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12 Best Power Foods for Women

1) PARMESAN CHEESE strengthens bones

PARMESAN CHEESE strengthens bones

Calcium is key for preventing osteoporosis (especially in your 20s). Yogurt and nonfat milk help, but who wants them three times a day? Work Parmesan cheese into your diet; its 340 mg of calcium per ounce – compared to about 200 mg in cheddar or Swiss – goes a long way toward your 1000 mg/day quota.

2) APPLES boost immunity

APPLES boost immunity

Smart and sweet, apples are rich in quercetin, an antioxidant that can bolster your body’s disease-fighting abilities. In one study from Appalachian State University, just 5 percent of people who ate more quercetin came down with a respiratory infection over a two-week period, compared to 45 percent of those who didn’t.

3) LENTILS build your iron stores

LENTILS build your iron stores

Low-calorie lentils pack about 30 percent of your daily iron per cup cooked. About 12 percent of young women have low iron stores – at the extreme, that leads to anemia. But one study found that even women who were iron deficient (not anemic) had poorer performances on skill tests than those with normal levels.

4) BROCCOLI fights wrinkles

BROCCOLI fights wrinkles

“A cup of broccoli has 100 percent of your vitamin C—crucial for production of collagen, which gives skin elasticity,” says Tammy Lakatos Shames, R.D. It’s also rich in beta-carotene, which the body converts to vitamin A. This vitamin assists in cell turnover, so old skin cells are replaced with fresh ones.

5) POTATOES pack healthy carbs

POTATOES pack healthy carbs

Potatoes contain a fat-fighting compound called resistant starch that can help keep weight in check. One medium spud with the skin will run you just around 100 calories, and with more potassium than bananas, potatoes also help fight heart disease by keeping blood pressure low.

6) SPINACH is dense with key nutrients

SPINACH is dense with key nutrients

This leafy green is high in vitamin K and also contains calcium and magnesium – a combo that may help slow the breakdown of bone that occurs as you get older – as well as folate, a B vitamin that helps prevent birth defects. And it packs just 7 calories per cup raw!

7) DARK CHOCOLATE stops stress and fights disease

DARK CHOCOLATE stops stress and fights disease

European researchers found that people who ate an ounce and a half of dark chocolate – about 200 calories worth—every day for two weeks produced less of the stress hormone cortisol and reported feeling less frazzled. Cortisol causes a temporary rise in blood pressure; consistently high levels up your risk for depression, obesity, heart disease and more.

8) MUSHROOMS deliver cancer-fighting antioxidants

MUSHROOMS deliver cancer-fighting antioxidants

One study showed that women who ate just one third of an ounce of raw mushrooms a day (that’s about one button mushroom) had a 64 percent reduction in breast cancer risk. Other research suggests that mushrooms reduce the effects of aromatase, a protein that helps produce estrogen – a major factor in some breast cancers.

9) SARDINES fight heart disease

SARDINES fight heart disease

These pungent little fish are good sources of omega-3 acids, which decrease inflammation that can lead to blocked arteries. They also prevent blood clots that can cause heart attacks and strokes, and keep blood vessels smooth and supple. Three ounces of sardines have about 1.3 grams of omega-3s (you need about 1 gram a day).

10) AVOCADOS help flatten your belly

AVOCADOS help flatten your belly

Avocados are high in monounsaturated fat, which has been shown to help you drop weight, including from your troublesome middle. In one study, people who got the most monos (about 23 percent of their daily calories) had about 5 pounds less belly fat than those who ate a high-carb, lower-fat diet.

11) BELL PEPPERS protect your eyes

BELL PEPPERS protect your eyes

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are leading causes of vision loss, but foods rich in lutein, zeaxanthin, and vitamin C, like bell peppers, can keep eyes sharp. A cup of sliced red, yellow and orange peppers contains nearly twice your daily vitamin C, plus 116 micrograms (mcg) of lutein, and 562 mcg of zeaxanthin.

12) WHOLE-GRAIN PASTA boosts energy

WHOLE-GRAIN PASTA boosts energy

Whole-grain pasta is loaded with B vitamins, which help your body convert food into energy. And unlike processed grain products that lack fiber, whole grains are more filling than their refined counterparts. In other words, you’ll feel satisfied with fewer calories. See sources.

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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in 2014, Lifestyle

 

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Bring Food Education Back! [Infographic]

 
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Posted by on September 27, 2014 in Infographic, Lifestyle

 

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Eating grapes may keep your eyes healthy

Grape consumption also protected retinal function in an oxidative stress model of macular degeneration.

              Grape consumption also protected retinal function in an oxidative stress model of
                                                                   macular degeneration.

Regular grape consumption may play a role in eye health by protecting the retina from deterioration, a new study has claimed.

US researchers found that a grape-enriched diet resulted in a protective effect on retinal structure and function.

The retina is the part of the eye that contains the cells that respond to light, known as photoreceptors. There are two types of photoreceptors: rods and cones.

Retinal degenerative diseases can cause blindness due to photoreceptor cell death.

The study was conducted by a research team at the University of Miami, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute and investigated whether a diet supplemented with grapes could protect the photoreceptors in mice with retinal degeneration.

Mice were either fed a grape-supplemented diet corresponding to 3 servings of grapes per day for humans or one of two control diets.

The results showed that retinal function was significantly protected in the mice consuming the grape-enriched diet.

The grape-consuming group had three-fold higher rod and cone photoreceptor responses compared with those on the control diets. They also exhibited thicker retinas.

Grape consumption also protected retinal function in an oxidative stress model of macular degeneration.

Further analysis revealed that the grape diet resulted in lower levels of inflammatory proteins and higher amounts of protective proteins in the retinas.

“The grape-enriched diet provided substantial protection of retinal function which is very exciting,” said Dr Abigail Hackam, lead investigator of the study.

“And it appears that grapes may work in multiple ways to promote eye health from signalling changes at the cellular level to directly countering oxidative stress,” Hackam said.

The study was presented at the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology conference in Orlando, Florida.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in 2014, Lifestyle

 

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5 Foods To Boost Your Brain Power

Eating doesn’t only lighten your mood and strengthen your muscles but it can also boost your brain and improve your cognitive performance. Adding brain-friendly foods to your diet can sharpen your thinking, clear your memory, and help you learn new skills faster. These brain foods are known for increasing blood flow throughout the body, meaning your brain and your heart can benefit from these healthy snacks as well. So start eating smart by incorporating these power foods into your regular menu.

1. Curry

Not only does this spicy dish clear your sinuses but it can also clear out your brain. Turmeric, the fiery spice that makes curry that yellow-hot colour, is also responsible for clearing plaque out of your brain. Amyloid plaques, the protein buildups thought to be responsible for causing Alzheimer’s in some patients, affect the physical structure of the brain tissue and can disrupt brain function depending on how rampant the buildup is. By eating curry, you can break down the plaque buildup and keep your brain refreshed and functioning.

2. Sage

If you’ve ever used sage to add to your soup or salad dressing, you know how fragrantly wonderful this herb smells. But did you know that sage also has anti-inflammatory qualities that can help enhance your memory and improve your overall brain health? Sage has been shown to improve memory recall. Sage is also an incredibly versatile herb, which you can to add flavour to hearty soups, create sage butter sauces, and even make into ice cream.

3. Berries

Blueberries are among the most essential foods when it comes to boosting your brain power, but strawberries, raspberries, and cranberries all come with their own health-related perks. Studies have shown that cranberries can help patients revive brain functioning after mild to moderate strokes. Strawberries work to counteract age-related cognitive decline, and raspberries are rich in fibre to help strengthen the brain, reduce cholesterol, and lower your blood pressure. In fact, all berries are stock full of antioxidants, and recent studies are finding that these antioxidants can actually improve communication between neurons in the brain.

4. Beets

The betalains in the beet are what give them the juicy, purple colour, but for your body, these nutrients act as detoxifiers and anti-inflammatories. Beets are also rich in natural nitrates that can work to improve memory and cognitive functioning. The nitrates help dilate your blood vessels, increasing blood flow to your brain in order to help you improve your memory retention. Beets are some of the most diverse vegetables in the food pyramid. You can pair them with other veggies by adding them in your salads or bulk up your fruit smoothies by blending them into the mix. If memory loss is one of your major health concerns, eat more beets and other foods that will work to strengthen your memory.

 

5. Tomatoes

Tomatoes are excellent for your brain health, primarily because they contain lycopene and beta-carotene. They are antioxidants that help eliminate free radicals, which are the main cause of inflammation in your brain and occurs in the development of dementia, particularly Alzheimer’s. If you don’t like eating tomatoes on their own, try cooking tomato soup or slow-cooked tomato sauce to get your healthy dose of antioxidants.   While these top five foods will boost your brain power and cognitive performance, it is important to discuss with your doctor what kind of dietary changes are most healthy for you. If you have existing heart conditions, cognitive disorders, or mood disorders, some of these power foods can cause complications. Eat smart by researching which foods are best for your diet and how you can boost your cognitive functioning in the healthiest way possible.

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2014 in 2014, Lifestyle

 

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