Health Benefits of Turmeric

The health benefits of turmeric have been known for thousands of years. Indeed, this pungent spice has long been used throughout Europe, Asia and Africa to treat maladies ranging from wounds to cancer. Turmeric may just be familiar to you as that bright-yellow spice that bestows an earthy, peppery flavor to your rice dishes or some of your favorite condiments, but the true benefits of turmeric lie in the good things it can do for your long-term health. Read on to learn about the health benefits of turmeric and why this aromatic spice can pep up more than a few dishes — can actually make you feel better and help you live longer, too! 

Longer life. Turmeric contains powerful antioxidant compounds, referred to as curcuminoids, that are known to “scavenge” free radicals (molecules that damage cells and can result in cell death). Antioxidants help promote good cellular health, which can reduce the spread of diseases and keep you healthier longer, thereby contributing to improved mental and physical well-being and longevity.

Treating uveitis (eye inflammation). One preliminary study suggested that the antioxidants contained in turmeric extract may improve the symptoms of uveitis, or inflammation around the area of the iris of the eye. 

Better digestion. Turmeric has long been used as a remedy for dyspepsia, or indigestion (the uncomfortable pain, gas or bloating that comes from digestive problems). Turmeric is thought to stimulate bile secretion from the gallbladder, which aids in the digestion of food, thereby reducing the symptoms of dyspepsia.  

Reduces inflammation and osteoarthritis. The curcumin in turmeric has proven anti-inflammatory properties, which can alleviate the pain and swelling associated with inflammation. One study demonstrated that patients who used turmeric, along with other popular herbs applied in Ayurvedic medicine, a type of traditional herbal treatment used in Indian medicine, showed a reduction in joint pain and swelling, two common symptoms linked to osteoarthritis.

Fights ulcerative colitis. Curcumin’s anti-inflammatory properties may help soothe the inflammation associated with diseases that affect the bowels, such as ulcerative colitis. One preliminary study indicated that patients who took curcumin (a main constituent of turmeric), showed improved remission in cases of ulcerative colitis.

Reduced cancer risk. As previously mentioned in this article, the phytonutrient curcumin, found in turmeric, promotes longevity by scavenging free radicals. Curcumin may also reduce cancer risk by preventing cells from mutating as a result of damage by free radicals. Cell mutation can lead to the spread of malignant tumors, or cancer. Antioxidants, such as those found in turmeric, have been proven to play a role in cancer risk reduction.

The health benefits of turmeric make this spice a must-have as both a flavorful addition to dishes and a powerful extract to help you live a healthier life. Consume no more than 3 turmeric (curcumin) powdered capsules per day, or use as a tincture of no more than 30 drops 4 times a day.  Turmeric makes it easy to add zest to your condiments and food while adding good health to your future!

 References for “Health Benefits of Turmeric:”

Photo credit: manabray

Originally posted 2014-01-08 12:56:52.

Green Tea Recipes

Green tea recipes don’t just come in a cup! You need a fork, spoon and straw to savor all the ways green tea can spice up, and “health-up”, some of your favorite foods. In fact, green tea has been shown in numerous studies to help reduce high cholesterol, boost energy, and lower the risk of heart disease, liver disease and diabetes. Try these green tea recipes to find out how this superfood can add amazing health benefits and flavor to your favorite meals, snacks, sides and drinks.

Green Tea Dressing Recipe: Mix in a quarter cup of prepared green tea with your favorite vinaigrette, and then drizzle the antioxidant-boosted dressing over your favorite mix of greens for a salad topped with richer flavor and a lot of health.

Green tea recipes with chicken:

  • Steamed Green Tea Chicken: Toss chicken pieces in a steamer filled with green tea, already brewed! Steam the chicken as you would normally, for a meal infused with flavor and antioxidants.
  • Green Tea Glaze: Mixing brewed green tea with a little honey (to thicken) and your favorite spices makes a sweet, health-filled marinade for chicken when you barbecue, broil or bake it.

Green tea drink recipes:

  • Green Tea Infused Milk: Mix equal parts brewed green tea with milk for a light and healthy drink. Try this drink hot with extra strongly brewed green tea for what would basically be a green tea latte. 
  • Green Yogurt Smoothie: Add in a cup of brewed green tea (instead of plain water) when you toss your fruit, yogurt and milk in the blender for a smoothie with a tint of green color and a boost of flavor and health.

Green tea recipes with grains:

  • Green and Great Oatmeal: Oatmeal gets even healthier with a dash of green tea! Just steep a green tea bag in a pot of boiling water, then remove the tea bag and add your oats to the tea-infused water and mix together. Add a little honey and you’ve got sweetness, a burst of antioxidants and a good dose of fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • French Toast with Tea! Green tea French toast may sound a bit far-fetched, but once you dip your toast (use whole, sprouted grain bread for a healthier recipe) in a bowl of brewed green tea mixed with an egg and a dash of milk, you’ll never go back to your old recipe again. The rich flavor and green goodness will make this breakfast treat welcome at any time of day.

Green tea recipes go great with many breakfast, lunch and dinner staples. So perk up your energy, boost your health and add a bit of green goodness to your diet with these flavorful recipes.

Sources for “Green Tea Recipes”:

  • http://umm.edu/health/medical/altmed/herb/green-tea

Originally posted 2013-12-17 07:49:09.

Popcorn as a Healthy Snack

Popcorn as a healthy snack, instead of a decadent, guilty pleasure, may sound like a great idea in theory, but you may worry that some deliciousness might get lost in the “healthy” process. Not to worry! The method you use to pop your popcorn has the greatest effect on whether or not your popcorn is a healthy snack. By using the best popping methods and adding some nutritious ingredients to your popcorn, you’ll have a healthy and delicious snack in your hands in no time.

To make popcorn a healthy snack, the most important thing to remember is to avoid refined seeds oils or trans-fats for popping your popcorn. Instead of using canola, corn, or vegetable oil (which can lead to inflammation and atherosclerosis), use an air popper or pop your popcorn in whole, healthy fats like ghee, coconut oil, olive oil or butter. These types of fats are less prone to oxidation and they don’t throw off the important essential fatty acid balance in your body.  

Once you’ve improved your popping method, use the ideas below to make you popcorn a sweet or  savory snack, naturally loaded with antioxidants and other important nutrients:

Popcorn with a dash of dark chocolate. Think popcorn is as “guilty” as it gets? Add on some dark decadence by tossing a few ounces of dark chocolate in a pot and heating it. Drizzle the melted dark chocolate over your air-popped popcorn for a burst of antioxidants and sticky-sweet deliciousness, sans the fat and carbs of heavy oils or margarine.

Healthy popcorn with a little sass. Add a dash of lemon juice and ¼ peppercorn to 3-4 cups of popcorn and toss for a little extra zing to your bowl without adding on guilt. 

Popcorn as a healthy snack and a party mix. Mix up a little fun by filling a bowl half-full of air-popped popcorn, then add ¼ cup of almond slivers, ¼ cup of banana chips, and ¼ cup of dried cranberries or raisins for a healthy snack medley that’s big on health and flavor. The perfect snack idea for you next get together.

Popcorn with cheese. What snack is just as beloved as popcorn? Cheese! Now you can pair these two snack favorites by shredding some white cheddar (made with milk from grass-fed cows) over your freshly popped popcorn. The heat from the newly popped kernels will help melt the cheese into the corn for a protein, vitamin and mineral infused snack blend that’s sure to please your taste buds.

A healthy popcorn snack with a spicy kick. If you like your snacks low-calorie and with a lot of heat, air-pop a serving of popcorn, then sprinkle on hot sauce sauce, shake and serve. This recipe is sure to please anyone who likes their popcorn with a side of nearly calorie-free fire.

Extra sweet and extra healthy popcorn. Drizzle honey over 3 cups of popcorn, then add ¼ tsp cinnamon and toss for added antioxidants and minerals — guaranteed to satisfy your sweet tooth. 

Popcorn with extra savory goodness. Add ¼ tsp of garlic powder and ½ tsp of rosemary to 3 cups of popcorn and toss for a pop of hearty flavor without added fat or calories.

Popcorn as a healthy snack is a great idea for anyone who wants to lose the unhealthy fats and high-sodium that usually comes standard with a bowl of this savory popped treat. Try any of these simple recipes to knock out the health-sabotaging, fattening toppings and enjoy popcorn as a snack that’s packed with health and more flavor than ever.

Sources for “Popcorn As a Healthy Snack:” 

Originally posted 2013-12-11 14:25:47.

Seasonal Affective Disorder

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) affects as many as 10 to 20 percent of Americans each year during the winter months. If you’re feeling irritable, moody, fatigued or less energetic during the winter season, you may be suffering from seasonal affective disorder. The good news is, you don’t have to resign yourself to months of moodiness each year. Read on to find out what causes seasonal affective disorder, and learn about safe, natural ways to treat it. 

What causes Seasonal Affective Disorder? Many of us love throwing open the curtains in the morning and basking in the sunlight. There’s actually a biochemical reason for that. When our bodies are exposed to sunlight, it triggers the production of a chemical called cholecalciferol, which is ultimately converted to Vitamin D. Vitamin D is necessary to regulate the production of serotonin, a hormone which helps produce a feeling of well-being and which has been linked to depression at low levels. Lack of sunlight also triggers the release of a chemical called melatonin, which contributes to feelings of fatigue and helps you sleep at night. In other words, when you’re exposed to less sunlight, your body produces more melatonin (making you feel more sleepy and sluggish) and you absorb less Vitamin D, which means less serotonin production and a higher chance of depression.

How to naturally treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. There are several simple and natural treatment for SAD. Keep a regular daytime/nighttime schedule to avoid throwing off your sleep patterns, which can disrupt your body’s natural biorythms and exacerbate mood disorders and fatigue. Maintain a healthy diet that’s high in protein, which are the building blocks for many hormones, and avoid too many processed carbs, which can contribute to irritability and moodiness. Make sure you get a full night’s sleep each night and expose yourself to as much sunlight as you can during the winter months. Take walks outside or perform other outdoor routines on a daily basis to increase your light intake. You can also swap out your lights at home, and at your office, for full spectrum lightbulbs, which emulate natural sunlight.

How to prevent Seasonal Affective Disorder. If you have a history of SAD or feel you may be at risk of the disorder, make sure you get plenty of sunlight at the onset of winter as opposed to waiting until you feel the effects of seasonal affective disorder. Doing something you enjoy everyday.  Also, having a close social circle you frequently interact with and maintaining a healthy diet and exercise regimen will help prevent the onset of seasonal affective disorder. Seasonal affective disorder doesn’t have to dominate your winter. Once you recognize the symptoms of SAD, you can help prevent or treat it by following a few safe and simple guidelines. If you feel you may have a medical condition contributing to your symptoms, consult a physician immediately for proper treatment. With enough sunlight, a positive attitude and good health habits, you can typically alleviate seasonal affective disorder or banish it altogether and start enjoying the holiday season again.  Sources for “Season Affective Disorder:”

  • http://www1.villanova.edu/villanova/studentlife/counselingcenter/infosheets/winterblues.html
  • http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9539254

Originally posted 2013-12-10 17:20:34.

Health Benefits of Ginger

The health benefits of ginger may not be as well known to you as its spicy taste, which can pep up everything from salads to casseroles. This strong-flavored root has been used for thousands of years, and was once a popular remedy for everything from nausea to bronchitis. Ginger is still one of the most popular spices in use today, for both its food-boosting flavor and its amazing health-boosting side effects. Here are a few of the health benefits of ginger:

Ginger provides health benefits during pregnancy: Morning sickness, as any expecting mom knows, can strike any time of day and add misery to what should be a magical, joyous time. Research has shown that ingesting ginger can treat morning sickness, or the nausea and vomiting that can occur during a pregnant women’s first trimester. Consume 1g of ginger daily to alleviate the symptoms of morning sickness.

Ginger for an upset stomach: When it comes to treating nausea, ginger isn’t just for expecting moms! Studies indicate that children and adults can benefit from the nausea and upset stomach reducing effects of ginger. Consult with a physician before treating upset stomach in children under 2-years-old with ginger to ensure you administer the proper dosage. Adults may take 1g of ginger daily to alleviate upset stomach and nausea.

Ginger may provide relief for osteoarthritis: If you are suffering from pain and swelling caused by arthritis inflammation, ginger may provide some safe and natural relief. Research has shown that ginger’s anti-inflammatory compounds, called gingerols, can alleviate inflammation. Take 250 mg of ginger 4 times a day to treat osteoarthritis symptoms.

Ginger to relieve symptoms of  Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS): Irritable bowel syndrome, a condition that causes unusual contractions in your large intestine that can lead to diarrhea, constipation, pain and gassiness, has affected between 10 – 20 percent of the population at some point. Studies have shown that using ginger as a herbal supplement can treat the symptoms of IBS. Take 1g of ginger daily for IBS relief.

Health benefits of ginger for motion sickness: Some studies indicate that powdered ginger may help alleviate motion sickness, or a state of dizziness and nausea caused by a disruption of a person’s balance or equilibrium, often brought about by travel on a plane, boat or car. Do not exceed 4 g of powdered ginger daily to treat motion sickness.

Ginger for heart disease: Some preliminary studies suggest that ginger may help prevent blood from clotting and help lower cholesterol, both of which can reduce your risk of heart disease. Ask a doctor before taking ginger as a natural treatment for heart disease.

Health benefits of ginger for digestion: The next time you have that unpleasant abdominal discomfort after a large or spicy meal, just try some ginger. Studies have shown that ginger can be used to effectively treat the symptoms of indigestion and sooth your stomach. Take 1g of ginger daily to alleviate indigestion. 

Enjoy the health benefits of ginger by consuming this spicy root as an extract, in capsule form or as a tea. Consult your doctor before using ginger as a natural treatment for serious health conditions. You can also enjoy ginger in common foods and drinks like ginger ale, gingerbread, and just in time for the holiday season, gingerbread houses! A health-booster and amazing flavoring for sweets, soups, teas and many recipes, ginger is a beneficial, aromatic treat any time of year.

 Sources for “Health Benefits of Ginger:” 

Originally posted 2013-12-05 12:18:43.

The Health Benefits of Rosemary

health benefits of rosemaryThe health benefits of rosemary abound, making this spice much more than just as an aromatic addition to countless beloved recipes. For centuries this little herb has been used to treat everything from nightmares to baldness. Even today, rosemary is considered a health booster in a lot of surprising ways. Read on to discover the health benefits of rosemary, and find out why this spice deserves a space not just in your kitchen, but in your medicine cabinet as well.

Rosemary benefits hair growth: For those of us who suffer from baldness, help might come in the form of an aromatic herb. Studies indicate that massaging the scalp with rosemary oil, in combination with other essential oils, may treat alopecia, or hair loss, by increasing blood flow to the scalp and stimulating the re-growth of hair.

Rosemary for memory health: Studying for an exam? You may want to prepare with a little rosemary aromatherapy! A recent study suggests that inhaling the scent of rosemary oil may temporarily enhance memory by elevating concentrations of a compound known as 1,8-cineole, also called eucalyptol, in the bloodstream. Concentrations of 1,8-cineole has been linked to improved cognitive function and memory.

Rosemary for cellular health: Rosemary may provide health benefits right down to your cells! Rosemary contains antioxidants called polyphenols, a type of chemical found in many fruits and vegetables, which help fight free radicals that can damage and destroy cells. Healthy cells leave you less susceptible to diseases and can even contribute to longevity.

Rosemary for stopping food-borne pathogens: Disease-causing microorganisms found in food, also known as food-borne pathogens, have been linked to serious illnesses and even death in animals and humans. Studies have shown that rosemary extract contains antimicrobial properties, and can effectively neutralize common food-borne pathogens such as S. aureus and B. cereus.

Rosemary for muscle pain: Rosemary oil, when used topically, may alleviate muscle pain and is currently an accepted treatment in Europe. More studies are needed to confirm its efficacy.           

Rosemary for healthy digestion: The next time you have upset stomach or bloating from indigestion, you may want to try some rosemary leaves. Rosemary leaf, when consumed, may help ease upset stomach and is a recommended indigestion treatment used in Europe.

The health benefits of rosemary make this aromatic spice a must-have in every household. Take no more than 4-6 grams of rosemary as a dried herb, and consult with your physician before consuming rosemary to treat serious conditions. From promoting hair growth to alleviating muscle pain, this herb serves up some surprising health-boosting effects. So sprinkle plenty of rosemary on your favorite dinner recipes, sip it as a tea, or use it as an oil or tincture to get the most from this great-for-you spice.

Sources for “The Health Benefits of Rosemary:”

Originally posted 2013-12-03 13:44:49.

Soothing Exercises for Pregnant Women

Flexible pregnant woman. Soothing exercises for pregnant women may sound like a strange concept. After all, exercise is supposed to get the heart pumping and the blood flowing, right? Fortunately, not all exercises require you to move at a marathon pace. The soothing exercises listed below are designed to ease tension and get your mind and body a bit more healthy — a perfect formula for pregnant women looking to de-stress after a day spent preparing the nursery, staring at food labels to check for the most baby-friendly ingredients, or just aching for a little relief from daily aches and pains.

A soothing exercise for the muscles: Stretching. Gentle stretches can help relieve back pain, alleviate muscle stiffness and improve range of motion (which helps ready your body for your child’s birth) — making them a simple, effective and incredibly soothing exercise for expecting moms. Just remember to stretch slowly, breath deeply and never overextend yourself. You’ll not only experience greater flexibility and less muscle stiffness, but you’ll feel soothed, calmer and better able to tackle any new surprises that come in that particular trimester! 

A soothing exercise that can be done anywhere: Controlled Breathing. Studies have shown that controlled breathing can result in a calm, meditative state and help you cope with everything from pain to fear. Controlled or patterned breathing requires slow inhaling and exhaling that follow the same rate and depth. Find a quiet spot, clear your mind, and practice this soothing exercise until you find a breathing rate that’s right for you. It’s a great exercise for pregnant women in need of some simple, soothing relaxation.

A low-impact exercises that soothes and provides excellent cardiovascular benefit: Swimming. This safe, low-impact exercise supports joints, strengthens back muscles, and improves heart health. The feeling of being suspended in water can also provide tension relief and an all-over soothing sensation. Consult with your obstetrician for proper swimming guidelines to ensure the optimum safety for you and your baby.

Burn calories while relaxing by taking a walk. Walking is more than just a way to get from point A to point B. Studies show that walking for 30 minutes a day can improve your mood, help you feel better, promote longevity, tone your major muscle groups, and combat stress — all key to a happier, healthier you during pregnancy. When beginning any new exercise regimen, it’s important to start slow. Walk at a pace that feels right for you, and then gradually increase your walking time without exceeding your comfort level. 

A soothing exercise for pregnant women that does it all: Yoga. The movements involved in yoga combine patterned breathing, stretching and slow body movements for an all-over workout that keeps you strong and limber. Yoga also alleviates stress, soothing your mind and body. Consider taking a prenatal yoga class, specifically geared to meet the needs of pregnant women.

Exercises for pregnant women need not spell discomfort or exhaustion. Use the above soothing exercises to promote good health and better overall well-being.

Sources for “Soothing Exercises for Pregnant Women:”

Originally posted 2013-11-27 13:01:14.

Mood Enhancing Foods

Mood Enhancing FoodsMood enhancing foods are not just some whimsical idea. The foods you take in on a daily basis can make a big impact on not just your waistline, but on how you feel. With winter fast approaching and the days growing shorter, many of us find our fuse shortening as well. Irritation, moodiness and depression, or the winter blues (also known as seasonal affective disorder), affect as many as 6 out of 100 Americans each year. If you’re feeling the winter doldrums, or if you’re just down in the dumps, the solution may be as close as your refrigerator door. Try these mood enhancing foods for more energy, better health and even an extra dose of happiness.

Mood enhancing food from the sea: The Mussel. This hard-shelled saltwater dweller not only cooks up for a tasty delicacy, but it contains several trace elements that help maintain a positive mood, such as iodine, zinc and selenium. These elements nourish your thyroid, a gland that controls the production of hormones that affect your weight, energy and mood.

A better mood in a cup: Coffee. Although not technically a food, the grounds from this powerful little bean (the coffee bean) delivers a lot of mood-boosting power. A nerve chemical in your brain called adenosine can block certain brain chemicals that boost energy. The caffeine in coffee effectively absorbs adenosine, allowing you to experience a pleasant rush of energy, along with better focus and more of a feeling of alertness-the perfect way to perk up your day!

This mood enhancing food has a peel (appeal): The Orange. Sweet, juicy and succulent, oranges come loaded with iron, which promotes healthy red cell production that maintains your energy level, and mood-boosting Vitamin C, which can alleviate feelings of depression and enhance your immune system function, thus helping you avoid or more quickly ward off those unpleasant winter sniffles, colds and flus.

Feeling blue? Go green: Broccoli. Ultra light on the calories, fat and carbs, this dieter’s delight also serves up lots of good stuff in the mood department. Not only high in fiber, which helps alleviate digestive problems that can sour your disposition, broccoli is also rich in folate, which can diminish feelings of depression and help boost your mood.

Mood enhancing food from the candy aisle: Dark Chocolate. It’s creamy, delicious and arguably the best thing to ever happen to deserts. Not surprisingly, it’s a major mood booster. The caffeine in dark chocolate blocks adenosine and enables that pleasant rush of energy to your brain. Dark chocolate also contains the chemical phenylalanine, which stimulates dopamine and serotonin production in the brain, both of which enhance mood. 

Boost your mood with a spoon: Yogurt. Yogurt contains good bacteria, or probiotics, that helps promote digestion. This creamy dairy product also packs a wallop of calcium, a mineral that not only builds strong bones and promotes good heart and muscle health, but has been shown to alleviate feelings of moodiness and depression.

Mood enhancing foods, when eaten regularly, can add up to a happier and healthier you. So nosh, dine, sip and stock up on these mood enhancers — they’ll help you start and end each day with a smile.

 Sources for “Mood Enhancing Foods:”

Originally posted 2013-11-21 10:36:43.

What to Eat When Pregnant

Pregnant belly

There may be no more exciting-and worrisome-time in a mother’s life than those nine-plus months before her little one enters the world. It’s a time filled with a lot of second guessing and fretting over whether you’re doing all the right things, especially whether or not you know what to eat when pregnant. When it comes to picking the best foods t0 eat when pregnant, you need choices that are both healthy and appetizing.  Look no further than a few of these prenatal superfoods we’ve outlined below:

Beans: Beans and excellent food to eat when pregnant because they’re savory, filling and high in protein — all major pluses when you’re eating for two. Beans’ high protein count makes them an excellent meat substitute for vegetarians and vegans, or for those who may develop a meat aversion while pregnant. Beans also provide fiber, which is important for digestion, and helps you maintain healthy cholesterol and blood sugar levels — both of which can fluctuate while pregnant.

Yogurt: If you really want to know what to eat when pregnant, yogurt is at the top of the list! It’s packed with calcium, protein, and iodine, all crucial for your baby’s development. Yogurt also contains a type of good bacteria called acidophilus, which promotes healthy digestion.  The digestive benefits of yogurt will really come in handy when you’re experiencing belly bloat, a common pregnancy symptom!

Nuts: Nuts are a widely recognized superfood, even for those of us who aren’t pregnant. Nuts are packed with vitamins and minerals that we all need to stay healthy, but pregnant women can especially benefit from many of the nutrients in this crunchy snack, including fiber, protein and magnesium, a mineral that helps reduce the risk of premature labor. Nuts are also a good source of omega 3 fatty acids, which many experts feel can boost brain function in both mommy and baby. 

Whole grains:  Not only do whole grains provide a healthy source of carbs-crucial for you and your baby’s energy but whole grain cereals also typically provide iron, which helps prevent anemia, and folate, which can reduce the risk of birth defects. Opt for an all-natural whole grain cereal when shopping for this prenatal superfood, and check the package label to ensure the brand comes with an adequate amount of iron and folate. 

Fish: Fish are low-fat and offer a healthy dose of omega 3 fatty acids. Opt for fish options that provide plenty of DHA (a type of omega 3 fatty acid), but that are low in mercury, a chemical that may play a role in poor fetal development. Salmon is an example of a safe prenatal superfood, while swordfish, shark and king mackerel are all high in mercury and should be avoided during pregnancy. Check out article on mercury levels in fish for more information on safe fish choices when pregnant.

Leafy greens: Dark green veggies like spinach, kale and broccoli come packed with iron, fiber, vitamin A, lutein, vitamin K , and a whole host of other nutrients! When making your “what to eat when pregnant list,” put leafy greens at the top with yogurt!  Vitamin A helps baby’s bones and skin grow and lutein promotes eyesight development. Leafy greens also pack a lot of potassium, which is very important for you and your baby’s heart health and nerve and muscle function.

Lean meat: Lean meat is a great source of protein, and adequate protein intake cannot be over emphasized. After all, proteins are the building blocks of life! Meat also offers a powerful dose of vitamin B6, which is good for your baby’s nervous system, and vitamin B12, which supports fetal development.

Prenatal multivitamins: Though not a superfood exactly, supplementing your diet with a prenatal multivitamin is highly recommended during pregnancy and may even be prescribed by your doctor to help ensure you receive the proper amount of vitamins and minerals to support your and your baby’s health. 

Maintaining a good diet when pregnant is key to keeping you and your baby healthy. Adding these superfoods to your prenatal menu will help ensure that you are eating well while you eat for two! 

Sources for “What to Eat When Pregnant:”

Originally posted 2013-11-21 10:12:59.

Coffee Benefits

Coffee Benefits

Coffee benefits the body and the senses! With its invigorating aroma, rich taste and natural burst of caffeine, coffee has earned its place as America’s favorite hot pick-me-up. This versatile brew owes its fame and flavor to a humble tropical fruit that, when sliced open, reveals a seed commonly called the coffee bean. Throughout the years, research has shown that this marvelous bean not only grinds up to produce a delicious drink-and even a great addition to some desserts like tiramisu-but it also has some major health-boosting benefits. Read on to learn how coffee benefits the joints, boost athletic performance and delivers several other surprising health benefits.

Coffee Benefits the Joints: Gout, a painful arthritic condition that afflicts the joints, results from an accumulation of uric acid (a substance that breaks down chemicals in certain foods) in the body which leads to crystal deposits in the joints. Coffee consumption has been shown to benefit the joints by decreasing uric acid levels, thereby lowering the risk of gout.

Coffee Benefits the Skin: A recent study conducted by Harvard Medical School, in partnership with Brigham & Women’s Hospital, demonstrated that women who consumed more than 3 cups of (caffeinated) coffee daily lowered their risk of a type of skin cancer called basal cell carcinoma by 21 percent. Men who drank over 3 cups of coffee per day reduced their risk of this skin cancer by 10 percent.

Coffee Benefits the Liver: Approximately 30% of American adults suffer from NAFLD, or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Studies indicate that drinking 4 cups of coffee can benefit the liver by reducing the dangerous accumulation of triglycerides (bad fats) in the liver cells. Fewer accumulated triglycerides means decreased risk of NAFLD.

Coffee Benefits the Brain: A recent study involving rats indicated that an unknown compound in coffee, combined with caffeine in coffee, helped raise blood levels of GCSF, a type of growth factor that helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease.

Coffee Benefits Your Mood: A recent study by the Harvard School of Public Health indicated that women who drank at least 4 cups of coffee daily had a 20% lower risk of depression compared to women who consumed less or no coffee. Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health also reported a 50% reduced risk of suicide in men and women who consume between 2 and 4 cups of coffee daily. Researchers believe that the caffeine in coffee may help stimulate the central nervous system as well as increase production of certain chemicals in the brain which help maintain positive mood, thereby reducing the risk of depression.

Coffee Benefits Athletic Performance: A study performed by the University of Birmingham indicated that caffeinated coffee, (at least 5 mg of caffeinated coffee) can boost endurance athletic performance when consumed one hour before exercise.

Coffee not only offers a quick and delicious pick-me-up, it serves up a surprising number of health benefits. So pour yourself a mug of your favorite flavor of java, and drink to your health!

Sources for “Coffee Benefits:”

 

Originally posted 2013-11-18 13:15:03.