Fruit Facts

One of the interesting points to note concerning fruit health facts is that fruits are some of the best sources of antioxidants. Vitamin C and beta carotene are known to be some of the most potent antioxidants in the world. Antioxidants are believed to eliminate oxidative stress on the body’s cells. They do so by neutralizing free radicals. Free radicals are unstable compounds that are created during fat metabolism and certain environmental factors. Consequently, free radicals are believed to be responsible for altering the affected cell’s metabolism resulting in abnormal cell growth. Fruits such as oranges, strawberries and melons are also excellent sources of vitamin C.

Another one of the interesting fruit health facts is that they are rich sources of anthocyanins. Anthocyanins are poly-phenolic compounds found mostly in “blue fruits” such as blue berries, blackberries as well as the acai berry. So named for their blue pigments, blue fruits have powerful antioxidant properties offering protection against a number of problems such as infections, aging and some forms of cancer.

The tomato, which is commonly mistaken for a vegetable, is known for its high antioxidant concentration. Interestingly, one particular antioxidant, lycopene, found in high concentrations in tomatoes has been linked to reducing the chances of one developing cancer. In order to receive all their nutritional and health benefits, tomatoes are best cooked but can still be eaten raw. This is contrary to most fruit health facts that say fruit is best eaten raw to receive the best health benefits.

When choosing which fruits to add to your diet, you should try to select fruits that are rich in potassium. Great examples of such fruits include bananas, oranges, cantaloupe and honey dew melons. Moreover, when choosing fruits that are canned or packed, be sure to take the healthier option i.e. those canned in 100% fruit juice or water rather than those canned in syrup.

You will also be interested to learn that a number of fruits such as mango and apricots go well with meat dishes such as chicken. Moreover, fruits are known to be low in calories and make some of the best alternatives to snacks that are high in fat and sodium. This means that replacing junk food snacks with health fruit snacks can be a great way to lose weight.

When learning on fruit health facts, you will be interested to know that fruits are also popularly used in a number of natural skin care products. For instance, the avocado when ripe is crushed and mixed with egg yolks to be used as a face mask during the summer to protect the skin from harmful UV rays. Moreover, bananas are used to naturally remove blackheads while cucumber can be used to relieve sun burns.

Vegetable Nutrition

You get the idea. Like a zombie, I mindlessly walk the store and get each item on the list and bring them home. While unpacking I start to make comments about each item (I probably should write an article on why I shouldn’t do that) and why we don’t need them.

I always get hung up on celery and lettuce. They don’t do anything for me and I see them as a side item to my sandwich or meal. Actually, I would rather substitute spinach or broccoli for each of them, because I know those two vegetables are healthy (as long as Pop-Eye and my mom aren’t liars).

So that got me thinking of researching and writing an article on the nutritional benefits of lettuce and celery. Exciting, earth shattering stuff, I know.

Well I was actually quite surprised by the minerals and nutrients each one packed. For instance, did you know celery is a great source of riboflavin, calcium, dietary fiber, and contains good amounts of vitamin A, B6, C, and K? I didn’t either. All of these nutrients and vitamins are key cogs that keep our body functioning at a high level.

What about lettuce? Well, let me break that down as well. Lettuce contains thiamin, vitamins B6, A, C, K and (like celery) are very good sources for dietary fiber, folate and manganese.

So now that you know that you know the power that these watery, tasteless vegetables pack, here are some ways to incorporate them into your daily meals.

Celery, when I think of it, is seen as the main side with a plate of buffalo wings, Well, that may be very true but have you ever tried adding celery to soup? Your spinach salad? What about mixing it in with canned tuna and spreading it on bread for a sandwich? These are all great ways to get celery into your diet without having to eat it raw.

Want your kids to eat more celery. Will try the tried and true Ants on a Log recipe that kids have been devouring up for who knows how long. Simple cut each celery stalk into 3 pieces, smear peanut butter in the gap (or almond butter for a healthier option) and add 3 to 4 raisins (these are your ants) and voila!

How about lettuce? Well just because you buy it for taco night and then forget about it until it starts stinking up your fridge, doesn’t mean it cannot be used as an enhancer to any lunch or dinner item. Making a turkey or other cold cut sandwich? Sprinkle some lettuce on it. Have a left over tomato sitting on the counter, slice it up and combine with lettuce for a quick salad.

Healthy Summer Foods

  • Corn
    Fresh sweet corn is a great addition as a side dish or incorporated into a dip recipe. Corn also contains two antioxidants (lutein and zeaxanthin) that help to eliminate the damaging free radicals in your body. These specific antioxidants also have been shown to aid in the protection your eyes from the harmful UV rays. Corn is a great tasting summer food that can be used in a multitude of healthy summer recipes.
  • Tomatoes
    Fresh off the vine there is nothing more versatile in healthy summer recipes than tomatoes. Tomatoes also provide an extra layer of protection from sunburn. Specifically the lycopene that is present in tomatoes, has been shown to reduce the effects of the sun by as much as 50% with as little as 3 tablespoons of tomato paste. The best summer diets wouldn’t be complete without a healthy dose of fresh tomatoes.
  • Raspberries
    Aside from their delicious taste these little berries are a great natural source of pectin. Pectin has been shown to lower cholesterol and as soon as you can pick them you should be including them in your healthy summer recipes. Raspberries are also really high in fiber which aids with digestion and weight maintenance.

Love Dried Mango

These fruits are popular organic treats that are mostly coming from South East Asian countries. Given the abundance of sunlight and the right amount of moisture needed for the photosynthetic processes required in order to grow mango delicacies in these nations. However, dried mangoes have conquered not only the tropical countries, but also the places on its north and east side. If you buy dried mango whether out of interest or not, you are bound to have a wonderful snacking experience. Instead of choosing that pack of potato chips or that bowl of pretzels, go for a pack of dried mangoes. Here are some reasons why you should:

  1. It has the good calories your body needs. A teeny tiny serving of 20 pieces of potato chips will cost you and your body around 147 calories with 86% calories from fat. However, one-third cup of dried mangoes, which is probably enough to entertain you for a full-length comedy movie will cost you only 160 calories with 0% calories from fat. In fact, the calories that come from mangoes come from carbohydrates that are inherent in mangoes. Snacking need not be a tortuous experience for your body. You can turn the tides around by choosing organic food options and writing it in your grocery list.
  2. It has the vitamins your body needs for daily functioning. Mangoes are a rich source of vitamins A and C plus potassium and beta carotene. If you are not extremely fond of eating natural mangoes because of the pulp and the fiber that gets stuck in your teeth, dried mangoes is definitely a better option. Munching on at least 5 pieces of dried mangoes in a day can give you the vitamins and minerals you need.
  3. A better snacking alternative! Again, when it comes to snacking, it has to be guilt-free while giving you the advantage for vitamins and minerals that you need in order to stay fit and healthy. If you are conscious about your weight and your daily calorie intake, substituting your fatty snacks with a pack of fruits can do a lot for your confidence and figure. Also, since it is dehydrated, you can be sure that the shelf life of a pack of these products can last long and will not be stale even after a few weeks of storing it inside your refrigerator. Go ahead, buy dried mango and enjoy its benefits.

Greek Yogurt Flavors

Chobani Bites: Coffee With Chocolate Chips

If you’ve been watching your diet for some time, chances are you have cravings for chocolate now and again. Chobani bites offers the option to get a snack in that hits that sweet spot, provides 8 grams of protein, and still manages to be in low in fat and provide a great taste for 100 calories. This is hands down my all-time favorite type of yogurt, and I recommend it to friends pretty much every day. It’s a bit high in sugar for those that closely scrutinize your carb intake, but still worth it.

Chobani Fruit at the Bottom: Apple Cinnamon

If you’re not a big fan of fruits and vegetables, it can be incredibly difficult to work into your eating habits on a daily basis. Combine an easy fruit serving that with the curative powers of a super food like cinnamon, and you have my second favorite greek yogurt flavor. Clocking in with a whopping 28% protein and only 120 calories, Chobani’s Fruit at the Bottom is easy to squeeze in at any time of the day.

Dannon Oikos Greek Yogurt Dips: Roasted Red Pepper

Combining the indulgent feeling of a creamy, delicious dip with the healthy facets of Greek Yogurt, this Dannon Dip powerhouse provides a feeling of fullness and nutrition. If your friends are health-conscious as well, this is an easy alternatives to fattier dips. You can also mix in carrots and other vegetables instead of the usual chips and dip combination. The very best part of a dip like this is that in terms of calories, the density isn’t there. You can take a whole two tablespoons of Dannon Oikos Grek Yogurt Dip and it only comes in at 25 calories a serving. That’s impressive and delicious!

Find Low Calorie Foods At Subway

Go for the veggie

One of the sandwiches that has the lowest number of calories is the veggie delite sub on a nine-grain wheat bread. This sandwich only has 230 calories; therefore, you can eat it without worrying of adding a lot of calories in your body.

Other than the veggie delite, other low calorie options that you can go for are: turkey breast and hamburger. Each food contains 180 calories. If you like it you can go for the black forest hamburger which has 290 calories.

Go for mini subs

If you are a mid-sized eater and you have a small appetite you should go for the mini subs as they are not only small in size, but they also contain fewer calories. According to research studies, the calorie levels of mini subs is between 150 and 200 calories.

The mini sub with the least number of calories is the veggie delite mini sub that contains 150 calories. There are also the black forest hamburger and turkey breast mini subs that contain 180 calories. If you love beef you can go for the roast beef mini sub that contains 200 calories.

Eat the right breakfast sandwiches

Subway has a number of breakfast sandwiches that have calories that are fewer than 200. One of the best sandwiches to go for is the egg white sandwich on cheese flatbread. This one contains 170 calories. There is also bacon and steak each of which contains 190 calories.

Other tips on how to find low calorie foods

When you are shopping, always peruse the under six grams of fat menu and find the salads and sandwiches that contain your favorite deli meats and ingredients.

If you love soup you should always do your research and identify the healthy choices that are available. Two of the best soups that you should consider going for are the minestrone soup (90 calories) and the chicken noodle soup (100 calories).

Yogurt Wars

On of the ingredients, potassium sorbate, was confirmed by the CEO to kill bacteria and yeasts. They purposefully add it to destroy bacteria.

Wait, hold on… You eat the yogurt for the probiotic bacteria, right? So, why would you eat a yogurt that has a chemical designed to kill bacteria? It doesn’t make sense, until you realize that the company is more interested in money than providing a quality product.

The other has a chemical sweetener that was downgraded to ‘use with caution’ recently. Enough science made it through the bureaucracy to force the government to recognize it as something potentially unsafe. Why would you eat something that is needs to be eaten with caution? It’s directly saying that this poison is OK as long as you don’t eat too much of it.

You need to make healthy choices. One of those healthy choices is to avoid any food product with chemicals, colors, sugars, and things you just don’t know what they are.

Let’s face it, these things may make life easier now, but they will make life harder later on.

There are better alternatives. One is to make your own yogurt. It’s actually really easy. First, you need whole milk (not low fat or all you get is runny mush) and a good, organic yogurt starter. For me, I buy a starter from one of the several companies that put quality ahead of high CEO salaries.

As a side note, I purchased a starter pack with 6 different kinds of yogurt for less than $20. It will produce about 30 gallons of yogurt, maybe more if I carefully keep tending the base to produce new flavors.

Then, you add the yogurt starter to the milk, keep it warm, and wait. In a day, you have lots of healthy, delicious yogurt. You can add any flavor you want: berries, jams, maple syrup (odd, I know, but I know several people who do this), nuts, seeds, granola, and the list goes on.

You can make as little as a quart to several gallons at a time. Me, I make 1 gallon at a time and it lasts about a week for 3 people.

The best part is I don’t have to worry about chemicals, residues (I use organic milk), or unwanted things. When it is finished, with the yogurt starter, milk, and additions, I make 1 cup of yogurt for about $0.25. For me, it’s worth it. How much is your health worth to you?

Hemp Foods

Agriculture has had to change to keep pace with the ever changing needs of the world’s peoples. Some crops, for a variety of reasons, became less favorable to farmers and were not produced in many places; one such victim of reduced demand was the Hemp plant, where governmental policy affected the market. For many hundreds of years, maybe thousands, hemp was grown in many countries as a major agricultural product. Production of hemp was illegal in many major producing countries which left a resulting big gap in the availability of fiber in world trade, so other crops had to be found and cotton seemed to fit the bill.

One of the reasons is that hemp was once viewed as a dangerous psychoactive drug and its other uses were ignored. Bad press about the psychoactive versions and poor education did nothing to help which led some governments in large producing nations to abandon the hemp plant completely.

Not the Evil Plant They All Said It Was!

Hemp with a high psychoactive content turned out to be a good treatment for a number of the symptoms of some common disorders; and the predictions of its destructive and addictive potential were far over exaggerated. What has transpired is that alcohol, heroin, cocaine and tobacco are all far more insidious and damaging to society. Producing cannabis was banned in the 20th century while at the same time opium could be bought openly.

There is a totally different scientific view these days.

With government attitudes being changed by better education and research, hemp production is now actively encouraged again. Farmers are realizing the potential of hemp crops so production of non-THC hemp is on the rise. The industry has been positively affected by this changing attitude and as a result this versatile crop can be used in many industrial applications including plastics and building composites. It also provides fiber for clothing and fabrics, plus an important part of the cropped plant – hempseed.

What is So Important about Hempseed?

There is good reason for hempseed to be seen as preferable to similar crops such as flaxseed; Seed is required to propagate the following years crop, but hempseed is uniquely special in several ways; from EFA’s (Essential Fatty Acids) to important proteins that the body needs, to the large amount of oil produced.

Let’s investigate this a little deeper:

To get a better understanding of the importance of hempseed, we can examine its constituent parts to see why it is held in high regard.

Hempseed is comprised partly of a rich oil that can easily be extracted. The ratio of oil to overall seed mass is very impressive – commonly, about thirty per cent of the seed is hempseed oil.

The components of the oil itself turn out to be very important nutritionally:

Hempseed oil comprises almost 25% protein – and a really good protein too!

The total protein content of hempseed oil is edestin, a useful globular protein. The blood plasma protein found in large amounts in the body globulin is very similar to edestin. This makes this particular protein very easy for the human body to assimilate. Our bodies use edestin to produce toxic agents that reduce toxins in the body – for anyone with kidney issues, this can be a great boost.

Albumin is another protein found in hempseed oil. Easy to digest and absorb, this protein is a valuable controller of potentially damaging free radicals. These are reasons why hemp protein has proved popular among athletes.

The ratio of omega6 to omega 3 is 3:1 which is the exact ratio that the human body needs for a natural balance. Unique to hempseed this property is not found in any other natural products – there are no known alternatives in the natural world that have this “golden” ratio and of all the fatty acids that the human body needs, these are the most essential.

Disproportionate EFA’s in flaxseed oil make it a poor choice as a supplement for EFAs because repeated dosage will cause the human body to have an imbalance in its EFAs. Hempseed oil has the right makeup to be the perfect supplement to take daily or as an olive oil replacement, it can be used in food preparation.

A healthy diet will contain all the EFA’s that you need to keep your nervous system in good shape and your mind sharp. Hempseed oil is made up of a whopping 80% of these EFA’s.

The human body cannot metabolize EFA’s so they must come from diet alone; A common diet in the Western world comprises a lot of processed and junk foods – these have no EFA’s at all as they only occur in plants and not in animal foodstuffs.

So hempseed oil is more than just a sensible addition to your diet, but it also provides a healthier body and can increase longevity as a result.

Produce Tasty Food with Hempseed Oil

Fish oils are odorous and not pleasant to eat; hempseed oil tastes good and improves food flavors. Hempseed oil adds a nice flavor to cooked foods (it is not possible to use it to fry though), or in a salad as part of the dressing. Alternatively it can just be ingested as a supplement. The small amount of hempseed oil required is a simple addition to any diet. In addition to the dietary benefits of hempseed oil, it can be used to treat eczema and other skin complaints.

Instead of a supplemental dose of hempseed oil, a number of different foods can be pre[pared from hempseed including: Hemp Chocolates, Hemp Pasta, Hemp Salad Dressings, Spiced Hemp Seeds, Hemp Snacks,, Hemp Bread, Toasted Hemp Seeds, Hemp Ice Cream, Hemp Milk, Hemp Snack Bars, Hemp Pesto and other dressings and more!

Flour can be made from hempseed and used to bake delicious pastries and breads; with the oil being used to make a tasty butter. If you eat a vegetarian diet, not only does hempseed provide valuable protein, it can be used to make tofu and other vegetarian products.

Vegan Store Ups And Downs

Where Are the Vegan Stores?

A vegan store can be very hard to come by, I have never personally seen or even heard of one, so this makes it a little challenging to get certain items. The reason there isn’t more stores like this is simply because there isn’t high enough of a demand, but I hope, and I’m sure some of you hope, there will be once more and more people realize the benefits of going green. What can we do without a vegan store? Well you can go to a normal grocery market and perfect your label reading skills, or turn to the handy dandy internet.

Handy Dandy Internet

The internet can be a very helpful place when shopping vegan. While there may not be high enough demand for a vegan store in your neighborhood, there is certainly a high enough demand on the internet. There are many places to shop vegan online and at Vegan Purity I’ve come up with the most reliable recommendations to get you started. With the internet you can save yourself some guess work, time, and money.

Save Money

As a vegan you already save money by not having to worry about the rising cost of meat, eggs, and diary. Veggies, the bases of a vegan diet, are very affordable so that can help your budget and you can use the money you saved to get those special vegan items you’re craving. When using the internet to shop for vegan items, it makes it easy to compare prices of different companies which helps you get the most out of your money.

Even though there isn’t much of a demand for a vegan store in many towns, the internet can be a helpful tool to get you the things you want and need to have a healthy vegan diet. It is possible to get a affordable vegan items thanks to an online vegan store, and in most cases you can get your items no matter where you live.

Detox Body With Raw Foods Diet

Before beginning any new diet it is always recommended to consult your physician. A detox diet consisting of raw foods is considered to have many health benefits. People have said that by eating a diet of 100% raw foods that they have had many health issues reverse. One great health benefit to start out was healthy weight loss in overweight people. Choosing what you eat wisely is key to this benefit. Obviously when a person who is overweight loses body fat, health issues such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol and triglycerides, type II diabetes, etc. tend to improve and become a healthy level.

It has been reported that when a person does a raw food detox that they did experience some negative side effects before the positive ones came forth. Some of these negative side effects are headaches, pain in the joints, congested sinuses and general malaise. This occurs as the toxins that have been stored in fat in the body get released into the bloodstream to be purged by the body. It is for this reason that it is advised to only follow the initial detox for about 10 to 12 days. The negative side effects may occur within the first 4-6 days of the detox diet. Once the negative symptoms subside, you will be able to notice the positive results. Just like with anything, you must first experience the pain before the gain.

Below are some ideas on what you may want to eat for a detox diet of raw foods.

For Breakfast you may try these Fruit and Vegetable Smoothies:

Blend your favorite fruit in a blender with green leafy vegetables of your choice…spinach, kale, lettuce whichever you choose. It may look disgusting, but the taste is wonderful. Try to use the ratio of 2 fruits to one vegetable. Children love these as well. You can also use raw cacao powder to change up the flavor, say with a banana and some avocado. You know your taste, so experimenting with whole raw fruits and veggies is fun and rewarding. The vitamin and mineral content is a great way to start the day.

For Lunch you can try these Salads and Dressings:

Mix your favorite salad greens/veggies with raw seeds and nuts…you can even include whole raw fruits to make a wonderful salad. You can use live vinegar and evoo (extra virgin olive oil) for a nice light dressing. You can even make a creamier dressing by combining avocado with nut butters and tomato juice. Just blend them all together in a blender.

You may also try grating some butternut squash or carrot with a nut milk and some seeds such as pumpkin or sunflower thrown in. Blend this as well. Again, you can experiment or there are many great recipes and cookbooks available created for veganism and healthy eating in general.

For Dinner it would probably be best to pore over the many raw food cookbooks and recipes available in book stores and online. If you find recipes you like make sure to save them so you can enjoy them again. You may also find online the raw foods you need to make the meals you want to make.

There are certain things you should not eat when you choose to eat a detox diet containing raw foods.

When you are eating a detox diet containing raw foods, you will not be eating anything that is cooked or has been heated above 118 degrees. Processed foods are also out of the equation. Any dairy products which have been through the pasteurization process will not be consumed as well. Any beans or nuts which have been roasted are a no-no. Coffee and other hot beverages resulting from the process of roasting the beans is not part of raw diet.