The Benefits of Eating Kale

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Kale is one of the most overlooked vegetables in the world. People have been using it as garnishes for other dishes for as long as I can remember. Its usually the last thing left in the dish waiting to be disposed of. Kale happens to be a super food. It has been used for over 2000 years in Europe brought to popularity during Roman times and the Middle Ages. It only came to the U.S. in the 17th Century.

Facts about Kale:
1. A serving of Kale has more absorbable calcium than a carton of milk!Who would have thought that this green leafy food would be a calcium powerhouse.

2. Kale give more bang for your buck in the Vitamin department. One cup of raw kale has only 30 calories and contains more than 600% of Vitamin K, 205% of Vitamin A, 135% of Vitamin C, PLUS Iron, Fiber, Magnesium, Copper, Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus, Folate, Omega 3s, and 2 grams of protein. Yes, I said PROTEIN!

3. Kale belongs to the cabbage family and is related to not only cabbage, but brussel sprouts and collard greens. All of these vegetables possess phytonutrients which reduce inflammation, reduce certain types of cancers, such as: colon cancer and prostate cancer. It improves the livers ability to detox and helps protect your brain cells by reducing stress. Kale is AWESOME for a healthy mind and body.

4. Kale has no fat and no cholesterol. It’s loaded with beneficial anti-oxidants that help protect your cells from free radical damage. Free radical damage is basically daily aging of our bodies. As your cells break down, this process causes us to age. Kale fights against that along with other high antioxidant foods.

5. Kale contains Zea-xanthin, an important dietary nutrient that gets absorbed into the the rental macula lute in the eyes where it provides antioxidant and protect e light filtering functions. It helps prevent retinal detachment and offers protection against age related macular degeneration in the elderly.

6. Kale is best after the first frost when all the starches in this green leafy veggie begin turning into sugar. Although I love it just about anytime of year.

7. Kale comes in a variety of colors and textures. Try them all to see which ones you like best.

Want to add kale to your diet? Here is a good resource for Kale recipes. Enjoy!

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Benefits of Eating Berries

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If someone offers you a pill for weight loss or to prevent vision loss such as that caused by macular degeneration, you would take it right? Well no need for pills, just hop on over to your local grocery store and load up on fresh or frozen berries. Berries contain antioxidants and phytochemicals, which are naturally occurring nutrients in our bodies that help protect cells from cell damage (oxidative stress) caused by free radicals. Eating a diet rich in antioxidants can help improve your health, protect your skin and hair, and prevent certain diseases. All fruits and vegetables contain antioxidants, but nutrient-rich berries are some of the absolute best sources. Some of the best sources of these health benefits are Strawberries, Blackberries, Raspberries, Boysenberries, Cranberries and Blueberries.

There are several powerful antioxidants that appear in berries, including anthocyanins, quercetin, and vitamin C. Anthocyanins give berries their vibrant color, reduce inflammation, and may help prevent and manage arthritis. Anthocyanins work together with quercetin to help slow age-related memory-loss. Quercetin can also decrease the inflammatory effects of chemicals in the synovial fluid of the joints for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis.

Studies have shown that woman who eat two servings of strawberries or one serving of blueberries a week experienced less mental decline over time than peers who did not consume berries. Berries are also able to be included in diets of those suffering with diabetes. While they are a “sweet” fruit, they contain a high level of fiber which can be useful in diabetic diets. They can count as a serving of fruit. Its always better to eat fresh berries than those that have been processed or used in a pie or muffin.

People who eat at least two servings of berries a week have a 25 percent less chance of developing Parkinson’s disease than their peers, according to research published in the journal Neurology. The same research showed that men with the highest intake of flavonoids — which are abundant in berries — reduced their risk by 40 percent. Flavonoids are being studied to help ward off certain types of cancer. Research published in the Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis suggests that flavonoids and other compounds found in berries may help reduce colon cancer risk. Besides eating them plain, you can also get your berry servings by adding them fresh or frozen to other high-nutrition foods such as yogurt, oatmeal, and salads.

Vitamin C is another strong antioxidant found in berries. It is largely responsible for the health of collagen, which helps maintain cartilage stores and aids in joint flexibility. Eating vitamin C–rich berries will contribute to radiant skin and healthy hair, and may reduce the risk of arthritis, high blood pressure, cataracts, and macular degeneration.

In addition to antioxidants, berries are “juicy foods,” which means they contain mostly water. Juicy foods are great for losing weight because they fill you up quickly, since their high water content bumps up the volume while driving down the calories. Berries also contain fiber and folate. Fiber aids in weight loss and helps lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Folate may protect against cardiovascular disease and age-related memory loss, and since folate contributes to the production of serotonin, it may also help ward off depression and improve your mood. IBS sufferers take note: Some people with IBS experience discomfort after eating berries. People with a strong inherited risk for heart disease may find that a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables, including berries, can reduce their chances of having a heart attack, according to a study published in PLoS Medicine.

Remember, if you can’t find fresh berries, frozen (unsweetened) berries are a good substitute during the off-season months — and just as nutritious!

 

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Eating clean and healthy

So many times I hear people talking about the foods they should be eating and the reasons why. Well I have a few favorites too…

Portobello mushroom- they are an excellent source of niacin, the B vitamin needed to change carbs into energy. These mushrooms can also be found in certain supplements as well. The supplements containing cordyseps, a form of mushroom, is great for vitality, energy, and sexual labido. I’ve tried one brand called vitality and I’ve got to say it works.

You can learn more about vitality here. here.

blueberries – these are my absolute favorite!! They’re incredibly healthy and super high in anti oxidants. The blue hue comes from anthocyanins, a plant pigment known for it’s ability to combat free radicals in the body that cause heart disease, hypertension and certain types of cancers. I keep a huge container washed on my kitchen counter and grab a handful when I need a healthy snack! Little tip…organic is higher in anti oxidants then traditional or conventional farmed blueberries. Organic blueberries have a higher level because they have to protect themselves from free radical damage.

Lean beef – for you meat eaters out there, two words for you… flank steak. It’s an excellent source of phosphorous and zinc minerals that are essential for metabolizing the 33 grams of protein you’ll get from a single 5 oz serving.

So relax and enjoy your meals, remember “you are what you eat”.

Benefits of White Tea

I‘ve posted about green tea and black tea, now it’s time to feature white tea and recognize the benefits of drinking it. Do you know that white tea is often considered the oldest form of tea? Made from immature tea leaves, white tea has many varieties, depending on the ratio of leaves to buds that are used in each mixture. Read on to know just some of the benefits of drinking white tea that I’ve gathered.

1. It has anti-cancer properties. White tea has flavonoids, a class of antioxidants that inhibit the growth of cancer cells and prevents development of new ones. Scientists have also found that the white tea extract can protect skin after exposure to sunlight to protect against skin cancer. Studies have shown that white tea is even more effective than green tea when it comes to cancer-fighting properties.

2. It is loaded with antioxidants. Like green tea, white tea is also loaded with antioxidants that protect the body against damage and promotes overall health. White tea has also been found to have prophylactic applications that slow down growth of harmful bacteria. It also contains catechins, a group of antioxidants that can reduce cholesterol.

3. It’s good for relaxation. Well, I think this is the trademark of all teas. They’re great to drink when you want to focus, clear your mind, or simply relax. White tea is no exception.

Care to share more benefits of white tea?

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Dark Chocolate and Health

I‘ve heard a long time ago that dark chocolate is supposed to be healthier and much more beneficial than regular or milk chocolate. Admittedly, I’m a super chocolate lover who’ll devour any chocolate that comes my way – be it dark, white, pink, or whatever. Nevertheless I’m curious as to what the experts really say about dark chocolate and why it’s supposed to be the healthier treat. Here’s some of what I found out:

1. Eating small amounts of it can lower blood pressure, says a study at Germany’s University Hospital of Cologne. By “small amount”, they mean around 30 calories of dark chocolate per day, equivalent to one piece of Hershey’s Kisses.

2. A lot of dark chocolates are made sugar free so they’re a better treat to those with high blood sugar or avoiding such. Of course you have to verify that the dark chocolate you want to eat is indeed sugar free.

3. Pure dark chocolates with a high concentration of cocoa are rich in antioxidants, great for the body and the heart.

This doesn’t mean though that we can eat lots of dark chocolates at a time because it still has a lot of calories and eating in excess is still unhealthy. Whenever you get that intense craving for something sweet and chocolatey though… better reach for that dark one.

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Juice Beauty Green Apple Hydration Mask

It has long been proven that the antioxidants found in fruits and its juices benefit our skin. This is the concept behind Juice Beauty’s fabulous skin products. While most organic skin care lines are water-based, Juice’s products are completely organic juice-based, with components that are much more beneficial than water-based products. Juice Beauty products are not only packed with powerful antioxidants but also with beneficial polyphenols, hydroxy acids, and other anti-aging properties.

One of their fab offerings is the Green Apple Hydration Mask. Blending a brightening hydroxy-acid complex of certified organic apple, grape and lemon juices with age-defying peptides, alpha lipoic acid, co-enzyme Q10 and Vitamin C, this mask promises an ageless, radiant complexion for timeless beauty. Natural yet powerful, it’s perfect for virtually every skin type.

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The Acid that Isn’t Really an Acid

By Michale Moshier

By now, we all know antioxidants are good for our health and for their anti-aging, regenerative properties. Now, there’s another type of antioxidant hitting shelves: Ferulic Acid, which is not really an acid at all but rather a “phytochemical” with potent antioxidant properties. It’s derived from wheat, rice, and oat bran and is also found in coffee, apples, oranges, sweet corn and peanuts. Like many of its antioxidizing cousins, Ferulic Acid protects cells from environmental damage and the aging effects produced on the skin and body by living and aging.

Concentrations of ferulic acid can be obtained over the counter within serums, face creams, lotions, eye creams, etc. It works best when used with other antioxidants such as vitamin E and vitamin C – which is why it may be beneficial to tap into things like lotions and creams which already have these components combined within them.

According to reports,  consistent use of products containing ferulic acid should improve skin texture, tone and density, and give your complexion a healthy “glow!”

Of course as with any new product, the hype may outweigh the benefits, which is why I encourage people to also focus on anti-aging routines that build from the inside out! When you start getting the vitamins you need, exercising and learning about what you’re putting into your body, the results will show on the outside!

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