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Bone Broth Health Benefits

Drinking Bone Broth is one of the latest trends so I decided to look into why it has become so popular.  Because I don’t eat meat, I thought I would not be able to enjoy the health benefits associated with drinking bone broth.  The first thing I learned was you can make bone broth out of fish, chicken or beef.  There is also a bone broth powder if you don’t have time to make your own bone broth.

Bone Broth has been around for centuries as our ancestors used every part of the animal for something.  The bones and marrow, tendons and ligaments, skin and feet were boiled and cooked for days so that it could be consumed.  The simmering process causes the release of healing compounds like glutamine, collagen, proline and glycine.  These bone broths contain easily absorbable minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, sulphur and silicon.  They also contain glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate which today can be found in every health food store to help keep joints healthy and reduce inflammation.

Chicken soup broth was studied by the University of Nebraska Medical Center to determine why eating chicken soup makes people feel better when they have a cold or flu.  Interestingly, researchers found that the amino acids that were produced when making chicken stock reduced inflammation in the respiratory system and also improved digestion.  It was also determined that chicken broth boosts the immune system and helps heal arthritis, asthma and allergies.  However, the health benefits of chicken soup broth are not found in store bought broths or bouillon.  To reap the benefits of the bone broth, you have to make it from scratch or purchase a protein powder made with bone broth.  This powder can be added to your smoothie or any baked snack.

Bone broth stock whether from fish, chicken or beef can provide amino acids, collagen, gelatin and other trace minerals.  Bone broth contains dozens of nutrients that would otherwise be hard to get from other foods.  Now let’s look at some of the amazing health benefits of bone broth:

  1.  Bone Broth is awesome for joint health because it is full of collagen which helps restore cartilage.
  2. Bone Broth is great for gut health and helps with the growth of good bacteria in the gut.  It supports healthy inflammation levels in the digestive system.
  3. Bone Broth has collagen which makes elastin which keeps your skin looking young.  It helps reduce fine lines and wrinkles and decreases puffiness.  It can also help reduce cellulite!
  4. Bone Broth helps metabolism.  Glutathione, Glutamine and Glycine all help muscle and tissue health
  5.  Bone Broth helps detoxify the body by helping the digestive system expel waste and supports the liver’s ability to get rid of toxins.

Bone Broth helps your entire body from your brain to your gut.  It also helps your joints, muscles and your metabolism.  It’s low in calories and is packed with minerals that can improve your overall health!  I’m sold on bone broth and I’m going to keep a supply of chicken soup broth in my refrigerator!

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Why A Whole Food Plant Based Diet is A Great Idea

It is well known that eating a diet consisting of processed foods and animal products cause many health problems and it also has adverse effects on our environment.   Switching to a plant-based diet is a great way to improve your health and save the planet!  This diet or lifestyle is different from becoming a vegetarian or vegan.

A whole-foods, plant-based diet is based on:

healthy diet with whole foods and plants
Health Benefits Plant-Based Diet

Eating minimally processed foods.

Limits or avoids animal products.

Focuses on veggies, fruits, legumes, seeds and nuts, and whole grains.

Eliminates white flour, added sugars, and processed oils.

Recommends eating organic, locally sourced foods.

Let’s take a look at the huge health benefits of this whole-foods, plant-based diet.

Lower Cancer Rates.  Eating a diet which is low in fat and plant-based is the best way to lower your cancer risk.   Animal foods are linked to colon and breast cancer.

Weight Loss.  You will lose weight when you eat a whole food, plant-based diet.  This diet is low in fat, processed foods, and sugars.  Since the diet is higher in fiber, vitamins, and minerals than a diet of animal products, it is easy to lose 5 pounds in a matter of a couple weeks!

Lower Blood Pressure.  Since the plant-based diet has more potassium and Vitamin B-6, this has a positive effect on blood pressure.  Lower blood pressure also means less anxiety and stress!

Lower Cholesterol.  Plant-based foods have zero cholesterol!  Veggies, fruits, whole grains, nuts, and seeds can lower both your cholesterol level and risk of heart disease.

Blood Sugar Stabilizer.  Eating more fiber slows down the entrance of sugar into the bloodstream.  When your blood sugar is stable, you feel less hungry and less stressed because your cortisol level is more balanced.

Fights Inflammation.  Plant-based foods are alkaline which do not cause inflammation.

Lower risk of Diabetes.  Avoiding meat and trans fats have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health and reduce insulin sensitivity which leads to diabetes.

There are so many reasons to switch to a whole food, plant-based diet for the best health and for a more sustainable environment!  It’s easy and less expensive and you will feel the results immediately!

 

 

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Fruit and Veggies SLASH Anxiety, Stress and Depression

Fruit and Veggies SLASH Stress and Anxiety

Did you know that a diet high in fruit and veggies can lower stress levels by 25%??  There is growing evidence suggesting a link between diet and a person’s mental health.  The more fruit and veggies consumed, the lower the rates of psychological stress. Australian researchers have determined that people who eat 5-7 portions of fruit and veggies per day receive the biggest benefit.  It is women’s stress and anxiety levels that plummet the most (23% ) from eating 5-7 portions of fruit and veggies each day.

stress and Anxiety reduction
How fruit and veggies can help stress

It is well known that eating a diet rich in fruits and veggies contributes to good health, whereas eating processed foods contributes to obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers.  It is interesting that new research shows both fruit and veggies must be eaten for stress and anxiety levels to be slashed, not just one or the other.

When people are under stress, they tend to want to eat comfort food that is normally not healthy.  Comfort food or snacking on junk food leads to weight gain. Snacking on fruit and veggies produces the opposite effect.

Research shows that eating up to 14 oz. of fruit and veggies a day was associated with 24% reduced risk of heart disease, 33% reduced risk of stroke, 28% reduced risk of cardiovascular disease and a 13% reduced risk of total cancer.  As an example, a 2.8 oz portion of fruit is equal to a small banana, apple pear or orange.

Bottom line, having fruit and veggies available at work to snack on will help keep your stress levels down, make you feel better and be more productive!

So while everyone else clears cobwebs, makes new year resolutions and scours floors, why not take a look at your diet and spring-clean an even more important home your body?

 

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Cruciferous Veggies Fight Cancer

fish Mediterranean diet

Cruciferous Veggies that fight and combat Cancer:

coliflower
cancer-fighting compound in these vegetables

We all know that eating your veggies is good for your health.  Now studies show that eating cruciferous vegetables can actually fight cancer!  Even adding these vegetables to your diet once a week can make a positive difference.  

Eating your cruciferous vegetables can decrease your risk of certain cancers by 32%.  Studies have shown that eating more of these vegetables can decrease your risk of mouth, stomach, colon, esophagus, liver, pancreas, breast, ovarian, prostrate and kidney cancers.

Cruciferous vegetables include broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, brussels sprouts and bok choy.  These vegetables contain vitamins, minerals, and fiber which protect against colon cancer.  Cruciferous vegetables also have compounds called indoles and isothiocyanates.   These compounds help reduce inflammation and prevent DNA damage.  Inflammation and DNA damage are both risk factors for cancer.

There is also another cancer-fighting compound in these vegetables called myrosinase.  This is an enzyme that activates another anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory compound.  Cooking lessens the strength of myrosinase, so it’s best to eat these vegetables raw or to steam them.

There are other benefits from eating more cruciferous vegetables:

Stimulates the immune system

Protects the brain

Balances blood sugar

Supports detox

Balances estrogen

Shrinks tumors

Here’s a great way to enjoy Baby Bok Choy:

Sauteed Baby Bok Choy

What You Need:

2 cloves of garlic

olive oil

fresh grated ginger

red pepper flakes to taste

1 tbsp soy sauce low sodium

1.5 lbs baby bok choy (cleaned and ends cut)

1 tbsp water or chicken stock

toasted sesame oil for drizzling

What To Do:

1.  Saute garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes in saute pan about 45 seconds or until fragrant.

2.  Add bok choy and make sure to cover with oil.  Cook 2 minutes.  Add soy sauce, water then cover pan and cook another 2 minutes.

3.  Uncover and cook until liquid is almost gone.  About 3 minutes.

4.  Remove and serve with sesame oil drizzled on top.

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Natural Supplements for Heart Health That Work

oily fish
Fish oil is essential in daily diets.

There are many supplements that claim they can help lower your cholesterol.  Unfortunately, most over the counter supplements don’t work.  There are a couple supplements that are proven to work.  These natural supplements are safe and can significantly lower your triglyceride level.

Fish Oil is an Omega-3 fatty acid and has a proven track record to help your heart.  The two ingredients in fish oil that make it so effective is DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) and EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid).  The heart-healthy dose of fish oil is between 1,000-2,000 milligrams per day.  Fish oil lowers triglycerides and reduces inflammation.  It also reduces the risk of abnormal heart beats which can cause heart attacks.  Fish oil is also good for your brain, bowels, skin and lungs.  It may also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Plant Sterol Esters and Stanol Esters block cholesterol absorption in your small intestine.  The esters act like a cholesterol medication.  They lower cholesterol absorption which lowers the cholesterol in your blood.  These plant sterols are safe and have no side effects.  It is recommended that you take 2-2.5 grams a day to lower your cholesterol level by 10-14%.  If you have slightly elevated cholesterol, taking sterol/stanol supplements may be enough to lower your LDL cholesterol.

Fiber supplements are very important to slow down digestion.  Having enough fiber prevents surges in blood sugar.   It is especially important for those who are pre-diabetic to make sure they have enough fiber or take fiber supplements.  Psyllium is a recommended supplement that is safe.  Take your fiber supplement with an 8 oz glass of water. 

Natural supplements are effective at lowering cholesterol for some people.  There are people who will also need to be on a statin medication to control their cholesterol level.  It is also important to exercise regularly and to eat a diet low in saturated fats.  A diet high in fiber, lean proteins like chicken and salmon with lots of veggies and fruits to help keep your heart healthy!

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Teach Your Kids the Importance of Eating Fruit!

Jonathan Margolis
Jonathan Margolis and his daughter picking Apples.

Eating fruit is one of the most important parts of your child’s diet.  Fruit is full of fiber, low in fat and calories and it’s full of healthy nutrients to help your child grow!  Eating fruit protects your child from some diseases and illnesses.  Unfortunately, more than 60% of all children in the U.S.  do not eat enough fruit.  In fact, 1 out of 3 children is obese or overweight due to bad diets.  

Fruit is a great way to lower your child’s caloric intake which can help prevent obesity.  It’s easy to replace a processed snack with a fresh piece of fruit each day in your child’s lunchbox.   Fresh fruit also provides natural energy from the healthy sugar found in fruit.  Active children are less likely to have problems with their weight!

Kids need fiber to help keep their digestive systems working normally.  Fiber reduces constipation, helps lower the risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

Fruit is also packed with vitamins and minerals that keep the body healthy.  Fruit like bananas is packed with potassium which helps keep blood pressure normal.  The vitamin C found in citrus also helps boost the immune system and fights infection.  Vitamin A which is found in watermelon and mango also promotes eye health.

There are so many reasons your children need to eat fruit for good health.  Eating enough fruit helps build strong bones and reduces the risk of some cancers such as lung, throat, and stomach.  Eating enough fruit supports brain health which helps your child learn. Eating fruit can also help your child focus and retain information better in school.  

Fruit is healthy, it’s full of health benefits and it tastes delicious.  Take the time to teach your child the importance of eating fruit and make it fun!  Try taking your child apple picking or pick your own strawberries!  This is super fun and you will get exercise at the same time!

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Get Rid of BELLY FAT now!

How To Get Rid of Belly Fat

bad belly fat
Get rid of Belly Fat NOW!

Belly fat is not just ugly but it is also unhealthy for you!  Visceral fat is the fat that is deep in your abdomen which is the problem.  This fat can affect the ability of your liver to manage cholesterol.   This increases your risk of heart disease.  Visceral fat also causes insulin which  stores fat to be less effective.  This increases your risk of diabetes.  Visceral fat is also linked to an increased risk of breast cancer.

The good news is you can do something about this toxic visceral belly fat.  It’s important to adopt the right habits to fight this dangerous fat.  There are lifestyle changes that are key to busting this belly fat and it’s not just what you eat.  Let’s take a look at what you can do.

1.  Alcohol is a huge belly fat generator!  If you have one cocktail per day, chances are you will burn it off.  However, if you have more than one, the alcohol turns into belly fat.  Alcohol interferes with fat burning in the stomach turning calories into fat.

2.  Nicotine from smoking also prevents fat burning in the abdomen.  Smokers have more visceral fat than nonsmokers do, even if they are not overweight.  

3.  Skip the trans fats.  Check nutritional labels and stay away from foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils!  

4.  Bake your own muffins and cookies.  Store bought foods, donuts etc..all have trans fats.  Use canola oil and sweeten with fresh fruit instead.

5.  Ditch the fried foods!  Frying food changes the chemical structure of food and leads to an excess of trans fats.

6.  Workout!  Hit the cardio workouts to burn abdominal fat.  Diet alone does not work!!  Abdominal fat is more responsive to exercise than any other fat in your body.  Get moving!  

7.  Eat healthy fats.  You need 30% of your calories from heart healthy monounsaturated fats and omega-3 fatty acids.  Add olive oil, avocados and nuts to your diet to keep healthy.  

8.  Sleep 7 hours at least per night to keep fat away.  Lack of sleep makes you hungrier and it can increase your cortisol level which may be associated to abdominal fat.

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Fruit for Athletic Performance and Stamina

Many Fruits are for Athletic Performance and Stamina but these are the best.

workout fruit
Eat certain fruits when you workout –>

When most people think about athletic strength and diet, protein is the most popular food.  Protein does build muscle and it also repairs them after a heavy workout.   Fruits and veggies contain micronutrients that are necessary for optimal health and performance.  These powerful nutrients produce energy and help tissue recovery during athletic training.  If the body does not get enough fruits and veggies, the body can suffer fatigue and muscle damage.  Lack of these foods can also cause a  lack of muscle strength and it can adversely affect the immune system.  Fruits and veggies are necessary for sports performance, recovery and overall fitness.

For those who exercise at a very high level, there can be a higher risk of illness and infection.  Athletes need more anti-oxidants contained in fruits and veggies to stay healthy.  Vitamins A, C, E and  magnesium and potassium come from fruit and keep the immune system strong.  They also provide strength to the muscles.  These anti-oxidants protect the body against free radicals which can damage cells.  

Vitamin C is found in berries, oranges, grapefruit, kiwi, brussels sprouts and kale.  Vitamin C supports the white blood cell production and keeps the immune system healthy.

Vitamin E is found in olive oil, seed oils, kale, tomato, spinach and other leafy green veggies.  Vitamin E improves stamina during exercise.

The B Vitamins help with energy metabolism, muscle and nerve conduction.  They are in legumes, nuts, seeds, veggies and fruits.

Magnesium and potassium are all necessary for healthy muscles and nerve function.  These minerals are in green veggies, avocado, figs, apricots and bananas.

Quercetin is a flavonoid in fruits and veggies It improves mental and physical performance and can reduce risk of infection during heavy exercise.

Its easy to add more fruits and veggies to your diet.  Try a breakfast smoothie with your favorite fruits or bring an apple or banana to work to snack on during the day!  Its important to get 5-7 servings per day to keep your body healthy and for better workouts!

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Snacks that Actually Lower your Cholesterol

healthy snacks
Cholesterol lowering Snacks

Snacking is something that everyone does every day.  We snack for all kinds of reasons whether it is to get energy or because we are bored at work.  The average person consumes more than 600 calories from snacking each day.    It is important to choose  healthy snacks so you avoid adding inches to your waistline.

Snacking can also be a  big contributor to your cholesterol level.  Choosing the right healthy snack can actually lower your LDL or “bad”  cholesterol.  Choosing the wrong snacks can cause your bad cholesterol levels to increase.

Skip the chips or other vending machine processed snacks which are “bad” for you.   Try these healthy snacks that will help you lower your LDL level:

Apples are full of anti-oxidants.  Eating 2 per day can help slow down the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and help prevent the build up of plaque.  Be sure to bring apples to work to snack on and they go great with some organic peanut butter!

Grapefruit contains liminoids which are phytochemicals that destroy LDL.  If you take statin meds, you may not be able to eat grapefruit so be careful.

Nuts and Seeds are also cholesterol busters!  Seeds like pumpkin, flaxseeds and sunflower seeds are filling and healthy.  Almonds, cashews, walnuts and pistachios can lower your  bad cholesterol.  Just be sure not to eat too many nuts as they are high in calories so 1/4 cup per day is adequate.

Oat Bran is full of water soluble fiber and is also great for lowering cholesterol levels.  Enjoy a bowl of oat cereal for breakfast or for an afternoon snack!

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Blueberries are Best for Health

Blueberries are a super food and super delicious!  These little blue berries can do a lot of great things for your health.  They can lower your cholesterol level, lower your risk of heart disease and diabetes as well!  Blueberries are help improve your sugar levels and insulin sensitivity.

Healthy Blueberries
Best for your Health are Blueberries

Blueberries are higher in antioxidants than any other fruit.  They have Vitamin A, B, C, E and minerals such as copper, zinc, iron and selenium.  Eating a diet rich in blueberries can help boost your immune system.   Eating blueberries also add more hemoglobin and oxygen into your blood.

Blueberries are the best Anti-Aging fruit!  They contain the antioxidant Anthocyanin which makes the blue color.  This antioxidant neutralizes the free radicals that promote aging and disease.

Blueberries also can reduce belly fat. Drinking blueberry juice  can also lower your risk of heart disease and metabolic syndrome.

Blueberries are great for your eyes!  They contain anthocyanosides that slow down age related eye problems like macular degeneration.    They also contain  lutein, resveritrol and Vitamins A, C and E which are all great for ocular health.

Blueberries improve your brain health!  The antioxidants, vitamins and minerals in blueberries can keep your brain healthy.  These vitamins and minerals prevent neuron degeneration and keep the nervous system healthy.

A handful of blueberries improve digestion and prevent constipation!

Lastly,  blueberries are high in fiber and their antioxidants help dissolve bad cholesterol!

There are so many good reasons why we should eat blueberries!  Remember to choose organically grown berries if you can!

Sharon Baker