Posted on

Health Benefits of Broccoli


You either love it or hate it, but Broccoli is one very powerful vegetable to assist nutritional  healing. A cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.

Here are some very good reasons why broccoli should be an essential part of your diet.

Nourish Nervous System

Broccoli has a rich concentration of potassium and so helps maintain a healthy nervous system and brain function. It also encourages healthy muscle development.

Powerful antioxidant

When we look at all the cruciferous vegetables, we see broccoli is notable as the most concentrated source of vitamin C, plus the flavonoids necessary for vitamin C to recycle effectively. Also concentrated in broccoli are the carotenoids lutein, zeaxanthin and beta-carotene, other powerful antioxidants.

Blood Pressure

In addition to the rich quantity of potassium, broccoli contains enough magnesium and calcium that help regulate blood pressure.

Vitamin C

One cup of broccoli contains the RDA of vitamin C, an antioxidant essential for combating the effects of free radical damage. Vitamin C is also an effective antihistamine for easing the discomfort of the most infectious conditions like the common cold.

Bone Health

Broccoli contains rich amounts of both Calcium and Vitamin K, both of which are important for bone health and prevention of osteoporosis.

Skin Damage

Broccoli is helpful in rejuvenating damaged skin especially from overexposure to the sun. It contains glucoraphanin which nourishes the skin to detoxify and repair itself.

Immune System

One cup of broccoli reinforces the immune system with a hefty dose of beta-carotene. Trace minerals, such as zinc and selenium, further act to strengthen immune defences.

Cancer Prevention

Broccoli contains glucoraphanin, which with the body processes into the anti-cancer compound sulforaphane. This compound rids the body H. pylori, a bacterium found to highly increase the risk of gastric cancer. Furthermore, broccoli contains indole-3-carbinol, a powerful antioxidant compound and anti-carcinogen found to not only hinder the growth of breast, cervical and prostate cancer, but also boosts liver function.

A Healthy Weight 

Broccoli is high in fibre, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and reduces overeating. Furthermore, a cup of broccoli has as much protein as a cup of rice or corn with half the calories.

Eye Health

Studies have shown that the carotenoid lutein helps prevent age-related macular degeneration and cataracts, as well as possesses anti-cancer effects. Additionally, broccoli is a good source of vitamin A that is needed to form retinal, the light-absorbing molecule that is essential for both low-light and colour vision.

Healthy Heart

The carotenoid lutein may also slow down or prevent the thickening of arteries in the human body, thus fighting against heart disease and stoke. The B6 and folate in broccoli also reduce the risk of atherosclerosis, heart attack, and stroke. The anti-inflammatory properties of sulforaphane, one of the isothiocyanates (ITCs) in broccoli, may be able to prevent (or even reverse) some of the damage to blood vessel linings that can be caused by inflammation due to chronic blood sugar problems.

Lower Cholesterol

Broccoli is a whole food that is packed with soluble fibre that draws cholesterol out of your body.

Anti-inflammatory

Reducing allergic reaction and inflammation: Research has shown the ability of kaempferol to lessen the impact of allergy-related substances on our body. Broccoli even has significant amounts of omega 3 fatty acids, which are well known as an anti-inflammatory.

Food is Medicine Too!



Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.
Posted on

Reasons to Choose Organic


Today, you can make smarter choices in the food you buy. Organically grown foods have been increasing in popularity as people are choosing to live a smarter and healthier lifestyle. Organic farmers around the world are doing their part in preserving the quality of our ecosystem and to improve our health by growing food the way nature intended. Organically grown food gives us a naturally healthy and purely delicious food that is completely free of harmful chemicals and pesticides. Most foods contain a high level of pesticides that can be more harmful that organically grown foods.

The Five Reasons

– Organic foods are free of additives and preservatives and therefore taste more delicious and pure.
– Buying organic foods helps to reduce the dependence on all the non-renewable resources.
– The organic food industry promotes healthy farmland and supports those small family owned farms that produce the organic food.
– Growing organic foods help to keep chemicals out of the water supplies and help protect the farmers and other workers from having contact with harmful chemicals and pesticides.
– Organically grown food is exceedingly safe for children because it is free from harmful pesticides.

Consider the Organic Alternative

Next time you’re shopping for groceries, think about how buying organically grown food can benefit you and your family. Think about choosing a food that was grown as nature intended, compared to one that had frequently been covered with poisonous pesticides and other chemicals. Would you buy food knowing that it had once been saturated with harmful chemicals? At one point in time, that was something you never would have thought about, but now today in the information age, people are more aware of what they are putting into their bodies. Now people are aware of how food is grown and produced and now people have a choice.

Organic Foods List

Some great organically grown foods to buy are apples, grapes (imported), nectarines, pears, peaches, red raspberries, strawberries, bell peppers, celery, potatoes and spinach. There are even many other foods coming to market as organic foods such as eggs, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, milk, juice, bread, soup, meat, nuts, pasta and many baby foods.

What Does Organic Mean?

Being organic is referring to the way the agricultural products of fibre and food are processed and grown. The ecological system heavily relies on the rich soil to produce plants strong enough to withstand diseases and other pests. Organic farming means that the use of any chemicals and toxins are prohibited and work only in favour of the earth friendly habits that work with nature. In livestock, preventative measures are taken to keep the animals productive and healthy because the use of antibiotics is forbidden. Genetically modified organisms are also strictly prohibited in the organic production.

The Three Categories

  • 100% Organic: Means the food item is made purely and 100% of organic ingredients.
  • Organic Made: Means the food item is made of at least 95% organic ingredients with the remaining 5% heavily restricted and with no genetically modified organisms.
  • Made with Organic Ingredients: The food you choose can be made with ingredients containing no lesser than 70% of organic ingredients with the remaining 30% heavily restricted and no genetically modified organisms.

USDA Standards

The USDA has set strict regulations when labelling organic foods. An organic food must contain at least 95% of organic ingredients for it to be labelled as “organic”. Any foods that have less than 70% of organic ingredients cannot make any claims on the front of the package that it is organic in any way but may list the specific organically grown ingredients on the side panel.

Price is the main deciding issue when considering foods. Eating healthier is sometimes more expensive than the chemically treated foods. Of course, as the organic food industry is steadily rising as the varieties and availabilities are increasing, the prices are becoming more competitive and more appealing. Consider the real importance of staying healthy, it shouldn’t have to cost a ton either, find a local grower or a good organic place and they will offer a competitive offer.



Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.
Posted on

Perfect Meal Preparation Step by Step

One less thing to worry about during busy weeks.

I personally love food, but sometimes figuring out what to cook can frustrate me.  Yes I do cook contrary to my close friends jokes.

In order to help with the choices I created a simple and shortened five step method you can also use and hopefully it will help avoid tormenting brain power to figure out what to eat!

I love to prepare my meals especially during busy weeks and now it’s so nice to not have to think about what I’m going to eat each day, and to have it already to go. So, if you need meal preparation ideas, I’m sure you’ve come to the right place.

Here’s my successful and efficient meal preparation method to help you come up with tons of meal preparation ideas:

Step 1. Choice of Grain



Depending on what you’re feeling, your choice of grains will be the base of your dish that fills you up!

Shop Now

Pasta:

  • Macaroni, spaghetti, fettuccine, penne
  • Read Article: Health Benefits of Pasta.
  • White, whole-grain, buckwheat (gluten-free)

Rice:

  • Long-grain, medium-grain, short-grain
  • White, brown, multi-grain, purple rice

Grains:

Bread:

  • French, pita, white, whole-wheat, bagels

Tortillas:

  • Corn, flour
  • soft shell, hard shell

Potatoes:

*Although potatoes aren’t part of the “grain” category, they do make a great base for your dish.

Step 2. Pick a Vegetable



The next portion of your plate should be filled with vegetables!

Your choices are endless but make sure to include some dark leafy greens in your dish for vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Shop Now

Broccoli:

  • Source of vitamin K, C, B6, E, B1, calcium, fiber
  • For broccoli, a simple recipe would be to just stir fry with minced garlic and soy sauce. Easy and delicious.
  • Read more about Broccoli here.

Cauliflower:

  • Source of Vitamin C, K, B6, magnesium as well being antioxidant-rich and anti-inflammatory
  • Instead of a stir-fry, I recommend roasting in the oven (at 400 degrees for 15-30 minutes) with olive oil and garlic!

Asparagus:

  • Source of vitamin A, C, E K, B6, folic acid, fiber
  • Again, roasting is a great way to eat these.

Spinach:

  • Source of vitamin K, A, magnesium, potassium (improves glucose control and lowers blood pressure)
  • Steam and add minced garlic and salt, maybe some lemon.

Okra:

  • Source of thiamin, vitamin B2/B6, folic acid, also prevents calcium and magnesium deficiency.
  • Okra is great for you, very nutritious and I recommend boiling it for the most classic preparation. There are some people who don’t like the slimy texture. However, if you don’t mind that then enjoy!

Green Beans:

  • Source of copper, vitamin B1, and A, potassium, calcium, iron while boosting the immune system and bone health.
  • I never liked the taste of green beans so when I do cook them I make them spicy; that way all I taste is the spice! If you like spicy.

*Instead of choosing just one vegetable, mix it up! Mix your broccoli dish with some okra or green beans, for instance.

Step 3. Choose your Protein



Next up, choose your source of protein! If you’re a vegetarian, there is always the choice of substituting your meats for tofu or beans.

Chicken:

Shop Now

Beef:

  • Stir-fry beef and broccoli is always a time-saver. Just mix sliced beef, broccoli, and onions in a pan; add some flavor with soy sauce, ginger, and brown sugar and you’ve got yourself a meal.

Tofu/meat substitutes:

  • For all the vegetarians reading this, you probably already know tofu is a great alternative for protein.

Fish:

  • From salmon to tilapia, the options are endless. As a bonus, having fish once a week to switch up your protein options will help you reduce your carbon footprint. You can buy frozen fish fillets for convenience.
  • Try Nourish the Brain Soup

Step 4. Additional Items to Add Flavor



The following are optional, but it’s always nice to add some extras to spice up your meal:

Mushrooms:

  • Adding some mushroom to your pasta or rice with beef always increases the flavor in your dish, while adding nutrients.
Shop Now

Green Onions or Cilantro:

  • Green onions and cilantro always taste great — you don’t need much, just a few sprinkles. Add some to your potatoes or your tacos.

Bell Peppers:

  • Rather than putting them in the vegetable section, I thought they belonged here. Bell peppers add flavor and color rather than filling you up.
  • Anti-inflammatory-food.

Garlic/Onions:

Ginger:

Step 5. On the Side: Fruits



To finish your meal, fruits are a great alternative to sugary desserts. Pack some on the side and you’ve got the perfect meal.

Cantaloupe:

  • Source of Vitamin A which benefits your hair; also high in fiber and moisture to help with digestion.

Strawberry:

  • Source of antioxidants (polyphenols), manganese and potassium. Strawberries are also fat-free, cholesterol-free, and a low-calorie fruit.

Oranges:

  • Source of vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. If you ever need to fulfill your vitamin C intake, one orange will provide 130 percent of the amount you need in a day.

Watermelon:

  • Source of hydration and vitamins C and A. Since summer is coming, keeping hydrated with this low-calorie fruit is the way to go! As a tip, I usually sprinkle a pinch of salt on the watermelon to make it sweeter if it wasn’t already ripe.

What do you think?

Do you have a formula to prepare your meals? What are your go-to meals if you didn’t know what to cook? Let us know in the comment below!

Water

What are the health benefits of adequate water. Water and its Health Benefits.

I don’t mean to cause any more contradictions than are absolutely necessary as can be found in this article “One Man’s Food is Another Man’s Poison

Organic Food or Not?

Wondering if Organics is a better choice (Find out here)



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.
Posted on

Low Calorie Pasta for your Health


The Health Benefits of Pasta

Pasta is a perfect foundation for healthy, nutritious and satisfying meals: pasta is generally eaten with nutrient-dense food partners, such as fiber-filled vegetables and beans, heart healthy fish and monounsaturated oils, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce and protein-packed cheeses, poultry and lean meats. Pasta offers:

Sustained Energy

Carbohydrates like pasta provide glucose, the crucial fuel for your brain and muscles. Pasta is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, which provide a slow release of energy. Unlike simple sugars that offer a quick, yet fleeting boost of energy, pasta helps sustain energy.

Low Sodium & Cholesterol Free

Pasta is very low in sodium and cholesterol-free. Per cup, enriched varieties provide a good source of several essential nutrients, including iron and several B-vitamins. Whole wheat pasta can provide up to 25% of daily fiber requirements in every one cup portion.

Folic Acid

Enriched pasta is fortified with folic acid – essential for women of child-bearing age. FDA regulations require enriched grain products to contain this important vitamin. A serving of dry pasta supplies the equivalent of roughly 100 micrograms of folic acid, or 25% of the recommended daily intake.

Balanced Diet

Pasta is part of a well-balanced diet. Current dietary guidance calls for up to 65% of daily calories to come from carbohydrates, such as pasta.

Low GI

Pasta has a low Glycemic Index (GI) so it does not cause blood glucose levels to rise quickly. Blood glucose is sometimes referred to as blood “sugar”.

Healthy Weight Program

Pasta is a fat-free, low sodium food that can fit right in with your weight loss plan. One cup of cooked pasta contains just 200 calories, in addition to valuable vitamins and minerals. It also fills you up so you don’t feel hungry while trying to lose weight! Watch out for the sauce which can add weight.

More Reason to eat Pasta

Besides being delicious, we know that pasta has plenty of health benefits like providing folic acid, being cholesterol free, and sustaining energy. As if those weren’t enough reasons to eat pasta, WebMD recently listed 14 more reasons why you should eat pasta! Pasta is part of a good diet – it provides energy and is great for adding other health foods.

  • It keeps you fuller longer. As a filling dish, you won’t be quick to follow your pasta meal with unhealthy foods.
  • It’s affordable – because it has cheap ingredients, pasta is consistently an affordable meal.
  • Pasta is versatile. You can have it as an appetizer, side dish, or the main meal. It can also come as a salad or can be used for breakfast or even dessert!
  • It’s a simple meal to make. Even the most beginner cooks can make pasta. It also comes with easy cleanup!
  • With so many different shapes, there are countless possibilities for pairing pastas. You can have lots of fun switching shapes for different recipes.
  • Whole grain pasta has added health benefits like protecting against stomach and colon cancers.
  • It can help you lose weight. As shown in a recent study, people who ate pasta as part of the Mediterranean Diet lost more body fat than those who did not.
  • Pasta is low in sodium. Many foods high in salt content can lead to heart disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes.
  • It’s low in fat. Pasta by itself has just slightly more than half a gram of fat per serving.
  • Pasta can help keep blood sugar regulated due to its low glycemic index. This can also help prevent diabetes and obesity.
  • Pasta stays good for a very long time. Both dry and frozen pastas have shelf life of several months.
  • Pasta can be gluten-free so those with gluten sensitivities don’t have to miss out!
  • Pasta can even be eaten for dessert!


James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.
Posted on

Amazing Health Benefits of the Common Potato


Potatoes are one of the most common and important food sources on the planet, and they contain a wealth of health benefits that make them all the more essential as a staple dietary item for much of the world’s population. These health benefits include their ability to improve digestion, reduce cholesterol levels, boost heart health, protect from polyps, prevent cancer, and manage diabetes. They strengthen the immune system, reduce signs of aging, protect the skin, increase circulation, reduce blood pressure, maintain fluid balance, reduce insomnia, and aid in eye care.Health Benefits of Potatoes

Health benefits of potatoes include the following:

Promote Weight Gain

Potatoes are primarily made of carbohydrates and contain very little protein. This makes them an ideal diet for lean and thin people who desperately want to put on weight. [3] The vitamin content includes vitamin C and B-complex, which also help in proper absorption of carbohydrates. That is one of the reasons that potatoes make up a large part of the diet of sumo wrestlers, as well as many other athletes who need large energy reserves in order to compete!

Shop Now

Easy to Digest

Since potatoes predominantly contain carbohydrates, they are easy to digest and they also facilitate digestion. [4] This property makes them a good diet for babies or for those who cannot digest hard food, but need energy. However, remember that eating too many of them on a regular basis may cause acidity over time. Potatoes also contain a considerable amount of fiber or roughage, which is more in raw potatoes and cold ones than boiled or hot ones. This stimulates peristaltic motion and increases secretion of gastric juices, which eases digestion and prevents conditions like constipation while protecting the body from serious conditions like colorectal cancer. Fiber is also connected with scraping cholesterol out of the arteries and blood vessels, thereby improving heart health.

Skin Care

Vitamin C and B-complex, as well as minerals like potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, are good for the skin. [5] Apart from that, the pulp obtained from crushed raw potatoes, when mixed with honey, can work well in skin and face packs. This even helps cure pimples and spots on the skin. Again, this pulp, if applied externally on burns, provides quick relief and faster healing. Smashed potatoes and even water in which they have been washed are very good for softening and cleaning dark skin, especially around the elbows.



Treat Scurvy

The vitamin C present in potatoes can help prevent this disease, caused by a deficiency of vitamin C. [6] It is characterized by cracked lip corners, spongy and bleeding gums, and frequent viral infections. Although it is not found in first and second world countries as they have a ready access to vitamin C, it still exists in certain nations of the world, so the prolific presence of potatoes helps with this problem.

Treat Rheumatism

There are two parts to the effect of potatoes on this condition. Vitamins like calcium and magnesium help provide relief from rheumatism. Also, water obtained from boiling potatoes can relieve the pain and inflammation of rheumatism. However, due to high starch and carbohydrate content, they tend to increase body weight which may have adverse effects on rheumatic people.

Shop Now

Reduce Inflammation

Potatoes are very effective in reducing inflammation, both internal and external. [8] Since they are soft, easily digested, and have a lot of vitamin C (a very good antioxidant that repairs tissue wear and tear), potassium, and vitamin B6, they can relieve any inflammation in the intestines and the digestive system. They are a very good dietary element for those who have mouth ulcers as well. Therefore, people who suffer from arthritis and gout can use potatoes for their anti-inflammatory impact. However, potatoes can add to weight gain, which exacerbates these conditions, and are commonly eaten with meat and other rich foods that make gout worse, a fine balance must be struck.

Prevent Cancer

Certain types of potatoes, particularly red and russet ones, contain high levels of flavonoid antioxidants and vitamin A, like zeaxanthin and carotenes, and they can protect you against many types of cancer. [9] Also, a study at the Agricultural Research has shown that potatoes contain a compound called quercetin, which has been proven to have anti-cancer and anti-tumor properties. Finally, the high levels of vitamin A and C, both have antioxidant properties that can protect your body from the devastating effects of cancer.

Lower Blood Pressure

Since high blood pressure can occur for a number of reasons that include diabetes, tension, indigestion, nutrient balance, diet, and many others, different treatments are required. Luckily, potatoes can alleviate multiple possible causes and can be used to relieve high blood pressure due to tension. [10] They can also treat indigestion due to an abundance of vitamin C and fiber within, but they should be avoided if the high blood pressure is a result of diabetes. The fiber present in them is helpful in lowering cholesterol and improving the functioning of insulin in the body, which aids in the lowering of blood pressure. This is because there is a direct relationship between blood pressure and the glucose level in the blood; insulin helps regulate that glucose level. Furthermore, the potassium found in potatoes (46% of daily requirement per serving) lowers blood pressure, since it functions as a vasodilator.

Proper Functioning of Brain

Proper functioning of the brain depends largely on the glucose level, oxygen supply, various components of the vitamin-B complex, and certain hormones, amino acids and fatty acids like omega-3. Potatoes cater to almost all the needs mentioned above. They are high in carbohydrates, and thereby maintain good levels of glucose in the blood. This prevents the brain from letting fatigue creep in and it keeps your cognitive activity and performance high. Next, the brain needs oxygen, which is carried by the hemoglobin in the blood; its main constituent is iron.

Potatoes contain iron as well. Therefore, they help deliver oxygen to the brain as well. There are a wide variety of vitamins and minerals in potatoes that positively affect the function of the brain, including phosphorus, zinc, and the B complex vitamins. The vasodilating properties of potassium have also been connected to stimulation of brain function due to increased blood flow to it.

Shop Now

Prevent Heart Diseases

Apart from the vitamins (B-complex and C), minerals, and roughage, potatoes also contain certain substances called carotenoids (lutein and zeaxanthin). Carotenoids are beneficial for heart health and the functioning of other internal organs. Again, since potatoes raise the glucose level in the blood and their over-consumption may cause obesity, which puts pressure on your heart, you must be careful about how often you use potatoes for this health benefit. This method of preventing heart diseases is not recommended for obese people or diabetics.

Treat Kidney Stones

Kidney stones, also known as renal calculi, are caused mainly due to increased levels of uric acid in the blood. In such cases, foods high in protein should be avoided, particularly animal proteins such as meat, turkey, shrimp, fish, eggs, and milk, as well as spinach, raw plantain, black grams, and certain beans, which drastically increase the level of uric acid in the blood. Iron and calcium also contribute to the formation of stones. Potatoes are rich in both of these so logically, they wouldn’t fit in as a preventative measure for kidney stones, but they also contain magnesium, which inhibits the accumulation or deposition of calcium (calcification) in the kidney and other tissues, thereby proving beneficial for the treatment of renal calculi.

Treat Diarrhea

Potatoes are an excellent component of an energy-rich diet for those suffering from diarrhea since they are easy to digest and contain mild roughage. [14] However, eating too many potatoes can cause diarrhea due to the excessive ingestion of starch.

Potatoes are one of the richest sources of starch, vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber. 100g provides 70 calories, however, they contain very little fat (just 0.1 g per 100g) and no cholesterol. The dietary fiber in potato increases the bulk of the stool, thus, it helps prevent constipation, decrease absorption of dietary cholesterol and there by lower plasma LDL cholesterol. Additionally, the rich fiber content also helps protect from colon polyps and cancer. Potato is considered a reliable source of carbohydrates in diabetics. Fresh potato along with its skin is a good source of antioxidant and vitamins. Red potatoes contain a good amount of Vitamin A, and antioxidant flavonoids like carotenes and zeaxanthins. A recent study suggests that flavonoid antioxidant, quercetin present in potatoes contain anti-cancer and cardio-protective properties.

Organic Food or Not?

Wondering if Organics is a better choice (Find out here)



James O’Sullivan from Galway is a credible and engaging speaker, a people friendly practitioner and lecturer of Integrated Medicine, serving his patients, his students and the public with the positive benefits of both Conventional Western Medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine. He is a respected author and has appeared on many public media.


Disclaimer

This article is not intended to diagnose or assess. The information provided is not to be considered a substitute for consultation with a qualified health care practitioner.


Please share! Help the word get out. Pin the graphic too.