Like the saying goes, the only constant is change. We may resist it all we want, but Time and its inevitable evolution of everything in its path is unaffected by our attempts to stop it. The resulting trajectory of humanity’s nascent ascent appears to be positioning itself to sweep us into progressive new times, especially where our food choices are concerned, as nearly 7 billion people are now standing on the little scraps of land that we share with some 55 billion rather large animals raised for food each year. (As another famous saying goes: This town ain’t big enough for the both of us.) So, beef (and all factory-farmed meat) may be going from rib-eye to relic as we transition to a greener world… literally—as in leafy, green vegetables.
Environmentalists cite meat production as one of the biggest contributors to global warming, and the USDA’s new food pyramid (MyPlate) suggests the healthiest choice is making vegetables and fruit the biggest part of every meal by reducing consumption of animal proteins. Kale is far more nutritious than other leafy greens, but these seven reasons why it is such an important futurefood may just surprise you.
1. Anti-inflammatory: Inflammation is the number one cause of arthritis, heart disease and a number of autoimmune diseases, and is triggered by the consumption of animal products. Kale is an incredibly effective anti-inflammatory food, potentially preventing and even reversing these illnesses.
2. Iron: Despite the myth that vegetarians are anemic, the number of non-vegetarians with iron-deficiencies is on the rise. Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef.
3. Calcium: Dairy and beef both contain calcium, but the U.S. still has some of the highest rates of bone loss and osteoporosis in the world. Kale contains more calcium per calorie than milk (90 grams per serving) and is also better absorbed by the body than dairy.
4. Fiber: Like protein, fiber is a macronutrient, which means we need it every day. But many Americans don’t eat nearly enough and the deficiency is linked to heart disease, digestive disorders and cancer. Protein-rich foods, like meat, contain little to no fiber. One serving of kale not only contains 5 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber, but it also provides 2 grams of protein.
5. Omega fatty acids: Essential Omega fats play an important role in our health, unlike the saturated fats in meat. A serving of kale contains 121 mg of omega-3 fatty acids and 92.4 mg of omega-6 fatty acids.
6. Immunity: Superbugs and bacteria are a serious risk to our health. Many of these come as a result of factory farm meat, eggs and dairy products. Kale is an incredibly rich source of immune-boosting carotenoid and flavanoid antioxidants including vitamins A and C.
7. Sustainable: Kale grows to maturity in 55 to 60 days versus a cow raised for beef for an average of 18-24 months. Kale can grow in most climates and is relatively easy and low impact to grow at home or on a farm. To raise one pound of beef requires 16 pounds of grain, 11 times as much fossil fuel and more than 2,400 gallons of water.
Is it possible to love kale even more now after all of these fun facts??
I juice tonssss of kale! Its so yummy with pear and apple.
Here are some awesome benefits and facts about Bananas:
- 110 Calories
- 400 mg of Potassium (10%of daily recommended value )
- 4 g of Fiber (16% of daily recommended value)
- 14.8 g of Sugar
- 1 g of Protein (2% of daily recommended value)
- Vitamin C (16% of daily recommended value)
- Vitamin B6 (20% of daily recommended value)
- Bananas are good for your heart and nerves: Bananas contain a high dose of potassium - an essential ingredient to keep your heart and nervous system in good shape.
- Bananas are good for your kidneys and bones: Benefits to the kidneys and the bones are again due to the high potassium content of bananas.
- Bananas can act as mood enhancers or mild sedatives: Bananas contain tryptophan (although it’s not one of the major sources, a medium still contains about 10.6 mg of tryptophan). Tryptophan is one of the 20 amino acids which are building blocks of proteins
- Bananas are good for your blood: Bananas are one of the highest sources of naturally available vitamin B6: Vitamin B6 plays an important role in converting tryptophan to serotonin (read #3 above), and also helps the body to make hemoglobin - a crucial ingredient of your blood. Vitamin B6 is also essential for antibody production and to maintain a healthy immune response.
- Bananas are good source of dietary fiber: A single serving (one medium-sized banana) contains 16% of the daily recommended dietary fiber intake for a normal adult - that’s substantial for a single serving of any food.
Hope you all had an amazing weekend (:
Everyone knows that strawberries are delicious. However, did you know just what a nutritional powerhouse they are? Here are eight reasons to include strawberries in your diet
- Diet - One cup of strawberries contains over 13% of the RDA of dietary ﬁber, yet only 43 calories. The dietary ﬁber in strawberries helps to keep digestion regular, as well as lowers blood pressure and curbs overeating.
- Antioxidants - Strawberries contain a chemical compound called phenols. Anthocyanin, a particular phenol abundantly found in strawberries, lends the rich red color to the fruit. Though anthocyanin is known to have antioxidant properties within the fruit, it is debated as to whether the antioxidant agents in anthocyanin-rich foods can be absorbed into the body once digested. Fortunately, however, it is known that when anthocyanin-rich foods are consumed, the body’s uric acid levels increase, which serves as an antioxidant agent.
- Anti-Inﬂammatory - The phenols in strawberries also ﬁght against many inﬂammatory disorders, such as osteoarthritis, asthma and atherosclerosis, by inhibiting the enzyme cyclooxygenase (COX) in the same way that the drugs aspirin and ibuprofen do. Strawberries, however, do not carry unwanted side effects like stomach and intestinal bleeding.
- Anti-Cancer - The combination of antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agents found in strawberries is well-known to ﬁght against the onset of many different forms of cancer. Thanks to the vitamin C, folate, and the ﬂavonoids quercetin and kaempferol that they also contain, strawberries are a delicious defense against potentially cancerous cells.
- Healthy Eyes - The Archives of Opthalmology recently published a study in which three or more servings of strawberries (and other fruits) per day can decrease the possibility of contracting age-related macular degeneration by over one-third.
- The Vigorous Vitamin C - One cup of strawberries contains an incredible 136% of the RDA of vitamin C, an effective antioxidant that can help lower blood pressure, ensure a healthy immune system, and ward off the development of age-related ocular diseases, such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
- Magniﬁcent Manganese - One cup of strawberries contains 21% of manganese, an essential nutrient that acts as a powerful antioxidant and anti-inﬂammatory agent. By increasing the levels of superoxide dismutase (SOD), the enzyme responsible for protecting mitochonrdria exposed to oxygen, manganese not only helps to ﬁght the battle against free radicals and oxidative stress, but also lessens cellular inﬂammation — another cause of numerous cardiovascular diseases.
- Bone Health - Manganese is also great for the bones, helping in bone building and maintaining proper bone structure. The potassium, vitamin K, and magnesium in strawberries are also important for bone health - Health Diaries
Quinoa is a seed that once cooked, has a delicious, fluffy, slightly crunchy, and almost nutty flavor.
Along with the yummy taste, check out some of the benefits:
- Trying to up your protein intake? Hello?! Try some quinoa! Not only is it a super good source of protein…but the protein it supplies is complete protein! This means that it includes all 9 amino acids! Hooray!
- Migraines? You might want to think about adding quinoa into your life! The magnesium in quinoa relaxes your blood vessels, which will help reduce those achy migraines!
- Quinoa prevents against lots of probelms too! Heart disease, childhood asthma, breast cancer, gallstones, cardiovascular health and so many more!
These are only a few of quinoa’s benefits! So considering how easy it is to add into your life, there’s really no reason not to include it! Add it to your salad, throw it in a wrap, eat it with your stir fry…anything!
Now go get some! :)
Here are some of the healthiest foods you should incorporate into your diet.
I love this stuff. Quinoa is a gluten-free whole grain with a slightly nutty flavor. It’s high in protein and fiber, low in fat, and has a low glycemic index. It also contains folic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and copper.
How to prepare: Soak your quinoa by rinsing it and covering it with water overnight. This removes the phytic acid that inhibits mineral absorption. Rinse well, then make an easy recipe like Veggie-Turmeric Quinoa.
Chia has been around for millennia, but it’s recently been getting a lot of good press. Chia is high in omega-3 fats, protein, calcium, potassium, and iron. The seeds are also high in fiber and antioxidants. If you’re looking for a good brand, I love The Chia Co.
How to prepare: Try making the Power Protein Smoothie.
High in antioxidants, vitamins A and C, and fiber, pomegranate is a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth.
How to prepare: Split open the fruit and spoon out the seeds.
This dark, leafy green is rich in vitamins, minerals, and enzymes including vitamins K, A, C, and E, as well as magnesium, fiber, calcium, and omega-3 fats.
How to prepare: Eat kale raw. Try my Dharma’s Kale Salad or roll it around some avocado.
5. Probiotic and Enzyme Salad
Protect your immunity and enhance your beauty with my fermented cabbage, which is teeming with probiotic and enzymes. It will improve your digestion and help you de-gunk your system.
How to prepare: You can find the recipe in here.
6. Glowing Green Smoothie
What are you waiting for? If you haven’t tried it, now is the time! The GGS not only starts your day with easily digestible vegetables, but it is loaded with fiber, vitamins, enzymes, and other nutrients.
How to prepare: Here’s the recipe!
7. Oat Groats
These whole grains make the perfect breakfast cereal after you’ve had your GGS. They are high in fibers, low in calories, and contain calcium and iron.
How to prepare: Buy whole oat groats and soak them overnight. Blend them in a food processor with a little avocado, stevia, and water, as well as a pinch of Himalayan sea salt and eat as cereal. You can find them in the health store, usually in the bins or the cereal section. If you can’t find them, get the next best thing, which is steel-cut oats.
8. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil used to get a bad rap, but studies have shown that it is one of the healthiest oils, especially for cooking. It’s high in lauric acid, which enhances immunity.
How to prepare: When you cook, try cooking with small amounts of coconut oil.
9. Apple Cider Vinegar
Raw, unpasteurized, unfiltered apple cider vinegar promotes digestion and is high in potassium, which promotes regularity and cellular cleansing. It is also a great digestive tract cleanser.
How to prepare: Try using it in your salad dressings instead of balsamic or other vinegars.
These berries contain omega-3 fats, protein, minerals, fiber, and vitamins. They are also extremely high in antioxidants and taste delicious!
How to prepare: Blend frozen berries with unsweetened almond milk, cacao, avocado, and stevia for a nutritious smoothie.
11. Almond milk
Ditch the dairy and instead use almond milk, which is a good source of protein, vitamins, minerals, and beneficial fats.
How to prepare: Purchase organic, unsweetened almond milk from the health food store or make your own!
Stevia is an herb that also serves as a natural sweetener. It doesn’t raise blood sugar, and has been shown to prevent tooth decay and actually stabilize blood glucose.
How to prepare: I like NuNaturals Stevia, which has a clean, sweet taste for smoothies and other desserts.
Going meatless once per week is good for your heart, your waistline, and the environment! Get yummy recipes and learn more about being a part-time vegetarian!
I did Meatless Monday for the first time this week! It was a good time.
Now that I see an idea for once a week, it seems possible. I guess sometimes you need to see it to actually think about it. Maybe I’ll give it a shot :)
What’s in nuts that’s thought to be heart healthy?
Although it varies by nut, most nuts contain at least some of these heart-healthy substances:
- Unsaturated fats. It’s not entirely clear why, but it’s thought that the “good” fats in nuts — both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — lower bad cholesterol levels.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. Many nuts are also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s are a healthy form of fatty acids that seem to help your heart by, among other things, preventing dangerous heart rhythms that can lead to heart attacks. Omega-3 fatty acids are also found in many kinds of fish, but nuts are one of the best plant-based sources of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Fiber. All nuts contain fiber, which helps lower your cholesterol. Fiber also makes you feel full, so you eat less. Fiber is also thought to play a role in preventing diabetes.
- Vitamin E. Vitamin E may help stop the development of plaques in your arteries, which can narrow them. Plaque development in your arteries can lead to chest pain, coronary artery disease or a heart attack.
- Plant sterols. Some nuts contain plant sterols, a substance that can help lower your cholesterol. Plant sterols are often added to products like margarine and orange juice for additional health benefits, but sterols occur naturally in nuts.
- L-arginine. Nuts are also a source of l-arginine, which is a substance that may help improve the health of your artery walls by making them more flexible and less prone to blood clots that can block blood flow.
1. Fortified whole-grain cereal with low-fat milk and blueberries
The cereal’s fortified with vitamin B, which studies have linked to good mental health. Plus recent research suggests people who slurp down vitamin D in a serving of milk don’t just build strong bones — they’re also less likely to get depressed. And those berries may be blue, but they keep us from feeling that way. So get crunching tomorrow morning. Even a soggy bowl says smile!
2. Banana-almond-flax smoothie
Fights depression and stress
Slurp some happiness on the go with a smoothie that does wonders for the mood and the taste buds. The potassium in bananas is a super stress-buster; plus nuts and flaxseed are great sourcesof omega-3s, which may help fight depression.
3. Buckwheat pancakes with sliced banana
Whether they’re for breakfast or dinner, pancakes can almost always brighten up a bad day. And there’s science behind it, too: Buckwheat pancakes pack flavonoids that may help reduce stress(at least in mice). Top the stack with some sliced banana, filled with potassium, another stress-buster!
4. Full-fat Greek yogurt with honey and granola
Fights depression, boosts pleasure
This positivity parfait packs a bunch of happy ingredients: protein from a creamy cupful of Greek yogurt increases levels of pleasure-boosting neurotransmitters, and the yogurt’s probiotics may be a tasty way to fight depression. Honey really is a spoonful of sweetness, with compounds that may fight depression by reducing inflammation in the brain. (Throw on some berries for extra healthy points!)
5. Salmon salad with vinaigrette
When a bad mood hits, try a forkful of fish to feel better. Keep things cheery and green with this salmon salad, chock-full of omega-3-filled ingredients (like salmon and olive oil) that can help prevent symptoms of depression. Swap plain ol’ lettuce for spinach leaves for a bunch of mood-boosting B vitamins.
6. Warm quinoa, spinach, and shitake salad
Fights depression and anxiety
Quinoa’s not only an awesome vegan protein source — it’s also a complex carbohydrate that can help prevent depression and anxiety by increasing levels of serotonin in the brain. And beyond the B vitamins in spinach, mushrooms are a source of selenium, a compound that may help fight depression. This superfood-packed salad‘s got all the goods!
7. Beet, citrus, and avocado salad
This colorful concoction brightens up the mood and the dining table. A bowlful of beets helpsincrease happiness with tons of folate; the vitamin C in citrus fruit recharges the body; and the flavonoids in a squirt of lemon juice benefit the brain. Tell a bad day to beet it!
8. Wild seaweed salad
Fights depression and anxiety
Vegetarians and carnivores alike can enjoy the positive feelings that come from a bowl of thissnazzy salad. Seaweed’s a source of iodine, which can help fight depression; brown rice is a complex carb that helps stabilize mood with serotonin; and the omega-3s in EVOO, flavonoids in lemon, and anthocyanins in honey may all boost mood.
9. Poached eggs and asparagus
Fights depression and anxiety
Eggs are a (perhaps surprisingly) good source of vitamin D, which may be important for fighting depression; they also provide mood-boosting vitamin B. And asparagus is filled with tryptophan, which increases levels of serotonin in the brain and helps prevent depression and anxiety.
10. Brown rice and black beans
Fights depression and anxiety
Beans aren’t just good for the heart — they’re good for the mind, too, since the selenium in them can help reduce inflammation in the brain. Plus brown rice can boost mood by regulating serotonin levels. Try this great recipe for happiness.
11. Almond-crusted barramundi fish
The name of this meal is fun to say, but that’s not all that’s great about it. Barramundi fish andalmonds are excellent sources of omega-3s, which can help reduce depression and anxiety. Serve it with a side of spinach for a dose of B vitamins that also help create a positive mood. (Can’t find barramundi fish in the local grocery store? Try sea bass instead, although it doesn’t have quite as many omega-3s.)
12. Seared lamb chops with anchovies
Fights depression and beats stress
Go classier — and happier — than chicken wings and use grass-fed meat in this dinner recipe. Lamb is packed with conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a compound that reduces stress hormones, and anchovies provide depression-fighting omega-3s.
13. Turkey burger with sweet potato fries
Fights depression and anxiety
Step up the traditional burger ’n fries with a meal that’s easier on the belly and the brain. Thetryptophan in turkey increases levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood. Plussweet potatoes are filled with mood-boosting B vitamins. Fry them in olive oil for some extra omega-3 happiness power!
14. Spaghetti with steamed mussels
Fights depression and anxiety
Mussels — and most types of shellfish — are loaded with B vitamins, important for a good mood Try this recipe, which features whole-wheat pasta and EVOO. Certain food combinations have a lot to do with mood: A meal that includes carbs, protein, and fat (like this one) can stop a case of the Debby Downers in its tracks.
15. Whole-wheat pasta with cauliflower and collards
This vegetarian pasta dish has complex carbs, which help regulate mood, plus a serving of healthy veggies. Pack an extra punch with purple cauliflower — it not only looks cool, it also prevents depression with a hefty dose of B vitamins.
16. Walnut-miso noodles
Fights depression, anxiety, and stress
Everything about this dish screams healthy, happy, and delicious. Whole-wheat pasta is a complex carb that increases serotonin levels, and walnuts pack omega-3s that fight depression and anxiety. And chop up some chard for a tasty topping that’s a great source of magnesium, which can improve snooze time and reduce stress levels, especially for ladies.
Soups and Stews
17. Chicken soup with vegetables
Try a bowlful of the good stuff for the soul and for a smile. Chicken packs the protein that helps us stay alert and ready to tackle the day. And orange you glad vegetables like carrots and squash also improve mood. Loud slurping required.
18. Lentil and vegetable stew with kale
Curl up with a cup of lentil stew on a rainy day to keep things sunny inside. Kale and the little legumes are great sources of folate, important for a good mood.
19. Braised collards with tomatoes
This picture-perfect side dish features B vitamins and lycopene, which may fight depression by reducing inflammation in the brain. Substitute cherry tomatoes for the whole tomatoes in this recipe, since it’s easier to eat more of the lycopene-packed skin that way.
20. Fresh corn and blue potato hash
Don’t worry, these potatoes aren’t moldy, but they are delicious ways to get happy. Blue potatoes (and their skins) are loaded with anthocyanins and iodine, nutrients that reduce inflammation in the brain and help regulate mood. This creative recipe adds an extra bonus with the mood-boosting B vitamins in spinach.
Snacks and Desserts
21. Trail mix with nuts and dark chocolate
Boosts alertness and beats stress
This crunchy combo is filled with monounsaturated fats that help prevent blood sugar crashes, a major cause of grouchiness. Plus they can increase levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood (and digestion). And a smidge of dark chocolate can prevent sluggishness with high levels of theobromine, a stimulant similar to caffeine. Plus even a few bites of the sweet stuff can reduce levels of sneaky stress hormones.
22. Granola bars with chocolate
Fights depression and anxiety
These homemade treats may look like cookies, but they’re actually nutritious ways to perk up. They’re filled with ingredients that fight depression and anxiety, like the omega-3s in flaxseed and anthocyanins in honey. Even better, dark chocolate’s a stress-buster and oats are a source of soluble fiber that helps prevent mood swings.
23. Chocolate chia seed pudding
Fights depression and anxiety
Ch-ch-ch-chia! And chocolate! A more nutritious alternative to the standard pudding cup, this recipe’s a double whammy for a good mood. Chia seeds are a source of those depression-and-anxiety-reducing Omega-3s, and dark cocoa powder helps keep bad moods in check.
24. Coffee with cinnamon
There’s no Red Bull required to make it through a long afternoon. Coffee’s a natural stimulant, brightening a dismal day by boosting energy and metabolism.. A cup o’ Joe may also create feel-good feelings (in humans and in rats) by increasing levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and serotonin. And a sprinkle of cinnamon’s all it takes to put some more pep in that step.
25. Green tea and honey
Relieves anger and anxiety
Sip a cup of the green stuff at breakfast, before bedtime, or during a relaxing afternoon break. Green tea’s a great source of theanine, which helps reduce anger and improve concentration. Add a spoonful of honey to reap the benefits of anxiety-reducing anthocyanins.
Top 10 Healthy Snacks
Remember, it’s never about starving yourself; rather, it is about enjoying food in a more positive way.