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Archive for the ‘healthy-foods’ Category

You need to feed your face with healthy foods to keep it looking its best. The outside of your body and face reflects what is taking place on the inside. You cannot eat junk food and fast food all of the time and expect your skin to be soft, glowing and youthful. Make some changes in your food choices now and your skin will reflect the healthy way that you are eating.

A complexion that is dull and dry will be lackluster and signals that you are not eating as well as you could be. The good news is that it is never too late to turn things around.   Show the world your best face by improving your diet ASAP.

Include these foods in your meal planning and get ready to show that glow!

Avocados:

Avocados are a green, smooth tasting fruit that is creamy and so good for the skin. This fruit is high in essential oils and B-complex vitamins. Avocados nourish your skin from the inside out.

Vitamin B3 (also known as niacin) is important for smooth and supple skin. It contains anti-inflammatory properties that sooth irritated and red skin. Enjoy avocados to eat but you can also smash them up and apply them to your face for a mask that will leave your skin looking lovely!

Mangoes:

This fruit is high in vitamin A and it has lots of it in it. This is an excellent face food. A deficiency in vitamin A will cause your skin to be flaky and dry.  This vitamin fights free radical damage that threatens to destroy the skin and it also repairs skin cells.

Almonds:

As far as almonds go, they go nuts for your complexion! Almonds are high in vitamin E and that is good news for your skin. Vitamin E contains oils that moisturize dry skin. Its antioxidant properties slow the aging process and protect skin from damage.

Cottage Cheese:

So maybe you don’t really like the look of it and maybe it is not your favorite type of cheese, but cottage choose is very nurturing for your skin. It is rich in the mineral calcium which makes for strong, healthy bones. But it is the mineral selenium found in cottage cheese that makes these white creamy curds a winner for your complexion.

As a face saving food, cottage cheese is a winner! Cottage cheese pairs up selenium with vitamin E. This antioxidant team is practically unstoppable when it comes to fending off free radicals. Not only that, but they protect the skin against cancer and they fight dandruff in your hair.

Oysters:

They may be a means of dialing up the libido, but oysters are so much more than that. Your skin will fall in love with them because they will be so good to it! Oysters are rich in zinc which means that they affect the production of sebum which can lead to acne and eruptions of the skin. Zinc, when teamed with vitamin E helps to boost the production of elastin (which is the elastic protein found in the skin).

Baked Potatoes:

Set aside the fries from McDonald’s and get yourself home and enjoy a baked potato instead. Your skin will thank you 10 times over.  One baked potato with the skin on it will provide you with 75 percent of your daily requirement for the mineral copper.

Baked potatoes also contain vitamin C and zinc. All of these important elements of health produce the elastic fibers that support the healthy structure of the skin.

When you do not take in enough copper, your skin can take on a lifeless and rigid appearance. It also hampers your skin’s ability to heal itself rapidly.

Be good to your skin and help it to look its best and be its best by feeding it right!

Samantha

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There are many super foods that you can eat on a regular basis to improve your level of health as well as to maintain it. The list is long but we have done our part to help you to start including these foods in your family meals. Here we focus in on four of these super foods that you need to start getting more of because the benefits they boast for health are through the roof!

Broccoli:

The tree- like vegetable called broccoli is one nutrient rich green machine that packs a wallop in the super spectacular department! This is a very versatile veggie that can be purchased at the supermarket all 12 months of the year and can be prepared in so many mouth-watering ways. It can be grilled, roasted, steamed or stir-fried. It can even be eaten raw. It is a rich source of vitamins A, C and K. It is also an excellent source of beta-carotene and fiber. The fiber content will help keep your weight at an ideal place.

Be aware however that broccoli is not a good choice of a super food if you suffer from an underactive thyroid gland (a condition known as hypothyroidism).

Beans:

Beans are beneficial for the cardiovascular system and aid the heart in being strong and resilient. They are a good source of both soluble as well as insoluble fiber. The former helps the body to eliminate toxins and keeps you feeling full. The latter keeps cholesterol levels low. Beans are also worthy sources of the minerals magnesium and potassium and are high in protein and carbohydrates.

Whole soybeans are called edamame and they are healthy for the heart because they contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Nuts:

Whether you like almonds, walnuts, cashews or pistachios know that they all have their heart healthy benefits and are true soldiers in the super foods army. They are rich in monounsaturated fat which is the good fat that your brain and body requires to maintain its tissues and organs. They are also high in fiber, protein and antioxidants. Nuts help to reduce cholesterol levels and keep weight where it should be.

Just make sure that when you munch on this tasty food that you do so in serious moderation.

Kiwis:

Kiwi fruits are fuzzy funny looking green fruits that are high in their vitamin C content. They are also rich sources of vitamins A and E as well as fiber and potassium. They are very high in antioxidants and help to keep you feeling satiated after you have consumed them. Due to their high fiber content, kiwi fruits have a mild laxative effect on the bowels.

Other Choices:

There are other foods that fall into the super foods group that deserve to be mentioned. Salmon and quinoa are two of these as are sweet potatoes, shallots, rhubarb and pumpkin seeds. Blueberries, acai berries, cranberries and goji berries are also super foods. Two herbs that make the list that you should cook with more include cinnamon and turmeric.

Becca

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The human body needs the proper amount of vitamin C to be healthy. Many of the organs and tissues require it. An example of this would be the skin which needs it for the production of collagen. There are many different types of fruits and vegetables that contain vitamin C but some contain more plentiful amounts than others.

What should you be eating to ensure that you are getting enough vitamin C?

Here’s my short list:

Foods with LOTS of Vitamin C:  

Vitamin C is most plentiful in green peppers, citrus fruits, strawberries, tomatoes, broccoli, turnip greens and other leafy greens, sweet potatoes, white potatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon and cabbage. Getting enough of these foods on a regular basis should adequately provide your body with sufficient amounts of vitamin C.

However these are not the only sources of vitamin C. Other foods that contain vitamin C include grapefruit, lemons, mangos, Brussels sprouts, kale, papayas, spinach, cauliflower, red peppers, pineapples, winter squash, tangerines, watercress, rose hips, blueberries, raspberries, black currants and cranberries. The list is long.

Vitamin C and Iron Absorption:

If you require extra iron then it is wise to take an iron supplement with a vitamin rich food or a vitamin supplement. The reason for this is because vitamin C helps the body to absorb the iron. Do so only under the recommendation of your doctor.  It is worth knowing that one 500 mg vitamin C tablet equals four cantaloupes, seven oranges, 10 cups of pineapple juice, 10 cups of asparagus, and one to one half cups of hot chili peppers.

Citrus Fruits and Juices:

Citrus fruits and juices tend to be the most popular source of vitamin C for most people. In fact citrus juices such as orange juice contain approximately twice the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) in a glass that is eight ounces.

Many people wonder just how much vitamin C is in a container of orange juice? The standard amount of vitamin C in eight ounces of juice ranges from 80 to 160 milligrams. How much is dependent on a number of factors which include the type of oranges that are used to make the juice (the majority of orange juice producers make use of a variety of kinds), how ripe the oranges are, the climate they are grown in, and how the oranges were handled, processed, packaged and stored.

Orange Juice – Which Type is Most Nutritious?

As a general rule, freshly squeezed orange juice has the highest content of vitamin C which is then followed by frozen or canned forms (which can retain their vitamin C content for months at a time), and then there is the chilled cartons and lastly, the mini-boxes that are not refrigerated when they are purchased. Cartons of orange juice that are chilled gradually have a lesser quantity of vitamin C and also have a shorter shelf life.

If you do buy a chilled carton of orange juice, always make note of the date of the product, which should show the last day it can be safety sold (the expiration date). This date is approximately 27 days after the product was packaged. If the date on the juice is either close or has passed then there will be a reduction of vitamin C in the product and taste is likely to be affected as well. Do not buy it.

Storing and Reading Labels:

Juice needs to be stored properly at all times. A carton that requires refrigeration is good for approximately two to four weeks, which are also true of frozen juice that is reconstituted, and canned juice after it has been opened. Freshly squeezed juice tends to be the tastiest and also the most costly. Frozen orange juice comes in at a close second.

Learning to read labels on bottles and cartons is so important. In order for companies to classify something as a juice it must qualify as a juice on a 100 percent basis. However when you see the words, “beverages”, “drinks”, “juice blends”, “punches”, “-ades”, and “juice cocktails” be aware that these items contain little nutritious value and instead contain  high percentages of water and sugar, often in the form of corn syrup.

Becca

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Some foods offer a rich source of antioxidants while others contain few if any antioxidants. But what are antioxidants and exactly how do they benefit our health?

Antioxidants have become one of the popular health buzzwords of our time. But you cannot know if you are eating the right foods that are rich in antioxidants if you do not know what antioxidants are! Help!

What are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants can be described as substances such as vitamins and minerals that can work to fight the damage caused by free radicals throughout the cells in the human body. Antioxidants are capable of neutralizing the oxidation process which can lead to premature aging and can lead to the onset of many diseases. Free radicals, it goes without saying, can be very harmful to the health of humans.

Eating foods rich in antioxidants on a regular basis is easier than you might think because they can be found in an abundance of foods that you can buy at grocery stores and local markets. The more you consume foods rich in antioxidant content the healthier will your body be, both on the inside and the outside.

What Should You Eat?

There are many foods that contain high levels of antioxidants. Here we look at two of the top picks. Both are green, but one is a food and another a beverage.

Broccoli: When it comes to going green for health, broccoli is a true nutrition winner! This is a veggie that is very high in antioxidant content. It is a vegetable that belongs to the cruciferous family and it is instrumental in fighting free radicals when it comes to disease prevention. Broccoli contains a phytonutrient called sulforaphane which reduces the risk of developing a variety of types of cancers.  This green disease fighting machine contains more of the mineral calcium than a glass of milk and more vitamin C than an orange.

Green Tea: All types of tea are healthy for you but green tea is rich in antioxidants. This is the case because it contains high concentrations of catechin polyphenols. This ingredient helps the body to burn fat and it also reduces the incidence of many diseases including numerous forms of cancer, cardiovascular disease and stroke. If you want to shed some pounds then increasing your intake of green tea is a good idea. It is also an excellent choice of warm beverage for those who have high cholesterol. Consume two to four cups a day for the optimum benefits for your health and to receive the high antioxidant content that your body needs!

Becca

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Superfoods can really contribute to your good health because they have so much to offer you. The more that you consume on a regular basis the stronger will be your immune system and the greater your energy and vitality levels. To optimize your health you owe it to yourself to include these foods in your new year’s meals!

In my last post I shared two superfoods for the New Year here, but there are lots more but not enough space for them all.

Here we look at three more superfoods that you will want to start enjoying – or more of – this year.

Chia Seeds:

Chia seeds are very much like flaxseeds. They are a source of soluble fiber which is good for the heart. They are also high in protein and high in essential omega-3 fats. They are also rich in calcium, magnesium, iron and potassium. You only need a small portion of chia seeds to give you a boost of energy and to balance out your blood sugar.

Chia seeds make a great addition to your breakfast cereal, a bowl of oatmeal or a bowl of yogurt. These small health enhancing seeds contain six times more calcium than milk, three times more iron than spinach, two times more potassium than bananas and 15 times more magnesium than broccoli.

Pomegranates:

Pomegranates are a perfect food for the winter because they are most readily available during the late fall and the early to mid-winter months. Often thought of as the “jewels of winter” this colorful and tasty fruit can add variety to your salads and your desserts.

Pomegranates are rich in an antioxidant known as ellagic acid which can help to combat inflammatory health conditions such as atherosclerosis, arthritis and a number of infections. Pomegranates and pears make for a tasty treat when eaten together.

There is a trick to eating a pomegranate. Submerge it is a bowl of water as you go about the task of taking off the outer rind and the white pith. This will cause the seeds of the fruit to sink to the bottom of the bowl. When you eat the seeds directly from the opened rind of the fruit you become conscious of how many you are consuming which makes eating too many highly unlikely.

Green Tea:

If you are a coffee drinker then it would not hurt you to give green tea a try. While coffee does have some health benefits, green tea also has its share of benefits that can do your body good. Both coffee and green tea contains antioxidants and help to promote weight loss. However green tea has also been shown to be an effective cancer fighter.

Approximately one-third of a green tea leaf is composed of antioxidants known as catechins. The main catechin is called epigallocatechin gallate. Due to its long name it is most often referred to by its acronym, EGCG. Research studies have shown that EGCG is effective in terms of boosting metabolism and it also is able to prevent the development of certain types of cancers, in particular these include bladder cancer and prostate cancer.

But the goodness of green tea does not end there. It also contains an amino acid called L-theanine which helps to relieve stress and anxiety and supports a relaxed and calm state of mind. Green tea is good in general (green ginger mint tea is quite a savory treat!)  but if you wish you can choose the most potent form of it known as matcha. This type of green tea is finely milled and very tasty to the taste buds! Yum!

Becca

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A new year provides an opportunity to look at your health and to decide how well you are doing in terms of your eating habits. Instead of starting this year off being negative and looking at the habits you should not be doing or the foods you should not be eating, why not turn the tables and focus upon the foods you want to start adding to your daily meals?

Adding superfoods to your diet plan is always an excellent way to spruce up your health and to give you more of the antioxidants you need to stay healthy and strong.

If you do not know what a superfood is then here is a quick explanation of it. Superfoods are foods that contain compounds that have been found through medical studies to prevent the onset of disease. They are also capable of optimizing your overall level of health and well-being. Superfoods are fabulous and health enhancing!

Here are two delicious superfoods to think about adding eating more of to your diet in the coming year:

Eggs:

Many years ago eggs were blamed for contributing to high cholesterol levels and we were told that we should limit the number of eggs we ate per week. With time has come knowledge and we now know that it is saturated fats and trans fats that raise cholesterol levels and that eggs are not such villains after all.

Eggs are a superfood that you need to make sure you eat regularly to improve your health. Eggs are very high in protein – most of it in the white and not the yoke – and provide up to seven grams per serving. This helps to make you feel full and it also helps to break down fat in your body. If you have no cholesterol problems whatsoever then eating six to eight eggs per week (omega-3 free range eggs are best) is perfectly fine. However if you are looking for ways to reduce fat in your diet then eat only the egg whites.

Greek Yogurt:

If you have always found yogurt kind of a blah food then you have not been introduced to Greek yogurt yet! This type of yogurt is creamy and tastes more like an appetizing dessert. In fact for non-yogurt lovers you may not even realize that you are eating yogurt because it tastes so darn good!

Greek yogurt is high in protein, full of probiotics and is low in fat. It is also very thick in its consistency which gives it the creamy taste. What makes Greek yogurt different from regular yogurt is an extra straining process it is put through that gets rid of the liquid that it is common to see resting on top of regular yogurt. The fact that Greek yogurt does not have this liquid means that it is thicker and is also more concentrated in regards to the amount of protein and calcium that it contains. Consuming one half cup will provide you with 18 grams of protein and 50 percent of the daily dietary requirement for the mineral calcium.

Add berries to your yogurt for breakfast and any time of the day. Mix in some flaxseed powder, some wheat germ or some granola. Adding a tiny amount of honey to fat-free Greek yogurt can also give it an extra special taste!

Becca

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Eating healthy when you are busy making merry over the holidays can be accomplished if you dig your heels in and just make it happen! There are many ways that you can eat nutritiously and also encourage others to do so as well.

Do not be afraid to experiment with healthy holiday alternatives. Do not worry about what family members will say. Just put on a happy face and encourage them to open their minds and give your new options a try! If you are the one in charge of making food for a meal then take control and become the health police – well, within reason, don’t want you to lose friends!

Maybe this year you want to do things completely different. You could make a selection of salads instead of preparing heavy foods that are common winter fare such as roasts, casseroles or stews. Or maybe you can find ways to take the emphasis off of food all together and come up with an activity you can enjoy with family or friends that is not all about munching on goodies.

When it comes to vegetables serve as many raw ones as you can. Make up vegetable plates and serve with a healthy low fat dip. This is sure to be a hit amongst your health conscious guests!

Salads are a better choice than are vegetables that are baked in fat. Salads offer another means of eating raw veggies. You might even want to offer both veggie plates as well as a variety of salads. Lemon or lime juice tastes good on salads as does a variety of types of vinegar and fresh herbs such as rosemary or cilantro. Yummy and oh so healthy!

Green salads are an ideal choice and you can mix and match whatever veggies you want. If you want to whip up  a potato salad then instead of mixing it with mayonnaise use spices to give it that zing that you are looking for. You will not know how delicious it can be until you try it for yourself.

Speaking of potatoes, if you wish to have baked potatoes instead of topping them with butter try plain yogurt. Or you can try low fat sour cream or low fat cream cheese. Just make sure you only add a tiny amount to the potato. Do not drown it with anything or you will drown out the taste of it entirely!

To flavor your vegetables stay away from fattening butter or creamy sauces. Instead opt for herbs and spices. Experiment with a number of them to find the ones that are most appealing to your taste buds and the taste buds of your loved ones.

If you do want to include some cooked vegetables in your holiday meals then steam them instead of boiling them. Not only is this the healthier option but it also makes for some great tasting vegetables!

More tips can be found in our Healthy Eating Tips for the Holiday Season – Part I here.

Here’s to a healthy eating holiday for you and yours!

Becca

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