Read these 92 Healing Foods Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Alternative Health tips and hundreds of other topics.
Onion's medicinal power has been admired for centuries. Its curative properties come from the enzyme allinase, which also causes tears when cutting an onion. Onions are good for reducing cholesterol and preventing blood clots, as well as helping treat bronchitis, asthma, rheumatism, gout and for lowering blood sugar because of its powerful antibacterial and diuretic powers. Eating just 1/2 a raw onion daily raised HDLs (good cholesterol lipoproteins) by 30 percent in a recent study - but reseachers say raw or cooked onions are both good for you.
If you're troubled by cystitis or some other type of urinary infection, try this home remedy for easing the problem. Crush a clove of garlic and mix into a cup of natural yogurt (with live cultures). Eat one cup in the morning and another in the evening. The combination of the garlic's healing power and the yogurt's power to balance the good bacteria in your system is a healing combo to be reckoned with, as you'll find out.
Nuts have gotten a bad rap over the years, mainly because of their high fat content, but it's important to remember that it's the type of "good" fat that can help lower your cholesterol because the fat is mostly unsaturated. The extra healthy news about almonds is they are an incredible source of vitamin E, bone-building materials calcium & magnesium. They are also very rich in B vitamins niacin & riboflavin. They are wonderful to help protect you against high blood pressure and heart attacks. So if you're in the mood for a snack, this is one worth grabbing.
An avocado may be just what the doctor ordered IF you're feeling a bit depressed. This little green wonder of the fruit family contains high levels of Vitamin B6 and folic acid, which stimulate the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that usually runs LOW in depressed folks. Slice it on a salad or sandwich or whip it into some tasty guacamole!
Bell peppers come in lots of colors, green, red, yellow and orange - and each type has its high points. All have vitamin C but red peppers contain 3 times as much as the others, in addition to containing 20 times more beta carotene than the other types. All bell peppers help fight free radical damage to your cells, making them a major health helper against cancer and heart disease. They are also great immune system boosters, so incorporate them into your diet often.
You've heard it over and over, BUT only one-third of all Americans get the recommended eight glasses of water daily! Water is particularly helpful to those dieting because it helps flush toxins and water weight out of the body. If you suffer from fatigue when awakening or during midday, or if you can't concentrate or suffer from headaches, be advised - these are ALL symptoms of mild dehydration!
Fibroids, benign uterine tumors, have been found to be more common in women who eat significant amounts of red meats - and significantly fewer green vegetables. Excessively high estrogen levels seem to play a major role in the development of the tumors and some research suggests that meat may increase estrogen levels. Certain compounds in vegetables like asparagus, spinach, romaine, kale & other green vegetables can help offset some of the estrogens effects on the body because of the isoflavonoids in the veggies. To be on the safer side, try to eat no more than 3 ounces of red meat daily and boost your fruit & veggies up to 5 servings a day.
We've all heard that "an apple a day keeps the doctor away," - and it still seems to be a small step you can take to help keep you and your family healthier. Fresh fruits and veggies increase your intake of antioxidants and these nutrients can really help protect your body from the ill effects of smog. One study showed that eating 5 or more apples a week was linked to slightly better lung function, something attributed to the fact apples contain high levels of the antioxidant quercetin (also wonderful for lessening allergies). Make sure to eat organic or else scrub skins with a brush under warm, soapy water.
Barley is one of the wholegrains that most people enjoy, plus it's quick and easy to prepare. My favorite way is to add some to soup and just letting it boil until fluffy - about 20 minutes. The wonderful thing about barley is it is VERY high in B-1, one of nature's tranquilizers. It helps relieve anxiety, mood, and can ease down tenseness. It's also a great source of fiber and complex carbohydrates, which translates into a nice sustained energy source for your body. Barley also raises serotonin levels in the brain and since serotonin is vital to good moods - barley should make it into your meal plans as often as possible.
Flaxseed oil is rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids, magnesium, potassium, and fiber, as well as being excellent sources of B vitamins, protein & zinc. They're low in saturated fats, calories and they have NO cholesterol. Several studies have shown flaxseed oil to be helpful in reducing the pain, inflammation & swelling of arthritis, in addition to lowering blood cholesterol & triglyceride levels, plus helping to reduce the hardening effects of cholesterol on cell membranes. Other uses include treating constipation, benign prostatic hyperplasia, ulcerative colitis, and vaginitis. One tablespoon a day, as a supplement or on salads or veggies, can help ensure your supply of essential fatty acids. It's great for helping dry skin from the inside out!
Parsley is much more than an attractive garnish and is capable of some downright amazing health benefits. It contains a substance that prevents multiplication of tumor cells, as well as expel worms, relieve gas, and stimulate normal activity of the digestive system. It freshens your breath, and strengthens bladder, kidney, liver, lung, stomach and thyroid function. It can also help with fluid retention, high blood pressure, kidney disease, obesity and prostate disorders. Surprisingly, parsley contains more vitamin C than oranges by weight.
Blueberries are one of Mother Nature's wonder berries for their medicinal value but also for their antioxidant power. A mere 1/2 cup a day can double the antioxidant power in most folks' diets - a choice that can lower your cancer risks AND slow down the aging process! So break out those berries for your morning cereal or enjoy them as a low calorie treat during the day!
Apple cider vinegar has a strong reputation in the folk remedy category, mainly because it works so well for so many different ailments. It's a great antiseptic and has been used for digestive problems, headaches, insomnia, burns, sore throats, and for skin problems, just to name a few of its success stories.
Strawberries are reputed to reduce high blood pressure and they are recommended in traditional European medicine for the elimination of kidney stones. They are rich in soluble fiber and pectin, which helps in the elimination of cholesterol. This, combined with their powerful antioxidant properties, makes them highly effective against heart and circulatory problems.
This is one of those foods you either love or love to hate. If you're lucky enough to enjoy this green delicacy, you are doing more than you could imagine for your health each time you indulge. Broccoli is loaded with sulforophane, which is believed to help combat the growth of cancerous tumors. It also contains lutein, a powerful antioxidant that helps vision health and it may also reduce the risk of colon cancer. Its folate, fiber, beta carotene and vitamin C content, are all boosters for a health heart.
Chick peas aka garbanzo beans are among nature's most easily digested beans. They are incredibly high in vitamin C and contain almost twice the amount of iron that its fellow beans possess. These healthy beans are also rich in calcium, magnesium and potassium, a triple bonus in the fight for healthy, stong bones. A study from Tulane University showed that bean eaters who consume legumes at least 4 times a week have a 19 percent lower risk of heart disease than people who eat beans only once a week.
Many folks just think of chocolate as candy but the cacao powder (from which chocolate is made) is actually a plant-based food containing magnesium, copper, zinc and iron. It also contains polyphenols, which are a type of photochemicals that are high in antioxidant properties. These properties can actually help give your body extra ammunition in fighting off some diseases, particularly some of those associated with heart health. This info may be news to many of us, but surprisingly the medicinal powers of chocolate date back thousands of years.
If you're a fish lover, then take FULL advantage of all that salmon has to offer you! It is one of the riches, most delicious sources of omega-3 fats, and when you boost your intake of these fats, you help ward off depression, menstrual cramps, macular degeneration ( a cause of blindness), fatal heart attacks, and possibly even breast cancer. So, treat your body to a 3-ounce serving of cooked salmon and benefit from its 1.9 grams of omega-3s, compared to the mere 0.05 grams offered by 3-ounces of cooked chicken.
Onion can be helpful in lightening liver/age spots. Grate an onion and squeeze it through cheesecloth so that you have 1 teaspoonful of juice. Mix with 2 teaspoons of vinegar and rub into the spots twice a day until the spots disappear. Or you can cut a fresh onion, dip it in apple cider vinegar and rub across the spots. This, too, will help fade the spots in a few weeks.
Fiber is definitely your friend when dieting because it actually cancels out some of the calories you eat. Try to eat cereal with at least 7 grams of fiber per serving. Stats have show that if you eat 30 grams of fiber daily (almost double of what most folks ingest) your body will absorb 120 FEWER calories a day. End result? That adds up to an almost 13-pound loss in a year JUST by eating cereal with fiber!
Eating slowly for the first 10 minutes of a meal MAY actually help you lose weight. Per Nature Magazine, high-tech images of the brains of 21 adults showed that 10 minutes after they started eating a meal, their brain turned off their appetite switch, thus lessening the urge to continue eating. So, slow down that fork action and take your time the next time you eat. Let your brain help make losing weight less painful!
Blackberries are one of Mother Nature's finest natural cures. Some ailments that respond well to blackberries include circulation problems, diarrhea and skin problems.The leaves are useful for scalds, gum disease and sore throats. Steep one ounce of chopped leaves in 2 and 1/2 cups boiling water and drink away some of your health problems.
Brazil nuts are one of nature's leading sources of selenium, a vital mineral that protects your heart. These tasty nuts also offer cancer-fighting properties. Just two Brazil nuts a day, provides approximately 150 mcg of selenium and a good dose of vitamin E. Keep a supply of these healthy nuts on hand to treat your body to something fantastic for your health.
Chocolate`s impressive flavonoid (plant phenols) content is a unique chemical structure and it is seldom found in food sources, with the exception of being in wine, tea, and cocoa . The antioxidant power of the polyphenols has recently gotten the attention of researchers because of its ability to decrease the oxidation of LDL cholesterol - good news for those concerned about heart disease - since LDL levels are linked as a major factor associated with heart disease.
Most of us want to put our hands over our ears and sing la-la-la real loud to drown out any more comments about how wonderful whole-grained foods are for us. The plain fact of the matter (which is not going to change) is that refined foods and extra sugar displaces nutrient-dense foods and thus reduces our bodies' ability to fight infections. It also robs our bodies of its reserve of B vitamins. So, it's definitely worth it if you are serious about improving your state of health to learn to like brown rice, whole grain breads (all rich in essential vitamins and complex carbohydrates)and learn to say no to the wonderful sugary products that tempt us.
Midafternoon snacking keeps your metabolism burning a bit higher and helps curb your urges to eat super-sized meals. That doesn't include cookies, candies, and chips, mind you, but things like almonds, apples, bananas, oranges, nonfat yogurt, or a few peanut butter topped crackers. Healthy snacking can actually help burn off a few extra calories because your metabolism is kept working instead of taking a midday break!
This lovely offering from Mother Nature is a member of the carotenoid family and is extremely rich in beta-carotene, as well as being a potent antioxidant - both powerful enemies of cancer, heart disease, and macular degeneration. Studies have supported these findings and also uncovered an another impressive statistic, showing that lycopene supplementation (15 mg a day) boosted immune function in the elderly and increased natural killer cell activity by 28 percent in just 12 weeks.
At present, the recommended intake is 6.5 mg a day, which breaks down to a mere 1.5 serving per week. And, if you get tired of downing tomato-based food, you`ll be happy to know you can get a little lycopene from red peppers, watermelon and guavas. Lycopene can also be taken in tablet form.
Many people believe those who suffer from arthritis should avoid strawberries due to their acidic properties, but nothing could be further from the truth. Linnaeus, the great Swedish botanist, recommended strawberries as the perfect cure for arthritis, gout and rheumatism. He spoke from personal experience, as he cured himself of gout by eating nothing but strawberries, morning and night. His binge helped eliminate the joint-irritating uric acid from his body. A cup of strawberries can work wonders for gout pain, as can cherries. Give them a try.
It may be hard to believe but folks who think they're getting weight-loss results from eating only one meal a day may be doing just the opposite. Research has shown that people who most of their calories in ONE sitting gain MORE weight than people who eat exactly the SAME amount of calories distributed evenly among six meals.
Smaller meals throughout the day keep the metabolism fires burning up more calories!
So, chocolate CAN be good for you? Here are the real facts:
*A one ounce square of chocolate contains about 135 calories and 9.0 grams of fat.
*Cacao powder extract is a powerful antioxidant for the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol; making it a possible ally against heart disease and cancer.
*Dark chocolate contains less fat, and cocoa is even better when it comes to calorie and fat content because it contains just 10 to 20 percent fat, compared to 58 percent in chocolate.
*The recommended chocolate intake is two to three chocolate bars per week (1.5 ounces each), or a daily cup of cocoa made with skim milk. Study participants who ate one to three candy bars a month lowered their risk of death by 36 percent, compared to non-candy eaters - but candy piggies who gobbled up more than three chocolate bars a week increased their odds by only 16 percent...which still sounds like pretty good odds to me.
Raspberries are not only tasty, they are excellent for building up the immune system and they are believed to offer cancer protection. They are also great for treating mouth problems. Herbalists value raspberries for their cooling effect, which is very helpful in treating feverish conditions. These naturally astringent berries can also do remarkable things for the entire length of your digestive tract, as well as to help counter spongy, diseased gums, upset stomachs and diarrhea. Enjoy a cupful regularly - just brew up a cup of raspberry tea using an ounce of chopped leaves, steeped in 2 and 1/2 cups boiling water.
If you are a person who can tolerate spicy foods, namely jalapeno peppers, you might be able to send a sinus headache packing. Once you feel the pressure of a sinus headache making its painful appearance, eat a jalapeno pepper as soon as possible. The heated response will help loosen mucus secretions and will also increase blood flow into the sinuses, which helps reduce and releive congestion that are responsible for sinus headache pain. A sip of milk can help ease the burning in your mouth.
Walnuts may be tasty and great in recipes but they have been found to be helpful in fading age spots. Take some green (not fully ripe) black walnuts and make a few incisions in the outer shell; rub the juice on the spots. There may be a slight stinging sensation or the area may turn brown, but this is only temporary. This has worked for many folks, so give it a try!
Looking for some good sources of fiber? It's found in fresh and dried fruits, raw vegetables, legumes, whole-grain and rye breads, buckwheat, bulgur, barley, and other whole grains, and oatmeal. Just two tablespoons of wheat or oat bran provide close to the minimum daily requirements for fiber. Remember to start off slowly if you're not used to fiber because it can cause bloating and diarrhea AND remember to drink LOTS of water to keep the roughage moving through your body!
Research recently showed eating antioxidant-rich black raspberries before & after exposure to throat cancer causing chemicals cut the number of tumors in HALF in rats. Eating JUST one cup of deeply hued berries daily may provide the same protection in humans, so it's a tasty, low-fat way to perhaps offer your body extra cancer insurance.
Spinach, which is extremely high in vitamin A and K, helps your eyesight BUT researchers at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston found that a woman's chance of breaking a hip could be cut by almost a third with a daily intake of 109 micrograms of vitamin K. In eating terms, that breaks down to a mere one cup of cooked spinach per day.
If you have a well stocked spice rack you have a natural pharmacy of sorts. Some popular kitchen spices that possess natural antibiotic properties to help fight cold and flu viruses include cinnamon, black pepper, lemon, thyme, marjoram, rosemary, basil, garlic, and peppermint. You can take advantage of their health-inducing abilities by using them generously in your cooking or by inhaling their fragrances from steams made with their essential oils.
The actual chocolate is derived by way of beans from the cacao tree and it has been shown to be used by early physicians as a remedy for helping emaciated patients gain weight; to treat anemia; strengthen the brain; increase breast milk production; alleviate TB and gout; cure kidney stones and invigorate kidney function; as well as to increase sexual appetite and virility. Mexican healers still prescribe it for bronchitis and it has been used to treat snake bites and stings from wasps, scorpions and bees.
Pizza, popcorn and chips are favorite night time snacks, but if you want to help your body prepare for a good night's sleep, there are some better choices. Food items made from whole grains (whole wheat,oats, or brown rice work to elevate the serotonin level in your brain, resulting in a calming effect on your nervous system.
Researchers have found that one of Green Tea's active substances, epigallocatechin (EGCG), may indirectly boost your body's production of the hormone noradrenaline, which increases metabolism. Recommended dosage is one or two 500 mg capsules that provide 300 mg to 400 mg of polyphenols with meals every day. Or, eat 3 mg of green tea powder daily by mixing it into your food; or drink 6 to 7 cups in tea form daily. It does contain some caffeine (the same as 1/2 cup of coffee) so it can cause slight anxiety, headaches, or mild stomach upset if too much is ingested.
If you're looking for something to enjoy while out to dinner or at a party or even just sitting at home, hone in on the shrimp! You can enjoy 12 large nonbreaded shrimp to help satisfy your craving for something tasty and end up with a mere 65 calories and less than 1 gram of fat added to your diet score card!
Trying to consume 30 grams a fiber daily can be a challenge BUT the bonus of having the fiber help cancel out some of the calories you eat is a definite perk! Why not get some of that fiber by using whole wheat pastas? Just one cup provides 6.3 grams of fibers, as opposed to the 2.4 grams found in regular pasta!
Delicious and healthy as they are, strawberries unfortunately retain incredibly high amounts of pesticide residue. If you can't buy organic, the residue can be reduced by soaking the berries in a bowl of water with a drop of dishwashing soap (preferably castile soap) or use a store-bought fruit & veggie cleaner like FIT.
You might have heard that chocolate, because of its flavonoid content from the cocoa bean, is actually good for your heart. The extra good news is chocolate is also good for brain chemicals, especially in the production of serotonin and endorphins - both chemicals known to brighten your mood and relieve pain. Before you rush out and stock up on chocolate bars, the recommended intake to help stimulate brain chemicals is two walnut-sized pieces daily...but hey, think how munching on even two pieces of chocolate will be! More than that and you risk a rapid rise & fall of blood sugar, which will make you very crabby.
Eating a few chili peppers can open up your airways if you are suffering from a cold, bronchitis or even emphysema - and here's why. The pungent component of capsiacin in the peppers causes a sudden secretion in your throat and bronchial passages, which actually thins the mucus in the lungs and pushes it along. This causes the secretions to be less sticky and thick and acts as an expectorant like Robitussin.
A 1999 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that women who eat three servings of whole grains a day have only HALF the risk of developing heart disease - compared to women who exclusively eat refined grains such as white bread. Look for products made with whole grains and NO partially hyrogenated oils. There are a number of wholesome snacks available including whole grain corn chips made by Guiltless Gourmet and Bearitos. Guilt-free cookies include Healthy Valley Amaretto Biscotti Style Cookies and you may also enjoy the old standbys like Natural Ry Krisp crispbread snacks.
If you are prone to developing canker sores it is wise to avoid certain trigger foods known to be high in acidic properties. These include most citrus fruits, tomatoes, pineapple and vinegar. Some of these may affect you more than others, so it's best to keep a food diary and introduce one food item weekly to identify those that cause you canker sore problems.
Sometimes what you DON'T eat is as important as what you do and surprisingly, citrus fruit can be a dangerous enemy of migraine sufferers. A migraine can even be triggered by taking a whiff of the oil zest from the peel, so keep this in mind to see if you fall into this category.
Also, a possible irritant may be connected to the fact that many citrus crops are sprayed with antifungal and insecticidal wax - a double whammy for chemically-sensitive individuals. So, if you can't find organic or unwaxed citrus fruit, make sure you scrub the skin under very hot water with a brush before cutting or adding the peel to recipes or a drink.
It makes sense if you're drinking a juice that is 100 percent of a particular fruit or vegetable that the nutrients, ect., are equal to eating the same type food. Although juice can contain more nutrients than its counterpart fruit or veggie, it frequently doesn't contain the fiber, plus the juice can be higher in calories. It's best to eat the "real" thing when you can.
Each type of berry has its own special something to improve your health, but they are all sources of lycopene, ellagic acid and phytochemicals, which help prevent cell damage that may lead to cancer. They also help strengthen blood vessels, help protect eyesight and aid in reducing heart disease. Just a half cup a day can work wonders.
Finding a healthy & hearty cereal you truly enjoy can be tough but if you are a maple & walnut lover, this delicious homemade cereal is loaded with fiber & valuable nutrients. Here's what you'll need: 2 cups water; 2 cups nonfat milk, soy or rice milk; 1 cup farina (cream of wheat); 1/4 cup maple syrup or brown rice syrup or barley malt; 2 tsp. vanilla; 2 bananas peeled & sliced; and 1/4 cup toasted walnuts. Prepare farina as directed on box, using the water & milk as the base. Once cereal is thickened (usually after 4 minutes) stir in syrup, vanilla & 1 cup of the bananas. Scoop into bowls and top with remaining bananas & the toasted walnuts. Add milk or extra sweetener if needed. Great for a cold winter's morning.
If you're not overly big on gulping down milk to get calcium into your system, you can choose some other ways to insure you're getting a little extra calcium boost here and there. Researchers suggest that the average person needs at least 1,000 mg daily if you're under 50 - but 1,500 mg if you're over 50 years of age. Some simple ways to incoroprate extra calcium into you diet include, sprinkling 2 tablespoons of shredded, reduced-fat cheese on a steaming bowl of black bean soup (this gives you an extra 100 mg of calcium), or drinking down a 12 ounce bottle of Gerolsteiner Sprudel sparkling mineral water - which offers 120 mg more calcium than Perrier. Also, instead of using peanut butter, give almond butter a try. Two tablespoons supply 76 milligrams more than peanut butter.
Fiber is essential for important digestive processes but it is know to prevent certain health problems and diseases. Some of those include preventing hemorrhoids, lowering blood cholesterol levels, lowers risk of heart disease and colon cancer. Fiber also helps diabetics control their blood sugar levels because high-fiber foods take longer to break down into sugars. The National Cancer Institute and American Association recommend consuming 20 to 35 grams a day.
Veggies are an important part of healthy eating even when you're dieting. Make it a point to have carrots, broccoli, spinach, or whatever vegetable you enjoy with meals and as snacks. The antioxidant power is super high in these foods, plus they offer extra vitamin E and C. These bonus veggies help prevent free radical damage that promotes cancer, cataracts, and memory loss - plus antioxidants help increase your immune system's power.
Most of us know we need adequate amounts of calcium for strong bones but it's important to also know that when it comes to osteoporosis, we MUST get the proper amounts of magnesium, manganese, vitamin K and boron.
You can help meet magnesium needs by eating soybeans, wheat germ, seafood and dairy items. For extra manganese eat nuts, especially hazelnuts & pecans, avocados & oatmeal.
Vitamin K is found in leafy green vegetables, especially spinach, broccoli, green cabbage & tomatoes, while boron is found in carrots, applesauce, broccoli, peaches, pears & cherries.
Store bought popsicles might taste great but you're basically sucking on almost PURE sugar with a trace of fruit flavoring. Even those treats claiming to be chock-full of vitamin C generally have less C in them than what you can get from just one section of an orange. So why not have the best of both worlds - enjoy something that tastes great BUT is also actually good for you!
Making home-made popsicles is really VERY easy and all you need is a blender, some popsicle molds (available at department stores or kitchen supply stores) or you can even use paper cups or ice cube trays. You'll also need some popsicle sticks, which you can pick up at any craft store.
Choose the fruit you like and it's best to use VERY ripe fruit because it is sweeter. Puree the fruit and pour into molds, insert the sticks, and freeze, usually for overnight or at least 4 to 6 hours.
The fruit combos are endless but here are a few combos that work great:
*2 mangos, 1/4 cup carrot baby food, and 3/4 cup orange juice
*3 kiwis, 12 small strawberries, and 2 bananas.
You choose what tickles your tastebuds and let the fun begin. This is a VERY big adventure for kids to be included in on - as my grand-daughters will testify!!!
You're not a big wimp if you're not among those who can down a bowl of fiber-rich ceral that tastes like shredded cardboard. I know it's good for me, but sometimes my tastebuds & swallowing mechanism refuse to accept some of my "healthy" experiments. One way I trick myself into eating fiber-rich cereal is to blend a half cup full of it to a cereral I truly enjoy. Top with some berries, banana or fruit of your choice and it makes for a healthy breakfast you might actually enjoy!
Blueberries can do some serious staining but they are an incredible antibacterial-rich fruit. They are extremely helpful in treating cystitis and other urinary infections as well as varicose veins. When the berries are dried, the concentration of tannins and other antibacterial properties are substantially increased.
According to a study published in Lancet (March 2001 issue), studies have shown that extra vitamin C reduces the risk of many diseases.
Researchers measured the blood levels of vitamin C in 19,500 volunteers and kept track of their health for a 4-year period. The results showed that those folks with the highest concentration of vitamin C had about HALF the risk of dying during that time as opposed to those poor souls with the lower level of vitamin C. This testing was independent of supplement use, age and other health factors.
The research team concluded that the boost of vitamin C - a boost that is possible by eating just ONE extra daily serving of vitamin C-rich food like oranges or kiwis, could cut the risk of mortality by 20 percent.
Looks like an apple a day isn't the only aid available for better health!
When it's time to rise and shine, you may not feel too eager to pull yourself out of the sack. That's because your blood sugar levels are at their lowest point in the morning hours. The best way to get your system up and running is to eat a well-balanced breakfast containing carbohydrates (juices, fruit, cereals & whole-grained breads) and also protein rich foods like cottage cheese, low-fat yogurt, lean meats and soy products. This can also help you avoid the dreaded mid-morning slump.
If there's one food you need to learn to love, it's brown rice. This grain is considered to be the perfect complex carbohydrate and it has fewer allergenic problems than wheat. It also helps balance blood sugar because it falls in the middle of the glycemic index and it contains fiber. It's loaded with magnesium, phosphorus, selenium, zinc and the ever-so-important mood-enhancing B vitamins.
Cooking your carrots a few minutes instead of munching them raw can actually release MORE of this wonderful vegetable's powerful carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein & lycopene), which in turn gives an extra boost to your immune system. Steam for no more than 2 minutes to keep the heat-sensitive vitamins intact.
Artichokes are one of the world's oldest medicinal plants. It was used by the Greeks and Romans as a digestive aid and in the 16th century, the Europeans considered it a food fit for royalty. Artichoke properties are now being highly regarded for their power to help reduce cholesterol levels (elevated lipid levels). Suggested adult dose of the standardized leaf extract is 320 mg 4 to 6 times daily for a minimum of 6 weeks. If this form is not available, the crude dose of leaves is 1 to 4 grams 3 times a day. There have been reports of kidney failure and/or toxicity from the use of artichoke leaves.
Figuring out what an acceptable serving size is of any given food is confusing, especially when it comes to nuts. The recommended serving is 1 ounce, but what is that in real people terms? Here's a break down of actual count & calorie content; 3 1/2 chestnuts (70 calories), 18 cashews (160), 20 peanuts (160), 47 pistachios (160), 24 almonds (170), 12 hazelnuts (180), 14 walnut halves (180), 8 Brazil nuts (190), 15 pecan halves (190), and 12 macadamias (200). A daily serving of nuts can help protect you from possible heart disease, but try to keep it to the minumum 1 ounce a day.
Prunes contain a powerful antioxidant that can help correct cell damage we suffer from our exposure to smoke, pollution, and the sun's UV rays. Researchers at the Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University believe prunes can actually help fight wrinkles, or at least slow down the effects of aging in the body and brain.
The scientific facts coming out about one of the world`s most beloved delicacies are downright *delicious* in their content. Would you believe that a Harvard study (using 7,841 men) discovered that those who ate chocolate lived almost a year *longer* than those who did not? Also, men who ate a moderate amount of candy *lowered* their risk of death by 36 percent - and even those who indulged in a bit more than a moderate amount of candy still reduced their risk of death by 16 percent.
Want to take the edge off your hunger so you're NOT tempted to over-eat? Treat yourself to a berry-laden dessert - one made with raspberries, strawberries or blackberries. These delightful delicacies are rich in fiber, antioxidants, and ellagic acid, a compound being studied as a colon cancer fighter. Who needs chocolate cake?
Tea has a compound called tannins, which are good for your health, but NOT good if you're taking iron within 90 minutes of drinking your tea. The tannins interfere with the absorption of the iron in your vitamin or supplement for the first hour and a half, so time it so you don't risk not getting the full benefit of your iron.
Moms hate to see perfectly good food go to waste, so the thrifty part of our brain can cause us to finish off some of the leftover fries, fish sticks, whatever is left on our family's plates. While food waste is difficult to witness, keep in mind that nibbling those leftovers can add a couple of hundred calories to your daily tally in a matter of minutes!
Pumpkin is an antioxidant powerhouse and just 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin contains between 160 and 260 percent of the RDA for beta-carotene - that's TWICE as much as you'd get from the same amount of spinach. Its high content of zeaxanthin & lutein is also believed to be a powerful cataract fighter, plus it's also a good source of fiber and iron.
There's no big secret about any magic component of the Mediterranean Diet, which results in less heart disease, fewer strokes and better over-all health. Instead of over-indulging in butter, animal and hydrogenated vegetable fats, folks living in the Mediterranean region reach for the olive oil. Garlic is a regular visitor to the dishes they prepare, and instead of red meat, entrees center around seafood.
So, instead of burger and fries, steak and baked potatoes heaped with butter and sour cream - think pasta, fresh and roasted vegetables, crisp green salads, rice, beans, and grilled or baked fish for more of your meals.
This delectable cereal does take some effort, but it is absolutely loaded with vitamins, nutrients and fiber - so the health benefits are many. To begin, preheat an oven to 375 degrees. Your ingredients will include 4 cups water; 1/4 cup wild rice; 1/4 cup barley; 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats; 1/4 cup bulgar wheat; 1/2 cup dried apples; 1/4 cup brown sugar; 1/2 tsp cinnamon; 1/4 tsp nutmeg & 1/2 tsp cardamon. Combine 1 cup water and the wild rice in a small saucepan - simmer for 20 minutes and then remove from heat & drain. Combine rice with remaining ingredients in an oven-safe baking dish, cover loosely with foil and bake until water is absorbed - which should take about one to one and a half hours. Stir about every 20 minutes. Grains should be tender but not mushy. This casserole can be prepared the night before, leaving the baking until morning. Sweeten with maple sugar or your choice of sweetener.
Sure, they taste great, but the refined white sugars in many cereals, including fructose, maple sugar & honey, can cause mood swings, irritability & fatigue. Try looking for cereals sweetened with brown rice syrup and barley malt because they are higher in nutrient content. This means they metabolize more slowly than white sugars and this helps maintain a more even blood sugar balance in our system.
Actual flaxseeds do little for your health UNLESS they have been pulverized in something like a clean coffee grinder. If this step isn't taken, the seeds pass through you undigested because the hulls are just too tough to dissolve. Flaxseeds are rich in fiber and contain liganans, phytochemicals believed to be cancer fighters. They are also a top-notch source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may reduce your risk of heart disease, as well as ease inflammation and improve your mood. They are helpful in lowering cholesterol, preventing constipation and keeping blood sugar levels steady.
If you're trying to reduce a moderately high fever, bake a large onion for approximately 40 minutes and then crush it to extract the juice. Then mix the juice with equal amounts of honey. Take two teaspoons of the mixture every 2 to 3 hours until your fever decreases.
*This is for adults - and keep in mind that babies under 1 year should not ingest honey due to the danger of botulism.
Symptoms of anemia include fatigue, dizziness, headaches, depression, brittle nails, shortness of breath, and or a white, coated tongue. Some foods high in iron that can help a bit, include unrefined vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, strawberries, egg yolks, blackstrap molasses, dark green vegetables like asparagus, broccoli, parsley, leeks and watercress. It's best to avoid all dairy products, coffee, and tea, as they can reduce iron absorption. Only take iron chelate or ferrous gluconate IF directed by a doctor.
Interestingly, the majority of funding for much of the recent research on chocolate was provided by Mars, the maker of M&Ms, Snickers and Milky Ways. They really wanted chocolates potential health benefits to be recognized by the scientific world.
Mars has also gone an extra step to insure the quality content on some of their chocolate products with a new trademark, " "Cocoapro," - a step they felt necessary since not all chocolate is created equal because sometimes certain processing techniques can diminish the important levels of the cocoa beans` polyphenols.
Figuring out what amount of fiber is the right amount for your body can be confusing, but Prevention Magazine recommends 20 to 35 grams daily. The fiber can come from various sources, like whole grains, beans, fruit, vegetables or even fiber supplements. If you take in more than 35 grams of fiber daily, you run the risk of absorbing less of important minerals such as zinc, iron, and calcium. So, just keep in mind, too much of a good thing can cause some problems.
If you're a woman who eats at a restaurant more than five times a week, you may think twice about what you order. Studies have shown women dining out this many times weekly consume nearly 300 more calories a day than those who prepare their own meals. Skip the sugary desserts and go with those utilizing fruits, especially berries, which do good things for your body.
If you ever happen to fall victim to tapeworm infestation, do not despair. Fast for 12 hours and then take 2 ounces of fresh pumpkin seeds and remove the outer skins by scalding them. Grind the remaining pulp (it will be green) - into a paste thinned with a few drops of milk. Take this mixture at the end of the fast and wait two hours. Then take 4 teaspoons of castor oil mixed with fruit juice. The tapeworm should be expelled within 3 hours. *castor oil is not to be taken regularly as it can be harmful to the system.
If you want an easy and tasty way to treat your body well, sit down and enjoy an apple. Unpeeled, they offer a rich source of fiber, along with the inner benefits, which include its high content of quercetin - a powerful photochemical that fights free radicals associated with cancer & heart disease. The apple's fruit sugar, fructose, rates low on the glycemic index, which is good news for your blood sugar levels. This quality keeps your blood sugar levels steadier for a longer time than some of the other fruits. It's important to buy organic fruit or make sure you scrub the peel with a brush or produce/fruit cleaning product like Fit.
There are actually two types of fiber - soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is found in foods like oat bran, broccoli, and apples. It SLOWS the movement of food through the intestines. Insoluble fiber, found in wheat bran, dried beans (like kidney and pinto) and celery, SPEEDS up movement trough the intestines. You need BOTH types of fiber to keep you healthy!
If you don't like Brazil nuts, learn to like them. These babies are among the best source of selenium you'll find. They provide a vital cancer-fighting mineral that does double duty and also protects your heart because they are so rich in vitamin E. Just two a day can provide you with approximately 150 mcgs of selenium.
Almonds are at the top of the list when comparing their benefits with other members of the nut family. Their fat content is somewhat high BUT it's the unsaturated type of fat, it can help LOWER your cholesterol. Almonds also contain significant amounts of Vitamin E and this offers extra insurance against high blood pressure & heart attack risk. Their high levels of bone building calcium & magnesium & mood balancing dose of B-vitamin are also added extras.
Marinate meats, poultry and fish in a low-fat marinade BEFORE grilling. For reasons yet unknown, even a BRIEF time in marinade REDUCES the amount of HCAs (compounds formed on grilled foods that have been shown to cause cancerous tumors in animals). This can help reduce HCAs as much as 92 to 99 percent.
Use a marinade that contains an acidic ingredient, like vinegar or citrus juice. Also, keep the amount of oil in marinades to a minimum to reduce flare-ups that can cause the formation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) to a minimum.
Garlic was the most widely used and revered medicinal plant in the world until the end of the 19th century. Its antibacterial effect was first proven scientifically by Louis Pasteur in 1858, and its healing power continues to amaze. It can destroy fungal infections, and has positive effects on heart health, especially in thinning the blood and helping circulation. Tests have shown the allicin enzyme present in garlic can destroy free radicals, which can initiate the growth of cancer cells. Also good for bronchitis, catarrh, sore throats, asthma, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea and even athlete's foot. Eat one raw garlic clove daily or take standardized garlic tablets high in allicin content to improve your health. High temperatures destroy allicin if you cook the garlic.
Calcium is a MUST have mineral all bodies need. It helps fight PMS, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and is thought to help a bit in weight loss. Start your day off with calcium-enriched orange or grapefruit juice to get your quota. Recommended doses: 1,000 mg for those under 50; 1200 mg for men over 50; 1500 mg a day for women over 40. Take no more than 2,500 mg a day.
|Sheri Ann Richerson|