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7 Winter Vegetables that Boost Your Health

7 Winter Vegetables that Boost Your Health
We rarely think of vegetables in the winter but it is important to eat your veggies this time of year to keep your immune system strong.
Beets Beets are one of the most overlooked superfoods.  They lower blood pressure, increase exercise endurance, and reduce inflammation.  They contain potent phytonutrients called proanthocyanidins which give beets their brilliant purple color.  Proanthocyanidins are proven anti-cancer compounds.  They are packed in nutrients like folate which is important to prevent birth defects, potassium which is critical for healthy muscles and nerves, manganese which helps build strong bones, and vitamin C for a strong immune system.  
Carrots – Just one carrot contains 13,500 IU of beta carotene which translates into a tremendous amount of nutritional power against free radicals.  Beta carotene is anti-cancerous, prevents cellular damage and premature aging, and is important to prevent cataracts.

Ginger—Ginger is one of the best natural anti-pain remedies.  Technically it is a spice but it is ideal for winter since it reduces joint pain that plagues so many people with arthritis this time of year.  It also adds warmth to foods and beverages making freshly minced garlic a welcome addition to most soups, stews, and curries.

Rutabaga—Contrary to popular belief, rutabagas are not turnips.  The most common rutabagas are larger than turnips, have purple and cream-colored skins, and tend to have a cream to yellow-colored flesh.  It is high in anti-cancer compounds, immune-boosting vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin B6 which is needed for a healthy nervous system. They are great in soups, stews, curries, and other places you’d use hardy winter veggies.  I love them cut into small cubes, tossed with a bit of olive oil and sea salt and roasted in the oven on 350 for about an hour.

Squash—Squash is rich in beta-carotene, the nutrient that gives squash its brilliant orange-colored flesh.  Enjoy it cut in half, seeded, and roasted.  Add roasted squash to soups, salads, stews, or in wraps and on sandwiches.  Use grated, raw squash in muffin recipes, in place of zucchini in zucchini bread recipes, or in other baked goods to increase their nutritional value.

Sweet Potatoes—Like squash, sweet potatoes are also high in beta carotene.   They also contain vitamins C, B6, and minerals like blood-building iron, energy-boosting potassium, and Nature’s relaxant, magnesium.  Enjoy them chopped into French fry-shapes, tossed in a little olive oil and sea salt and baked in the oven for about 45 minutes on 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Turnips—Turnips are a good source of fiber which helps to keep blood sugar levels steady and stabilize energy and moods.  They are also a rich source of glucosinolates—the precursors of isothiocyanates that are proven anti-cancer powerhouses.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international best-selling and 15-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine, whose works include: 60 Seconds to SlimWeekend Wonder DetoxHealing Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body DetoxThe Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme Cure. Subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook and Facebook.

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11 Ways to Boost Your Lymphatic System for Great Health

11 Ways to Boost Your Lymphatic System for Great Health

 

The lymphatic system, or lymph system as it is also called, is a system made  up of glands, lymph nodes, the spleen, thymus gland and tonsils. It bathes our  body’s cells and carries the body’s cellular sewage away from the tissues to the  blood, where it can be filtered by two of the body’s main detoxification organs:  the liver and kidneys. This sewage is made up of the byproducts of our bodily  processes, over-the-counter and prescription drugs, illicit drugs, cigarette  toxins, other airborne pollutants, food additives, pesticides and other  toxins.

The Fat Flush Plan author Ann Louise Gittleman,  PhD, estimates that 80 percent of women have sluggish lymphatic systems and that  getting them flowing smoothly is the key to easy weight loss and improved  feelings of well-being.

If you are suffering from injuries, excess weight or cellulite, or pain  disorders like arthritis, bursitis, headaches or others, a sluggish lymphatic  system may be playing a role.  Here are 11 ways you can get your lymph  flowing smoothly.

1.  Breathe deeply. Our bodies have three times more  lymph fluid than blood, yet no organ to pump it. Your lymph system relies on the  pumping action of deep breathing to help it transport toxins into the blood  before they are detoxified by your liver. So breathe in that sweet smell of  healing oxygen. Breathe out toxins.

2.  Get moving. Exercise also ensures the lymph system  flows properly. The best kind is rebounding on a mini trampoline, which can  dramatically improve lymph flow, but stretching and aerobic exercise also work  well.

3.  Drink plenty of water. Without adequate water,  lymph fluid cannot flow properly. To help ensure the water is readily absorbed  by your cells, I frequently add some fresh lemon juice or oxygen or pH  drops.

4.  Forget the soda, trash the neon-colored sports drinks, and  drop the fruit “juices” that are more sugar than fruit. These sugar-, color- and preservative-laden beverages add to the already overburdened workload  your lymph system must handle.

5.  Eat more raw fruit on an empty stomach. The enzymes  and acids in fruit are powerful lymph cleansers. Eat them on an empty stomach  for best digestion and maximum lymph-cleansing benefits. Most fruits are  digested within 30 minutes or so and quickly help you feel better.

6.  Eat plenty of green vegetables to get adequate  chlorophyll to help purify your blood and lymph.

7.  Eat raw, unsalted nuts and seeds to power up your  lymph with adequate fatty acids. Choose from walnuts, almonds, hazelnuts,  macadamias, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds.

8.  Add a few lymph-boosting herbal teas to your day,  such as astragalus, echinacea, goldenseal, pokeroot or wild indigo root tea.  Consult an herbalist or natural medicine specialist before combining two or more  herbs or if you’re taking any medications or suffer from any serious health  conditions. Avoid using herbs while pregnant or lactating and avoid long-term  use of any herb without first consulting a qualified professional.

9.  Dry skin brush before showering. Use a natural  bristle brush. Brush your dry skin in circular motions upward from the feet to  the torso and from the fingers to the chest. You want to work in the same  direction as your lymph flows—toward the heart.

10.  Alternate hot and cold showers for several  minutes. The heat dilates the blood vessels and the cold causes them to  contract. Avoid this type of therapy if you have a heart or blood pressure  condition or if you are pregnant.

11.  Get a gentle massage. Studies show that a gentle  massage can push up to 78 percent of stagnant lymph back into circulation.  Massage frees trapped toxins. You can also try a lymph drainage massage. It is a  special form of massage that specifically targets lymph flow in the body.  Whatever type of massage you choose, make sure it is gentle. Too much pressure  may feel good on the muscles, but it doesn’t have the same lymph-stimulating  effects.

There are countless benefits of getting your lymphatic system moving more  efficiently, including more energy, less pain, and improved  detoxification.  Adapted from The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox  Plan.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

9 Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy

9 Easy Ways to Boost Your Energy

 

 

Boosting your energy doesn’t have to cost a lot or feel like work. Just by  learning a few simple tricks you can have a great impact on your energy for the  rest of your life.

1. Start the day out with the juice of one lemon  squeezed into pure water. Not only do lemons contain over 20  anti-cancer compounds, they help to quickly restore your body’s pH.  While  lemons are acidic, when the juice is metabolized with water, it alkalizes your  body to help reduce pain or headaches, improve your energy levels, and optimize  your body’s natural enzyme processes.

2.  Eat fresh fruit. Fresh fruit is packed with  vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, and of course, enzymes. We tend to deplete  our bodies’ own stores of enzymes by overeating and eating primarily cooked or  processed foods.  Adding fresh, raw fruit allows your body to divert its  own digestive energy to other functions in your body.  When eaten on an  empty stomach the fruit passes through your digestive system quickly to provide  you with a quick boost of energy.  Don’t overdo on extremely sweet fruit  like pineapples or bananas if you’re trying to lose weight.

3.  Snack on raw, soaked nuts and seeds throughout the  day. By soaking raw nuts for at least an hour (but preferably overnight) and  then draining them, you help to quash enzyme inhibitors found in nuts while  increasing the nutrient-content. Soaking them increases their water content and  digestibility, helping to make sure your body can assimilate their rich calcium,  magnesium, zinc and Omega 3 fatty acid stores. Nuts also make a great snack  because they help to keep blood sugar levels stable and that means weight loss,  greater energy and balanced moods for you.

4.  Keep a tray of crudités (raw veggie sticks) to  snack on or add to your meals. You’ll be far more likely to eat them on a  regular basis if they are already cleaned, cut, and ready to go.  Raw  veggies are loaded with vitamins, minerals and enzymes.

5.  Eat a large raw salad at a minimum of one meal a  day. That doesn’t include iceberg lettuce topped with a starchy tomato. I’m  talking about a large green salad, either Romaine, mesclun mix or your favorite  greens—just be sure they are actually green. But your salad doesn’t have to be a  boring plate of greens. Top with some fresh berries, garlic and ginger crisps,  brown rice noodles, salsa, roasted vegetables or raw walnuts. I’ve observed many  converts go from salad haters to salad lovers with a little creativity and some  delicious recipes.  And greens are among the most nutrient-dense food you  can eat so it’s worth the effort.

6.  Sip fresh juice. Enjoy a smoothie made with fresh  fruit and almond milk. Drink a freshly-made veggie and carrot juice between  meals. It’s easier and more delicious than you think to drink fresh juices. Once  you get in the habit of having fresh juice, you’ll never want packaged or  concentrated juices again. The added energy they’ll give you over time will be  reward for the minimal effort required to make them.

7.  Make a salad smoothie. Sounds disgusting but you’ll  be surprised how delicious, filling and nutritious this power drink can be. Toss  a large handful of mild greens like Boston lettuce, Romaine lettuce or spinach  along with berries, frozen banana, almond milk or other smoothie ingredients and  blend for an instant “green drink” and salad. I opt for a salad smoothie when  I’m pressed for time or am just feeling a little lazy and want my salad in a  hurry.

8.  Add sprouts to salads, wraps, sandwiches, noodles  or stir-fries after they’ve finished cooking. Sprouts are diverse and versatile.   They are nutrient- and enzyme-powerhouses, giving your body a serious  boost when eaten on a regular basis.  If you don’t like one kind, try  another.  There are many different varieties, including but not limited  to:  mung bean, onion, broccoli, alfalfa and red clover. Sprouts are  serious energy-boosting superfoods.

9.  Eat only until you are full. For many people eating  has become a pastime rather than something to nourish their appetites and  bodies. Reducing the amount you eat may increase longevity. Research shows that  even slightly restricting caloric intake increases the lifespan of laboratory  animals so this benefit may transfer to humans as well. Eat until you feel full  but not heavy. It may take some time to adjust to this concept. Most people eat  until they are bloated and heavy feeling and mistake that as feeling “full.” Stop well before that. You’ll use a lot less energy to eat only until you are  full than you would if you keep on eating.  And that frees up energy for  other things.  That doesn’t mean you should starve yourself, go hungry, or  use this advice as an excuse to support an eating disorder. Snack later if you  become hungry again, but pay attention to your body’s signals, not just to your  eyes and taste buds.

(Leesa recommends that your fruit and vegetable choices be organic!)

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 14-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: 60 Seconds  to Slim, Healing Recipes, The  Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body Detox, The  Life Force Diet, The Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan,  and The Phytozyme Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and  subscribe to her free e-magazine World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

The 8 Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on Earth

The 8 Most Nutrient-Dense Foods on Earth

We  all know  which foods to avoid (right?). Despite the alluring  appeal of Oreos, Mountain  Dew or McAnything, processed foods provide  little nutrition and a whole lot of  risks. But when it comes to the good  stuff — what are the best foods to put  into our bodies? While experts all  agree we need a variety of foods for a  healthy diet, do you know which  are the healthiest of the bunch? The answers  may surprise and delight  you.

1. Spirulina: While the thought of eating lake algae  might  gross you out, spirulina is actually pretty tasty, especially  blended into a  smoothie or hidden in a chocolate bar. It has more  antioxidants than any other  food on earth and is loaded with protein and  minerals, making it the most  nutrient dense food.

2. Kale: According to Dr. Joel Fuhrman, kale is the  most  nutritious food, loaded with minerals, vitamins, fiber and amino  acids, as well  as important antioxidants that reduce inflammation and  can prevent cancer. It’s  also delicious and an easy  to prepare,  versatile food.

3. Hemp Seeds: What do you get when you combine  protein,  fiber, essential fatty acids, antioxidants, amino acids,  vitamins and minerals?  Hemp, of course. This easily digestible seed is  versatile, easy to use and  extremely tasty, too.

4. Chocolate: Yes, you read right. Cacao beans are so nutrient-dense that scientists haven’t even begun to identify all the  benefits  in the little bean yet. Don’t grab a Snickers though—the good  stuff is found  only in raw cacao beans or nibs (or really, really dark  chocolate). Minerals,  vitamins and tons of antioxidants are great for  your heart, skin, and release  chemicals in the brain that make you feel  like you’re in love. (Leesa recommends Vivani 85% organic dark chocolate!

5. Broccoli: Mom was right, you should eat your  broccoli if  you want a healthy digestive system and to decrease your  risk of cancer.  Broccoli has a wide range of yumminess too, from soups  and stews to stir  fry.

6. Spinach: Popeye was onto something with that spinach   fixation. But skip the canned stuff and stick with fresh or frozen for  an  antioxidant, protein and fiber-rich burst of healthy goodness. Fresh  or cooked,  spinach’s sweet and hardy flavor brightens any meal.

7. Chia: The Aztec warriors may have died out, but  their  legacy is alive and strong in the chia  seed. This yummy,  unassuming ancient favorite is loaded with omega fats,  protein and  fiber. Dr. Weil says it’s a better choice than flax because “chia  is so  rich in antioxidants that the seeds don’t deteriorate and can be stored   for long periods without becoming rancid.”

8. Berries: Unlike other fruit, berries tend to be less  sugary and full of vital vitamins, minerals and those free-radical  avenging  antioxidants. Wild berries are always a great choice,  especially black  raspberries.

(Leesa recommends Chews-4-Health™!  Chews-4-Health™ Chewable Dietary Supplement is a delicious tasting, doctor formulated, natural chewable dietary supplement derived from the most nutrient-rich sources from around the world!  (Goji, Noni, Acai, Mangosteen, B12, Resveratrol, Folic Acid, Alpha Lipoic Acid, Dulse, Kelp, Bladderwrack, Nori, Raspberry, Blueberry, Cranberry, Pomegranate.)  Chews-4-Health™ brings together 16 ingredients from land and sea, uniting the antioxidant powers of exotic, life-enhancing super fruits with mineral-rich sea vegetables.  Fruits and berries offer tremendous health enhancing qualities and contain hundreds of naturally occurring vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, enzymes, essential fatty acids, fiber phytonutrients. The 4 “Super Fruits” contained in Chews-4-Health™ are considered by many experts to be the most nutrient rich fruits the world has to offer. Our carefully selected super-fruit complex gives you the power of all 4 in one supplement.*

Antioxidants work by neutralizing the damaging effects of free radicals, rendering them harmless to your body. This helps protect your skin and body from the ravaging effects of premature aging*.  Chews-4-Health™ can be taken by the entire family, including children and pregnant women.  Chews-4-Health™ helps fill that empty nutritional void for those that don’t eat the recommended 4-9 servings of fruit/vegetables per day.   *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. )

Written by Jill  Ettinger, Contributor to Holistic  Nutrition on AllThingsHealing.com

All Things Healing (allthingshealing.com) is an online  portal and community dedicated to informing and educating people across the  globe about alternative healing of mind, body, spirit and the planet at large.  We are committed to bringing together a worldwide community of individuals and  organizations who are working to heal themselves, each other, and the world. We  offer 39 healing categories, 80 plus editors who are experts in their fields, a  forum for each category, and an extensive “Find Practitioners” listing. Our  Costa Rica Learning Center and Spiritual Retreat is coming soon. Join  us!

Top 12 Detox Superfoods

Top 12 Detox Superfoods

 

Even if you don’t plan on doing a detox program, your health will benefit from adding more  detox superfoods to your daily diet. There are many great superfoods with  detoxifying properties, but here are my top 12 picks.  And, they’re  delicious too.

Almonds—are high in fiber, calcium, magnesium, and useable protein that helps stabilize blood sugar and remove  impurities from the bowels.

Avocados—lower cholesterol and dilate blood vessels while  blocking artery-destroying toxicity. Avocados contain a nutrient called  glutathione, which blocks at least 30 different carcinogens while helping the  liver detoxify synthetic chemicals. Researchers at the University of Michigan  found that elderly people who had high levels of glutathione were healthier and  less likely to suffer from arthritis.

Beets—contain a unique mixture of natural plant chemicals  (phytochemicals) and minerals that make them superb fighters of infection, blood  purifiers, and liver cleansers. They also help boost the body’s cellular intake  of oxygen, making beets excellent overall body cleansers. Aphrodite, according  to legend, ate beets to retain her beauty. She was definitely on to a good thing  since beets, in addition to all the benefits listed above, also help stabilize  the blood’s acid-alkaline balance (pH), which in turn supports healthy  detoxification.

Blueberries—contain natural aspirin that helps lessen the  tissue-damaging effects of chronic inflammation, while lessening pain. Blueberries also act as antibiotics by blocking bacteria in  the urinary tract, thereby helping to prevent infections. They have antiviral  properties and are loaded with super-detoxifying phytonutrients called  proanthocyanidins.

Cabbage—contains numerous anti-cancer and antioxidant  compounds and helps the liver break down excess hormones. Cabbage also cleanses  the digestive tract and soothes the stomach, which could in part be due to its  antibacterial and antiviral properties. Cruciferous vegetables like cabbage  (kale is another excellent choice—see below) demonstrate powerful detoxification  activity, including neutralizing some of the damaging compounds found in  cigarette smoke (and second-hand smoke). They also contain a compound that helps  the liver produce adequate amounts of enzymes for detoxification.

Cranberries—have powerful antibiotic and antiviral  substances to help the body cleanse harmful bacteria and viruses from the  urinary tract.

Flaxseeds and Flaxseed Oil— are loaded with essential fatty  acids, particularly the omega-3s. They are essential for many cleansing functions  and maintaining a healthy immune system. They are also critical to maintaining a  healthy brain. The health of every cell in your body is dependent on getting  adequate amounts of essential fatty acids.

Garlic—helps cleanse harmful bacteria, intestinal parasites,  and viruses from the body, especially from the blood and intestines. It also  helps cleanse buildup from the arteries and lowers blood pressure. Garlic has  anti-cancer and antioxidant properties that help detoxify the body of harmful  substances. It also helps cleanse the respiratory tract by expelling mucous  buildup in the lungs and sinuses. I am referring to fresh garlic, not garlic  powder, which has virtually none of the above properties.

Kale—contains  powerful anti-cancer and antioxidant compounds that help cleanse the body of  harmful substances. It is also high in fiber, which helps cleanse the intestinal  tract. Like cabbage, kale helps neutralize compounds found in cigarette smoke  and contains a substance that jump-starts the liver’s production of cleansing  enzymes.

Legumes—are loaded with fiber that helps lower cholesterol,  cleanse the intestines, and regulate blood sugar levels. Legumes also help  protect the body against cancer.

Lemons— are superb liver detoxifiers. In addition, they contain high amounts of  vitamin C, a vitamin needed by the body to make a substance called glutathione.  Glutathione helps ensure that phase 2 liver detoxification keeps pace with phase  1, thereby reducing the likelihood of negative effects from environmental  chemicals. Vitamin C and other antioxidants found in lemons are integral to ward  off cancer, fight the effects of pollution and cell damage. Fresh lemon juice  contains more than 20 anti-cancer compounds and helps balance the body’s pH  levels.

Seaweed—could be the most underrated vegetable in the  Western world. Studies at McGill University in Montreal showed that seaweeds  bind to radioactive waste in the body so it can be removed. Radioactive waste  can find its way into the body through some medical tests or through food that  has been grown where water or soil is contaminated. Seaweed also binds to heavy metals to help eliminate them  from the body. In addition, it is a powerhouse of minerals and trace  minerals.

Adapted with permission from The 4-Week Ultimate Body  Detox Plan by Michelle Schoffro Cook, PhD

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

7 ‘Tis the Season Superfoods

7 ‘Tis the Season Superfoods

 

When it comes to food, it’s hard to beat the holiday season. There are as  many decadent and delicious foods throughout the season as there are gifts.  Let’s face it: few holiday foods are healthy. Here are my choices for the top 7 ‘Tis the Season Superfoods. They not only taste great, they add serious  nutrition as well.

Apples—We’ve all heard the adage, “an apple a day keeps the  doctor away,” and provided that apple is an organic one, the saying holds some  truth. Apples contain important vitamins, minerals, and enzymes. They contain an  important phytonutrient called malic acid that helps improve energy production  in your body.

Beets—Recommended by holistic health professionals to help  purify the blood and cleanse the liver, beets are high in folate, manganese,  potassium, and vitamin C. The phytonutrient that gives beets their rich  purplish-red hue is a potent cancer fighter.

Cranberries—Originally used by the first people of North  America to treat urinary tract infections, cranberries and cranberry juice (the  real deal, not the sugar-laden stuff most grocery stores dispense) are excellent  holiday superfoods.

Pomegranates—This delicious fruit is super health-boosting.  From cancer-protection to heart disease-prevention, and so much more,  pomegranates are definitely ‘Tis the Season Superfoods.

Squash—Like its relative, the pumpkin, squash is an  excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and beta carotene, making it a  delicious and nutritious addition to your diet.

Sweet Potatoes—High in beta carotene, C, and B6, as well as  potassium, iron, and magnesium, sweet potatoes are naturally delicious and  nutritionally superior to white potatoes.

Walnuts—Walnuts are an important addition to your diet since  they offer high amounts of Omega 3 fatty acids needed to protect your brain,  maintain a healthy immune system, balance moods, and lessen pain and  inflammation in your body.

(Leesa  recommends Chews4Health as a convenient way to enjoy the benefits of Cranberries, Pomegranates, Blueberries, Raspberries, Goji, Noni, Mangosteen, Acai, B-12, Resveratrol and more! )

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

13 Reasons to Love Pomegranates

13 Reasons to Love Pomegranates
One of my favorite fruits, pomegranates offer more than just incredible  taste—they are nutritional and healing powerhouses. Here are 13 reasons to start  eating pomegranates or drinking their juice if you aren’t already:

1.  Anti-aging effects:  Pomegranates contain  plentiful amounts of antioxidants. They rate high on the U.S. Department of  Agriculture’s ORAC scale (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity)—a measure of how  well free radicals are absorbed. Pomegranate juice measures 2860 on this  scale.

2.  Kidney protection:  New research published  just days ago in the journal Renal Failure showed that an extract of pomegranate  prevented kidney damage and protected the kidneys against harmful toxins.

3.  Liver protection and regeneration:  More new  research published in the journal Toxicology and Industrial Health showed that  pomegranate juice not only protects the liver, it helps it to regenerate after  it has been damage.

4.  Immune-boosting:  Pomegranates and pomegranate  juice are packed with  immune-boosting vitamin C—an essential and quickly depleted nutrient at this  time of year.

5.  Anti-allergic:  Pomegranates are high in  substances called polyphenols which have been shown to reduce the biochemical  processes that are linked with allergies.

6.  Protects against heart disease:  New research  published in the journal Atherosclerosis shows that pomegranate improves the  body’s ability to synthesize cholesterol and destroy free radicals in the  vascular system.

7.  Prostate-cancer protection:  Research  conducted at the University of California, Riverside, and published in the  journal Translational Oncology indicates that pomegranate  juice and pomegranate extracts caused cancer cell death.

8.  Breast-cancer protection:  Scientists at the  University of California, Riverside, also studied the effects of pomegranate  juice and its nutritional components: luteolin, ellagic acid, and punicic acid  against breast cancer.  They pubished their results in the journal Breast Cancer Research and Treatment and concluded  that pomegranate juice and its extracts “are potentially a very effective  treatment to prevent cancer progression…”

9.  Skin-cancer protection:  Consumption of  pomegranate was associated with a decrease in both main types of skin  cancer—basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, according to new  research in the British  Journal of Dermatology.

10.  DNA-protection:  The antioxidants and/or  phytonutrients in pomegranates also appear to interact with the body’s genetic material for  protection.

11.  Blood pressure normalizing:  Early research  published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that  pomegranate extract may help prevent blood pressure increases associated with  eating high fat meals.

12.  Metabolic syndrome regulating:  Research  published in the journal Food and Function shows that pomegranate helps  regulate blood sugar, improves the body’s sensitivity to insulin, decreases  inflammation, and improves numerous other factors involved in metabolic  syndrome—frequently implicated in obesity and often a precursor to diabetes.  Because of these effects, pomegranate may aid weight loss.

13.  Anti-infectious:  New research published in  the journal Food  and Chemical Toxicology found that an extract of pomegranate increased  the effectiveness of a drug used against gram-negative bacteria.  Many  gram-negative bacteria are known for drug resistance.

How to Enjoy  Pomegranates:

You can eat them fresh on their own for a delicious snack or dessert.

Sprinkle pomegranate seeds on a salad for a beautiful and nutritious  addition.

Drink unsweetened bottled pomegranate juice devoid of preservatives. I  recommend diluting 1 part water to 1 part pomegranate juice to avoid blood sugar  spikes and crashes.

Use a splash of pomegranate juice in salad dressing to jazz up a plate of  greens.

Add some pomegranate juice to your favorite smoothie recipe.

Enjoy pomegranate juice with citrus juices for a delicious citrus  cocktail.

I’d love to hear how you are enjoying pomegranates or pomegranate juice.

(For those you want to conveniently enjoy the benefits of pomegranates, Leesa recommends www.chews4health.com/Leesa!

By Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/greenliving/13-reasons-to-love-pomegranates.html#ixzz2Emq1WFTA

Superfood: Eat Your Avocado!

Superfood: Eat Your Avocado!

 

Guacamole lovers, rejoice! It turns out that not only is avocado  super delicious, but you can enjoy your avocado without the guilt thanks to its  mix of healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals.

You probably already knew that avocado was a great source of vitamin E, but  did you know that because it’s so rich in antioxidants and the good-for-you type  of fat, it’s also an anti-aging powerhouse? Studies have shown that the minerals  in avocado even help you better absorb other nutrients, like beta carotene. They  also contain a sugar called D-manno-heptulose that helps your skin produce  collagen, which can prevent wrinkles.

It might sound a little bit strange to talk about “healthy fat,” but there  are differences between the type of fat you find in an avocado versus the fat in  something like cheese or french fries. Unlike the saturated fats that you find  in animal products and fried foods, avocados are loaded with monounsaturated fats, which help protect you  from heart disease, and their fiber content can help fight high cholesterol.

Of course, you can eat avocado on its own or mixed into guacamole, but it’s  actually a much more versatile ingredient.

10 Avocado  Recipes

Avocado Tips: Choosing a ripe avocado may seem tricky, but don’t fret! A  ripe avocado gives a bit when you squeeze it gently, but it shouldn’t feel mushy – just tender. You also don’t have to skip the avocado just because you can’t  find a ripe one at the store. Toss an unripe avocado into a paper bag with a  banana. Fold the bag closed, and check it once a day. It should ripen within a  couple of days this way. Once your avocado is ripe, store it in the fridge to  make it last longer.

1. Avocado Corn Cups – Who needs a bowl when you can  eat a yummy, organic corn salad right out of an avocado?

2. Avocado Pudding – This might sound a little iffy, but  avocado makes a great base for pudding! Just toss it in the blender with some  cocoa powder and the liquid sweetener of your choice. If you need more deets, check out these ideas for making avocado pudding.

3. Vegan Avocado Alfredo Sauce – Who needs  butter and cream? Make a decadent alfredo sauce with avocado as the base  instead!

4. Creamy Avocado Potato Salad – Mashed  replaces the mayo in this healthy, tasty side dish.

5. Avocado and Pomegranate Salad – Two  superfoods team up in this delicious salad.

6. Avocado Reuben Sandwich – Talk about decadent!

7. Vegan Enchiladas with Cilantro Avocado Cream  Sauce – I’ve always said that avocado is perfect for mimicking the  creaminess of cheese, and this recipe proves it!

8. Avocado  and Basil Mayonnaise – The avocado base for this recipe gives you  the creaminess of mayo without any high cholesterol eggs.

9. Mexican Pizza – Another delicious example  of avocado standing in for saturated fat-laden cheese!

10. Avocado Lime Cupcakes – The avocado adds a  bit of richness to these decadent vegan cupcakes.

By Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe

Becky Striepe is a green blogger and independent crafter with a passion  for vintage fabrics. She runs a crafty business, Glue  and Glitter, where her mission is to use existing materials in products that  help folks reduce their impact without sacrificing style! She specializes in  aprons and custom  lunch bags. Like this article? You can follow  Becky on Twitter or find  her on Facebook!

 

Two Berries Delay Brain Aging Two-and-a-Half Years

 Two Berries Delay Brain Aging Two-and-a-Half Years

A Harvard study published in the Annals of Neurology indicates that eating a diet high in blueberries and strawberries can slow brain aging and  cognitive decline by up to two and a half years.

Dr. Elizabeth Devore and her team of researchers at Harvard Medical School  analyzed data from the lengthy Nurses’ Health Study in 1976.   Questionnaires were completed every four years since 1980 to assess the  frequency of berry intake and the intake of 31 different phytonutrients called  flavonoids.  In 16,010 participants over the age of 70 between 1995 and  2001, cognitive function was tested every two years.

The researchers found that those participants who consumed a high amount of  blueberries or strawberries had slower decline in cognitive function test scores  during the follow-up period than those whose intake of these fruits was  lower.  The results were an average delay in cognitive decline due to aging  of up to 2-and-a-half years.

Both blueberries and strawberries are excellent sources of  flavonoids, which reduce inflammation.  This is possibly the  mechanism that is causing the positive brain health effects.  The same  study also found that a high intake of anthocyanidins and total flavonoids were  also linked to the beneficial cognitive effects.

Anthocyanidins are a type of flavonoids responsible for the red, blue, or  purple colors in berries and other foods.  While the effect of consumption  of other anthocyanidin and flavonoid-rich foods was not assessed as part of this  study, it is likely that they will have similar brain protective effects.   Other sources of anthocyanidins and flavonoids include:  blueberries,  cherries, cranberries, grapes, raspberries, and strawberries and to a lesser  extent in almonds, apples, cocoa, and peanuts.

Other research shows that they decrease free radical activity in and between  brain cells. They also inhibit the production of histamine, making them a  natural anti-histamine without the drowsy side effects of many pharmaceuticals.  Numerous studies show that anthocyanidins have anticancer and antitumor  activity, and one study concluded that anthocyanidins may demonstrate  chemotherapeutic activity against breast cancer.

When it comes to heart disease, anthocyanidins help reduce high blood  pressure and improve the body’s ability to metabolize fat. In tests on  rabbits, anthocyanidins demonstrated significant reduction in the  development of atherosclerosis. They also appeared to protect  against heart attacks linked to certain asthma drugs.  They even  have stronger antioxidant properties than either vitamins C or  E.

Adapted from The Phytozyme Cure.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

3 Super-Healing Summer Melons

3 Super-Healing Summer Melons

 

Cantaloupe for Healthy Eyes

The orange color gives away some of this fruit’s healing ability. One cup of  cantaloupe contains enough beta-carotene to provide your full daily intake of  vitamin A. Beta-carotene converts into vitamin A which is proven to reduce the  risk of cataracts by 50 percent.  Cantaloupe also contains enough  antioxidants to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.

Honeydew for a Dewy Complexion

Honeydew melon (the green-fleshed one) is a natural source of the mineral  copper, which assists in skin repair and skin cell regeneration. Additionally,  this melon is rich in vitamin C which helps boost collagen levels. Collagen  tends to become depleted as we age, causing wrinkling. Eating more honeydew  melon may help prevent small lines and wrinkles.

Watermelon for a Healthy Prostate and Liver

Tomatoes aren’t the only food that contains high amounts of the phytonutrient  lycopene. So does watermelon. Lycopene is known for its prostate protecting,  anti-aging, and disease-thwarting powers.  Watermelon contains the  important nutrient glutathione that helps to detoxify the liver. Water is also  showing promise as an alternative to Viagra for erectile dysfunction. Keep an  eye out for my upcoming article “The Fruit that Works like Viagra” for more  information.

By Michelle Schoffro Cook

Michelle Schoffro Cook, MSc, RNCP, ROHP, DNM, PhD is an international  best-selling and 12-time book author and doctor of traditional natural medicine,  whose works include: Healing  Recipes, The Vitality Diet, Allergy-Proof, Arthritis-Proof, Total Body  Detox, The Life Force Diet, The  Ultimate pH Solution, The 4-Week Ultimate Body Detox Plan, and The Phytozyme  Cure.  Check out her natural health resources and subscribe to her free  e-newsletter World’s Healthiest News at WorldsHealthiestDiet.com  to receive monthly health news, tips, recipes and more. Follow her on Twitter @mschoffrocook  and Facebook.

 

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