Which Fast Food Chains Are the Healthiest?

We all know fast food isn’t healthy, and though we try to find the least horrifying meals on the menu or stick to a simple salad when we go, it almost never lasts. So, here’s a list of the healthiest fast food chains, so that next time you’re running late and just need to zip through a drive-thru, you can feel a little less guilty and enjoy your meal a little bit more.

Panera Bread

Panera is considered the #1 healthiest fast food chain by Health.com. While many fast food restaurants tout their commitment to creating wholesome meals with healthful ingredients, Panera seems to actually be doing it. It has some of the healthiest options when it comes to kids’ meals (including grilled organic cheese and peanut butter and jelly that uses all-natural peanut butter). It also has plenty of substitutable options (like allowing you to choose apples instead of potato chips). All in all, as long as you don’t stop at the bakery counter and load up on sweets, Panera is pretty darn healthy.

Einstein Bros Bagels

Even though bagels themselves are high in calories, the chain offers reduced fat cream cheese and schmear options to customers. And even some of the bagels themselves, like the Good Grains bagel, provide impressive amounts of daily nutrients like fiber. You can also get a healthy salad if you are so inclined; just stay away from the fatty breakfast sandwiches and you should be fine.

Taco Bell

Believe it or not, one of the cheapest fast food restaurants is also one of the healthiest. According to Business Insider, Taco Bell has been building a healthier menu but has also been tweaking its regular menu for years in order to create better food for its customers. Its vegetarian menu is certified by the American Vegetarian Association, and many of its regular items can easily be customized to fit dietary restrictions of all kinds. However, the company doesn’t actually try to tout itself as the healthiest option on the block, which makes this assertion even more honest.

Noodles & Company

Believe it or not, Noodles & Company has actually been around since 1995, and it has been giving us healthy options when it comes to fast food for a long time. Though there are quite a bit of carbs in pasta, N&C’s different dishes utilize healthy ingredients. Customizable pastas, soups, and salads are also available here.

Subway

Subway has often given its customers a promise of a healthy meal, and while you can load up your sub with deluxe meat and cheese, you can also choose the healthiest, leanest options when it comes to ingredients. Their Fresh Fit menu still exists and contains some of their most popular and flavorful subs like the Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki. In addition, Subway’s kids’ meals still have an option for milk instead of soda and apples instead of chips, something many other fast food chains have long since given up on.

The Healthiest Teas You Could Be Drinking Right Now

Sorry, coffee drinkers. Tea might actually be the perfect beverage. It is absolutely delicious when hot and when cold, and many teas have a number of incredible health benefits that can be extremely helpful to your entire body. Here are some of the healthiest teas you should be drinking on the regular.

Green Tea

Everyone pretty much already knows about the health benefits of green tea, but it is still worth mentioning. Green tea is loaded with antioxidants (something you probably already knew), but the type of antioxidants you’ll find in the beverage is called catechins. One of the subgroups in cetechins, EGCG, may potentially be able to help prevent cancer and heart disease, according to a recent study.

White Tea

Now, here’s something you may not know. White tea has the same antioxidants that green tea contains, except there are more of them in the former. White tea can also help lower your risk of cardiovascular problems and high cholesterol, which makes it a great secondary option if you’re getting tired of the taste of green tea. In addition, white tea has been said to help promote weight loss in those who drink it often.

Oolong Tea

Oolong tea is another, lesser-known variety of tea that can be extremely beneficial for your health. Women who drink oolong tea have a much lower risk of developing certain cancers, specifically ovarian cancer; studies have shown that drinking 2 cups of tea daily, including oolong tea, seems to cut the risk of ovarian cancer by about half. Diabetics can also drink oolong tea to help reduce their blood sugar.

Herbal Teas

Herbal teas, like ginger, ginseng, Echinacea, hibiscus, and rooibos, are made from herbs, seeds, or fruits and steeped in water. These are actually extremely healthy for those who drink them regularly, as they can help facilitate weight loss, decrease issues with insomnia, and boost your immune system.

Hibiscus tea has actually been found to lower blood pressure in those who have chronically high levels of such, and chamomile tea can be helpful to those who are already suffering from cancer and diabetes to mildly slow the process of these diseases. Echinacea was once thought to be the cure for the common cold, but while it is decidedly less effective than this, it can actually be helpful when brewed as a tea for those suffering from constipation. Those with rheumatoid arthritis can also benefit from drinking Echinacea tea regularly.

Black Tea

We know; black tea is full of caffeine, so you may be wondering why it’s even on this list. However, studies have shown that black tea can actually decrease your risk of stroke by 21 percent, and drinking black tea regularly can also lower your risk of diabetes, high cholesterol, Parkinson’s disease, and kidney stones. In addition, research has shown that black tea may be helpful for preventing atherosclerosis, or the hardening of the arteries, especially in women. So go ahead, have another cup.

 

 

General Health: Is the Paleo Diet Actually Healthy?

Paleo is the diet of the moment, although it’s based on some pretty ancient ideas. The concept behind paleo is that the emergence of farming was what actually led to the issues we currently have with dietary health, obesity, and heart disease. Instead, the diet posits that we should live like our Paleolithic ancestors (hence the name) and only eat foods that would have been eaten around 10,000 years ago. These can include: vegetables and fruits, lean meats, nuts and seeds, and fish.

Though paleo seems to offer an effective weight loss option to those who follow its strict code and to provide a choice to those who wish to cut unnecessary and artificial additives from their daily intake, is paleo actually considered to be a healthy diet?

Are People Who Practice Paleo Missing Anything?

According to the Mayo Clinic, one thing concerning the medical community about the paleo diet is the absence of whole grains and legumes. These foods have almost always been considered healthy as well as a good source of fiber. Dairy products are also absent from the diet, which can be a good source of calcium and protein.

Without these products, dieters need to make sure they get enough of these necessary nutrients into their bodies in other ways, which can prove challenging without an extensive knowledge of nutrition. However, individuals can live without diary and do often (veganism is an example) and without whole grains and legumes, although this is less common.

Are There Side Effects of Paleo?

According to UC Davis Health, the paleo diet puts people at risk for certain deficiencies, such as calcium and vitamin D specifically. This could cause serious issues for bone density and bone health. In addition, the diet itself can cause individuals to consume saturated fats and proteins at a much higher rate than normal, which could potentially lead to kidney disease and cancer.

The Mayo Clinic states there have been a number of short-term studies about the diet and its effectiveness, but this does not allow us to have a good idea of the long-term issues that could be caused by someone eating a paleo diet for years or decades. Because the diet is relatively new (despite being very old), it is difficult for us to have a good idea of the full range of benefits and drawbacks that could be associated with it.

Is Paleo Healthy?

In general, the emergence of farming shouldn’t be considered the be-all-and-end-all of our problems with obesity and nutrition. Unfortunately, our society creates a number of fatty foods that contain unnatural ingredients, and this is one of the main reasons we are struggling with these issues now. But it is important to ask if paleo itself can be considered a healthy diet.

According to the Huffington Post, it’s usually never a good idea to preach a one-size-fits-all program when it comes to dieting, saying some foods are bad while others are good. This can make many people less likely to be able to follow the diet long-term, as they weren’t able to create it for themselves with their own specific modifications. Couple this with the fact that we don’t really understand what the long-term effects may be, and paleo starts to look like just another fad diet, most of which have never been considered incredibly healthy.

It’s important to be very careful when starting a completely new regimen when it comes to your diet, especially one as strict as paleo. Sure, it could help you lose weight, but when it comes to being truly healthy, it’s usually best to stick to the doctor recommended portions of the time-tested food groups.

 

Avoid These Top 7 Weight-Loss Screw-ups

Weight loss is no easy task. And if you are crazy busy, it is even tougher to concentrate solely on your own health goals in a sustainable, healthy way. This article is here to help you navigate the road to successful weight loss and avoid falling into the common traps along the way that do nothing more than set people up for failure. Registered dieticians, nutritionists, weight loss coaches and health coaches deal with frustrated patients and clients on a daily basis who strive so hard to lose the fat but the results they get don’t always match the effort they are putting in.

Here are seven weight loss blunders to avoid making when pursuing a healthy lifestyle of losing the fat, building the muscle and living a longer life:

Food Group Deprivation

One very common mistake people make when trying to lose weight is depriving themselves of an entire food group, such as meat or carbs. Unless there is a medical reason for ruling out the food group (such as a dairy allergy or celiac disease), then you should never eliminate an entire food group from your diet. If you do, the efforts will not be conducive for your health journey. Every food group provides essential nutrients and vitamins to the human body. When you cut out a group, the result is typically a nutrient deficient and unbalanced diet. If you cannot give the food group up for the rest of your life and replace the missed nutrients another way in your diet, then it’s definitely not the way to believe you will achieve long-lasting weight loss.

The Liquid Diet

Smoothies and green drinks are the newest craze to hit the wellness market and many times people choose to use these drinks to replace their meals in the thought that weight loss will follow. Unfortunately, there are many times the right mix of nutrients are not in the drinks to support a full range of dietary needs required for a meal. For instance, green juices lack protein and fiber and smoothies oftentimes are packed with sugar, calories, sweeteners, too many nuts and seeds plus fruit in oversized portions. Consuming drinks like these instead of getting in a well-rounded meal can ultimately sabotage your weight loss and health efforts.

It’s All or Nothing

Stop going into eating healthier with the viewpoint that you have to cut out the foods you love. There is no approach that will set you up for failure faster than thinking you absolutely cannot have this or that. You end up craving that one food so much that it overtakes your mind and you may end up binging on the food. There is no good that’s going to come out of an ‘it’s all or nothing’ attitude when it comes to what you put in your mouth. If you are a pasta lover, don’t eliminate it from your life. Instead, go ahead and sauté a blend of shrimp and veggies in olive oil and garlic then toss with pasta to enjoy in a sensible and healthy meal.

Calorie Sabotage

Counting calories is a huge trap people fall into when trying to lose weight. The obsession with low calorie diets leave people feeling empty and unsatisfied. The answer is to eat more of the foods packed with nutrients to prolong your life. To be successful with your health journey and weight loss goals, get in the practice of counting nutrients throughout the day instead of counting calories. What you put in your mouth is just as important to the human body as the amount of food you eat. Ditch the 1200 calorie diet for a diet packed full of good food that is rich in vitamins, minerals and nutrients.

Cutting Out Healthy Fats

The ‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s have taught women one thing through the decades—to be afraid of eating fat. The result is too many people start a weight loss routine with the focus on only eating fat-free and low-fat food versions instead of eating whole, healthy foods. At the end of the day, they have consumed a great deal of refined carbs and none of the healthy fat necessary for satiety. Healthy fats should be included with every meal in the form of seeds, nuts, soy, oily fish, liquid oils, dairy products or avocados.

Going In Without a Plan

Not having a realistic, solid plan when embarking on a new weight loss journey is one of the biggest mistakes people make. Get started with your weight loss launch by coming up with challengeable, small action steps in working towards attaining weight loss and fitness goals. This is how healthy habits are developed and will help set in a doable lifelong routine.

ONLY Wanting What You Can’t Have

So many people start their weight loss journey with a number of limitations and items they cannot have and those “no” foods cloud over all other thinking, especially regarding food. These include no bread, no dairy, no sweets, no sugar, no alcohol, no cheese, etc. Don’t focus on all the things you shouldn’t be eating, instead focus on the delicious foods you can put in your mouth that you look forward to having again and again.

If you follow the advice from the mistakes and tips above, then you will be starting your weight loss journey in the best way to achieve your goals rather than setting yourself up for failure yet again when it comes to shedding the pounds.

 

 

 

Mushrooms Join the 2017 Superfood Scene

mushrooms-454170_19202017 is the year of the mushroom. Actually, the mushroom has burst onto the superfood scene as more than a staple of the culinary arts. No longer just for stroganoffs and stir-fry dishes, mushrooms are being used in recipes and drinks due to their abilities to balance blood sugar, reduce inflammation, fight cancer, improve blood flow, support the respiratory system, regenerate nerves, normalize cholesterol, protect the liver, reduce the risk of heart disease and more. Their anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal properties make them the one of the most viable natural sources in the world for healing people suffering from a wide array of diseases and conditions.

Nutrient Powerhouse

Mushrooms contain compounds that work by increasing the white blood cell count in a person, thus activating the immune system. They are a surprising source of natural vitamin D, delivering a dose of 140 to 2000 IU for every 100 grams of mushrooms consumed. They absorb minerals, vitamins, and all other nutrients from the soil, trees, or plants they grow. It is important to note that mushrooms will absorb harmful, toxic, unhealthy substances if they are grown in poor conditions. Ensure your mushrooms are sourced from a safe, reputable source to ensure they were grown in good environments. Sometimes the nutrients soaked up by the spongy material has been building up for decades, making it one of the most powerful superfoods nature has to offer. The minerals and vitamins found in mushrooms include folate, niacin, zinc, vitamin B6, iron, riboflavin, thiamin, copper, panthothenic acid, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and selenium.

Long Standing History

Mushrooms have long been known for their healing powers. Japan, China, and Russia have used mushrooms for medicinal purposes for numerous centuries. Mushrooms are the foundation of many modern drugs too, including anticancer drugs, statin treatments, and penicillin. So, even though they have long been recognized in various cultures for their incredible benefits, why are they just becoming so popular in America now?

Newest Mushroom Craze

The 2017 mushroom craze and new excitement is majority based on the health benefits and solutions to modern day health issues, especially the big ones. They are shown to have great promise when it comes to protecting and detoxing the body of the multitudes of toxins and pathogens that come our way daily. There are several types of mushrooms that are adaptogenic; translating into the fact that our bodies go through a variety of modern day stressors and these types can help our bodies adapt to them.

Mushroom Science

Clemson University and Mushroom Mountain have both sited they are investigating the medicinal uses of mushrooms as well as their amazing power in healing those who are suffering from auto-immune conditions. Mushroom Mountain is investigating mushrooms for numerous uses across industries (not just for edible consumerism), all falling under what is being called ‘mushroom science.’

Mushroom Powdered Extracts

Powdered mushrooms extracts are the product of new processes that pull the most beneficial parts of the mushrooms into a form that is easily consumed by people. For optimal health advantages, look for a combination of some sort containing lion’s mane, reishi, cordyceps, turkey tail, himematsutake, chaga. Other products found include a Vanilla Protein Mushroom Shake from Moon Juice and a Golden Milk Latte from Erewhon Market.

How to Get the Superfood in Your Body

The mushroom extract powder is not only packed with superfood healing properties, but is also tasty in tea, smoothies and coffee. Some say it is best to use strong flavors with mushroom powders to enhance the mild earthly, neutral taste. Local health stores and some groceries will have these products, but of course the real thing can be purchased from your farmer’s market or grocery store. Check out these popular recipes if you are not sure where to start, but want to get involved with the power of mushrooms in your diet.

Superfood Mushroom Hot Chocolate

  • Reishi
  • Chaga
  • Cordyceps
  • Raw cacao powder (generous dose)
  • Healthy sweetener of choice
  • 6 oz. water

Directions: Mix ingredients in water and stir until well blended. Drunk until satisfied!

Mushroom Latte

  • Coffee
  • Milk of choice (soy, almond, dairy, cashew, etc.)
  • Mushroom powder extract

Directions: Mix until a thick and creamy consistency is reached and enjoy!

Make your own mushroom blend at home by blending them together. It is recommended to use several species of mushrooms for your home blend. Here’s one great trio to try:

DIY Mushroom Powder

  • Reishi
  • Shitake
  • Cordyceps

 

 

Health Shots to Get Started with Tomorrow Morning

It’s time to get healthy, and for many people that includes taking shots in the morning all the way through the night. Of bourbon. Naw, I’m just joking! Pour the empty liquor calories down the sink and instead start throwing back powerful shots of ‘health’ to keep you running on your best cylinders. A steady health shot regime has proven to vastly improve the nutrition in people, as well as their energy levels across the nation. When a cold or flu-like symptoms hit you, there is nearly anything you would do to feel better, especially when having fun in the sun or going on vacation is what you’d rather be doing in the summer.

One search on Google will produce results showing all the great benefits of health shots and more recipes than any one person could possibly need.

Here are an array of different health shots to try out. Find what you like and start incorporating one or more into your overall diet. Adjusting to health shots may be a bit difficult, so eating an apple slice or an orange slice afterwards can improve the ‘taste of potency.’

To get started, juice the ingredients and save them for up four days on average. If you don’t have a juicer, it’s still good because you can use a blender to make your health shots. Blend ingredients on high and then use a cheese cloth or fine strainer to run the juice through after blending.

Dr. Mike Dow’s Wellness Shot

-1 oz. cold water, 1 pinch cayenne pepper, 1 in. piece of fresh ginger, ½ tsp black pepper, ½ tsp ground tumeric

Wheatgrass Shots (People with grass allergies should avoid wheatgrass)

-wheatgrass juice (30 mls), grated ginger (1 tbs.), juice from 3 oranges-garnish with mint if desired

-wheatgrass juice (30 mls) and enough watermelon to fill a glass-great for disguising wheatgrass taste

Detox, Cleanse, Boost Metabolism

-1 oz. cold water, ½ to 1 whole lemon, pinch of cayenne pepper, 1 – 2 2 inches pieces of fresh ginger

Digestive Shot / Energy Booster (People with grass allergies should avoid wheatgrass)

-1 oz. wheatgrass juice and 1 oz. carrot juice

Digestive Soother

-1 oz. aloe juice, ½ oz. ginger juice, ½ oz. fresh lemon juice

Anti-Inflammatory / Antioxidant Shot

-1 oz. cold water, 1 tsp. turmeric, 2 tsp tart cherry juice

Apple Cider Vinegar

-1 oz. of water, 1 tsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 pinch cayenne pepper, ½ of a peeled lemon

Dr. Oz Belly Shot

-2 tbsp. tomato juice, ½ tsp horseradish, hot sauce (1-2 drops or more), squeeze of lime

Immunity shots are great to integrate into your daily lifestyle. They are potent, yet small shots packed with spices and herbs. Many of them are strong, bold and easy to thrown down your throat to keep you from feeling ill. IF you are sick, shooting down 2 of these a day will be highly beneficial to kicking the cooties to the curb!

Immunity Boosting Shot Batch (Divide into 6 shots)

-4 whole carrots, 2-4 cloves of garlic, 2 peeled lemons, large piece of fresh ginger

Immunity Boosting Shots

-½ large peeled lemon, 3 dashes of cayenne pepper, 1-1 inch piece of fresh ginger, 2-4 drops of oil of oregano

-1 large peeled lemon, 1 large piece of fresh ginger, 1-2 tsp. of turmeric powder

-1 oz. coconut water, ½ inch piece of fresh turmeric/ 1 tsp. dried turmeric, juice from ½ peeled lemon, 1 1 inch fresh ginger, pinch unrefined sea salt, 1 tbsp. honey

These shots are filled with nutrients to provide your body with all of the essentials you are missing in your diet. They are a great alternative to costly supplements and offer a ton of health benefits. While they are most commonly taken in the morning, they can be consumed at any point of the day to enjoy the same benefits. Energy boosting shots are especially handy for slow morning risers or those suffering from chronic fatigue. Alkaline boosting shots are helpful in the morning to get rid of acid from the night. Taking shots addressing digestive issues will get rid of belly bloat and work towards healing your gut. The majority of the immune system is found in the gut, and any regime, such as a health shot routine, that stimulates the healing in the gut will prove to be beneficial to your entire way of health.

 

6 Reasons You Should Say YES! To Carbs

The advisement that “Carbs are bad for you” is a distorted view of the truth. It can even be said the phrase is a myth. The fact is that carbohydrates are not only good for you, but entirely necessary for a healthy existence. Corporate weight loss slogans capitalize on this myth to generate more sales, when in fact the only leg they have to stand on that’s rooted in truth is eating a lot processed foods packed with high levels of carbs can make you gain weight. Don’t fall for propaganda pushing distorted food views that does not have your best ‘healthy’ interest at heart.

Complex carbohydrates are critical for a person’s well-balanced diet and proper nutrition. The same goes for natural sugars (not artificial or substitute). Your body benefits from the vitamins, fiber, minerals, and calories. They attribute a great deal towards the ‘value’ your body and brain needs to be at its best every day! Keep in mind that it is just the natural law of science if you are eating more calories than you are burning off, you will gain weight and vice-versa.

Hydration

One key to being healthy is to stay properly hydrated throughout the day and night. When this happens, the body is able to fire on all cylinders. Eating carbs (and natural sodium) leads to an increase in the intestinal wall’s water absorption. This is because carbs love water! When your body is not getting enough carbohydrates, the muscles and tissue are adversely affected.

Brain Health

Carbs don’t just give you energy for a run, they also give your brain the boost it needs to function better. The brain operates on glucose, which is delivered from carbs. This is critical for healthy focus, processing of information, and awareness. People always are told to fall in line with the recommendation to eat a healthy breakfast before starting the day.

Muscle Mass

The muscles in the body depend on insulin production for lean mass and growth. The body’s pancreas secretes insulin when carbohydrates are consumed. Insulin is essential in the body, as it transports the nutrients to the muscles, for instance—the critically acclaimed ‘protein’ so essential to our body’s health and it’s muscle production. More carbs translates into more insulin which in turn equals more muscle.

Curbing Hunger Pangs

Real complex carbohydrates (not processed junk food) will keep a person fuller for longer, provide stomach satisfaction, and decrease cravings. Carbs have resistant starch making your body’s cells sensitive to the insulin, while releasing the ‘hormones of fullness’ in the intestine. This means your satiety hormones are released, curbing snack attacks and cravings.

Metabolism Boost

As previously mentioned, muscles are directly benefited from the consumption of carbs. These same carbs also provide fatty acids to the digestive system that speeds up the fat burning process, especially in the stomach. These fatty acids are released from resistant starch. Carbs have high amounts of resistant starch; eating them enhances muscles mass and can lead to less belly budge, an overall healthier diet, and a healthier weight.

Carb Discrimination

When you rule out carbs, you essentially swear off a healthy and balanced diet of any sort. There is not any healthy type of weight loss that comes from the overindulgence in one food group or the complete elimination of another. A healthy, well-balanced diet will contain a variety of nutrients and will not discriminate against any one food group. Moderation is key. When trying to meet healthier goals; keep in mind physical activity, relaxation, and exercise are all critically component to a healthy lifestyle.

Choosing Carbs

When shopping at the grocery, try to choose foods in their natural state (if you can). This includes:

  • Choosing brown rice over white rice
  • Choosing fruit over fruit juice
  • Eating a potato over a plate of pasta
  • Trading the oak flakes cereal in for steel cut oats

Complex Carbs You Should Be Eating

o   Basmati o   Beans o   Brown Rice o   Chia
o   Fruit o   Whole Grain Pitas o   Lentils o   Nuts
o   Oats / oatmeal o   Quinoa o   Seeds o   Sweet Potatoes
o   Vegetables o   White Potatoes o   Whole Grain Breads o   Whole Grain Cereals
o   Whole grain pastas o   Yams o   Hot Cereals: rye, barley, oats, mix, triticale o   More Vegetables

 

 

 

 

Health Benefits of Quinoa

Quinoa, pronounced “keen-wah”, is a widely renowned plant food that offers several health benefits. Quinoa is packed with protein comparable to eggs and meat, along with tons of other vitamins and nutrients. Since Quinoa is packed with vitamins and minerals, it makes an extremely beneficial addition to any diet. It has been shown to have several health benefits, including prevention and regulation of diabetes, controlling celiac disease, weight management, digestive, blood pressure and cholesterol issues, and anti-inflammatory conditions.

About Quinoa

Quinoa, officially known as Chenopodium quinoa, is related to the food family that contains spinach, Swiss chard, and beets. However the part of the Quinoa plant that is most often consumed and which offers numerous health benefits, is the seed. The leaves of the plant taste similar to that of Swiss chard and spinach. Originating in South America, the vegetable has been grown and eaten in that region for hundreds of years. Grown throughout South America, the plant is exported to all corners of the world for consumption. In fact, 2013 was named by the United Nations to be the “International Year of the Quinoa” in hopes of spreading knowledge about this amazing plant food.

Nutrient-Packed

Quinoa is rich in nutrients. It is a huge source of protein, iron, fiber, magnesium, riboflavin, and manganese, among other nutrients. Furthermore, it has a low caloric count. This means that one gain absorb a large quantity of essential vitamins and nutrients without having to ingest large quantities of food. The amount of protein it has is astounding. There are nine different types of amino acids, the building blocks of protein that serve essential functions in the body, allowing it to act as both a whole grain and a protein source. Lysine, one type of amino acid present in Quinoa, is critical for tissue growth and repair.

Quinoa is widely known for its fiber content. Fiber is a great source that helps reduce blood pressure, cholesterol, and helps fight constipation. In comparison to other whole grains, the plant has twice as much fiber than almost any other type of whole grain. Also contained within a serving of Quinoa is a large quantity of iron. Iron in the blood stream carries oxygen from one cell to another and even supplies oxygen to the muscles. It also keeps red blood cells healthy, increases enzyme activity, regulates body temperature, and produces energy.

Quinoa is rich in magnesium. Magnesium lowers blood pressure and relaxes blood vessels, calms nerves, and reduces stress. It also has regulates body temperature, detoxifies the body, and aids in healthy bone and teeth formation. Another nutrient Quinoa is rich in is B2, also known as riboflavin. Vitamin B2 aids the body by boosting energy metabolism and regulating energy production within cells. Quinoa is rich in manganese. Manganese is a common antioxidant that protects the cells from damage and from free radicals. Free radicals are damaged cells that destroy healthy cells, often producing different forms of cancer. Healthy fat is also found in abundance in Quinoa.

Diabetes Benefits

Consuming Quinoa may assist in managing early Type 2 diabetes. Quinoa has an extremely high protein to carbohydrate ratio. This means it helps regulate blood sugar in individuals in the early stages of the illness. Furthermore, since Quinoa contains a soluble type of fiber, the breakdown of carbohydrates to glucose is reduced, which helps to control blood sugar. Another reason that Quinoa consumption may prove to be beneficial for diabetes control is due to the high amount of antioxidants that are present in the seed.

Celiac Disease and Gluten Intolerance Benefits

Quinoa is beneficial for individuals with celiac disease or gluten intolerance because it does not contain gluten. Therefore, it can be substituted as a replacement for more typical whole grains in bread or other dishes where grain is a primary ingredient.

Weight Management Benefits

Individuals who are trying to manage their weight may discover Quinoa beneficial. Due to the the amount of fiber, it helps one feel fuller, reducing hunger and the need to eat.

Digestive Health Benefits

Quinoa can help regulate digestive health. The regular consumption of fiber from the seed helps regulate the intestines. The gastrointestinal tract works smoother, and keeps you from feeling bloated and constipated. The plant seeds also act as a prebiotic which helps improve the good bacteria, known as microflora, in the intestines.

Blood Pressure and Cholesterol-Lowering Benefits

It helps to lower blood pressure and reduce cholesterol levels with it’s high fiber content. It maintains good cholesterol levels, while decreasing the bad cholesterol levels.

Quinoa also reduces inflammation and works as an antioxidant. It is one of the most powerful plant seeds around to improve one’s health. It can be eaten by itself or with other foods. It is one of the healthiest foods around. It will not only fill you up with its heavy fiber base, but will keep you healthy and strong.  

CSA 101 – Community Supported Agriculture

CSA, Community Supported Agriculture is a network connecting local farmers with local people who want to eat local food. Members receive fresh produce and other items by purchasing a ‘share in the farm.’ With the CSA investment, you give your support for a local farmer, sharing in both the risks and benefits alike. Community Supported Agriculture is becoming increasingly popular. People and families are growing more and more concerned with the ‘dirty’ food they are ingesting, and instead are seeking ways to get clean food on the table. Additionally, support for local business has been steadily growing among consumers, as they turn away from corporate consumerism.

How Do I Get CSA In My Kitchen?

Hop online and do a search for “CSA delivery near me,” or “CSA delivery + city/town name” to see what is available in your area. Additionally, you can inquire at your local farmer’s markets and food co-ops about CSA boxes. Additionally, you can use these great sites to search for CSA’s close to you: localharvest.org and coopdirectory.org.

How Much Is Community Supported Agriculture Delivery?

Most CSA box deliveries average a $20 – $30 range in cost, but they can be anywhere from $14 – $50 per delivery (depending on frequency and size).

CSA Local Farm Investment – Cost Considerations:

  • Do they require payment up-front in full or can you set up a payment plan?
  • Will you be able to manage your account online?
  • How long is the minimum required commitment? Some CSA deliveries allow for short-term commitments (such as a month), while others require a pledge for the entire season. Use the service you choose for at least 1-2 months to experience the variety that is offered over the course of time. This will also give you a chance to adjust to the abundance of veggies and fruit in your kitchen.
  • Do they offer any discounts? For instance, some will offer a discounted or free box if you use your location as a pick up location for their other customers. Other farmers will also engage in a barter-trade if you have services or products they can use. Some will even trade deliveries for members doing work on the farm.
  • Is there a box deposit or a one-time membership fee or start-up fee? Some farms charge a deposit for produce boxes until returned, some ask you to bring your own box/bags from home, and some provide their own every week.

What If I Only Eat Organic?

Many people are interested now a days in choosing farms that only practice sustainable or organic farming. Ask the farms you are considering about how they grow their food if it is important to you.

How Often Will I Get A CSA Box Delivery?

Typically, deliveries are weekly, but some farms do allow options for every other week.

How Do I Get My CSA Boxes?

Community Supported Agriculture boxes are delivered to subscription members in various ways, depending on the farm. It may be that you have to pick up your box at the farmer’s produce stand or farmer’s market. Sometimes neighborhood pickup locations are set up so no one travels too far to get their box. Other farms will deliver to your home door, while other CSA’s offer the service for an additional cost.

What Is Included In A CSA Box?

Okay, so to be frank, what comes in your CSA box is not very important in priorities when it comes to choosing which farm suits you best. This is because of a few things. First of all, people just don’t really have control over what they get in the box, as it will be a variety of items from across the farm. One of the most exciting things about a CSA is getting to experiment and taste new foods in your own home. If you are looking to get a specific amount of certain items every week, then the CSA probably isn’t for you. Many farms include recipes in their CSA boxes to encourage you to try their foods in new and different ways.

What Risks Come With A CSA Box?

It is important to remember the basics of farming when it comes to your expectations about the food you receive. A great crop will results in amazing quantity and variety, but catastrophic weather can result in a limited or nonexistent inventory. Some farms offer refunds in this event, others do not. Clarify all details of the subscription when reviewing CSA’s in your area.

 

 

Heat Up The Kitchen for Hot Results!

Do you love your foods hotter than the blazes? Are spicy or sizzling curries your thing? If so, you already know how delicious and flavorful the piquant foods are, but did you know all the amazing health benefits you are getting too? Some say people who eat spicy and enjoy spices all the time may be choosing healthier options than those who don’t. You don’t really see hot foods or hot peppers making news headlines, but some of the most popular foods eaten around the globe are hot foods. There are certainly spicy dishes that are not very healthy, nevertheless, adding peppers and chilies can deliver on super healthy results. The new health food is spicy and it’s not only good for you, but packs a punch of taste that is unbeatable! If you are looking to put some good health into your life without major changes, just turn up the temperature in kitchen for your next meal!

Increase in Brain Function

Do you often fall victim to the 3pm slump? After spending all day in front of the computer, you find around 3pm you are slipping into a vortex of inactivity and inability to focus. Instead of reaching for the coffee pot to get the pick-up you need, choose to eat a chili or two. Hot foods are great for clearing the mind and readily solving problems. It is believed Alzheimer’s patients and others suffering from degenerative diseases can reduce their symptoms by eating spices, as they are thought to reduce stress in certain brain areas linked to learning, memory, and control. These findings are in their young days. Spices are believed to be wholly positive, such as cinnamon. You don’t need spices in obscene amounts to reap the rewards, just include them in normal amounts at as many of your meals as possible to get a positive effect on your overall health and brain functioning power.

Reducing Meal Carcinogens

Everyone loves barbequed foods, especially when the weather turns warm outside. In fact, dads around the country are standing at the door just waiting to declare grill season. However, barbequed meat comes with a list of risks from the overload of toxins linked to pancreas, lung, and breast cancers. Studies have shown when you use rosemary to dry rub your meat or marinate it with before you cook it, then the level of toxins are reduced by up to 70% in the meat. So, you get delicious and antioxidants all in one grilled meal? Yes!

Eat Hot For Heart Strength

According to a variety of studies, hot peppers may get your heart pumped up in numerous ways. When people regularly consume hot peppers, they develop a lower risk of getting heart disease in their lives compared to those who skip the spices. One reason may be that the food is able to enhance blood flow and reduce harmful cholesterol levels. The natural chemicals found inside peppers are effective at treating many ailments. They include hardening of the arteries, irregular heart rhythms, and circulatory problems.

Preventing Ulcer Formation

Even though it may sound crazy, one of the most powerful and preventative treatments for stomach ulcers is found in hot peppers. Despite the spicy punch, capsaicin is a chemical found in peppers that works to fight off bacteria. It is highly effective at destroying ulcers already formed, and warding off future ulcer formations. Those who have followed the diet filled with spicy foods have been proven to decrease their odds of developing a stomach ulcer in comparison to those who don’t by as much as three times. It is a great reason for those who suffer from stomach ulcers or stressful lives to spice up the meals.

Spices and peppers may be the superfood we have been seeking for years, with all the amazing benefits they deliver to the human body. Links to good internal health, increased brain function, and better blood circulation are all reasons to start topping off your family’s meals with simple seasoning, a chili pepper, or a few piquant foods. Spicy food and chilies offer a whole world of flavor and taste in a wide variety of ways.