It is no secret that kale is a powerful superfood, with many health enthusiasts adding it to their morning smoothies or munching on a kale salad for a quick lunch. But did you know that kale and other leafy greens could have more of an impact on your health than you realize? Unfortunately, many people turn their nose up at leafy green vegetables, unused to the natural taste because tastebuds have become desensitized to real food. Once you get over that hurdle and begin to enjoy these powerhouse vegetables, here are a few you absolutely need to add to your diet and why you should.
You have likely incorporated at least a few immune-boosting foods into your diet in the last few months since COVID-19 started sweeping the globe. However, with winter fast-approaching, there is no time like the present to throw everything you can into keeping your immune system in fighting form. Not just because of the coronavirus, but because of the winter cold and flu season, which is still a genuine and viable threat. Here are the top 7 foods to include in your diet today to build your winter immunity and keep the sniffles at bay.
It’s no secret that humans run primarily on coffee. If you can’t function before your morning cup of joe, you are not alone, with surveys revealing that over 64% of American adults consume coffee every day. Some, multiple times per day. The excellent news is, coffee is actually good for you! It is loaded with antioxidants that help clear away cancer-causing free radicals, and it can lead to a boost in brain function, energy levels, and can help keep you going throughout your day. If you are in the majority and enjoy this healthy drink on the regular, you’ve likely wondered what you could do with your coffee grounds instead of throwing them in the trash. Here are a few creative ideas to help inspire you.
Seeds are incredibly versatile superfoods that can be added easily to your diet with powerful results. Enjoy these little, yet mighty, plant foods daily to boost your health and receive critical vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and healthy fats. Not to mention, seeds are incredibly flavorful! These are the top 5 seeds you need to be enjoying and quick ways to eat more.
As the weather cools and dried leaves scatter the ground, the crisp fall air brings with it the soaring popularity of pumpkins. Coffee shops advertise pumpkin spice lattes, and grocery stores stock up on pumpkin pie supplies, but while these artificial pumpkin tasting goodies may sound great, they aren’t exactly advertised as healthy treats. Many people don’t even consider pumpkin healthy at all, due to these sugar-laden fall desserts. However, not only is this orange winter squash delicious, it possesses some serious health benefits that you have probably never even heard of.
Green tea has become one of my favorite go-to drinks in the morning and throughout the day. The boost of antioxidants and gentle caffeine level make it a healthful alternative to soda, juice or milk. Green tea can be an acquired taste though, so if it’s not your favorite beverage, consider adding one, or more, of the following ingredients to make it more palatable. [Read more…]
Imagine strolling through your local drug store and seeing so many enticing products on the shelves, but as you reach for them you get a mental image of blotchy red spots on your face. Not such a pleasant thought, right? That’s what living with sensitive skin can feel like. Although, there are thousands of products on the market claiming to be perfect for “sensitive skin,” many of the products are still too harsh for sensitive skin types. Chemicals like parabens, dyes and skin-drying alcohol can make over-the-counter skin products too strong for sensitive skin. [Read more…]
While you may think herbal tea is similar to standard green or black tea, it actually has quite a few differences, including the fact that most don’t contain caffeine. It’s made by steeping the roots, stems, flowers, petals, leaves, seeds, roots and stems of all types of plants and flowers, and is available in hundreds of different varieties. Some herbal teas are quite common, such as chamomile, while others are more obscure. Depending on the area in which you live in the world, different types are easier to find than others.
The health benefits of herbal tea can vary greatly, depending on the composition. A single ingredient or a combination of various herbs and flowers may be used. Drinking herbal tea is often recommended for those who want to naturally improve their health, or simply relax while sipping a tasty, refreshing brew.
Most herbal teas contain a variety of antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, but the specifics will depend on this exact herbs and plants that used in the tea. Some of the more common health benefits include a feeling of calm and relaxation, helping one to fall asleep easier, lowering inflammation, protecting against disease, relieving pain, boosting the immune system, supporting the digestive system, serving as a detox for the body and even enhancing cognitive function.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of herbal tea and the top teas that you should drink for your health.
Many herbal teas are loaded with powerful antioxidants, such as quercetin, which I long been known to help protect against a wide range of illness and disease including cancer, diabetes, and heart disease. In addition to this potent compound, it also contains a high concentration of two lesser known antioxidants, aspalathin and nothofagin. These polyphenol antioxidants work to battle free radicals which can help slow the aging process, reverse visible signs of aging and protect against disease. Those substances also provide nerve relaxing properties that may even help to lower the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Cleansing and Detox
Spices have been made into teas and used medicinally for thousands of years. Many offer anti-inflammatory, antiulcer and antioxidant activities and can even be used as an analgesic. Ginger is considered one of the best detoxifying herbs, frequently recommended in cleansing programs and detox diets. The healing portion of the plant is referred to as the rhizome which is the thick underground stem. The stem can be steeped in water used as a tea as part of a cleansing program as it’s believed to cleanse the body by stimulating the digestion process, circulation, and sweating. Its digestive actions may serve to cleanse the build-up of waste and toxins in the colon, liver and other organs too.
Detoxification enhances the body’s natural cleansing process, allowing it to build better defenses against illness and disease in addition to boosting blood circulation and preventing clotting.
Supporting Better Digestion
The health of your digestive system is essential for your overall health. There are multiple teas that can support better digestion and soothe the intestinal system, including treating ailments like gas and nausea.
Ginger, for example, offers healing and detoxifying properties that are likely due to its high concentration of gingerol and shoga which provide anti-inflammatory and antispasmodic effects on the gastrointestinal system. These properties help to sustain digestive enzymes which neutralize acids, supporting the entire digestive process. As a result, stomach discomforts such as gas, bloating, diarrhea and constipation can be relieved.
Certain teas are also considered to be a safe and effective insomnia remedy. Herbal teas lack caffeine but may contain a high mineral content, including magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, and iron, which are all known to encourage calm and relaxation in addition to reducing sleep disturbances. Some herbal teas are believed to indirectly help one to sleep better by inducing a feeling of calm, promote relaxation and improve the quality of sleep.
More Beautiful Skin
Some teas like red bush tea even contain hydroxy acid which is commonly found in those expensive skin products for promoting healthier skin. It’s been shown to minimize acne when applied directly to the skin twice a day, but drinking this herbal tea may also help from the inside out, sipping to improve eczema, psoriasis, and even the pain and itch of sunburns. Just apply a freshly brewed and cooled tea bag to affected areas to soothe and heal inflammation and drink a cup too.
Supports a Healthier Heart
Many herbal teas contain powerful flavonoids that can aid in regulating blood pressure and enhance the stability of capillary arteries. This results in a reduction of cholesterol buildup and blood clots, lessening the chances of heart attack and heart-related disease. It also contains a potent antioxidant known as chrysoeriol, which can improve circulation by preventing the activity of an enzyme known to trigger cardiovascular disease.
Certain herbal teas can support brain health too. For example, turmeric tea. A study conducted in 2014 suggested that a compound known as aromatic-turmerone can increase neural stem cell growth in the brain by as much as 80 percent when taken in specific concentrations. The experts concluded that this compound could help those who suffer from diseases like Alzheimer’s, as well as stroke victims to recover brain function.
The top herbal teas to drink for your health include:
Chamomile. Chamomile is rich in antioxidants such as apigenin, caffeic acid, chamazulene, chlorogenic acid, chrysoeriol, gentisic acid, hyperoside, isoferulic acid, isorhamnetin, kaempferol, luteolin, malic acid, p-coumaric acid, quercetin, rutin, salicylic acid and sinapic acid. That’s a whole lot of antioxidants, and they have a key role when it comes to lowering inflammation that can lead to illness, disease and cell damage. Chamomile is best-known for its calming properties and great to drink for better sleep.
Roobios. Roobios or Redbush tea also contains an abundance of powerful antioxidants, including quercetin, which is known to help protect against all sorts of illness and disease including cancer, diabetes and heart disease. It also contains a high concentration of two lesser known antioxidants, aspalathin and nothofagin which are polyphenol antioxidants that help fight free radicals which can help slow the aging process, reverse visible signs of aging and protect against disease. It’s also known to relieve insomnia and improve digestion.
Lemon balm. Lemon balm is a member of the mint family, and its leaves have an especially pleasant but mild lemony aroma. It’s filled antioxidants and contains a powerful compound called eugenol, a natural anti-inflammatory that’s known to soothe aches and pains.
Ginger. Ginger is famous for its ability to relieve digestive woes like nausea and stomach upset. Israelis researchers have found that it offers dramatic effects for heart health, including reducing cholesterol levels, preventing the oxidation of LDL, or “bad” cholesterol, and lowering the risk of atherosclerosis.
Turmeric. Heart Disease is the world’s No. 1 killer and something that’s been extensively studied for years. There are also many different things, including turmeric, which can help reverse its progress before it’s too late. Curcumin, a powerful compound found in turmeric, helps to improve the functioning of the endothelium, which is the lining of the blood vessels.
Other super healthy herbal teas include:
- Rose Hip
I love blueberries. They are visually appealing, fun to eat and a wonderful addition to any healthy diet. Blueberries are a staple in my home and they should be in yours as well. Here are just nine reasons why you should eat more blueberries.
Blueberries fight inflammation
Chronic inflammation is the root of all sickness. It causes skin problems, joint problems, metabolic syndrome, arthritis and more. In one study it was found that obese rats that ate the equivalent of two cups of wild blueberries per day for eight weeks had markedly lower inflammation levels than those that did not consume the berries.
Blueberries are good for your brain
If you want to keep your brain sharp, eat more blueberries. Flavonoids in the berries protect cells in the body including neurons in the brain that transmit thoughts, feelings, and memories. Keeping these nerve cells healthy will help your brain function at its best. According to research, a diet rich in blueberries will enhance not only memory but also balance and coordination.
Blueberries can make you feel great
Because they increase the production of feel-good dopamine, blueberries are a great way to lift your spirits naturally. They may also help reduce the onset and symptoms of Parkinson’s disease because of the dopamine.
Blueberries are great for your skin
Organic wild blueberries contain vitamin A and C and are great for the healthy skin, including collagen, your skin’s support structure. Consuming foods rich in these nutrients can help reduce wrinkles, sagging skin and dark circles. Berries also contain water, which keeps skin hydrated and young looking.
Blueberries protect you from serious disease
Because of the potent flavonoid antioxidant, anthocyanin, blueberries can protect you from some very serious illnesses such as cardiovascular illness, neurodegenerative disease, and cancer.
Blueberries can help burn fat
Blueberries contain catechins that can activate fat-burning genes in abdominal fat cells. When combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, these little berries are a powerful tool to help reduce belly fat, in particular. Research from Tufts University found that consuming catechins on a regular basis increases abdominal fat loss by 77 percent and doubles total weight loss. Now that’s reason enough in itself to eat more blueberries!
Blueberries protect the brain from environmental toxins
Blueberries contain natural phytonutrients called proanthocyanidins, which can protect the watery and fatty parts of the brain from harmful environmental toxins.
Blueberries can help reduce pain
Blueberries contain salicylic acid – a natural form of aspirin. Salicylic acid can thin the blood and reduce pain.
Blueberries are portable and delicious
Besides all of their rich nutritional and therapeutic value, blueberries are just downright delicious. Not only that, they are easy to take along with you and make a wonderful travel or office snack. They are, hands down, one of the best stand-alone fruits you could include in your diet.
Some great things to do with blueberries
- Freeze them for your smoothies
- Add banana and apples for a mixed fruit salad
- Mix blueberries with your favorite organic granola
- Make gluten-free blueberry muffins
- Add blueberries to seltzer water for a refreshing drink
- Add blueberries to your favorite organic yogurt
- Mix blueberries with cottage cheese or your favorite organic yogurt