Thursday, April 30, 2015

SALT IN YOUR DIET

According to doctors and scientists, the average adult should not consume more than 1,500 mg of sodium (salt) per day. Approximately 75% of the salt in the average American diet is consumed through processed foods. If you haven't already, start reducing the amount of processed foods in your diet and replacing them with fresh whole foods. This is especially important for those who have high blood pressure (hypertension).


Saturday, April 25, 2015

WATERMELON AND VITAMIN C

Need more vitamin-C? Enjoy a cup of watermelon. One cup of watermelon will provide you with more than 20% of your daily vitamin-C requirement and the best part it that it's less than 50 calories.


Friday, April 24, 2015

HONEY AS FIRST AID

Honey can pinch hit when you don't have a first-aid kit handy. Honey has natural healing powers that come from natural enzymes that produce hydrogen peroxide. You can apply a little honey to stings and cuts to halt the inflammation and to prevent bacterial growth. Now that is truly a kitchen remedy.


Thursday, April 23, 2015

GOOD NEWS FOR CHOCOLATE LOVERS

Chocoholics rejoice! According to The Journal of Nutrition dark chocolate is an edible sunscreen. They say eating a half-bar of dark chocolate a day can protect the skin from sun damage. Note: That is only dark chocolate so don't take a box of chocolates with you to the beach. That would be hard on your bikini figure anyway!


EAT WALNUTS FOR OMEGA-3S

Omega-3s are very important to our health and one way to get them is to eat walnuts. 1/4 cup of walnuts provides 113% of the suggested daily dose of omega-3s for an adult. This is especially important to people like me who don't eat fish. Make a habit of tossing some walnuts into your baked goods, adding them to salads, or just enjoy some as a quick snack.


BLUEBERRIES FOR THE BRAIN

According to a Tufts University study, one cup of blueberries a day improves coordination and may reverse memory loss. Toss some blueberries on your morning cereal, use as a topping on ice cream or pound cake, use in a fruit salad, toss into a smoothie, the possibilities are endless.


NUTRITION AFTER 50

According to Dr. Pamela Peeke, author of the NYT bestselling book The Hunger Fix, "After the age of 50, the goal is to prevent disease by maintaining an optimally healthy and active mind and body." She goes on to suggest that as we age our nutritional needs change and we should be including high fiber foods in our diets for a strong body and a sharp mind if we are over 50. As our gastrointestinal systems slow down we need to increase the fiber in our diets. Some of her suggestions for fiber-rich foods are raspberries with 8 grams per cup, whole-wheat pasta with over 6 grams per cup, lentils are high with over 15 grams per cup, green peas have almost 9 grams per cup, etc. Over all she suggests we eat 25 to 30 grams of fiber per day. Read the nutritional labels on foods you buy to check the fiber grams.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015

GLYCEMIC INDEX FOODS THAT DON'T EFFECT BLOOD SUGAR

Foods with a GI (Gylcemic Index) of 15 and under are considered so low they don't have a negative effect on blood sugar. Here are a few examples of foods that don't really effect blood sugar:

  • Onions
  • Garlic
  • Leafy greens
  • Flax seeds
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Avocado
  • Nuts, including almonds, walnuts, etc
  • Herbs
  • Eggs
  • Butter and Cheese
  • Oils such as olive, coconut, canola


Monday, April 20, 2015

WARM MILK TO INDUCE SLEEP

If you have trouble getting to sleep at night you might want to try some warm milk. Sometimes we think these ideas are old wives tales but there is a valid reason warm milk induces sleep. Milk contains tryptophan, an amino acid that the body converts to melatonin  and serotonin. Melatonin induces sleep and serotonin calms the brain. So go ahead and have some warm milk before bedtime it really may help you get to sleep.





Saturday, April 18, 2015

SUGAR IN FRUIT VS TABLE SUGAR

People often ask what is the difference in eating the sugar in fruit vs 'regular' sugar. Yes, sugar is sugar no matter the source but the body does process it differently. The following remarks from nutritionist Joy Dubost, R.D. explains it better than I can:

Whether it's in a piece of fruit, your soda or a pastry, sugar is made up of the same two components: fructose and glucose. The molecular structure and composition of sugar molecules is the same no matter where they come from.

The ratios of fructose and glucose are pretty much the same in both fruit and table sugar. Most fruits are 40 to 55 percent fructose (there's some variation: 65 percent in apples and pears; 20 percent in cranberries), and table sugar (aka sucrose) is 50/50. Neither type of sugar is better or worse for you, but your body processes them differently. Fructose breaks down in your liver and doesn’t provoke an insulin response. Glucose starts to break down in the stomach and requires the release of insulin into the bloodstream to be metabolized completely.




Thursday, April 16, 2015

ALMONDS FOR WEIGHT LOSS?

Can you believe it? Studies have shown that people who eat a serving of almonds at least twice a week are less likely to gain weight! Almonds are high in calories so eat no more a small handful a day. There are various types of almonds available but you should stick to the whole roasted ones and avoid the candy-coated ones! Here are more benefits of almonds:

  • Almonds are also high in vitamin E, an antioxidant that fights the effects of the sun.
  • Almonds are high in monounsaturated "good" fats that help to lower cholesterol. When you add almonds to your healthy, low-fat diet, you can reduce your chances of heart disease by 30% to 45%. Stay away from salted almonds though as salt may raise your blood pressure.
  • Almonds are a quick source of protein. 1/4 cup of almonds provides as much protein as an egg.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

WALK TO PREVENT ILLNESS

According to David C. Nieman, DrPH, director of the Human Performance Lab at Appalachian State University, NC Research Campus, "A brisk daily walk is the single most powerful thing you can do to prevent illness. He found that people who exercise 20 minutes a day five days a week reduced their number od sick days by 43%. Get walking!


NOTE TO SMOOTHIE DRINKERS

For all you out there who are so proud of yourself for drinking smoothies. Beware of how much sugar, etc is in your smoothie and be careful of the amount you drink. Did you realize that a 6-oz smoothie is considered a snack while a 12-oz smoothie is considered a meal?


TOMATOES HELP PREVENT SUNBURN

When in the sun you should always use sunscreen, I want to be sure you know this post does not take away from that fact. But did you know that eating tomatoes consistently can make your skin less susceptible to UV damage? Tomatoes are high in lycopene which may account for the reason why this helps.


Saturday, April 11, 2015

USE MUSTARD ON YOUR SANDWICH

Mustard is actually a good-for-you condiment. No matter whether you choose, brown, yellow, Dijon - they are all made the seeds of various mustard plants. Mustard is rich in selenium - which plays a key role in thyroid function - and in magnesium, which is crucial to bone health as well as enery. Also, most yellow mustards get their color from added turmeric. Turmeric is a spice known for its powerful anti-inflammatory properties. An added benefit studies show

Here's another little trick for you - substitute mustard for half the mayonnaise in salads such as tuna and potato.


PROTECT AGAINST SKIN CANCER

Yes, I know this post has nothing to do with the kitchen and/or food but it is timely advice as we head into the summer months so I am choosing to share it anyway. Skin cancer can so easily be prevented by taking precautions when in the sun. I have never had skin cancer, thank God, but I have had two types of cancer. Believe me, do everything you can to prevent any type of cancer.

According to researchers in Australia who followed more than 1,600 adults for over a decade, one could reduce the risk of getting melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 50% by using a sunscreen with an SPF of at least 16 daily on the head, neck, arms, and hands.


Friday, April 10, 2015

ALMONDS FOR CALCIUM

Milk isn't the only place to get calcium in your diet. There are many other ways including leafy greens, etc. But how about some tasty almonds? Just 1/4 cup of almonds gives you 94 mg of calcium. They also offer fiber and healthy fats. Enjoy a few almonds everyday.


Thursday, April 9, 2015

HONEY FOR YOUR BELLY

If you have problems with your digestive system you might want to try honey for relief. Most people know yogurt has probiotic properties but many don't like yogurt or have an allergy to dairy products. Honey basically provides the same benefits as does yogurt. Scientists have discovered honey contains 181 beneficial compounds and many of those act like probiotics. Probiotics are the healthy bacteria found in yogurt that helps ensure proper digestion. Honey can help keep healthy bacteria in the colon and intestines in balance and reduce the number of gas-inducing toxins. The dose? 1 tablespoon of honey a day.




HOT FOODS TO COOL OFF?

Have you ever thought about the fact that some of the countries with the hottest temperatures also enjoy the hottest foods? Would you believe there is a logical reason why? Eating hot foods stimulates your sweat glands, and when that happens the sweat evaporates on your skin which cools you down. So go ahead and eat those spicy foods on hot days. Load those nachos down with jalapenos!




Wednesday, April 8, 2015

COFFEE FOR ANTIOXIDANTS

Antioxidants - those substances that prevent and repair cell damage - can be found in some tasty foods such as berries, walnuts, watermelon, tomatoes, etc but did you realize a cup of coffee - decaf or caffinated - has more antioxidants than a serving of raspberries, blueberries, or orange juice? Go for the dark roast as it has the most antioxidants.



ALOE VERA TO BEAT THE SUMMER HEAT

Who would have thought that using an aloe vera body lotion could cool you down in the summer heat? Studies have shown that smoothing on an aloe vera rich lotion actually lowers skin temperature on contact. Better yet, It penetrates skin cells 500%  more effectively than does water. So it is actually five times more cooling than a cold shower. So invest in some good quality aloe vera lotion and keep it handy during the hot months.
Note: This picture is not a brand endorsement.