Today, my friend and fellow health and wellness extraordinaire, Abbey Gibb – holistic nutritionist and founder of the lifestyle network, AbbeyGibb.tv – has some information to teach us about…
http://foods4healing.com/ Chocolate has incredible healing powers.
Here are some of the reasons why dark, non sugary chocolate is quite healthy:
1. Chocolate contains antioxidant polyphenols that neutralize free radicals. Antioxidants protect against the development of diseases such as cancer, heart disease, and dementia.
2. Antioxidant features also come from the flavonoids found in chocolate. Flavonoids help protect plants from environmental toxins and help them repair damage. These flavonoids can be found a number of fruits and vegetables. When we eat foods rich in flavanoids, we too can reap the benefits of toxin removal and damage repair.
3. Flavanols are the main type of flavonoid found in cocoa and chocolate. In addition to having antioxidant qualities, research shows that flavanols may have positive influences on vascular health, such as lowering blood pressure, improving blood flow to the brain and heart, and making blood platelets less sticky, so less likely clot.
Before you reach for that yummy chocolaty cake, know that not all forms of chocolate contain these high levels of flavanols. Cocoa has a powerful pungent taste. This taste comes from the flavanols. When cocoa is processed, chocolate companies put it through several operations to dampen the bitterness. The act of processing (through fermentation, alkalizing, and roasting) greatly minimizes flavanols health benefits.
4. Chocolate contains caffeine and theobromine, two contributors to increased mental alertness and physical energy.
5. The neurotransmitter, anandamide in chocolate blocks the feelings of pain and anxiety for some time.
6. The epicatechins present in higher amounts in dark chocolate have heart promoting qualities.
For more information on what type chocolate to avoid along with the best sources for healthy chocolate please visit: http://foods4healing.com/
A raw food vegan diet may be defined in various ways, but usually entails at least 80% by weight being raw plants. Many people report feeling healthier and more energetic on adopting such diets, but there are too few long-term raw food vegans for direct evaluation of the success of raw vegan diets versus other diets. We can, however, evaluate such diets against known human nutritional requirements to gain a better understanding of the ways in which appropriate raw vegan diets could benefit health.
Raw vegan diets comprise three key food groups: sweet fruit, high-fat plants and green leafy vegetables. Raw food authorities differ in the proportions recommended, some suggesting that 2% of calories from green leafy vegetables (about 300 g of lettuce per day) is sufficient while others recommend that about 30% of calories should come from green vegetables. Similarly, recommendations on high fat foods such as avocados, olives, nuts, seeds and cold-pressed oils range from a few percent to about 40% of calories. The Hallelujah diet founded by George Malkmus puts particular emphasis on carrot juice and barley grass, which contribute about 15% of calories.
Getting 30% of calories from green vegetables is probably unrealistic for most people, even with the use of blended salads and juices. For instance, 900 g of lettuce plus 450 g of kale provides just 300 kcal or about 15% of calories. Fortunately, however, such high intakes are unnecessary for nutritional adequacy. Green leafy vegetables and broccoli contain higher levels of zinc, calcium and protein than fruit and are therefore an important part of raw diets, but about 500 g per day of green vegetables, including a mixture of lettuces, broccoli and darker leaves such as kale and spinach, is sufficient to bring mineral and protein intakes into line with general recommendations. Such vegetables also provide vitamin K, which promotes healthy bones. Other raw vegetables can be useful: for instance, carrots are a good source of calcium and peas a good source of zinc and protein.
Ever see the top 10 lists for foods everyone should eat to superpower your diet? Ever wonder which will mesh with your diabetes meal plan? Wonder no more. Your list of the top 10 diabetes superfoods has arrived.
As with all foods, you need to work the diabetes superfoods into your individualized meal plan in appropriate portions.
All of the foods in our list have a low glycemic index or GI and provide key nutrients that are lacking in the typical western diet such as:
vitamins A (as carotenoids), C, and E.
There isn’t research that clearly points to supplementation, so always think first about getting your nutrients from foods. Below is our list of superfoods to include in your diet.
Whether you prefer kidney, pinto, navy or black beans, you can’t find better nutrition than that provided by beans. They are very high in fiber giving you about 1/3 of your daily requirement in just a ½ cup and are also good sources of magnesium, and potassium.
They are considered starchy vegetables but a ½ cup provides as much protein as an ounce of meat without the saturated fat. To save time you can use canned beans, but be sure to drain and rinse them to get rid of as much sodium as possible.
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables
Spinach, collards, kale – these powerhouse foods are so low in calories and carbohydrates, you can’t eat too much.
Grapefruit, oranges, lemons and limes. Pick your favorites and get part of your daily dose of soluble fiber and vitamin C.
A starchy vegetable packed full of vitamin A and fiber. Try in place of regular potatoes for a lower GI alternative.
Which are your favorites: blueberries, strawberries or another variety? Regardless, they are all packed with antioxidants, vitamins and fiber. Make a parfait alternating the fruit with light, non-fat yogurt for a new favorite dessert.
An old standby where everyone can find a favorite. The good news is that no matter how you like your tomatoes, pureed, raw, or in a sauce, you’re eating vital nutrients like vitamin C, iron, vitamin E.
Fish High in Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Salmon is a favorite in this category. Stay away from the breaded and deep fat fried variety… they don’t count in your goal of 6-9 ounces of fish per week.
It’s the germ and bran of the whole grain you’re after. It contains all the nutrients a grain product has to offer. When you purchase processed grains like bread made from enriched wheat flour, you don’t get these. A few more of the nutrients these foods offer are magnesium, chromium, omega 3 fatty acids and folate.
Pearled barley and oatmeal are a source of fiber and potassium.
An ounce of nuts can go a long way in providing key healthy fats along with hunger management. Other benefits are a dose of magnesium and fiber.
Some nuts and seeds, such as walnuts and flax seeds, also contain omega-3 fatty acids.
Fat-free Milk and Yogurt
Everyone knows dairy can help build strong bones and teeth. In addition to calcium, many fortified dairy products are a good source of vitamin D. More research is emerging on the connection between vitamin D and good health.
Some of the above list can be tough on the budget depending on the season and where you live. Look for lower cost options such as fruit and vegetables in season or frozen or canned fish.
Nutritional choices are not as difficult to make as some people might think. There are more recipes, technology, and how to television cooking shows available tow to help people cook and eat a healthier balanced diet. Facts remain though that a lot of people choose to get fast food from restaurants rather than preparing a meal at home where more control can be obtained to control the amount of calories and fats in a meal. Some fast food restaurants are trying to provide more healthy options but the best choice for anyone is to prepare your own food at home.
Information is available to Americans through their local County Extension Office. You local Home Economics Agent can share with you some healthy recipes and nutritional guides that are available for free to the public. Your Agricultural Agent can also provide information about growing your own vegetables and fruit if you desire to save money by having your own garden. Some small plants may be able to be grown in window sill planters if room for a garden is not available outside your home. You may also find other community clubs that you can join to learn nutritional facts and tips.
One tip to having a healthy nutritional lifestyle is to eat a balanced diet. Bright vegetables have more vitamins and nutrients. So the reds, greens, and yellow vegetables should be eaten on a daily basis. Bright fruits are also full of nutrients but can have a lot of natural sugar in them as well. So fruit should be included in your daily meals but in smaller portions than the vegetables. Protein and fiber are also important to include but again the amount can be smaller than the vegetable portions of your meals. This plan will help you get less fat, calories, and cholesterol while increasing your mineral, vitamin, and nutrient intake.
A fact that many people do not know is that a human body needs 40 unique nutrients to stay healthy on a regular basis. You must eat a variety of foods to get all 40 nutrients. Many people choose to eat a few favorite foods over and over day after day. They are missing out on many nutrients by repeating the same foods on a daily basis. Mix your meal plans up and serve a variety of foods so you and your family will stay healthy and get all 40 nutrients throughout the days and weeks of their life. Try different spices and herbs to change the taste of old favorites and newly introduced foods. If a familiar spice is added to a new dish children may be more receptive to the meal and soon it will also be a favorite of theirs.
What’s better than a good old fashioned strawberry shortcake? A gluten-free high protein strawberry shortcake! This healthy, guilt-free dessert should be the first thing on your mind when…
Fruit and vegetables provide essential nutrients such as vitamins and minerals, and contain many other compounds associated with good health.
Everyone should aim to increase the amount of fruit and vegetables in their diet.
Because fruit and vegetables are bulky and contain a lot of water, they can help to control your calorie intake. Aim for at least five portions a day.
A portion weighs about 80g and can include fresh, canned, frozen and dried fruit and vegetables. A portion is equivalent to:
Two large tablespoons of vegetables, such as peas, carrots, swede or broccoli
Whole fruits, such as one apple, one orange, one pear
A handful of grapes
Two tablespoons of strawberries or raspberries
One small glass of fruit juice
A handful of dried fruit
People frequently notice a weight loss when they start eating a raw food diet – especially all raw. At raw food institutions, such as the Optimum Health Institute and the Hippocrates Health Institute, the average weekly weight loss is four to fifteen pounds. Much of this will be water, but on raw fruits and vegetables (take it easy on the fats), later weight loss will be fat, especially if you add some movement (aka exercise) to your improved lifestyle.
As you replace cooked and processed foods with more raw food, you can expect to lose weight quickly and consistently, and keep it off. We are talking about a lifestyle change here, not just another diet, even if it’s just adding more raw fruits and vegetables to your diet, rather than going all out and switching to a completely raw diet. Eating the same things that got you here will get you back here, if you don’t maintain some changes.
“The Fresh Produce Diet includes protein predominantly in raw form. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and sprouts do not require cooking to increase their palatability or digestibility. When proteins are subjected to high heat during cooking, enzyme resistant linkages are formed between the amino acid chains. The body cannot separate these amino acids. What the body cannot use, it must eliminate. Cooked proteins become a source of toxicity: dead organic waste material acted upon and elaborated by bacterial flora.
When wholesome protein foods are eaten raw, the body makes maximum use of all amino acids without the accompanying toxins of cooked food. Some high-protein plant foods such as soybeans and lima beans contain naturally occurring toxins thought to be neutralized by heat. It is best not to eat these at all, since cooking does not totally remove the toxic effect of these foods.
Further Scientific Research on Detrimental Effects of Thermal Energy on Nutrients
(Warning: this next section is rather tedious)
According to the textbook Nutritional Value of Food Processing, 3rd Edition, (by Karmas, Harris, published by Van Nostrand Reinhold) which is written for food chemists in the industrial processed food industry, changes that occur during processing either result in nutrient loss or destruction. Heat processing has a detrimental effect on nutri-ents since thermal degradation of nutrients can and does occur. Reduction in nutrient content depends on the severity of the thermal processing.
http://foods4healing.com/ Sesame seeds are an excellent source of copper, a very good source of manganese, and a good source of magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, molybdenum, and selenium. Its amazing how much nutrition is packed into these tiny little seeds! Though all sesame seeds are healthy, it is believed that the Black variety has the most medicinal value. Sesame’s rich assortment of minerals offers the following health benefits:
Copper – is tauted for its use in reducing some of the pain and swelling of rheumatoid arthritis. This is because copper is important in a number of anti-inflammatory and antioxidant enzyme systems. It is also involved in aiding collagen and elastin. These two substances provide structure, strength and elasticity in blood vessels, bones and joints.e
Maganese – Some of the health benefits of manganese include a benefit to healthy bone structure, bone metabolism, and helping to create essential enzymes for building bones. It also acts as a co-enzyme to assist metabolic activity in the human body. Maganese also helps in the formation of connective tissues, absorption of calcium, proper functioning of the thyroid gland and sex hormones, regulation of blood sugar level, and metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
Magnesium – Studies have supported magnesium’s usefulness in:
Preventing the airway spasm in asthma.
Lowering high blood pressure, a contributing factor in heart attack, stroke, and diabetic heart disease.
Preventing the trigeminal blood vessel spasm that triggers migraine attacks.
Restoring normal sleep patterns in women who are experiencing unpleasant symptoms associated with menopause.
Calcium – Research supports calcium’s significant role in:
Protecting colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals.
Prevention of the bone loss leading to osteoporosis.
Reduction and/or prevention of migraine headaches.
Reduction of PMS symptoms.
Phospherus – has been linked to promoting healthy bones and teeth, improving digestion and elimination, increase in energy, regulation of hormones, production of protein, and maintenance of balanced mental health.
Iron – The top five health benefits of iron are:
Hemoglobin formation: The main health benefit of a diet high in iron is the formation of hemoglobin. Hemoglobin is the principal carrier of oxygen throughout the body and gives the dark red color to blood.
Oxygen carrier: One of the most important health benefits of iron is that it acts as a carrier of oxygen and helps transfer oxygen from one body cell to another. This is a critical function of iron as oxygen is required by each and every body part to perform routine body functions.
Muscle function: Iron is a vital element for muscle health and is found in myoglobin, a muscle protein. Myoglobin carries oxygen from hemoglobin and diffuses it throughout muscle cells. This is required for contraction of muscles.
Brain function: Our brain uses approximately 20% of the oxygen in our bloodstream. Iron helps supply oxygen to blood making it very important for brain health.
Iron deficiency anemia: When the body iron levels become severely depleted, you may get anemia. Iron is also important in the treatment of iron deficiency anemia and helps cure general symptoms of anemia like fatigue, body weakness, headaches, and enhanced sensitivity to cold temperatures. A host of other chronic ailments including renal failure anemia and predialysis anemia are also helped by adequate iron intake.
Zinc – Also helps ensure bone health in men and women.
Molybdenum – is an essential mineral, meaning that the body does not produce it and that it must be obtained from the foods that we eat. Molybdenum may protect against cancer, it jump starts four body enzymes, and it protects against inflammation and auto immune diseases.
Selenium – plays a key role in metabolism.
Sesame Seeds are also rich in Phytosterols. Phytosterols are compounds found in plants that have a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol. When included in the diet in sufficient amounts phytosterols are believed to reduce blood levels of cholesterol, to enhance the immune response and to decrease the risk of certain cancers.
For more information on sesame seeds please visit: http://foods4healing.com/