Stay Regular with These Superfoods

Irregularity is an issue for people who may have changed their diet and implemented exercise changes. Sometimes the change in foods can cause a bit of havoc in the body. You may also have constipation issues during pregnancy or with issues like IBS. If you don’t want to take over the counter medications to help with the irregularity, then there are some food-based options that can help. Here are a few of the superfoods that can relieve irregularity issues.

Prunes

Prunes are the number one food that is recommended by most doctors and in most natural constipation remedies. They are also recommended for expectant mothers that cannot take more heavy laxatives to help with irregularity. Prunes are simply dried plums that have retained their benefits. They can be eaten directly, taken in juice form, or taken in pill form as a gentle laxative.

 

Organic Honey

You may not think it would help, but organic honey can help immensely with relieving constipation. You can take a tablespoon of the sweet stuff directly or you can mix it into a tea. Keep in mind tea may be easier to swallow. You should not make the tea too hot since it may damage some superfood properties. Instead, try to drink the honey in a lukewarm tea, or any tea base will do. Also, make sure that it is organic as syrup you find in the store labeled as honey does not do the same and only delivers more sugar into your system. This can make things worse.

 

Dandelion Tea

You may have heard dandelions help with various issues in the body and as a superfood in salads to boost your metabolism and diet plans. What you may not know is that dandelion can be used in a tea form to help with irregularity. For this tea, you will use the dandelion flower and leaves steeped in hot water. Let the water cool down and strain the leaves and flower out of the mixture. Drink the tea. For a bonus, you can add the organic honey and get a double dose to help with extreme constipation.

Though you may not see the quick relief you would with some medications and over the counter options, you will see a gentle relief within an overnight or a full day. If you still do not receive relief, you may want to consider seeking a physician or natural consultant’s assistance.

I hope some of these superfoods help you when needed.

To your health!

Pamela

 

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Three Ways to Incorporate Chia Seeds to Your Diet

Chia seeds are something you may see in different drinks, health foods, and even in yogurt. This is due to Chia seeds having an enormous amount of benefits including 11 grams of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and 30% of the daily requirement of magnesium per serving. Though Chia seeds are included in a number of foods, you may be wondering how you can include them in your own daily diet without having to buy expensive premixed options. Here are a few ways you can use them today.

Overnight Oats

One of the easiest ways to incorporate Chia seeds into your diet is to add them in overnight oats recipes. The mistake many people make with this is to use the Chia seeds with a quick cook oat. You must use regular rolled oats for the recipe to turn out properly. Remember, you can add the Chia seeds at night as a topping or on top in the morning and you can heat the oatmeal if it is easier for you to digest. The seeds will become softer if you use them as part of the full overnight recipe but can add a crunch in the morning if you choose to add them at that time.

Juicing and Smoothies

If oatmeal isn’t something you enjoy, you can consider using the Chia seeds in juicing and smoothies. The concern for many people is the hard nature of the seeds and how they will break down in the smoothie or juice. If the texture is a turnoff for you, consider soaking the seeds overnight. You can do this in filtered water then drain the seeds and add them to the juice or smoothie. You can also soak the seeds in a juice if you like to give them a less watered down flavor.

Sauces

If you like a lot of pasta, even whole wheat or vegetarian versions, then you know the importance of having a sauce. Most sauces consist of pureed vegetables and other components, and Chia seeds can be part of that puree. You can add them at the beginning of sauces so they break down through the cooking process or you can soak them, just like with juicing and smoothies, and add them at another point during preparation.

These are only three of the ways you can incorporate Chia seeds into your own daily diet. Remember seeds, Chia or otherwise, can generally be incorporated in much the same way. So, think about how you would incorporate more common seeds and work from that point. Also, think about the ways you can incorporate them ahead of time, like in overnight oats, to reap the benefits without losing a large amount of prep time during your already busy schedule.

There are many other ways to incorporate Chia seeds into your diet. These are just a few to start with. I hope you enjoy trying Chia seeds.

If you have some ideas on how to add Chia seeds to your diet, share them below.

To you health,

Pamela

 

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5 Great Superfood Salad Ideas

If you are into meal prepping, you may already be incorporating superfoods into your weekly meal plans. One way to do this effectively is by using salads, either in regular containers or in mason jar options. These can be prepared a few days to a week ahead of time and can help ensure you are getting the superfoods you need in quantities your may not normally have available. Here are five of the most common superfood salad ideas and how you can prep each one ahead of time for your busy week.

Fruit Salad

The basics behind the fruit salad are to choose fruits that have not only the nutrients you are looking for, but also reasonable water content. This will help hydrate you and will help the flavors intermingle to give you a juice as well as a salad component. Some more common fruits for this type of salad are blueberries, strawberries, and mangoes. You can go with a watermelon based salad and add feta cheese and nuts as well or an apple and walnut based salad with Greek yogurt to give your multiple superfoods and pack in as many nutrients and good oils as possible.

Green Salad

When you think of green salad you may be thinking of your typical house salad or side salad. The key here is to focus on the leafy greens that are packed with iron and combine them with other proteins. For example, you could take kale and spinach as your base, both known for being iron packed superfoods. Then you can add a fruit-based dressing made of blueberries or a green goddess dressing packed with even more green vegetables and oils. Avocado slices can add an even bigger kick to this type of salad, keeping with the green color theme and giving you a superfood that holds multiple benefits.

Tropical Salad

The idea with a tropical salad is to grab fruits that you would not normally have and that meet the superfood criteria. For example, you may want to reach for mango, papaya, and plantains instead of bananas, and add some fresh coconut. You can even use simple ginger and coconut milk puree to create a dressing that will give added benefits and a spicy kick.

Anti-Aging Salad

If you want something that packs a bit more of a punch than just greens or fruit, consider a simple salmon salad. You can use a grilled or broiled salmon as the main protein and get your omega oils in the process. A bed of broccoli, cauliflower, or asparagus can give the added anti-aging kick with a small base of kale or other leafy green. If that doesn’t add enough taste for you, or you find it to be a little dry consider a ginger and olive oil blend dressing or sauce. You have a full salad of superfoods packed with anti-aging and memory-boosting properties all in one meal.

Kid-Friendly Salad

If you are trying to find ways to pack a salad for your kids, but you want them to actually eat it, consider doing a fresh kid-friendly fruit salad with apples, Greek yogurt, and walnuts. This will give the superfood of apples as the base, Greek yogurt that can be supercharged with chia seeds, and walnuts for your seeds and nuts components. Your kids think they are eating a common fruit they love, while you know they are getting the superfoods they need to keep them active throughout the day and boost their memory.

Remember that the trick to superfood salads, especially ones made in a jar and prepped ahead of time, is in the layering. You want to keep your harder vegetables towards the bottom and leafy greens towards the top. You can choose to have your salad dressing on the side rather than in the jar if you want to make the salads last a few days longer and keep harder vegetables from softening over time.

Please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you liked about this “health-e-byte.”

To your health,

Pamela

 

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The Top 3 Fruit and Vegetable Superfoods

There are several reasons to add superfoods to your daily eating routine, including a decrease in inflammation. You can also greatly increase certain nutrients to your diet with superfoods that contain multiple sources of vitamins, minerals, and compounds. Once you make the choice to add superfoods, you may be at a loss of what to add to really boost your new diet routine and workout routine. Here are the top six fruit and vegetable superfoods and why you should be adding them to your routine.

Tomato

Tomatoes are used as a cancer-fighting agent in many superfood based recipes. They contain lycopene which helps fight heart disease and have large amounts of Vitamins A, E, and C. In fact, many superfood users resort to using tomato over oranges for their overall benefits. In fact, the combination of the vitamins is what helps fight cancer-causing agents. Tomatoes can be added as a juice, a mixture in soups and sauces, or eaten directly.


Avocado

Avocado is becoming increasingly common in many restaurants and grocery stores as a daily addition to any healthy eating routine. You can find it used in place of mayonnaise on sandwiches, part of sushi recipes, or mixed in smoothies to give them an extra kick. The superfood benefits of avocado are the multiple oils that are found within them. They also contain Vitamin E, folate, and lutein. Avocados can add creamy textures to most foods and can even replace dressings if they are mixed with other components such as olive oil and herbs.


Kale

Kale is a superfood ingredient you likely see in most of the recipes on the market. It is versatile and can be added to most fruit and vegetable smoothies. It is also easy to grow in and outdoors in most climates. You can choose to eat it directly in salads, or even dehydrate kale into chips for a quick on the go snack. The iron level in kale can rival that of most steaks and other meats, making it a primary iron source for vegetarians and vegans.

These top three superfoods are fairly easy to find year-round at most farmer’s markets and whole food stores. You can mix them into smoothies easily and you can juice the majority of them or add them to your juices for a kick.

 

Please leave a comment and let me know what you liked about this “health-e-byte.”

To your health,

Pamela

 

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Tips to Replacing Junk Food with Healthy Snacks

Everyone loves junk food. Some people even crave the delicious tastes of these ready-to-eat food items, which are more loved by children. However, parents should know that too much eating of junk foods by their children or themselves might lead to an unhealthy lifestyle. Set a good example for your children and learn how to replace junk foods with healthier snacks.

Choosing Healthy Snacks over Junk Food

Junk food pertains to any food item that contains low or no nutritional value such as chips, candy, or candy bars. These type foods should be limited. However, today, it seems that these types of foods as snacks are consumed by lots of people of all ages, especially young children. You do not want junk foods to consume your child, so how exactly can you keep your child away from these unhealthy snacks?

As a parent, you know for a fact that junk foods won’t make your children healthy, and it could be difficult to find ways to prevent them from craving it, as they are found everywhere. In this case, what you need is an effective alternative to junk food. Junk food has given “snacking” a bad reputation. Having a snack between meals, however, is never a bad idea, if your snack choices are healthier ones.

So, if you want to give your child or yourself a healthy snack, consider the following:

Popcorn –

The fat with microwave brands may be a mere negative here. You can go for healthier versions, having 98 percent fat-free. When you choose plain popcorn, it is fine to sprinkle a bit of butter (no trans-fat). It is better than those full-fat brands in which you cannot control the added fat. Choose to purchase the popcorn kernels and invest in a great air-popper for a great snack. You can sprinkle a little cinnamon, Parmesan, garlic, or other seasonings on your popcorn to make it tasty.

Ice Cream –

Ice cream?  Did I just suggest that?  Let’s be real. Everyone knows ice cream is not a daily snack. However, sometimes you just gotta have it. There are some fine choices in ice cream land. Breyer’s Light Vanilla can be one of the best tastings. Sprinkle a little cinnamon on a small dish and enjoy!

If you have a sweet tooth and you just need a sweet snack, dark chocolate could be very delicious. Choose a small bar of dark chocolate that has a higher content of cocoa, it is filled with antioxidants and even a little fiber too.  Eat it in moderation.

Frozen Yogurt/Yogurt –

If your child does not like drinking milk, yogurt can be a great alternative source for calcium. Yogurt does not require sugar in order to taste good. Purchase plain yogurt and complement it with something, such as fruit and low-fat granola, for a healthy snack.

 

Fruit and Fruit Smoothies –

Smoothies make a great snack choice. For a sustainable, complete snack, you can produce some fruit smoothies for yourself or your child. The dairy should sustain you. Add a variety of fruit and some Greek yogurt and a smoothie will taste as good or better than other sweets and they’re healthier too.

Frozen Fruit/Popsicles Bars –

While we are on the subject of healthy fruits snacks lets add frozen fruit popsicle bars as a choice. You can make your own or choose from some healthier versions out there. There are a few excellent choices around, including the 100 percent fruit-juice selections.

Cookies –

Cookies are something that kids will enjoy. When you think cookies, you probably are thinking Oreos or Nabisco Chocolate Chip cookies. Although they sound good those are not the ones I’m talking about. Do some research and find recipes for healthier cookies. Your kids won’t know the difference. I used to make Zucchini cookies for my kids, and they loved them. You can get very creative here. If you have a child who is picky about their vegetables, well they will get them in those delicious healthy, cookies that you made from scratch.

Crackers and Cheese –

This can be another great choice for a snack when you choose a reduced-fat cheese. Reduced fat means a greater amount of protein. Crackers must be low-fat, wholegrain in order for it to be considered a healthy snack. If the cracker contains more fat usually means more trans-fat. There are some really good choices for wholegrain crackers and cheese.

Cereals –

Sometimes kids and adults just want something crunchy to munch on. Cereal can be a good choice for a healthy snack, but make sure to choose low-sugar, high-fiber cereals. There are a few multigrain choices out there like Cheerios that you can mix with some granola, coconut and dark chocolate chips or raisins for a healthy snack. You may also want a warm cereal for a snack. Oatmeal would make a great choice.

I hope these ideas give you some help in making healthy snack choices instead of grabbing the more popular junk food snacks. Get creative and get your kids to help you make some healthy snacks to share.

 

I hope you enjoyed this “Health-e-Byte.” Please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you liked about it.

To your health!

Pamela

 

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Why Are You Fat?

healthy oil

Every time you look into the mirror, you might be wondering why people out there have a nice summer body with full confidence while you are still struggling with your recent-up-sized t-shirt. You might even be wondering, are you going to be like them one day? Is there any chance for you to change? Of course, there is. However, summer body doesn’t come with ease.

Many work their butt off to attain their dream body. But, the important thing is, you are healthy from the inside out. When I say fat burn, the first thing that comes in your mind is exercise. Yes, of course, you need to exercise to have a nice summer body. But, do you know that our eating habits affect our body the most? Have you ever heard that weight loss is 80% diet, 20% exercise? I beg to differ.

Diet can actually make up as much as 90-99% of your weight loss journey. The MAIN reason why you’re fat is because of your lifestyle! Having an unhealthy lifestyle not only slows down your metabolism but also brings you chronic diseases. With a slow metabolic system, you can even gain weight by only drinking water! This is also the reason why some people slim down at a very slow rate but gain all the weight back in one night.

Slimming down is good, but slimming down healthily is the key point here. We want you to look into your health first instead of focusing on all the crazy diet plans and exercise regimes.

Fat Facts

So, what exactly is fat? Fat is made up of building blocks called fatty acids and these are classified as saturated, monounsaturated or polyunsaturated depending on their chemical structure. Fat is essential to human life, we all need fat in our diets. For years, nutritionists and doctors have preached that a low-fat diet is a key to losing weight and preventing health problems.

However, not all fat is the same. Our body requires small amounts of ‘good fat’ to function and help prevent disease. However, most of the ‘modern’ food contains a lot more fat than the body needs. Too much fat, especially too much of the wrong type of fat could be detrimental to your health causing serious health problems such as higher blood pressure and cholesterol levels, obesity, which in turn leads to a greater risk of heart disease.

So, it is significant to know what types of fat should you be cutting back on.

Good Fats VS Bad Fats

We are constantly being told that “fats are bad”, and many will spend lots of time and money to completely rid their diet of fat. The truth is, we need fats. Fats help in nerve transmission, nutrient absorption, maintaining cell membrane integrity, etc. Simply said, fat is actually necessary for you to lose weight. However, when consumed in excess amounts, it can increase your risk for a number of health threats. The key is to replace bad fats with good fats in your diet.

1. Good Fats

Good fat is sometimes called unsaturated fat. The types of potentially helpful dietary fats are mostly unsaturated. Unsaturated fat comes in two forms: monounsaturated and polyunsaturated.

 

2. Monounsaturated Fats

This is a type of fat is found in a variety of food and oils. You can get it from:

Nuts – walnuts and pistachios including almonds, peanuts, cashews, and macadamia nuts

Oils – avocado, canola, and olive oils

The most well-documented benefit of consuming monounsaturated fats is the potential for keeping your heart healthy. It improves blood cholesterol levels, which can decrease your risk of heart disease. Research also shows that these fatty acids may benefit insulin levels and blood sugar control, which can be especially helpful if you have type-2 diabetes.

Not just that, studies have also found that switching to monounsaturated fat from diets rich with trans fats and polyunsaturated fats results in significant weight loss. Yes, both consume the same amount of fats in their diet, but end up with different results!

The key here is the type of fats you’re consuming on a daily basis.

 

3. Polyunsaturated Fats

There are two types of polyunsaturated fats: omega-3 and omega-6. These are also known as essential fatty acids. Our body can’t produce essential fatty acids on its own, so we need to get them from food.

Omega- 3 – is a type of polyunsaturated fat you get from foods such as:

Legumes

Soy food

Tuna, salmon, and mackerel

Green leafy vegetables

Walnuts, other nuts, and flaxseed

Babies can also get omega-3 from breastmilk. It promotes brain health during pregnancy and early life. Omega-3 helps a baby’s brain and eye development in the womb and during the first six months of life. It has a great impact on children’s learning and behavior. As for adults, omega-3 can be good for rheumatoid arthritis, pain relief, morning stiffness, and inflammation. It can also protect adults from heart disease.

Omega-6 – is a type of polyunsaturated fat you get from foods such as:

Sunflower oil

Evening primrose oil

Peanut oil

Canola oil

Cereals

Omega 6 plays an important role in cell growth and is thus essential for brain and muscle development. The omega-6 arachidonic acid (AA) is for this very reason added to most infant formulas. Both brain development and muscle development are critical for infants.

The growth benefits of omega 6 also explain the great interest that bodybuilders and top athletes have in omega 6 consumption. Omega-6, particularly gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), is linked to increased bone density and reduced bone loss and it helps to promote hair growth and supports skin health. Omega-6 has an anti-inflammatory effect on our skin, soothing irritated skin.

 

salmon

Bad Fats

There are two main types of potentially harmful dietary fats: Saturated fat and Trans fat

Saturated fats are fats you get from foods such as:

Animal products such as meat fat

Full-fat dairy products such as butter and cream

Palm and coconut oil in processed food such as biscuits and chips

Saturated fats have no known health benefits. A high intake of disadvantageous saturated and trans fats can lead to elevated low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, cholesterol levels, which may increase your risk of developing heart disease. Saturated fats may also contribute to obesity, diabetes, and cancer.

Trans fats are sometimes used in the following:

Commercially-made cakes and biscuits

Takeaway foods

Energy bars

Ready-made meals

Snack food like chips

Trans fats can increase harmful low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol while decreasing good high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol. In turn, this can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, it has been associated with the development of type-2 diabetes.

 

I hope you found this information to be helpful.  Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you liked about it.

 

To your health!

Pamela

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Bad to Best Real Foods List

For some people, it takes a lot of effort to make corrections to habits that they’ve had for long periods of time. Or you might be someone who needs to see something at a glance in order to make a positive change. In this short “Health-e-Byte,” you will learn about the best foods that are considered ‘real foods’, similar to clean eating and following a whole foods lifestyle.

Below are a few examples to help you get a good grasp of the tiers of food quality. The list shows in a simple way how source, content, and freshness can make a major impact on the quality of your food. Convenience foods make up a large portion of what people consider when they are short on time but sacrifice their nutritional content in doing so. There are also cultural factors that appear across the board, but the impact is relatively clear.  If you take the time to plan out your meals you’ll be sure to make better choices.   

 

Breakfast

Bad – Coffee with artificial sweetener, name brand jelly with high-fructose corn syrup, box cereal with high fructose corn syrup.

Good – Coffee with white sugar, jelly that’s been sweetened with fruit juice, Instant oats, orange juice from the store.

Better – Coffee with a small amount of natural sweetener like honey, freshly crushed berries, plain oatmeal sweetened with honey or fruit chunks, homemade granola.

 

 

Lunch

 

Bad – Bag of processed snacks, inexpensive white bread, prepackaged meat cuts with filler, salt, and water added, name brand mayonnaise, can of soda.

Good – Baked seasoned nuts, pre-seasoned popcorn, Specialty whole grain bread bought at the store, store sliced cold cuts of meat, organic specialty mayonnaise, store-bought juice drink, or flavored name brand iced tea.

Better – Raw nuts, popcorn you seasoned, homemade trail mix, whole wheat bread made by you or a bakery, freshly cooked and sliced meats, lightly seasoned mashed avocado for spread, freshly squeezed juice, tea, or water.

 

Dinner

Bad – Conventional meat from the store, box macaroni, and cheese, dehydrated vegetable packet, can of soda or fruit punch that doesn’t contain much juice and is abundant with high fructose corn syrup.

Good – Organic meat from the store, organic box macaroni, and cheese, frozen vegetables for a side, store-bought sparkling cider, specialty sodas.

Better – Locally raised meat, homemade shells and real cheese, fresh seared vegetables, homemade sodas, juice, teas, flavored with juice mixtures, or water.

This simple list should help you and give you a better idea about foods that are good, bad, or the best when eating a real foods diet.

 

I hope you enjoyed this “Health-e-Byte.”  Please feel free to leave a comment below to let me know what you liked about it.

To your health!

Pamela

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