vegetables

What Are The Benefits Of Eating Organic?

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What Are The Benefits Of Eating Organic?

When it comes to fruits and vegetables especially, eating organic is highly beneficial. The main difference between eating conventionally farmed produce and organic is that organic growers do not spray their farms with herbicides and pesticides. The chemicals used have been positively linked to numerous health problems such as cancer, unhealthy hormone changes and toxicity in the nervous system and brain. These toxic chemicals were designed to kill small pests instantly, so how can it be healthy for people to ingest? Washing the produce before eating it helps, but definitely does not remove all of it. A toxic chemical residue remains.

Some great reasons to eat organic:

  1. You avoid all pesticides and herbicides.
  2. The produce is typically 25% more nutritious with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, so it’s worth it to pay a little more! You’re still getting your value from it.
  3. It supports responsible and sustainable farming techniques, eliminating these toxic chemicals from getting into our environment (air, soil and water supply). In turn, the farmers are also protected from their toxicity.
  4. It actually tastes better!

The Environmental Working Group, or EWG, keeps a great list of absolute foods that you should ONLY eat organic, called The Dirty Dozen, and also a list of the Clean Fifteen that are the conventionally grown foods that are safe to eat. Here is a link to their website http://www.ewg.org/foodnews/summary.php

Based on their recommendation, here are the foods you should always eat organic:

  • Strawberries
  • Grapes
  • Apples
  • Peaches
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Summer squash
  • Sweet Bell Peppers
  • Cucumbers
  • Potatoes
  • Hot Peppers
  • Nectarines
  • Dark leafy greens
  • Zucchini

A few of my favorites from the Clean Fifteen list:

  • Avocados
  • Mushrooms
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Onions
  • Asparagus
  • Papayas
  • Sweet potatoes

You should always wash your fruits and veggies with a veggie wash before eating them, but at least buying all of these foods as organic, assures you that you’re not consuming ANY bad chemicals!


Support a responsible organic farmer and buy organic today!

Avocados And Many Of Their Amazing Health Benefits

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Avocados And Many Of Their Amazing Health Benefits

Avocados have a high fat content, but it is a super healthy fat. They were once put on the bad foods list for this fact and yet now they are one of the most popular foods because of their wonderful nutritional value. They are literally packed with the healthy monounsaturated fat, lutein, potassium, folate and numerous other vitamins and nutrients. Avocados support your entire body, from your heart to your eyes.

What are some specific things avocados can do for you?

  • Heart protection – the high amounts of potassium regulates blood pressure, which helps to prevent heart disease and strokes, and even lower cholesterol. The folate in them also contributes to lowering your chances of getting heart disease and heart attacks.
  • Your vision – A fabulous ingredient in avocados is lutein, numerous antioxidants and zeaxanthin……all that protect your eyes from macular degeneration and even improve your eyesight.
  • Cancer prevention – The numerous antioxidants in avocados are a great cancer prevention. Oleic acid that is prevalent is known protection against breast cancer.
  • Great source of fiber – Consuming healthy amounts of fiber is a major component in the prevention of chronic disease. Avocados are rich in both soluble and insoluble fibers.
  • Low glycemic index – This helps to control your blood sugar levels, preventing the onset of Type 2 Diabetes.
  • Rich in Vitamin K – This great vitamin plays an important role in our ability to have functional blood clotting and wound healing. It is also very important to help build strong bones.
  • Rich in Vitamin B6 – This directly supports your nervous system, your teeth and gums and your numerous red blood cells and can reduce morning sickness.
  • A stronger immune system – The high amount of antioxidants directly supports the immune system.
  • Lose weight – The high amounts of monounsaturated fats in avocados actually speeds up your metabolic rate which can help with weight loss.
  • Prevent halitosis – Believe it or not, but avocados can get rid of bad breath! It is able to effectively remove intestinal putrefaction and decomposition which is the actual cause of bad breath and a coated tongue.
  • A protein source – They provide ALL 18 essential amino acids we need for our bodies to form a complete protein, that is just amazing! Also, the protein in an avocado is easy to digest and readily absorbed due to their fiber content.

We all love a delicious guacamole, but adding a little avocado to your daily meals can benefit your health tremendously! Add it to a burger, a salad, slice it up on the side with a little salt and pepper or use it as a condiment.

 

They are delicious and so good for you!

What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

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What Is Metabolic Syndrome?

Metabolic syndrome is not a disease but a group of risk factors such as high blood pressure, high blood sugar, unhealthy cholesterol levels, and increased abdominal fat. It tends to run in families, so you can be genetically predisposed to it. It is also more common among African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, and Native Americans. As you get older, the risk of developing it tends to go up.

Metabolic syndrome can be a serious health condition that you should take seriously if you have been diagnosed with it. It can give you a higher risk of heart disease, stroke and vascular disease and you are more likely to develop Type 2 diabetes. It has become very common in the United States with close to 20 to 25 percent of adult Americans diagnosed with it, nearly 50 million Americans have it, according to the American Heart Association, that’s about one out of every six people!

Insulin resistance is a factor associated with it, which is where the body can’t use insulin efficiently. This creates issues because the body needs insulin to convert sugar and starch into energy and insulin is a hormone that helps move blood sugar into cells for this important purpose. Once you develop this, it can lead to high blood sugar levels and easy weight gain, especially around the mid-section. Instead of having energy it all goes to storing everything you eat into fat. This tends to be a hereditary condition, so if you have a history of it in your family or diabetes, you should be especially conscious of a healthy and active lifestyle.

The good news is that it can be easily controlled and reversed, mainly by simple changes to your lifestyle, such as a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. It is also possible to prevent or delay its onset, so a healthy and physically active lifestyle should be a lifelong commitment.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with metabolic syndrome, you might be anxious and worried, but the best thing to do is be grateful and think of it as a wake-up call. It’s not something to ignore or mess around with, but instead a time to get serious about improving your overall health for life. Making some simple changes to your daily habits and eating routine that is recommended by your doctor can prevent serious illness in the future.

A List Of Paleo Foods For Beginners

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A List Of Paleo Foods For Beginners

What is the Paleo Diet? It is eating like they did during the Paleolithic Period, or that’s the idea behind it….imagining what was eaten…WAY back in the day. This means anything we could hunt or find – meats, fish, nuts, leafy greens, regional veggies, and seeds. The idea is to focus on protein and vegetables that are from whole and natural sources, plus a little bit of healthy fats and very few carbs.

We all have to start somewhere and sometimes having ideas or a list really helps! On the Paleo Diet you can’t have dairy, grains, starches, wheat or legumes….but what CAN you have? It can be a challenge to make these changes, so here’s some specific ideas on what to put on your shopping list.

Healthy meats of all kinds and fish, plus fruits and veggies are a winner. Everyone knows fruit is healthy but too much is not good for you because many of them are high in sugar, which spikes your blood sugar. So what are the approved fruits and veggies, oils, nuts and seeds? Here’s some great ideas for you….

Suggestions for healthy vegetables:

  • Asparagus
  • Artichoke hearts
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Celery
  • Broccoli
  • Zucchini
  • Cabbage
  • Peppers
  • Cauliflower
  • Parsley
  • Eggplant
  • Green Onions

Suggestions for healthy fruits:

  • Apple
  • Bananas (but limited)
  • Avocado
  • Blackberries
  • Papaya
  • Peaches
  • Plums
  • Mango
  • Lychee
  • Blueberries
  • Lemon
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Lime
  • Raspberries
  • Cantaloupe
  • Oranges

Suggestions for healthy nuts and seeds:

  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Pecans
  • Pine Nuts
  • Pumpkin Seeds
  • Sunflower Seeds
  • Macadamia Nut
  • Walnuts

Suggestions for healthy oils:

  • Coconut oil
  • Olive oil
  • Macadamia Oil

I always love something I can print out and take to the grocery store with me. I hope this helps you follow your new lifestyle changes on the fantastic Paleo Diet!

What Exactly Is Quinoa?

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What Exactly Is Quinoa?

Quinoa is increasingly becoming popular as a health staple in the place of rice and potatoes. The three common types are white, red and black. White is the most common. It has a very mild flavor that makes it easy to incorporate in lots of great recipes. Red is crunchier and has a stronger flavor and needs a longer cooking time. Black is the crunchiest and with that comes the strongest flavor. The quinoa glycemic index is relatively low compared to rice which is relatively high.

It has a unique texture and appearance once cooked.

What are some of the great things quinoa can do for you?

  • Migraine Reliever
  • Lowers Cholesterol
  • Prevent Gallstones
  • Bone Health
  • Lose Weight
  • Great For Diabetics
  • Easily Prepared
  • It Has Protein!
  • It’s Low Calorie
  • It’s Nutrient Rich
  • Supports Cardiovascular Health

What are the great nutrients in quinoa?

Quinoa contains high amounts of riboflavin, magnesium, soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, protein, iron, B vitamins, potassium, zinc, amino acids and calcium. It is much safer for diabetics to consume because it is not likely to spike your blood sugar compared to most simple grains. It is alkaline so it can be eaten to balance out your diet and maintain an alkaline state in the body.

What’s really great is it is very easy to cook, just like rice without the insulin response. Brown some chopped onions, garlic and mushrooms in coconut oil then add the quinoa and lightly fry and season. It’s easy to add chopped cooked veggies to it as well, top it with parmesan, pine nuts, cut up avocado and tomatoes. Yum!!

It used to be that quinoa could only be found in specialty stores, but now you can find anywhere and it’s pre-rinsed and ready to cook.  It can easily be cooked in just 15-20 minutes.

Quinoa is naturally low in calories and contains only around 220 calories per cup. It’s a great diet staple that is healthy, a great source of fiber and is very delicious and filling.

Give it a try! You will love it.

 

What’s All This Talk About Glycemic Index?

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What’s All This Talk About Glycemic Index?

The Glycemic Index is a measurement of foods containing carbohydrates and their impact on blood sugar levels. This unique reference to foods is now becoming very popular but is actually a relatively new way of analyzing foods. It is extremely helpful to those struggling with insulin issues and weight issues.

Specific diets that focus on eating foods with a low Glycemic Index have been associated with a significant decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, stroke, depression, chronic kidney disease, formation of gall stones, neural tube defects, formation of uterine fibroids, and cancers of the breast, colon, prostate, and pancreas.

Here is an interesting list of foods and their GI values. Take a look.

Foods with a low to medium Glycemic Index Value

  • Cherries – 22
  • Grapefruit – 25
  • Muesli – 43
  • Prunes – 29
  • Oat Bran -55
  • Apricots, dried – 29
  • Ice Cream – 38
  • Apple – 38
  • Whole Milk – 31
  • Sweet potato – 44
  • Minestrone soup – 39
  • Spaghetti – 38
  • Pear, fresh – 38
  • Hummus – 6
  • Capellini – 45
  • Strawberries – 40
  • Peanuts – 15
  • Orange, navel – 40
  • Sourdough bread – 53
  • Banana – 52
  • M&M peanut candies – 33
  • Quinoa – 53

Foods with a medium to high Glycemic Index Value

  • Bagel – 72
  • Pea soup – 66
  • Hamburger bun – 61
  • French Baguette – 95
  • Baked potato – 85
  • Scones – 92
  • Waffles – 76
  • Rice Krispies – 82
  • Corn Flakes – 92
  • Watermelon – 72
  • Dates – 103
  • Pumpkin – 75
  • Rice crackers – 91
  • Pretzels – 83
  • Instant rice – 87
  • Wild rice – 87

It’s a new way to focus on food, but so valuable! Taking a moment to think before you eat can add incredible health benefits. Focus on eating healthy amounts of quality protein, some healthy fat and a little bit of low glycemic carbohydrates and you will just feel better!!

The Highest Foods In Fiber

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The Highest Foods In Fiber

We all need our roughage and here is a great list of high fiber foods to incorporate into your diet. But first, why do we need fiber in the first place? It is an essential nutrient that we all need for the proper digestion of our foods. We also need it for the general function of our intestinal and digestive tract and it also helps us feel full (aiding in weight loss)! Without it we will ultimately end up constipated, develop hemorrhoids, possibly elevated cholesterol levels and even elevated sugar levels in the blood. None of these are good or fun to deal with. Too much fiber is not a good thing either, causing diarrhea, possible dehydration and even a bowel obstruction.

When you are adding more fiber to your diet, you need to be mindful of adding more fluids as well….so be sure and drink lots of water! This is good for you anyway, but essential in a high fiber diet.

Here is a short list of some great high fiber foods to think of adding each day:

  • Oranges
  • Prunes
  • Mushrooms
  • Rye
  • Raw Cabbage
  • Nuts and seeds
  • All kinds of berries
  • Pumpkins
  • Celery
  • Tomatoes
  • Leafy greens
  • Oatmeal
  • Beans and legumes
  • Artichokes
  • Peas
  • Different types of squash
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Broccoli and cauliflower
  • Avocado
  • Bran Flakes
  • Pears


These are all everyday easy high fiber foods and by adding in enough to your diet will create a happier you ( :