaghetti. Tomato sauces are much lower in calories and fat. You can also order a tomato soup for an appetizer. This can easily fill you up causing you to eat less on the main course.

Italian foods are packed with empty carbohydrates and are quite heavy so mind the portions. Stick to one Italian meal a week to lay off on the carbs. Try to choose grilled, baked, broiled, poached, steamed or dry-sautéed items on the menu. There are less fat in these food preparations. Eat foods that are flavored with fresh herbs instead of those with butter and oil.

Mongolian Food

This is the best option for health conscious people. The food preparation used in Mongolian dishes is commonly the casserole type or the one pot cooking where all the ingredients including meat and vegetables are cooked together.

Japanese Food

Sushi, miso soup, sashimi and kani salad are few of the favorite Japanese foods a lot of people enjoy. Japanese dishes are also good for people engaged in a healthy diet.

Thai Food

They offer spicy, low calorie and light foods topped with tasty herbs. It is also good in maintaining a healthy diet.

Chinese Food

Stir fried foods at restaurants are usually never healthy. Chinese dishes are commonly stir fried which makes it not as healthy as the other Asian foods. But their green tea is known in keeping those fats off your system.

Filipino Food

Most Filipino foods are high on fat and calories. So instead of choosing oily and meaty delicious dishes like Pork Sinigang, Lechon, Pork Adobo and a lot more, try to order something with vegetables like Chicken Tinola, Pinakbet and lumpiang ubod. You can also substitute brown rice for white rice or just limit the white rice in one cup.

You should always keep in mind that self control is the best tool to achieve your perfect shape – from burning calories to choosing the right food and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Spotlight: The Spiralizer

Spotlight: The Spiralizer

Meet the Spiralizer, My Favorite New Tool! 

A spiralizer is a kitchen tool, originally invented in Japan, which quickly cut long thin noodles out of vegetables. The spiralizer allows you to create vegetable noodles for stir-frys, salads, stews, and low-carb “pasta” and, depending on the type of blade you use. The spiralizer is an easy way to get fresh fruits and vegetables into your diet without incorporating calorie-heavy ingredients.

There are two basic models, the hand model, and the table model. The hand models usually have a fixed blade size and are perfect for small dishes such as adding to a salad. I recommend the table models for their versatility in creating an entire dinner or small dinner salads.

Table models put your vegetable on an axis, and then you turn a handle to turn the vegetable and push it to the cutting blade. Most models include three sets of interchangeable blades: 1/8-inch spacing, 1/4-inch spacing, and one straight blade for ribbon cuts.

What to look for when buying your Spiralizer

• Models that have strong suction cups to keep the machine tightly to your table.
• Models without the ability to stay firmly attached to the table are okay for soft vegetables and fruits but cannot easily cut, for example, beets.
• Many models offer blade storage underneath for the two you’re not using too.
• The machine is easy to clean and packs away neatly

STANDARD SPIRALIZABLE VEGETABLES
The vegetable must have a firm, solid flesh (no squishy, juicy fruits or veggies.)

Following this alphabetical list is a complete, detailed description of each vegetable, including best practices for cooking and storing:

• Apple, Pear, Peaches
• Beet
• Bell Pepper
• Broccoli
• Cabbage
• Carrot
• Celeriac
• Chayote
• Cucumber
• Daikon Radish
• Jicama
• Onion
• Parsnip
• Radish
• Sweet Potato
• Turnip
• White Potato
• Winter squash o Butternut Squash
• Zucchini + Summer Squash

What can you add to these noodles?

Try adding:

1. Fresh herbs
2. Chopped tomatoes
3. Chicken, shrimp, chickpeas, tofu
4. Steamed greens
5. Cut, crumbled, or fresh cheeses

You might wish to try one of these sauces on your noodles: 

1. Yogurt sauce
2. Pesto sauce
3. Bolognese sauce
4. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar and garlic
5. Spicy peanut sauce
6. Alfredo or roux sauce
7. Warm broth base for soup
8. Stir fry sauce.

 

Incredible Bananas

Incredible Bananas

Incredible Bananas

Facts about Banana you might not know:

      *Bananas are wrapped inside a thick inedible peel.

      *The banana plant, is a herb and not a tree.

      *The trunk is not wood but tightly overlapping leaves.

      *It grows 10 to 26 feet in height and belongs to the family Musaceae.

     *The banana fruit grows in hanging bunches of 50 to 150, with individual fruits grouped in          bunches, known as “hands,” of 10 to 25 bananas, an individual banana is called a finger.

     *When rip they are usually long and curved with a soft inside covered by a yellow or red skin    (peel).

      *Bananas have hundreds of edible varieties in two distinct species: the sweet banana and the plantain banana. Sweet bananas vary in size from a few inches to twenty inches and color.     Plantain bananas are usually cooked and considered more like a vegetable due to their starchier qualities; they have a higher beta-carotene concentration than most sweet bananas.

      *Bananas are about 75% water.

     * The fiber from the banana plant can be woven into mats and clothing.

 

Nutrients of  Bananas

Vitamin B6

Bananas are an excellent source of vitamin B-6. One banana supplies 35 percent of your daily B-6 requirement. Your body uses vitamin B-6 to grow new red cells, and is used by the nervous system, the immune system, and many other bodily functions.

Manganese

Bananas are a good source of manganese. Magnesium is an essential mineral required by the body for maintaining normal muscle and nerve function, keeping a healthy immune system, maintaining heart rhythm, and building strong bones. Magnesium is also involved in at least 300 biochemical reactions in the body.

Vitamin C

Bananas contain a good amount of vitamin C. One banana provides about 10 mg of vitamin C, or about 15 percent of your daily recommended amount. Vitamin C boosts your immune system and cell health and improves the absorption of other nutrients such as iron.

Fiber 

According to the USDA, one banana has about 3 grams of fiber. Dietary fiber can help you feel fuller longer and also keep your digestive processes running smoothly.

Potassium

Bananas are famous for their high potassium content, with over 400 mg potassium in a single medium-size banana. Potassium is necessary for good nerve and muscle function as well as for maintaining a healthy balance of fluids in the body. The potassium in bananas can help prevent muscle cramps after exercise. Potassium is an essential nutrient used to maintain fluid and electrolyte balance in the body. A deficiency in potassium causes fatigue, irritability, and hypertension (increased blood pressure).

Nutrients

Bananas also deliver small amounts of other vitamins and minerals. A banana provides some iron, magnesium, calcium and phosphorus as well as vitamins A and E, folate, carotene, biotin, copper and choline. Bananas also contain trace amounts of many amino acids.

Calories

By eating a banana you can indulge your sweet tooth without ruining your diet. A banana averages about only 110 calories.

Fat and Cholesterol

Bananas are naturally fat and cholesterol free. Use mashed bananas to substitute for some or all of the butter or oil when making cookies, for example, for a healthier treat. Check out our chocolate chip cookies!

Carbohydrates

Your body uses carbohydrates as a primary source of energy.

  

 

 BANANA HISTORY

Bananas originated around Malaysia around 4,000 years ago. From there, they spread throughout the Philippines and India, where in 327 B.C. Alexander the Great’s army recorded them being grown.

Bananas were introduced to Africa by Arabian traders and discovered there in 1482 A.D. by Portuguese explorers who took them to the Americas, the place where the majority of bananas are now grown today.

Bananas were not brought to the United States for sale in markets until the latter part of the 19th century and were initially only enjoyed by people in the seacoast towns where the banana schooners docked; because of the fruit’s fragility, they were unable to be transported far.

With the development of refrigeration and rapid transport in the 20th century, bananas have become widely available. Today, bananas grow in most tropical and subtropical regions with the main commercial producers including Mexico, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Brazil. Bananas are picked green and shipped around the world or hung where they are protected from the birds and other critters.

 

 

  What can a BANANA do for me??? 

1. Bananas are perfect for refueling, during or after play and exercise.  Eat two bananas before a strenuous workout to pack an energy punch and sustain your blood sugar. Control blood sugar and by eating a banana.

2. Bananas protect cells against damage from free radicals that can cause heart disease and cancer, help lower blood pressure, and promote healthy skin and hair.

3. Bananas help overcome depression due to high levels of tryptophan, which is converted into serotonin, the happy mood brain neurotransmitter.

4. Bananas make you smarter and help with learning by making you more alert. Eat a banana before an exam to benefit from the high levels of potassium.

5. Protect against muscle cramps during workout and nighttime leg cramps by eating a banana. In addition to these cardiovascular benefits, the potassium found in bananas may also help to promote bone health.

6. Build strong bones by eating a banana. Potassium may counteract the increased urinary calcium loss caused by the high-salt diets typical of most Americans, thus helping to prevent bones from thinning out at a fast rate.

7. Improve your mood and reduce PMS symptoms by eating a banana which regulates blood sugar and produces stress relieving relaxation.

8. Bananas reduce swelling, protect against type II diabetes, aid weight loss, and strengthen the nervous system and help with the production of white blood cells, all due to high levels of vitamin B6.

9. Strengthen your blood and relieve anemia with the added iron from bananas.

10. High in potassium and low in salt, bananas are known to reduce blood pressure and protect against heart attack and stroke. Bananas are one of our best sources of potassium, an essential mineral for maintaining normal blood pressure and heart function. Since the average banana contains a whopping 400-plus mg of potassium and only 1 mg of sodium, a banana a day may help to prevent high blood pressure and protect against atherosclerosis.

11. Rich in pectin, bananas aid digestion and gently chelate toxins and heavy metals from the body.

12. Bananas act as a probiotic, stimulating the growth of friendly bacteria in the bowel.  They also produce digestive enzymes to assist in absorbing nutrients. Bananas have long been recognized for their antacid effects that protect against stomach ulcers and ulcer damage. In one study, a simple mixture of banana and milk significantly suppressed acid secretion. In an animal study, researchers found that fresh bananas protected the animals’ stomachs from wounds. Bananas work their protective magic in two ways: First, substances in bananas help activate the cells that compose the stomach lining, so they produce a thicker protective mucus barrier against stomach acids. Second, other compounds in bananas called protease inhibitors help eliminate bacteria in the stomach that have been pinpointed as a primary cause of stomach ulcers.

13. Constipated? High fiber in bananas can help normalize bowel motility. In addition, bananas contain pectin, a soluble fiber that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract and ease constipation.

14. Diarrhea? Bananas are soothing to the digestive tract and help restore lost electrolytes after diarrhea. Bananas are a natural antacid providing relief from acid reflux, and heartburn Bananas are a smart move if you suffer from elimination problems. A bout of diarrhea can quickly deplete your body of important electrolytes. Bananas can replenish your stores of potassium, one of the most important electrolytes, which helps regulate heart function as well as fluid balance.

15. Bananas are high in antioxidants, providing free radicals and protection from chronic disease.  Eating Bananas with help prevent kidney cancer, protects the eyes against macular degeneration and builds strong bones by increasing calcium absorption.

16. Rub a bug bite or hive with the inside of a banana peel to relieve itching and irritation.

17. Eating a banana can lower the body temperature and cool you during a fever or a hot day.

 

EVERYONE LOVES BANANAS!

 

 

 

 

Recipes with Incredible Bananas

Banana Nut Bread or Muffins

Grilled Banana Boats

Chocolate Banana Popsicle