Fresh Bowls of Fruits

20140213-095425.jpg
Starting the day off with a fresh bowl of fruit sets the tone for my day. It energizes me and makes me feel full. Having a fruit bowl also reminds me of a hot summer day especially, during these winter snowy days we’ve been having here in New York City. These bowls really brightens up my mornings. I couldn’t tell you when was the last time I had a bacon egg and cheese on a toasted bagel for breakfast. For the past three years my morning breakfasts have been much healthier and much more nutritious.

20140213-100939.jpg
A healthy breakfast should contain fruits or vegetables, nuts for added protein and sometimes a whole grain bread or oats. This type of combination of fiber, protein, and a small amount of fat will help provide the nutrients you need to carry you through the day. But for me, a fruit bowl does that same thing.

I can get really creative with my fruit bowls. Depending on what’s in season, I add in one or two citrus fruits, some berries, melons, bananas, apples and even some nuts. Fruit provides vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C and potassium.

20140213-113233.jpg
If you notice in all of these picture, I mostly included orange and red colored fruits. Well, according to the International Carotenoid Society, these colors are known to be essential for plant growth and photosynthesis, and are a main dietary source of vitamin A in humans. They are thought to be associated with reduced risk of several chronic health disorders including some forms of cancer, heart disease and eye degeneration. Lycopene is a carotenoid, a natural color pigment that contributes to the red color of tomatoe and various other fruits and vegetables. The yellow/red fruits and vegetables contain mostly hydrocarbon carotenoids (carotenes). The common yellow ones are apricot, cantaloupe, carrot, pumpkin, and sweet potato that are the primary sources of beta-carotene and beta-carotene and several other hydrocarbon carotenoids.

20140214-105006.jpg
In part, the beneficial effects of carotenoids are thought to be due to their role as antioxidants. Antioxidants supports cellular activities by fighting off other chemicals known as free radicals.

Consider adding the following orange/red hue fruits and vegetables to your diet for more antioxidants.
Apricots, carrots, oranges, papaya, peaches, pumpkins, cantaloupe, sweet potato, winter squash, tangerines, nectarines, mangoes and butternut squash.
.

Advertisements

Lemon Water Before Bedtime

20130808-221021.jpg

My tall glass of fresh lemon water before I hit the sack will assist my body in detoxification. Lemon water is also a good source of vitamin C and antioxidants. It also contains vitamins (such as vitamin B, riboflavin), minerals (such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus), proteins and carbohydrates. Lemons are highly acidic but they contain the good acids that your body needs. Your body has a fine PH balance that must be maintained and lemon water helps it. A pH less than 7 is said to be acidic. The ideal pH is slightly alkaline between 7.30 to 7.45. You can test your pH levels regularly by using a piece of litmus paper in your saliva or urine first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything.

20130124-002502.jpg
If your body is not alkaline, as it should be, then you could have a series of health problems from heartburn and acid reflux that many suffer with on a daily basis; digestive issues, and irregularity. An acidic body can wreak havoc on your allergies, especially if you are an asthmatic, or suffer from frequent headaches. It also prevents constipation.

20130124-002627.jpg

Lemon water helps indigestion by
taking a fresh lemon and squeezing it into a warm glass of water in the morning before breakfast and then once again before dinner. This assists in and improves digestion. Lemon water makes your liver secrete more bile and thereby helps in digestion for detoxing the liver. Eating an alkaline diet also is beneficial for an alkaline body. Foods that’s are alkaline of course. Here are some key steps to living an alkaline lifestyle:

  • Eating a plant-based diet
  • No alcohol consumption
  • Exercising, yoga and meditation
  • Cut out processed foods and sugar
  • Drink alkaline water

Sounds easy right!

Source:
Water Benefits Health

Antioxidants and Good Food Sources

Naturally occurring antioxidants help fight diseases in the body, boost immunity, and repair damaged cells. These antioxidants can be found in a variety of whole foods that nutritionists have been recommending for years, including fruits, legumes and whole grains.

It’s important to include antioxidants in your diet because of their many health benefits, so try digging in to one of these especially antioxidant-rich foods like pomegranates, berries and veggies.

20121211-111557.jpg

Vitamin C – As an antioxidant it protects proteins, lipids, carbohydrates, DNA and RNA from oxidation by free radicals. Foods like citrus fruits and their juices, berries, dark green vegetables (spinach, asparagus, green peppers, brussel sprouts, broccoli, watercress, other greens), red and yellow peppers, tomatoes and tomato juice, pineapple, cantaloupe, mangos, papaya and guava.

20121211-125625.jpg

Vitamin E –
Vitamin E is also a fat soluble vitamin. As an antioxidant it protects fats from oxidation, according to the Office of Dietary Supplements. Foods like vegetable oils such as olive, soybean, corn, cottonseed and safflower, nuts and nut butters, seeds, whole grains, wheat, wheat germ, brown rice, oatmeal, soybeans, sweet potatoes, legumes (beans, lentils, split peas) and dark leafy green vegetables.

20121211-130209.jpg

Selenium –
Selenium is a powerful antioxidant mineral that protects tissues from free radical damage. Foods like Brazil nuts, brewer’s yeast, oatmeal, brown rice, chicken, eggs, dairy products, garlic, molasses, onions, salmon, seafood, tuna, wheat germ, whole grains and most vegetables.

20121211-111157.jpg

Beta Carotene –
Beta-carotene is a form of vitamin A found in many foods that are dark orange, red, yellow and green vegetables and fruits such as broccoli, kale, spinach, sweet potatoes, carrots, red and yellow peppers, apricots, cantaloupe and mangos.

Source:
http://www.whfoods.com/

Food Fact: Cranberries

20121121-101655.jpg

A substantial number of recent studies have shown that whole fresh cranberries consumed in dietary form—in comparison with purified cranberry extracts consumed in either liquid or dried supplement form—do a better job of protecting our cardiovascular system and our liver.

20121121-102645.jpg

This rule about whole/fresh dietary intake of cranberries appears to apply to the antioxidant benefits, anti-inflammatory benefits, and anti-cancer benefits of cranberry. The cancer-preventive benefits of cranberries are now known to extend to cancers of the breast, colon, lung, and prostate. The bar for cranberries are as high as blueberries. They’re powerhouses of aniti-cancer fighting properties.

Basically, fresh is best! However, it’s easier at times to open up a can of cranberries for the holidays. I know based off of experience the length of time that goes into preparing a Thanksgiving feast. Cranberry sauce was the last thing from my mind to prepare, so I was that person who opened cans of jellied cranberry sauce. I also grew up watching my mother do it, so I did eventually. This year, my aunt is hosting and preparing the feast, so my contribution will be a fresh salad and guess what…fresh cranberries. After reading about the benefits of cranberries, I will never open up another can of jellied cranberry sauce in my house. As for my parents house, that’s another story.

Cranberries health highlights:
Urinary Tract Infection (UTI)
Cardiovascular Benefits
Immune Support
Antioxidant Protection
Anti-Cancer Protection
Digestive Tract Benefits

For an in-depth reading click here

The Best Foods for Your Skin

Image

Tomatoes: Definitely one of your skin’s best defenses, tomatoes contain a powerful antioxidant called lycopene. While studies have not yet been entirely conclusive, many suggest that lycopene may be responsible for helping to protect the skin against sun damage.

Lycopene is best absorbed by the body when it has been cooked or processed, so eating tomato sauce, tomato paste, and ketchup is likely to be more effective than just eating raw tomatoes when trying to safeguard your skin against harmful UV rays. Lycopene is also fat soluble, which means that it is absorbed more easily when consumed with fat, such as eggs, avocado, and olive oil.

Green Tea: It’s no secret that green tea is an antioxidant powerhouse. Its strong anti-inflammatory and anti-aging effects are attributed to its high concentration of catechin compounds. Studies have shown that green tea can be used both orally and topically to help protect the skin from sunburns and UV-associated skin cancers. Research also suggests that drinking one cup of green tea twice a day over the course of six months may actually reverse sun damage and significantly improve any problems you have with redness and broken capillary veins.

Green Beans: As long as we’re going green, let’s talk about how these low-calorie beans can help you grow thicker hair and healthier nails. Green beans are a star Feed Your Face food because they’re one of the richest sources of silicon — not to be confused with silicone, which is found in bad lip jobs and breast implants! The USDA has not yet established recommended daily intakes (RDIs) of silicon, but 10 mg per day seems to be adequate for strengthening hair and nails, according to recent studies. Dr. Wu recommends choosing organic green beans, since they retain more silicon from the soil. Don’t like green beans? You can also get your silicon fix from volcanic mineral waters such as Volvic, which contains 14.5 mg per liter.

Walnuts Usually it’s salmon that’s synonymous with omega-3 fatty acids, but did you know that walnuts are also incredibly high in omega-3s? If you’re concerned with redness, swelling, blotchiness, acne breakouts, or wrinkles, walnuts may be your new best friend. Plant-based omega-3s, such as the ones found in walnuts, are naturally anti-inflammatory; they can help seal moisture into your skin and protect it from chemicals and other toxins. In particular, the alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) in these omega-3s can work to combat the dryness associated with aging that leads to wrinkles. But don’t stop with walnuts; you can also increase the amount of plant-based omega-3s in your diet by eating almonds, olive oil, and flaxseed, too.

Probiotic: Supplementing the diet with high-quality probiotics will help prevent acne by re-balancing the intestinal system and put those good bacteria back in control. Whenever you are prescribed antibiotics you need to take a probiotic to counter the negative effects on your digestive system.

Even if you suffer from a serious skin condition such as acne, you will notice a dramatic improvement to your skin if you take a probiotic supplement. This is because acne has been linked in some studies to intestinal health with researchers reporting increased blood levels of toxins absorbed from the gut in acne sufferers.

 

By Jennifer Laskey

Fiber, Chlorophyll and Antioxidants: Benefits from Green Juicing

Fiber

The blended green juice recipe favored by Dr. Oz, also a surgery professor at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, is chock full of fiber. Fiber aids digestion, prevents constipation, and helps you control your weight because it adds bulk to your diet to make you feel full. Oz’s drink blends the juices of lemon, lime, apple, parsley, ginger root, cucumber, celery and spinach. Drinks made in a juicer do not have the benefit of fiber.

You should consume 38g fiber if you are a man aged 19 to 50 and 25g fiber if you are a woman of the same age. After age 50, men need 30g fiber and women need 21g according to U.S. Dietary Reference Intakes guidelines.

Chlorophyll

Green juice is rich in chlorophyll, which gives greens their color. Chlorophyll helps your body detoxify. For example, it may inhibit absorption of environmental pollutants like dioxin and also help your body excrete them quicker, says K. Morita, lead author for a study published in “Environmental Health Perspectives.”

Chlorophyll also enhances oxygen transport in your body and is a top nutrient for balancing your body’s pH by helping to reduce acidity. Low-grade acidosis may contribute to fatigue as well as other health concerns, including kidney stones and lower growth hormone levels, which lead to more body fat and loss of lean muscle mass. Author Gillian McKeith includes carrot, celery, cucumber, spinach, fennel, ginger root, parsley and alfalfa sprouts in her version of the drink. Both McKeith’s and Oz’s versions of the green juice have the benefit of chlorophyll.

Antioxidants

Green juices are antioxidant-rich beverages, notes Estitta Bushkin and Gary Bushkin in the “Better Nutrition” magazine article, “Anti-Aging with Antioxidants.” Antioxidants protect your cells from damage by free radicals, which are produced when your body breaks down food and caused by exposure to environmental factors like tobacco smoke. Free radicals may have a role in diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Both versions of the juice offer the benefit of antioxidants.