12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

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Apple Cider Vinegar Image Design 1 - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Apple cider vinegar has become quite popular lately. For centuries, this product has been known to be beneficial to the human body. Some of the things it can help you with include controlling blood sugar levels, weight loss, and it can heal scars and remove acne.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) is made of fermented apple cider. This process develops probiotics and enzymes that promote good health. The fermentation process causes this product to have fewer calories when compared to apple cider or apple juice. You only need to take just one or two tablespoons of this vinegar in order to take advantage of its health benefits. This is about 3-5 calories as it has only a small amount of sugar.

But what can you do with apple cider vinegar?

There are so many things that you can do with ACV. You can use it to soothe sunburns and some people even say that helps treat cold and flu. It’s also helpful if you happen to get seasonal allergies and it’s great for acid reflux and gut health.

ACV is just one of those things that you must have in your medicine cabinet because of the various uses that you can put it to and the many benefits that it provides.

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits

Apple Cider Vinegar Benefits - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Regulates Blood Sugar Levels

One of the most studied aspects of ACV is its ability to control the blood sugar level.

According to many research studies, it was revealed that ACV is able to reduce blood sugar levels by up to 31% after eating bread. In another research that was done n diabetic rats, it was found that giving the rats the vinegar for a period of 4 weeks brought down their blood sugar levels.

Insulin is the hormone that’s used to transport sugar from the blood to the tissues where it’s needed. Using the vinegar helps to enhance insulin sensitivity. Trying to keep up the level of insulin can lead to insulin resistance, which might lead to high blood sugar and subsequently, diabetes.

According to research that was done by Diabetes Care, it was found that apple cider vinegar helps boost sensitivity to insulin by up to 34% in people who have type 2 diabetes or insulin resistance.

To help stabilize your blood sugar, dissolve one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in 8 ounces of water and drink it before meal times. In addition, reduce carbohydrates and increase your protein intake. Also, take lots of fiber and water and make sure you work out on a regular basis. All these will help you keep your blood sugar levels low.

Helps with Weight Loss

A lot of fitness experts and nutritionists recommend the use of apple cider vinegar to help with weight loss.

But is ACV really as good as they say it is when it comes to weight loss?

Lots of research has been done on the link between apple cider vinegar and weight loss. In one research that was done, it was observed that by just taking two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar for 14 weeks participants experienced a loss of 4 pounds. This happened without even having to make any other changes to their diet or lifestyle.

Research has proved that when you take apple cider vinegar, you will feel fuller for longer. This will result in you eating less food, which will make a great difference when it comes to weight loss. According to one study, consuming apple cider vinegar reduces the total number of calories taken by 275 in a day.

Lowers Cholesterol

When you have high cholesterol, it means that your blood vessels will have to work extra hard to pump blood through your veins and arteries. This is because cholesterol is a fatty substance that clogs the blood vessels, making them narrower.

Apple cider vinegar helps a lot with these cases and keeps your cholesterol levels low. A research study that was done on Iran on rats showed that using apple cider vinegar helped minimize the bad LDL cholesterol, while it increased the good HDL cholesterol.

There are certain steps you can take to keep your cholesterol levels low. This includes taking a tablespoon or two of apple cider vinegar on a regular basis. Also, reduce the amount of sugar and carbohydrates that you take. Take lots of healthy fats and include fish in your diet on a weekly basis.

In order to maximize the effects of apple cider vinegar on weight loss, it’s important that you don’t just use it as your only weight loss strategy. Combine it with other weight loss programs so you can experience significant weight loss. Eat a healthy diet and exercise more.

Improves Skin Health

Apple cider vinegar is also great for your skin, especially if you have acne or scarring because it has anti-bacterial properties. Since acne is caused by bacteria, the vinegar will act on this bacteria and destroy it.

Apple cider vinegar has acetic acid, succinic acid, lactic acid and citric acid. All these acids work to prevent Propionibacterium acne from developing even further.

Reduces Blood Pressure

Having high blood pressure is quite risky for your heart. This is because your heart has to work harder to pump blood, which can lead to weak heart muscles. This can cause damage to your heart over time.

Apple cider vinegar is quite good at keeping your heart strong and healthy. In a research that was done in Japan on rats, it was found that when the rats took acetic acid, which can be found in apple cider vinegar, it helped lower their blood pressure. In a different research that was done on animals, it was discovered that apple cider vinegar works by blocking a certain enzyme that’s responsible for increasing blood pressure.

There are other things that you can do to lower your blood pressure. This includes taking more potassium and magnesium. You also need to take more fiber and reduce salt and processed foods. Instead, consume whole foods.

Relieves Acid Reflux Symptoms

Acid reflux is referred to as Gastroesophageal reflux or GERD. When you have this condition, the acid flows back from your stomach and up your esophagus. This will result in you experiencing several symptoms such as heartburn, burping, and queasiness.

People who have low levels of stomach acid are the ones who tend to suffer more from acid reflux. If you’re suffering from this condition, you can increase the amount of acid in your stomach by taking apple cider vinegar. This will relieve you from acid reflux problems.

In such a case, you need to take one or two tablespoons of apple acid vinegar mixed with 8 ounces of water. Drink this mixture before meals. In addition, you need to eat foods that will minimize the reflux, such as vegetables, good fats, and fermented foods.

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses

Apple Cider Vinegar Uses - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Good for Gut Health

You can introduce healthy bacteria into your gut by taking raw organic apple cider vinegar. You will greatly improve the health of your digestive system. You will also be able to better digest and absorb nutrients from the foods you eat. You can start by introducing a tablespoon or two of the vinegar into your daily diet. In addition, take fermented foods like kombucha or kefir for better results.

Soothes Sunburns

If you have been exposed to the sun for too long and have subsequently suffered from sunburn, consider using apple cider vinegar to soothe the affected area. Mix one cup of apple cider vinegar with ¼ cup of coconut oil and some lavender oil. Add this mixture to lukewarm bath water and soak yourself in it. You will get some relief.

Regulates Blood Sugar

You can control your blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity by taking apple cider vinegar. Mix one or two tablespoons of vinegar with 8 ounces of water and drink it just before meals. This will help stabilize your blood sugar level.

Fights Fungus

There are so many fungal infections that you can get. This includes athlete’s foot, jock itch, toenail fungus and yeast infections. You can easily deal with these by using apple cider vinegar. You can make your own anti-fungal spray by using apple cider vinegar and by combining it with other ingredients that have anti-fungal properties. This way you will relieve the symptoms experienced.

Improves Skin Health

Some of the major skin issues that apple cider vinegar can help treat are acne and scarring. This is due to the antibacterial properties that this vinegar has and its healing properties. This vinegar will destroy bacteria that are usually responsible for causing acne. If you want to improve the condition of your skin, use an apple cider toner.

Enhances Circulation

According to research, applying apple cider vinegar on varicose veins can help relieve the symptoms of this condition. You can also combine this vinegar together with witch hazel and rub it on the affected area in circular motion. This will help you enhance circulation in that area.

Treats Warts

If you have a wart that you want to get rid of, treat it with apple cider vinegar. Soak a ball of cotton wool with apple cider vinegar and then apply it on the wart and fasten it on with a bandage. Leave it overnight. Keep doing this on a daily basis and the wart will eventually fall off.

Heals Poison Ivy

If you have a poison ivy rash, use apple cider vinegar to soothe the affected area. The vinegar helps to reduce inflammation because it has potassium, which is great for treating poison ivy. Apply one teaspoon directly on the affected area until it heals.

Kills Bugs and Fleas

If you have pets and you notice that your dog or cat is scratching themselves on a continuous basis, consider using a natural remedy instead of chemical sprays. Make your own spray by mixing equal parts of vinegar with water and put it in a spray bottle. Then spray it on the fur of the animals daily until the fleas and bugs disappear. You can also spray this mixture onto your own skin to help you get rid of insects and bugs.

Prevent Seasonal Allergies

Some people suffer from seasonal allergies. If you are one of those people, use apple cider vinegar to ward off the allergies. Dilute two tablespoons of the vinegar with water and rink it up the next time you get the allergy. The vinegar works perfectly because it has healthy bacteria that helps strengthen your immune system. It also encourages healthy lymphatic drainage.

Acts as a Natural Deodorant

The natural area under your armpits is fertile ground for bacteria to breed. This can lead to a strong body odor. Due to the natural antibacterial properties of this vinegar, you can use it as a deodorant. Just apply a little bit of it on your fingers and then dab it under your armpits. It will greatly reduce odor and leave you feeling fresh.

Keeps Hair Shiny

If your hair is dry, use apple cider vinegar to give it a bit of shine. Add a bit of apple cider vinegar to the water that you are using to rinse your hair and it will make your hair smell nice and look shiny.

Speeds Up Weight Loss

Make your own weight loss drink by mixing apple cider vinegar with a green smoothie. This will make you feel fuller for longer. It will also kill off any food cravings that you have.

Reduces Acid Reflux

If you have acid reflux, take apple cider vinegar right before you have your meals. Mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water and drink it up.

Balances your pH

The acetic acid that’s found in the vinegar will create an alkaline environment in your body. Taking a couple of tablespoons a day can help balance your pH levels and improve your health.

Can Be Used for Cleaning

Mix equal parts of vinegar and water and use this mixture to clean your house. This mixture is great for killing germs due to the antibacterial properties that vinegar has. It will leave your house germ free and clean.

Whitens Teeth

If you want to enhance your smile by having whiter teeth, use apple cider vinegar. Use the vinegar to brush your teeth once in a while and then rinse it out. Considering that vinegar can cause wear and tear on your teeth enamel, use it once in a while and only use a little amount at a time.

Relieves Cold Symptoms

When you feel that a cold is coming, take a few tablespoons of vinegar as a natural remedy for the symptoms. Since the vinegar can help improve your immune system due to the antibacterial properties that it has, it will give you a boost and prevent you from feeling ill and fatigued.

Lowers Blood Pressure

Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid. This acid is known for its ability to reduce blood sugar. It’s also great for boosting heart health. If you want to lower your blood pressure, mix one or two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar with eight ounces of water and then drink this mixture three times in a day.

Helps with Detoxification

This vinegar is actually quite great for detoxification. This is because it can help balance your body pH, enhance lymphatic drainage and improve circulation. You can mix one to two tablespoons of vinegar with water and drink it a couple of times a day. There’s also a secret detox drink that you can take if you want to get a really concentrated mixture with large quantities of ingredients that are great at detoxification.

Apple Cider Vinegar Types

When talking about apple cider vinegar, you might have come across terms such as raw or organic vinegar. This can be quite confusing when you are deciding what you want to buy.

In order to get the maximum benefits from apple cider vinegar, go for raw, organic and unfiltered vinegar whenever you get the chance. This will give you value for your money.

Here’s a better definition of those terms and why going for raw, organic and unfiltered apple cider vinegar is the best option:

  • Organic. Organic means that the vinegar hasn’t been genetically modified nor any additives added to it. This is because these substances can negatively affect your health.
  • Raw. This is apple cider vinegar that hasn’t been heated or processed. The “mother” is still intact. The “mother” is a bunch of proteins, enzymes and useful bacteria that are usually removed during processing.
  • Unfiltered. Filtering removes the “mother” and the entire residue. This leaves you with a clear and orangey looking vinegar.

Apple Cider Vinegar vs. Apple Cider

Apple Cider Vinegar vs. Apple Cider - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Is apple cider the same as apple cider vinegar and can you use one in place of the other one?

Apple cider is made out of apples that have been freshly pressed. However, it’s not the same as apple juice as it’s processed differently.

On the other hand, apple cider vinegar is made of fermented apple cider. It’s fermented using yeast and bacteria. This helps to convert sugar into alcohol. Another fermentation process is carried out. In this second process, the alcohol is converted into acetic acid.

The fermentation process is what makes apple cider vinegar quite advantageous to use. While apple cider might taste quite nice, it doesn’t have the same benefits that apple cider vinegar has.

History and Facts

History and Facts - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Apple cider vinegar has been in use for thousands of years. In fact, its fermentation dates as far back as 5,000 B.C.

In the past, this vinegar was put to so many uses. For example, it was used to detoxify the liver, purify the blood, cleanse lymph nodes and enhance immunity. Hippocrates had his own prescription in which he mixed apple cider vinegar with a bit of honey to help deal with cold and flu.

Apple cider vinegar was also used in the 17th century Europe as medicine. It was added to syrups and antiseptics and gargled to kill germs.

Currently, apple cider vinegar is starting to become popular once again due to the health benefits that it provides. Not only this but it can also be used for household cleaning, given the fact that it can kill all kinds of germs and act as a disinfectant.

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Cure Acne?

Can You Use Apple Cider Vinegar to Cure Acne - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties. This means that it kills all kinds of germs. It has been proven to kill germs up to 90% and viruses up to 95%.

Acne is caused by the Propionibacterium acnes (p. acnes) bacteria. There hasn’t been done much research on the effects of apple cider vinegar on the p. acnes bacteria. However, there have been studies done on some of the components of apple cider vinegar. This includes acetic acid, lactic acid, and succinic acid. All these acids have been proven to be effective when it comes to killing the p. acnes bacteria.

In one research study that was done some time ago, 22 participants applied lactic acid on their face twice a day for one year. The participants experienced a drastic decrease of acne on their faces. Only two people didn’t experience a reduction of at least 50% acne on their face.

This research shows that applying apple cider vinegar can be quite effective when it comes to fighting acne. However, there’s a need for more research to be done on this subject matter.

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects

Apple Cider Vinegar Side Effects - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Using apple cider vinegar can result in some side effects. This is especially if you use it in large quantities. It’s generally okay for you to use this vinegar in small amounts, as you won’t experience many side effects. However, using it in large quantities can result in some problems and can even be harmful.

Delayed Stomach Emptying

One of the ways that the vinegar is able to prevent a blood sugar spike is by delaying the process of food passing from the stomach into the small intestines. This delays the absorption of food into the bloodstream.

If you have a condition known as gastroparesis, then apple cider vinegar can make things worse. This is a condition that most people who have type 1 diabetes experience.

Food in the stomach is emptied at a slow rate in case someone suffers from gastroparesis. This is because the nerves that are in the stomach are not functioning right. Therefore, food will stay in the stomach much longer than it usually does.

Signs that you have gastroparesis include nausea, heartburn and bloating. This makes it quite challenging for individuals who have type 1 diabetes to time their insulin with meals since it’s hard to predict when meals will be digested and absorbed by the body.

A controlled study was done where 10 patients with type 1 diabetes and gastroparesis were placed under observation.

When these people were given two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar mixed in water, it was observed that food stayed longer in their stomach than usual. This is compared to participants who just drank natural water.

Digestive Side Effects

Some people who take this vinegar might experience feeling full for longer and a decreased appetite, leading to fewer calories being consumed.

In another study that was done, it was found that indigestion is what leads to decreased appetite and less food intake.

Individuals who took 25g or 8 ounces of the vinegar experienced loss of appetite and got nauseated, especially when vinegar was mixed with an unpleasant drink.

Low Potassium Levels

Not a lot of research has been done on the effects of ACV on potassium and bone health. However, there was a case where low potassium levels and bone loss was reported after an extended intake of large quantities of apple cider vinegar.

A female, 28 years old, used to take 250 ml (8 ounces) of ACV for six years every day.

She got admitted to the hospital. She had low levels of potassium and her blood chemistry was abnormal.

It was also found out that she had osteoporosis (brittle bones), which is a condition that rarely affects young people.

Tooth Enamel Erosion

Consuming acidic foods and drinks can lead to enamel erosion. This is especially because of the acetic acid in vinegar. In a research study where wisdom teeth were immersed in different kinds of acid with different levels of pH varying from 2.7–3.95, it was found out that there was an enamel loss of between 1-20% after four hours.

However, this is a bit different since the saliva helps to protect against acidity. Still, taking too much vinegar can erode your teeth.

Also, a 15-year-old girl experienced dental decay as a result of consuming 237 ml (one cup) of concentrated apple cider vinegar in an effort to lose weight.

Throat Burns

In a research that studied liquids that caused throat burns in children when accidentally swallowed, it was found out that acetic acid has this ability. However, there’s no research that shows that apple cider vinegar can cause throat burns itself.

There was a case where an apple cider vinegar tablet got stuck in the throat of a woman who was swallowing it. She said that she experienced throat burn and had difficulty with swallowing for six months after that.

Skin Burns

There are even cases of skin burns reported when apple cider vinegar was applied directly on the skin.

In one case, a female applied a few drops of the vinegar on her nose to get rid of two moles on her skin. She got erosions on the affected area.

Another 6-year-old experienced skin burns when his mum tried to treat an infection on his leg by using apple cider vinegar.

Drug Interactions

There are some drugs that interact with ACV.

These include:

  • Diabetes Medication. If you take insulin medication or drugs that stimulate insulin and you also take ACV, it might lead to very low levels of blood sugar and potassium.
  • Digoxin (Lanoxin). Since this drug reduces your potassium levels, if you take it together with ACV, it can dangerously lower your potassium levels.
  • Diuretic Drugs. Since some diuretic drugs lead to the excretion of potassium from the body, taking ACV with the drugs can lead to a drastic decrease of potassium.

How to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Safely

How to Consume Apple Cider Vinegar Safely - 12 Ways Apple Cider Vinegar Keeps Your Body Healthy

Here are some guidelines that can ensure that you take ACV safely:

  • Take small amounts of the vinegar. Don’t go past two tablespoons in a day.
  • Reduce chances of acetic acid coming into contact with your teeth by diluting the vinegar with water and then drinking it with a straw.
  • Always rinse your mouth with water after you take it and then brush your teeth after half an hour.
  • If you have gastroparesis, then don’t take ACV or limit the intake to 5ml when used as a salad dressing.
  • In case you have an allergic reaction to it, stop using it with immediate effect

Conclusion

There are so many advantages of using apple cider vinegar. However, take the necessary measures to stay safe and protect yourself from the side effects by controlling how much of it you consume. Just because a little bit of ACV is good, it doesn’t mean that you should take it in large quantities.

5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

41f0aa5332cc4d8cd3b582b07ae76cde - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Healthy Eating Image Design 1 - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At HomeHealthy eating habits start when children are young. If you can encourage them to make good choices when they are still at home with you, they’ll make better choices when they get older. It’s not just about forcing them to eat their vegetables but sharing why it’s important and finding fun ways to make “boring” food look and taste great.

You’ll be surprised that younger children won’t have a problem with eating healthy options at home. In fact, many will choose sweetcorn, carrots, and peas over the likes of meat, potatoes, pasta and more. This is because the colors draw them in. The bright colors look good, and that must mean the food tastes good.

It’s as they get older that you’ll want to push more for healthy eating. That will mean making some changes to the way you stock your fridge and the items that you buy in the grocery store. You can also encourage different practices when it comes to making the food.

Here are five steps you want to take to ensure healthy eating at home. You’ll find children grow up with the good habits and an understanding as to why they’re so important.

Making Eating Healthy Food Fun

Making Eating Healthy Food Fun - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Let’s start with making the food and choosing the ingredients. You want to make trying the healthy food a fun part of the day. If children think the good food is the fun food, they’re going to want to eat more of it.

Avoid making statements about “I don’t think you’ll like it” or “you may not like this.” Those types of statements are encouraging your children to dislike the food without even giving it a try. Over time, they’ll start to avoid trying new food, because they always have the initial negative thoughts about being unsure as to whether the food is good or not.

When they are picking the healthy food, get them involved. Ask your kids to help choose the individual apples at the grocery store or choose between pears and oranges during the trip. Ask them to help find individual items on the list and even let them pick one item up to put in the trolley themselves. You can find something age appropriate for your children.

Children who feel more involved in the shopping process are more likely to try the food at home. They want to see what their hard work has created.

You can continue this in the cooking. Ask your children to help make dinner. It can be something as simple as washing the potatoes or picking the tomatoes out of the fridge. As they get older, they can do the jobs with the sharper objects and even move into cooking with you. Again, children who make the food are more likely to eat it. They want to taste what they’ve made and will appreciate the work that goes into making something more.

You can also make the plates look fun. Younger children work with the way the food looks. If it looks bland and boring, they’re going to avoid trying something. Try to present the food as well as possible. No, it’s not for an award show, but to make a point of colorful plates and fun designs. Just a simple smiley face goes a long way for the kids.

When you are trying something new, don’t make it all overwhelming. Opt for one new thing in a meal, so your children know there is other food they will enjoy. Never make a huge deal about them trying it until the end when they get praise for their hard work.

Encourage by Example

Encourage by Example - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Your children will follow your example. If you want them to try something new, then you need to try it too. After all, why should they do something that an adult isn’t willing to do? It’s not fair, is it?

This is where having meal times together becomes very useful. You’re only making the one meal, and you encourage your children to eat the same food you eat. They’ll see that you have a plate of vegetables, so they’ll pile more on themselves. Your children see that other people are clearing their plates, so they’ll be encouraged to do the same.

There may be some foods that you don’t like. You may try new things yourself and decide that you’re not interested. This doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to eat them. Allow your kids to try the food first and decide if they want it. If they do, you can then leave yours to one side. Don’t make a huge fuss about not liking the dish, because that encourages your children to stop eating what they’ve already stated they enjoy.

When you have the meal again for the kids, opt for a substitute that’s healthy. For example, if you don’t like broad beans, substitute for peas or sweetcorn. If you don’t like tomatoes, substitute for another vegetable or fruit. Your children will see that you can make a switch, but you’re still switching to something that’s good for you.

As children get older, they’ll understand that not everyone likes the same things. They’ll start to understand that you may not like the same vegetables, but they’ll see that you substitute with something healthy. This encourages them to make similar substitutes.

When they get older and understand more about choices, you can also explain more about the substitutions. Explain why you stick to certain food groups and what the food offers. You’re showing how they are good for you, so you lead by example. Children go away with a deeper understanding as they grow up.

Leading by example isn’t just what you do when you’re sitting at the table. You also need to lead through cooking. Now and then a takeaway or eating out isn’t too bad, but you don’t want to do this every night. Most nights you want to cook, and it’s best to cook from scratch. That means to step away from the processed and packaged foods and use fresh ingredients. Your children will get used to this, so it all becomes a habit when they grow up.

Eating at home and making from scratch will give you more control over additives, extra calories, and portion sizes. Your children understand more about the reasons to avoid certain foods and the difference in tastes.

Opt for Spices and Herbs Instead of Salt

Opt for Spices and Herbs Instead of Salt - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Salt is often added to food to add a little taste. The problem is that salt isn’t that healthy for you. Okay, so in moderation, it isn’t going to be too bad. But most food already has salt in it, especially when it comes to meats and some canned vegetables and products. So, you want to reduce the added salt as much as possible.

But you don’t want to cut out all the flavor of your food. It’s important to find this balance that works for the whole family.

Herbs and spices are the options you want to turn to. You can opt for either dried or fresh and you will still get many of the same benefits. Look out for those that are salt-free to help reduce the amount of salt you add to your diet for no reason.

Your children will have fun helping you with the herbs and spices. They’ll enjoy buying them and trying different flavors. Your children will want to try something different each time and get to know all the different tastes and scents that come from them. And they may even want to see the difference between fresh and frozen.

As your children grow up, their taste buds will be used to the lower levels of salt. When they have salt elsewhere, they will certainly taste the difference and likely prefer the healthier options at home.

You can also discuss all the health benefits of herbs and spices. This is especially the case for the likes of mint, turmeric, chilies and others that are good for boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and more.

It’s also possible to use fruits to help flavor some of your dishes. Instead of using salt in baking, you can opt for a little lemon juice. You can also use it in some of your water-based means to add a bit of zing to your meals. Lime is another popular option.

Lemons and limes are especially beneficial for water. They help to flavor in a natural and healthy way, boosting the health of those who drink it. If your children get used to seeing you drink lemon water and have it themselves, they’ll feel like soda, and other flavored drinks are a waste of time and money.

Encourage a Meatless Day Once a Week

Encourage a Meatless Day Once a Week - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Meat isn’t a vital part of the diet, if you substitute it with a high-protein option. Once a week, you can drop all the meat and opt for delicious vegetarian (and even vegan) dishes. It’s all about some pre-planning.

How does this help to encourage healthy eating at home? Well, you cut out a lot of saturated fats and sodium. This is especially the case if you eat a lot of red meat, which is the unhealthiest kind. Your kids get used to having no meat one day a week, and it becomes a normal part of their lifestyle. They can continue this as they get older because a meatless day isn’t daunting or worrying.

Instead of red meat, opt for legumes and beans. You can also add some soy (such as tofu) and quinoa. The two are complete proteins, so excellent substitutes for meat, especially if you want to try a meatless week and not just a meatless day.

On the days that you do eat meat, look at the types of meats you have. Skip the red meat as much as possible and stock up on more lean chicken, turkey and some fish. You can get a mixture of health benefits by getting rid of the fatty meats. Fish is full of omega 3 fatty acids (which are the good fats), while chicken and turkey are packed with lean protein for strong muscles and bones.

Your children will likely ask why you’re opting for meatless days and why you skip over certain types of meats. Discuss the pros and cons of the different options and how they affect the health. The more your children understand and get into good habits, the more they’ll continue these habits in the future.

Plan Your Meals Each Week

Plan Your Meals Each Week - 5 Ways To Ensure Healthy Eating At Home

Meal planning is an important way to make healthy eating work in your lifestyle. It seems now that we spend all this time rushing around for work, the kids, and everyone else that we don’t have time to choose a meal. There isn’t time to create something delicious and good for you. Even when there is, it’s the last thing you want to do!

Planning will help you get into the habit of eating healthily. You also encourage others in the house to eat well. They can work out a meal plan with you and then will know exactly what they’re having and when. By planning out your meals for the full week, others can look at the plan and determine whether that snack is worth it.

You can also make your meals in advance when you plan. It’s possible to bulk cook on your day off work (getting the kids involved as much as possible) and separate the meals into portions. You can store in the fridge or freezer and then reheat on the days that you’re ready for the meals. Because you’re just reheating on the busy days, you’ll find it much easier to stick to the plan.

Meal planning will also help you eat healthily on a budget. You create a list of the ingredients you need when you go shopping, and that helps you cut out the processed junk in the stores. You spend less money on impulse buys because they’re not on the list. Your kids also get used to using a grocery list on the way around and get used to not buying off the list. However, keep in mind the first point. You want to get them involved in the food shop.

When you cut out the junk in the home, you’re less likely to eat it at all. You don’t want to go on a trip to the store when you decide you do want something, so you end up saving on the calories. This also helps you save on the junk food and damage it can do to your health.

You Can Eat Healthily and Set Your Kids Right

It’s time to encourage more healthy eating in the home. Your children will learn from when they’re young and pick up your habits. By setting them up with good habits, you make it easier for them to follow through with them in the future.

Don’t be afraid to get the kids involved in the grocery shop. You’ll find that when they’re involved they enjoy it and they want to do it more, which will make your life much easier and healthier!

15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

117337754ece34f84fe2c42b43cfcfd6 2000x1200 - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

Chicken Image Design 1 - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

Chicken has always been a favorite on our meal tables, not just because it’s delicious, but also because of the many benefits, it can offer. It’s cheap and available anytime in the grocery store. It’s also a great source of proteins and essential nutrients. It’s very versatile meat because it can be prepared in different ways.

As a source of meat, chicken can be typed for either dark or light. The difference isn’t that important but suffice it say that dark chicken meat contains more saturated fats and cholesterol. What consumers should be more aware is that the fat in the skin where most of the saturated fats and cholesterol can be found. If one worries too much about the unhealthy parts of the chicken, just remove the skin.

Buy the chicken whole as it would be more economical. Cutting it up isn’t that difficult and requires just a little patience and practice. The meat is tender but still, sharpen the knives first.  Chicken is cheap as they’re raised in big numbers and are kept healthy with antibiotics to promote faster growth and prevent illness.  People still have a choice of eating healthier by opting for those raised without antibiotics and are certified as organic. The downside, these will be more expensive. The upside, they are healthier.

Preparing chicken could spell the differences on its health value. Frying it would certainly raise its calorie count because of the extra fat. To get the best health benefits from chicken, one can either bake, roast or stir-fry the meat with some vegetables. Here are some ways that could make your chicken meals healthier:

Poached in Water

Poached in water - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

This is one of the healthiest ways to cook chicken. The only ingredients one will need are water and the chicken itself. It’s like poaching eggs. Just boil the water in a deep saucepan, drop the chicken, and let simmer until thoroughly cooked. How much water to use will depend on how much or which part of the chicken is to be cooked.

As expected, one will end up with a cooked chicken that is devoid or lacking in taste. And as expected, there’s always a solution, and this entails adding some flavors without abating the chicken’s health value. For instance, one can make chicken soup using chicken and water plus some herbs, vegetables, and spices.

Poached in Other Liquids

Initial preparations are like poaching chicken in water, except this method will use other liquids instead of water. An advantage to this is that the chicken can be served as is when cooked or can be cut-up to be used in salads, casseroles, sandwiches and pasta dishes.

When poaching, choose boneless chicken or bone-in chicken breast with the skin removed to maintain the low-calorie count. To poach, put the chicken in a saucepan and cover it with water, wine, broth or other combinations. Enhance the flavor of the chicken with garlic, sprigs of herbs, onions, peppercorns, and salt. Reduce heat and simmer until the chicken is thoroughly cooked.

Grilled

Grilled - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

This is also a healthy option for cooking chicken but be wary of the amount of oil applied. Use olive oil for brushing to keep the meat from drying up but do it sparingly. Don’t use too much oil in the brushing process. Nobody wants more calories than they need. Or better still, marinate the chicken before grilling and use fresh herbs, spices, and vinegar for that extra flavor.

Chicken Wraps

Breast meat is the choice when making wraps. This method is easy and convenient, and one can have wraps for any meal of the day. Having chicken wraps for lunch will give anyone that extra boost. For dinner or breakfast, shred those leftover chicken breast, wrap in a whole wheat tortilla with some cheese, vegetables, and a good serving of salsa. That will be an ultra-healthy meal.

Sautéed

Saut%C3%A9ed - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

Sautéing is almost the same as grilling where one would require some heat and some oil. Use a non-stick pan because this will lessen the amount of fat needed. For that healthy kick, avoid using too much cream and butter on the dish. Having these in mind, one will be ending up with a very healthy chicken meal. For want chicken with a crispy outer layer, sear the meat first on the stove top, then bake in an oven.

Roasted

Choose the herbs carefully when giving that special flavor to the roast chicken. Combining lemon and basil is perfect. So is lemon and rosemary. Herbs will give the meat great flavor, and a bonus to this method is that it will make the inside of the house smell incredible, almost good enough to eat!

Baked

Baked - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

This could be the healthiest way to cook chicken. Not much fat is used, and the baked chicken will be infused with the herbs, spices, and vegetables that are used in its preparation. First, rub the chicken with some olive oil, then season it with spices and herbs. Lay the chicken in a baking pan and surround it with an assortment of vegetables. Also, add more spices like cloves, onions, garlic, and some lemon slices. For a healthier preparation, peel off the skin for each serving before baking.

Braised

Searing chicken is one way of sealing in the moisture and flavors in the meat. Searing is pan-frying using minimal oil until the outside of the meat turns golden brown. There will be very flavorful morsels left on the pan after searing and these are always incorporated into a sauce once a liquid is added. One can simmer the seared chicken into the sauce or make a sauce then pour it on the chicken.

Steamed

Steamed - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

This is similar in some respects to poaching. The main difference is that poached chicken is cooked in boiling water while the steamed chicken is cooked over boiling water. Steaming will require a stockpot (covered) with a steamer inside. One can use any liquid. It can be plain water, juice, wine or broth. For some extra flavor, add in the boiling medium some vegetables, herbs, and spices. One can also marinate the chicken in his favorite mixture and steam it afterward. After the meat is cooked, it’s also possible to thicken the remaining liquid and serve it with the meat or opt to save the liquid for some other use later.

Chicken in Lettuce Cups

This an easy, exciting, and very healthy way to eat chicken. First, combine chili sauce, oil, lime juice, ginger, garlic, and some sriracha. Mix well, add the chicken breasts, toss, then allow to marinate. Cook the chicken breast then slice thinly. Separate the lettuce leaves into cups and fill each with the chicken. Garnish the dish with some other healthy ingredients.

Marinated

Marinated - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

Marinating chicken will keep the meat from drying up when cooking and, of course, it will give the meat lots of flavors. Marinates differ with each country and each as exciting as the other. Here is an Italian inspired marinade: Combine olive oil, white vinegar, dried parsley, lemon juice, and basil. Add oregano, salt, black pepper, some chopped garlic, and garlic powder. Toss and then add the chicken breast to the mixture. Marinate the meat for about ten minutes, but a long time would infuse the flavors better. Then one can either bake or grill in the oven until the juices start to run clear.

Salad Wraps with Chicken

This is a weight-watchers delight because it will give them limited calories and at the same time, they can enjoy a tasty and healthy treat. Cook chicken that has been seasoned with oregano, pepper, garlic powder, and salt. Let the cooked chicken stand for a few minutes before slicing thinly. Lay out some romaine lettuce leaves, then top them with the sliced chicken, avocado, tomato slices, and some croutons. Finally, drizzle each with some Caesar dressing and sprinkles of Parmesan cheese. Wrap. Instead of Caesar’s dressing, one can also use other types of dressing.

Skewered Chicken Cubes

Skewered chicken cubes - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

Kebabs are an easy and fun way to cook chicken. It only requires some veggies and cubes of chicken breast. Chop vegetables into the desired sizes. Onions, zucchinis, and peppers are favorites. Alternates these with chicken cubes on skewers. These can either be baked or grilled.

Rainbow Chicken

This is another simple and healthy way of having chicken for a meal. Place the following on a baking pan: carrots, tomatoes, bell peppers, red onions, broccoli and lastly, the chicken.  For the marinade combine the following: olive oil, cilantro, salt, pepper, and lime juice. Pour this marinade over the chicken and the vegetables, then add some more salt and pepper. Toss until everything has been coated with the marinade. Bake until everything has been thoroughly cooked. Portion cooked rice on plates and top this with roasted vegetables and chicken slices.

Stir-Fried

Stir fried - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

This method is going Chinese and will need a wok to do the dish. It’s a fast and healthy way to cook chicken and vegetables. A wok should be big enough so that all the food will constantly meet the very hot surface of the pan. Cut the chicken and vegetables into roughly the same sizes to ensure everything will be cooked at the same time. Over high heat, place the oil in the wok and toss the chicken and vegetables in a flavorful sauce. Stir-frying usually involves a limited time.

The Benefits of Eating Chicken

The benefits of eating chicken - 15 Healthy Ways to Eat Chicken

Almost everybody eats chicken because it’s the world’s most popular protein source. The meat is not only delicious but has a lot of benefits. Here are some of the benefits:

Chicken is rich in protein. Chicken an excellent protein source and not to mention, perhaps the cheapest one. We need protein in the diet because it contains amino acids. These are responsible for the building and repair of our body tissues.

Chicken also contains a lot of vitamins and minerals. Aside from protein, chicken meat also contains a variety of vitamins and minerals which contribute to the body’s health:

  • Its B-vitamins can prevent cataracts and some skin disorders, they help in boosting immunity, and regulating digestion. They can also reduce fatigue, improve the functioning of the nervous system, and more
  • Chicken is also a good source of vitamin D which is essential in the absorption of calcium and in strengthening bones.
  • The vitamin A content supports the functioning of the eyes.
  • Iron is important in the formation of hemoglobin in the blood, the prevention of anemia, and muscle activity too.
  • The elements sodium and potassium are electrolytes. These minerals help in dealing with weakness, improving bone health, dental health, brain function, as well as metabolic issues.

Promotes weight loss. A diet that contains high protein levels is good for weight watchers. Chicken being cheap and readily available has become the main meat for those who want to lose weight.

Helps regulate blood pressure. Research has been conducted where people are suffering from hypertension were given chicken in their diet which was complimented with nuts, fruits, low-dietary products, and vegetables. The results showed that chicken meat in diets could influence the lowering of blood pressure.

Reduces the risk of developing cancer. Tests have been conducted on vegetarians where red meats such as pork, lamb, and beef were included in their diets. Results indicated that there was an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. Another group was tested where fish, vegetables, and chicken composed their regimen and this group; the cancer risk was reduced. Such studies though are not yet conclusive.

Reduced levels of cholesterol. The build-up of cholesterol in the body could only lead to the development of heart diseases. Red meat has higher cholesterol and saturated fat levels than chicken, vegetables, and fish. Consumers of the latter group have lower risks of having heart diseases. Bear in mind though that chicken could be healthier than red meat, but they still must be consumed in moderation.

Treatment of the common cold. Like Grandma’s formula for common colds, sore throats, and a congested nose, a bowl of hot chicken noodle soup can indeed give relief and enjoyment.

Choose your chicken carefully. Don’t just buy chicken without checking them up first. Here are some helpful guidelines when purchasing chicken:

Inspection. Only buy chicken that has been inspected to ensure they didn’t have any diseases and are guaranteed to have the best quality.

Frozen or not? People can buy chicken fresh where the raw poultry hasn’t been frozen yet below 26-degrees F or frozen where it has been held at 0 to -17.8-degrees C). For the latter, the chicken must be labeled as frozen.

Antibiotics and growth hormones. Don’t buy chicken that has been raised with growth hormones. Antibiotics can be used on chickens to prevent them from contracting or spreading diseases. The law, however, requires raisers not to give antibiotics weeks before slaughter time. This will prevent antibiotic residues from remaining inside the chicken’s system.

Bacteria. Between 40 and 140-degrees F, bacteria might start to thrive in the meat. The freezing process will not kill bacteria but will inhibit them from growing in numbers and eventually lead to decomposition. That’s the reason why chicken meat should not be eaten rare or worse, raw. Thorough cooking of chicken meat will kill these bacteria.

The most common types of dangerous bacteria found in this poultry are Salmonella, Campylobacter jejuni, Staphylococcus aureus, E. coli, and Listeria monocytogenes.

 

Are Frozen Meals Healthy? (All You Need to Know)

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Frozen Meals Image Design 1 - Are Frozen Meals Healthy? (All You Need to Know)

Frozen meals have become a part of American life. This is especially true in homes where both parents are employed and don’t have ample time to make meals. Frozen food is an option, and a convenient one at that because it saves time and effort. Grocery stores now have a special aisle only for these frozen meals. The prices range from economical to high-end special meal choices. Frozen foods started with simple combinations of meat and veggies, a balanced diet. Many have evolved into cuisine-quality meals and others into weight watcher combos.

What inspired the invention of these frozen TV dinners? The answer is turkey and about 520,000 pounds of it. The product started with the Swanson Brothers, who we can assume invented the TV dinners. In fact, the Swanson Company to this day is still alive and kicking. Anyway, the brothers gave their employees a dilemma: what to do with this huge surplus of turkey leftovers from a Thanksgiving that was less than successful. Gerry Thomas came up with an idea, inspired by meals given in airlines and his experience in the military using mess kits. His proposal of packaging the turkey with some side dishes then freezing them in compartmentalized trays was innovative and a sure winner. Thus, frozen meals were born. That was in the 50s, and these meals are about 70 years old now.

Some Interesting Facts About Frozen Meals

Some interesting facts about frozen meals - Are Frozen Meals Healthy? (All You Need to Know)

To commemorate how the American public embraced the concept of frozen foods, specifically TV dinners, they have made March as the National Frozen Food Month. Cannot blame them, especially when food companies are becoming more innovative in creating or improving their menu. Take a stroll along the Frozen Food aisle of your grocery shop and learn more about these products, from introductory new flavored to meals which already come pre-portioned, from international cuisines to local favorites. Consumers are frequently surprised by the diversity of these foods, and there are much more waiting to be explored.

Frozen foods offer a diverse selection from which consumers can choose. If you want to go Italian, French, Mexican or Chinese, all these would be available. But how much do you know about these technologically-enabled foods? Here are some interesting facts about those TV dinners you love so much but know so little about.

Frozen meals are made with fresh ingredients. Freezing serves a dual purpose, to preserve the freshly-packed meals and to ensure its great taste. Vegetables used in preparing the meals are gathered and frozen on the same day. Then they are packed tight, sealed and shipped.

Measures are also taken that they don’t get exposed to sunlight, air, and light as these can destroy the food’s nutrients. For pasta meals, they’re prepared on site. Pasta ingredients are combined and prepared within a few hours.

These processes aren’t limited to TV dinners. For instance, apple pie, which is America’s favorite dessert, is also baked with the freshest ingredients.

Not all types of frozen meals contain a lot of sodium. It’s a misconception that frozen foods contain more than the prescribed RDI for sodium. To make sure that you’re within the limits of prescribed RDI, just look at the package’s content list.

Consuming frozen meals which are already pre-proportioned is a good way to control sodium intake. An average serving contains about 500 milligrams of sodium, that’s less than half of the amount of a regular dinner.

You can find frozen meals in the frozen foods aisle of the supermarket. There are other advantages of frozen packed meals. They can avoid the piling of leftovers in your fridge. The meals are balanced perfectly with an entree, a side dish, and a small dessert. Also, there a wide selection to choose from in the frozen foods section which could satisfy everyone’s preference.

Frozen meals may contain a lot of protein. Daily Protein requirements are provided for by frozen packs. Men should at least consume about 50-60 grams per meal and 40-50 grams for women. Choose those meals with the natural requirements and be sure they contain no preservatives.

There are also some frozen meals which are gluten-free. For those who abstain from gluten, search for frozen meals that are gluten-free in the local grocer’s freezer’s aisles.  Just read the labels or the labels on the packaging.

Manufacturers also cater to people who prefer gluten-free meals and can even add a touch of sophistication to their products. Take, for instance, this frozen meal: tender beef cuts, roasted potatoes, and vegetables tossed perfectly in a Merlot wine sauce to come up with a gluten-free Merlot meal. Sounds so French but the meal exists. Such modern meal choices are so chic, so delicious, and so healthy.

The Ups and Downs of Frozen Meals

The ups and downs of frozen meals - Are Frozen Meals Healthy? (All You Need to Know)

Working parents hardly have enough time to prepare meals for the family. Coming from work, they would already feel spent. Frozen meals are convenient alternatives. But that’s not the sole reason why they rely on frozen meals. First, the family members truly enjoy the meals. Second, the kids, when old enough can prepare the meals themselves. Third, they earn a lot of savings as compared to preparing the conventional way. These are advantages, and as these do exist, there are also downsides on relying on frozen foods. Let’s discuss the good and the bad.

They’re Affordable

This is advantageous to lower-income families because these are not expensive and through such meals, they can get the same types of food that wealthy people dine on. Many exotic and international foods become available to everyone at reasonable costs. Some producers advertised their food as the healthiest but do not consider those consumers who cannot afford their products. Aside from the low costs, also consider the time that can be saved. This makes frozen meals more appealing to the ordinary consumer.

They’re Beneficial for the Elderly

For those of us who live apart from our elders, there is always the feeling of apprehension on how they are doing. Do they have food, can they cook, are they eating the right foods? These are some queries that can dog us when our elders live alone. This is another convenience for frozen foods. Loading their fridge with a variety of meals that they can choose from will ensure they are always replenished. Furthermore, and health-wise, one can purchase the meals that will offer the most nutrition. Just check the number of calories, protein, fats, carbohydrates, and sodium content.

One also need not worry about how elders respond to such meal choices. The elderly has fewer food cravings as compared to younger adults, and frozen meals are a blessing for people who require the right nutrition without being picky.

They Last Longer

Many pre-packaged meals these days contain huge amounts of preservatives to make them last longer. But we are all aware of the effects of preservatives on the body. This is one advantage of frozen foods as they don’t require such additives to maintain the freshness. Freezing is a great way of storing and preserving food. If sealed and stored properly, frozen food can last longer, even for months without concerns about safety. So long as they stay in the freezer, they will last, and the buyers will readily have a source of healthy food.

The quality of frozen food is not diminished by the process. Sometimes, frozen dinners can even be better than fresh foods. There are no negative effects when foods are frozen and essential nutrients including minerals and vitamins are not lost.

They’re Helpful for Dieters

The good thing about frozen meals is that the calorie count of each meal and the nutrients they offer are already enumerated in their labels. Furthermore, the meals are already portioned, so the danger of over-eating is eliminated. There are no second servings.

A drawback with dieters when their preferred frozen meals aren’t available is going back to their eating habits in the past. This happens because they have not learned to make or resort to other options that could fit their eating routines. It’s also possible for dieters to have too little calories in their meals because they chose products that are so. Less nutrition in their foods will lead to low metabolic rate.

One can rely on frozen foods because it’s the easiest way to monitor the fat and calorie intake and frozen foods can be a healthy alternative. Read the labels; they will do the monitoring for you. They can help in many ways but depending totally on frozen foods is not a long-term solution.

There Are a Lot of Options Available

Compared to some years back, the selection of frozen foods has increased by leaps and bounds. This type of food business must be profitable because many companies have engaged in producing it. The variety increases every day and can cater to different nationalities, dietary requirements, and social occasions. There seem to be no limits to the possibilities of what new food can be created.

Aside from ordinary food, the industry also caters to special groups like vegetarians, gluten-free, and organic advocates, non-GMO consumers, and more. Because frozen foods are consumer-driven, producers always find a way to keep up with the trends. That way, no matter what the dietary requirements are, there will always be something for everyone at any time.

Now for the Bad News…

Now for the bad news... - Are Frozen Meals Healthy? (All You Need to Know)

As we have mentioned, frozen meals are not that bad. We have gone through their benefits, but there is always the downside. For one, one would lose control of what goes inside his body. The nutrients are defined and that gives no option to control fat, sugar intake, and sodium. As the saying goes, “what you see is what you get.” It should also be noted that producers tend to produce frozen meals that many consider as comfort foods. They make pizzas, meat, potatoes and heavy-sauced dishes. Unfortunately, these foods are not very friendly with the waistline, hips, and thighs.

Another disadvantage of frozen meals is that they may contain trans fats. A ban on these fats will take effect 2018, but despite this, there are still uncomfortable amounts found in packaged foods. At times, advertisements can be deceiving. For instance, the product is labeled “trans fat-free” although they still contain this harmful ingredient. This is startling and worse, illegal.

But producers could always find a loophole to sell their goods. For instance, their meal has 0.5 grams of trans fat for each serving. They can still state that the product trans are fat-free because the amount is still below the legal requirement.

So… Are Frozen Meals Healthy?

So... are frozen meals healthy - Are Frozen Meals Healthy? (All You Need to Know)

We understand why people are reluctant to prepare dinner after a long day in the office. They’re usually exhausted. They may order take-out and indulge themselves with the greasiest foods their body shouldn’t be allowed to absorb. Or one can try frozen foods.

It’s true that in its early stages, frozen meals did contain preservatives and sodium but because of health awakenings, producers have started to make healthier foods by incorporating beans, kale, lentils, and more in their menus.

If you find time to read the package, one may find out that many frozen foods could even be healthier than those from fast food joints or those cooked at home. Producers can boast about their meals having just the right calories, but of course, they won’t tell the consumers the small-size portions of their meal. How one can get healthy eating frozen meals will depend on his own choices. There are also brand meals that could help a person in making the right choice.

Now get yourself in line in the frozen foods section of the local grocer.  Read the nutritional facts on the label. Give notice to sodium contents and the grams of saturated fats in the preferred meal. A package with 600-700 milligrams of sodium is appropriate. As for saturated fats, search for a package with just a very few grams of fat. The lesser still, the better. If zero, then that is the best.

After going through the nutrient content, select a meal with the least number of artificial additives. There’s a specific order by which ingredients in nutrition labels are usually listed. This is from the greatest amounts to the least. The first ones should include vegetables, lean proteins or grains. The one item that shouldn’t be listed is food starches. These are used to substitute fats and will provide the texture in frozen meals. Going back on the list, if the makers remain true to their ads, food starches should be at least the last one of the ingredients. It’s not a harmful additive, but it is devoid of any calories.

We have mentioned earlier that frozen foods can last longer and that is without the use of preservatives. These trays are a sure delight for someone who comes home late from work when most deli shops are already closed. Some of these meals, however, can contain compounds that prevent certain ingredients in them from going bad. Butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) is one example. People should avoid eating foods with such compounds even if the FDA has given their approval for safety. Avoid food starches, artificial sweeteners, and BHT.

If possible, just choose simple, clean, and whole food groups. Choose the frozen meal supply carefully and healthily. It would give one great pleasure to open his refrigerator and find only the healthiest foods that his money has bought.

 

 

The Ultimate Round-Up of Healthy Cookbooks for 2017

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Cook Books Image Design 1 - The Ultimate Round-Up of Healthy Cookbooks for 2017

You know you want to eat healthily, but more often than not you run out of inspiration. It is easy to get into a rut with the same recipes repeatedly. Then when you go searching for ideas, you just come up with a range of ideas that look delicious but they are definitely not healthy for you.

What you really need are healthy cookbooks at your disposal. There are many already available and they do not all include the exact same recipes time and time again. It is possible to create variations of your favorites, including desserts.

These are the top healthy cookbooks that you need to buy this year. Make an effort to create at least one new meal a week from them and add some fun to your new lifestyle.

Clean Cooking for Clean Eating

Being healthy is not just about adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet. It is a complete change to your lifestyle. You will need to look at all the food you eat and how that food is affecting your body.

While you know that refined sugars are bad, did you know that some other ingredients can be just as harmful? The grains you eat and the carbs you consume may be contributing to the sluggish feeling in your body on a daily basis.

Clean eating is essential. The great news is you can follow this type of diet without too much hassle. There are plenty of fun recipes to make, as long as you have the right tools at your disposal. The Clean Cooking cookbook is the item that you desperately need.

It includes a selection of gluten-free, dairy-free, and sugar-free dishes that you can make. The substitutes used will help make your brain believe you are getting the original foods, but your body will feel worlds better. Your hormones will be more in check and you can reduce physical symptoms, like cramping and acne.

Vegan Goodness for Vegan-Friendly Diets

book 2 - The Ultimate Round-Up of Healthy Cookbooks for 2017

You will find a lot of recipes for vegetarians, but what if you are vegan? You need to find recipes that will remove all animal products without changing the taste or the fun.  Too many recipes are created with the theory that substitutes work but then they taste bad in practice. The person creating the dish has not even bothered attempting it first.

Vegan Goodness is a cookbook created by a vegan for a vegan. Jessica Prescott knows what it is like wanting to try delicious worldly dishes but feeling like the options just are not there. At the same time, she knows the valid concerns about lack of protein in a vegan diet. The cookbook answers the concerns and finds solutions to the problems.

The recipes are packed with iron and protein while offering healthy and delicious options that are completely vegan-friendly. You can enjoy hummus, delicious salads, side dishes, desserts, and more. There is no need to sacrifice on the taste of your meals and barely anyone will know you have made a vegan dish unless you tell them.

Eat Better, Not Less for Dieters

Are you sick of hearing that you need to eat less because you are on a diet? People will tell you that you need to reduce your carb intake considerably. That you need to suffer on just 1000 calories a day if you want to see the weight start to fall off.

It is no wonder people do not stick to crazy diets! Reducing your calorie intake is not just boring and demoralizing. It is unrealistic and unhealthy. There is also no truth to it.

Losing weight is all about making changes in your eating habits. You can still feel satisfied without piling on the weight. You can reduce the calories without actually reducing your food intake. Make some substitutions instead.

Not sure how? That’s where Eat Better Not Less is perfect. Created by a like-minded foodie, Nadia Damaso, the book is full of recipes that will fill you up on a cold winter’s night without making you feel stodgy and fat. Your dishes are full of flavor and life without causing you to pile on the pounds. You can even enjoy sweet foods without gaining weight.

While the book gives you a range of recipes, there are also tips on weight loss. Damaso goes into the science behind the healthy foods and how they will help you with portion control and better weight loss. This is definitely for those who absolutely adore their desserts and refuse to give them up!

Scandinavian Comfort Food for the Foodies

book 3 - The Ultimate Round-Up of Healthy Cookbooks for 2017

If you enjoy hearty meals from around the world, you may feel like you are in a conundrum. How do you eat hearty meals and still be healthy? How can you add in delicious Scandinavian dishes without damaging the health of your heart, brain, and digestive system?

Well, it certainly is possible and Scandinavian Comfort Food proves that. Trine Hahnemann has created a cookbook full of delicious recipes that will make you feel happy and joyful, without piling on the pounds. There is no need to worry about spiking blood sugar levels or problems with the heart when you follow her recipes to a tee.

As well as offering 130 recipes, she includes advice and tips on living the hygge way. This is an attitude in Denmark that focuses on homemade and healthy dishes. It involves being relaxed, enjoying food with friends, and putting your soul first.

This is the cookbook to have for the fall and winter months. This is when the nights are dark and the days are cold. You reach for the stodgy food to keep you going, with the focus on losing the weight afterward. Well, just do not put the weight on when you use these delicious Nordic dishes.

Eat Smart for Simple, Healthy Dishes

It can often seem like the food you want to eat for your health is difficult to make. You are warned about all the bad certain ingredients do. The only way you can get the taste back is by going out of your way to find substitutes.

Well, that is certainly not the case. Niomi Smart found that when she focused on eating better. She didn’t want to spend hours at the stove making one dish that would just about sustain hunger levels. It was important to find dishes that were easy to make and sustainable for the daily lifestyle. She needed recipes that would help her stick to her new diet.

Eat Smart is full of these types of recipes. The 246-page cookbook has recipes for all occasions, whether you are throwing a dinner party or just need a dish for one for the night.

One of the best parts of the cookbook is the plant-based dishes. There is plenty of inspiration for those who prefer the vegan lifestyle. You can make delicious smoothies and desserts, enjoy a filling dinner, and throw together a quick, healthy breakfast without any hassle. Smart even offers a range of snacks to enjoy throughout the day.

Part of her own diet involves meal replacements, but not in the way you would initially think. Her replacements are to make your favorite meals healthier and more sustainable. You can get a plant-based cottage pie or make a burger with cauliflower. You will still get some of the same tastes but without the risks to your health or the environment.

Made in the Office for Those in a Rush

Cooking does not come naturally for a lot of people. We want meals that are easy to cook and quick to eat. This is why ready meals are so popular. We just know that ready meals are not great for the health. At least, that’s when you buy them from the store.

What if you could create your own version if the ready meals? Imagine if you could have meals that just involved a microwave or a toaster. What about those that involve just a kettle, giving you something easy to make at work? Of course, you do not want to sacrifice taste or flavor, but you really do not have to with Made in the Office.

The cookbook is created for those with busy lifestyles. You do not even have to work in an office to make use of it. It is perfect for people with active social lives and parents who are more like taxis than people! There are mug cakes, microwaveable dishes, and so much more available.

All the recipes take just minutes to make and there are so many options. You will get around 70 recipes, whether you want a quick breakfast, an office-friendly lunch, or a delicious and healthy dessert.

The Fast Days Cookbook

If you follow the 5:2 diet or a variation of it, you are going to need some ideas for your fasting days. Sure, the 5:2 diet is full of tips, but you just want something new for a change. You want some recipe ideas that will help you forget that you are on your fasting days.

Laura Herring found that when she did the 5:2 diet, so created recipes for The Fast Days Cookbooks. She proves that having a fast day does not mean you have to lose out on sweet treats or that you must make boring meals. Herring also makes it very clear that there is no need to miss out on your meals. There are recipes for all your meals and your snacks.

The biggest calorie meal you will find is one for 300 calories. But there are lots of 50 calorie offerings to make up for it. Most of the dinners are 200 calories, so you can play around with your other 300 calories easily.

Many of the options are perfect for those on the run. You can create your delicious snacks and meals ahead of time and take them to work. There is no need for anyone to realize that you are on a fast day if you do not want them to! Plus the taste and look will definitely make you look forward to everything you have to eat.

Pip and Nut for the Nutty Lovers

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Do you love peanut butter? Want to make an almond butter recipe? While nut butter tends to get a bad reputation, they can be the best option for your health. When used pro

perly, they are packed with protein and healthy oils that will keep your body in check.

So, how do you make and use them properly? Pip and Nut will give you everything you need. There are plenty of ways to use the nut butters in smoothies, savory dishes, and more. And you do not just have to use the obvious peanut butter. You can create cashew butter and even pistachios butter for something a little exciting and new.

Pippa Murray has created the recipes with health in mind. It is possible to avoid dairy without sacrificing protein intake but is also filling. While there are some saturated fats, they are not so bad when you just use a small amount—and that’s all you need because of how filling the healthy fats and protein are.

One thing that you will be surprised at when you have this cookbook is the versatility of nut butter. You will be using them in ways you never even considered before, including in hot chocolates and fish dishes! Yes, really!

How to Cook Healthily for Cooking Technique Help

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Cooking is not all about the ingredients that you use. Dale Pinnock teaches his readers and patients that healthy eating is about the techniques and processes that go into making the recipes. That’s why he teaches more about the techniques and the food groups to help create a delicious but healthy meal. There is a lot to learn to help get more nutrients into every single meal that you make.

There are dishes to suit all needs. Some are quick to make and others will add more spice and flavor to your meal than ever before. You will learn how to make the most of any ingredient that you have.

On top of that, there are plenty of salads to make the most of. They are delicious and filling, so you never feel like you have missed out on choosing them. The nutritious nerds will certainly want a piece of the book.

Work with One Cookbook at a Time

It is now time to get one or more of the cookbooks. There may be nine on this list, but you do not need to buy them all right away. Focus on one at a time and work your way through them. You will find a range of recipes to suit your dietary needs. Whether you love the vegan lifestyle or want to go paleo, there is going to be something that works perfectly.

When you do have the cookbooks, choose one recipe a week to try. Make it something different each week to help add plenty of variety. If you chose chicken one week, go meatless next week. Had a salad one week? Opt for a soup or stew the week after. You will soon have a meal plan that you easily stick to and enjoy every single day.

The Ultimate List Of Healthy Comfort Food For Teens

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Teens Image Design 1 - The Ultimate List Of Healthy Comfort Food For TeensBeing a teenager is a difficult time. There are many expectations and stresses at such a young age. At the same time, the hormones are completely out of balance. It is difficult for many, especially young women, to know what is happening in their lives. They cannot control some of the cravings they have, especially with food.

Because of the out of sync hormones, teenagers tend to crave the likes of chocolate and sugary foods. Teens also turn to food to handle some of the stressful situations they face. The problem is these foods make the hormones worse,and they contribute to numerous health problems. This can also be when their weight can become an issue, partially because of the types of foods they have turned to.

You want your teen to live a healthier and fulfilling life. It is time to encourage more healthy foods in the diet. They can be comforting and replace the many unhealthy comfort foods and cravings they get. Here is an ultimate list to help you get the best options for your teens. Some of these are family favorites with a healthier recipe,and others are aquick one-off, healthier snacking options.

Grab a Healthier Mac and Cheese

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Mac and cheese is a firm favorite for many teenagers. It is quick to make and super to fill. However,it is not one of the healthiest options available. While it is a comfort food, it misses out on some of the most nutritious ingredients. You need to opt for a healthier version to help your teen grow up strong and supported.

However, the base of mac and cheese is good. White pasta is not as bad as many people make it out to be. Likewise, cheese can offer numerous nutrients like proteins and calcium to build strong muscles and bones. It is the other nutrients that you need,and you can easily add them to your dish to create a healthy option.

One of the best things you can do is add vegetables to the mac and cheese. Since they end up being addedto the cheesy sauce, they often go unnoticed by some. Teens just want something that is going to solve their craving, keep them warm, and make them satisfied. They want something that will soothe their stresses and make it easier to deal with whatever situation is thrown their way.

Add peas, cauliflower, broccoli, and even peppers into the mac and cheese. They will help to add flavor and mix in well with the small bits of pasta. They will also add various nutrients, including iron, necessary B vitamins, and vitamins C and E. Sweet peas are also a great way to curb some of the sweet cravings naturally, while also getting plenty of fiber into the diet.

If you want to add more fiber, you can switch the white pasta for brown pasta. While white is not too bad, brown is certainly better. You will just have to cook it for longer, as it tends to keep some of its solidness due to the extra starch.

Enjoy a Healthy Cottage Pie

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Cottage or shepherd’s pie is one of the most popular home-cooked meals. It is delicious on a cold winter night and easy to make. For the most part, cottage pie is not that bad for you, especially if you choose the lean or extra lean mince in the grocery store. However, you can make it healthier for your teen’s comfort food.

Start by adding some beans or legumes to your mince. Many people in Scotland will just add a tin of baked beans for extra fiber. It is additional nutrients without a big extra cost. However, you can add other legumes, such as split peas or lentils to the recipe. The extra fiber helps to make the dish far more filling and comforting. Your teen will not feel the need to eat as much, as they will be satisfied much quicker.

Another option is to add something to the mashed potatoes. Opt for some cauliflower or parsnips. They can be steamed and then mashed into the potatoes. You will add more nutrients to your carby topping, making it far better for the family’s health.

Want something a little different? A sweet potato topping is an excellent option. You get far more nutrients from sweet potatoes, especially when it comes to antioxidants that will help to support the immune system. Sweet potatoes are packed with potassium, far more than in bananas. You also get the sweetness of the potatoes, helping to curb the sweet potatoes when your teen is looking for comfort.

Make Your Pizzas

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Pizzas get a terrible reputation for being unhealthy and fattening. While the ones that you get from the takeaway are not great, you can make your own healthier options. The best thing is these pizzas can take just 10 minutes to create in the oven. There’s no need to roll out the dough and make your pizza base!

The one thing you want to do is grab some tortilla wraps. Whole wheat tortilla wraps are better, as they are stocked with more fiber to help avoid sugar rushes. They can also be tastier when creating pizzas.

Your tortilla wraps are your pizza bases. You can then top with some tomato paste and as many vegetables as you want. Opt for a little cheese on top. If you want to make a meat eater friendly pizza, you can always shred some of your leftover roast chicken from Sunday’s dinner or get some ham slices to throw on. Opt for as fresh as possible to avoid the packaging and processing chemicals.

Since these homemade pizzas take just 10 minutes in the oven, they have become firm favorites with teens. It feels to them like they are eating something naughty,but they know that they are going to be good for the health and the waistline. They can also be fun additions for house parties with friends.

Create a Healthier Sloppy Joe

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Sloppy Joes are a mainstream meal for middle schoolers. It is normal for your teen to be drawn to them, as a connection to their childhood. There’s no denying that sloppy Joes are also filling and delicious.

Apart from the hamburger bun, sloppy Joes are not too bad for the health. However, you can make them much healthier.

Start by switching the beef mince for pork or turkey. Look out for lean mince, too. This will get rid of most of the saturated fats so that you can gain from all the amino acids and proteins in the food. Then add plenty of vegetables and legumes into the mix. You will get far more nutrients and fiber, supporting the health instantly.

What about the burger bun? Well, you could just make an open sandwich. They are not quite the same as a traditional sloppy Joe, but you do get rid of some of the carbs that accompany the burger buns. Alternatively, you can choose a whole wheat wrap or pita bread instead. They are better for the fiber and will help to give a similar sloppy feeling since they can be eaten with the hands. They tend to be a little easier to eat!

Make a Vegetable Lasagne

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Lasagne is another popular home dish that adds comfort at the end of the day. The problem is the pasta sheets. While white pasta sheets are not as bad as they were once considered, there are better options to use. Your teens will hardly tell the difference. Opt for layers of courgette or aubergines instead of layers of pasta sheets.

If you do not want to replace all the pasta with the vegetables, you can mix and match. Do a layer of vegetables and then a layer of pasta and keep alternating. Add a top layer of pasta to make it look like this is the usual home-cooked meal. Your teen will get the feeling like they are eating their typical dish, so they do not subconsciously turn their nose up to it.

It is not just the pasta layers that you can replace either. It is possible to make a whole lasagne with vegetables if you like. Switch out the mince with some tofu if you would want. You still get the proteins, but you do not get the unsaturated fats.

Want to keep the meat? We do not blame you! You can opt for lean turkey mince instead of beef. You will get a similar taste without as many saturated fats. Do not forget to add some vegetables and legumes to your meal to add more nutrients and fiber.

This healthier option will help you get the warm comfort with extra nutrients. Your teen will hardly tell the difference.

Make a Healthier Banana Ice Cream

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Frozen yogurt is healthier than ice cream, but you can go one step further for a healthier, comforting ice cream. It is time to turn to banana ice cream.

Peel your bananas and wrap them in foil, before putting them in the freezer. Leave them there until they are solid and ready to much into an ice cream. Just blend them down. You can add a little milk if you want, but most of the time you will not need it.

Bananas are naturally creamy and will give you the same cold texture as ice cream. You can also freeze other fruits, especially berries, and mix them in with the bananas. You get a delicious mixture of flavors that are naturally sweet. The benefit for your teen is that the sweet cravings are naturally curbed.

Is it a chocolate craving you need to get over? Well, you want to turn to a little cocoa. Add it to the bananas before you blend. Alternatively, you can get some dark chocolate and melt it down. Opt for at least 70% cocoa to get rid of the unnatural sugars added to chocolate. Drizzle over the top of your banana ice cream for a sundae.

Make Chocolate Chip Cookies without the Flour

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Cookies are a popular comfort food. They solve the sugar cravings but are not exactly healthy. You can get the same craving curbing without adding flour to your homemade chocolate chip cookies.

Get some flaxseed and quinoa to mix and add in some bananas. The bananas will help to gel everything together without the need for milk, while the quinoa and flaxseed replace the need for flour. The bananas will also help to add a natural sweetness, curbing the cravings without refined ingredients. On top of that, you get extra proteins through the quinoa and extra fiber through the flaxseed.

What about the chocolate chips? Get some dark chocolate chips for your cookies. They have fewer added sugars to them, making the healthier options. The cookies are extremely easy to make,and they will last up to a week in an airtight container. Your teen will just think they are eating normal chocolate chip cookies, tricking the brain that all cravings are being satisfied.

Do not Forget the Popcorn

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Contrary to popular belief, popcorn is healthy for you. It is the ingredients added on top of the popcorn that is bad for you! If you want to offer a comfort food for watching movies, stock up on your popcorn kernels and invest in a popcorn machine. They will last for years, and you will get some use out of them.

Popcorn kernels are full of fiber and nutrients. What you want to do is avoid the sugar, salt, and toffee added to the popped kernels.

You do not need to eat plain popcorn, however. That would be boring! Add your spices and herbs instead. An Italian seasoning can give a unique taste to the popped kernels. You can also add some cayenne pepper or some of your cheddar cheese. If you want some salt, opt for sea salt instead. There are some extra nutrients that table salt does not have, but keep the amount to a minimum.

It is Time to Curb the Cravings for Real Comfort

Most comfort foods are full of unhealthy ingredients, but that does not mean they have to be completely banned. You can opt for healthier versions of your teen’s favorite comfort foods. They will still offer the same comforting benefits, but add some health benefits at the same time.

The list above will help you turn all your home comforts into healthier versions. You can even enjoy them yourself to add more warmth and healthy comfort to your day. Most of the time your teens will not even realize you have made some changes.

Are you ready to change the way you look at foods in the house? The changes will not cost you much money, but they will make you physically feel comfort rather than just temporarily mentally.

5 Healthy Weight Loss Diet – Eat And See The Difference!

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Not all diet that you eat has the same effect on your body. All calories are also different and have a different metabolic reaction in the body as each food undergoes a breakdown process in the body. There is a diet that aid quick healthy weight loss and most of these are natural food too. Using these essential weight loss ingredients, you can cook up interesting healthy weight loss foods for a faster, healthier and tastier weight loss process.

Here are our 5 healthy weight loss diet from the dieter’s food list for your quick reference:

 

1. Green Leafy Vegetables:

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Leafy vegetables like spinach, kale, and swiss chards all those super foods have numerous properties that make them the perfect diet food for the weight watchers. Loaded with fibres and essential nutrients they are low in empty calories and carbohydrates that slow down your weight loss process.

 

2. Boiled Potatoes:

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It is a misconception that potatoes are in general bad for your weight loss. The truth, however, is the cooking of potatoes that makes it healthy and unhealthy. Boiled potatoes are a nothing but a storehouse of energy that the body needs to burn more calories. It is also a highly fulfilling food that makes you feel full faster and stays satisfied longer.

 

3. Beans And Legumes:

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Rich in protein foods are the best diet to lose weight naturally. The high fibre content found in beans and protein also helps the body’s metabolic function improving digestion and keeping you full longer.

 

4. Apple Cider Vinegar:

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Known for its deep cleansing properties, research and studies have proved apple cider vinegar to be one of the best food for healthy weight loss. It eliminates the body of toxins providing a deep cleansing. Having apple cider vinegar just before meals can make one feel fuller faster. It also helps in preventing sudden sugar spikes in the blood which causes excess glucose in the blood stream thereby causing an increase in weight.

 

5. Whole Grains:

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Say no to gluten and shake hands with whole grains like millets, oats, and barley. Each of these grains has immense nutritional properties and are rich in fibre. Replacing your regular rice and wheat with these healthy weight loss superfood can help you attain your weight loss objective faster.

 

8 Tasty And Healthy Benefits Of Watercress

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Watercress Image Design 1 - 8 Tasty And Healthy Benefits Of WatercressThere are so many foods you’ll hear that you should add to your diet. Most of them are shared repeatedly. You need to get all your dark leafy greens, plenty of acidic fruits, and so much more. But what about some of the herbs and smaller veggies that you don’t hear much about?

Watercress tends to be added to all sorts of salads. You’ll see it pop up now and again in recipes, but think little of it. Sure, it’s a vegetable, but you don’t consider it to be detrimental to your health. You may think of just ignoring it the next time you see it.

Well, it’s time to add watercress to your meals. There are many tastes and health benefits that you will gain from it. Here’s a look at just eight benefits you gain by adding in watercress to your meals.

Prevents Some Types of Cancers

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Too many people overlook the nutritional benefits of watercress. This is food that is packed with phytonutrients that are known for preventing cancers. The nutrients help to remove the carcinogens from the body, preventing them from affecting the cells within the body. This isn’t just effective for people who have never been diagnosed with cancer, but also for those who are in remission to prevent the cancer from coming back.

Studies show the most benefits in patients who have had breast cancer before, but that doesn’t mean the benefits are only connected to this type of cancer. In fact, studies show that colorectal cancer can also be reduced due to the nutrients in the food.

The studies show that at least 80g of watercress per day is good for reducing the risks of cancer. This is a large amount, considering the size and weight of cancer. However, you can add watercress to so many meals in many ways. It can top asalad, or you can make your soup with it.

There are a few reasons why watercress is believed to be beneficial. The main factor is the antioxidants in the ingredient. Antioxidants help to reduce free radicals and stop oxidative damage to the cells. They help to stop signs of aging and cell death.

Another benefit is in the vitamin C, which is classed as an antioxidant. This specifically targets the cells to keep them healthy. Vitamin C isn’t one that we’re able to store or create ourselves, so our bodies must rely on us getting enough.

Studies show that the nutrients help to prevent white blood cell damage. The white blood cells help to spread the immune system around the body and repair damage. Studies that considered this showed that smokers were less likely to see damaged lung cells!

The folate within the vegetable is also seen as a positive. Studies are still needed in this, as the benefit is seen after 15 years of adding folate to the diet!

It’s not just watercress that shows these benefits. All cruciferous vegetables have the phytonutrients needed to help reduce the risk of cancer. The biggest benefit of watercress is that it’s much easier to eat quickly. It’s small and not as bitter when eaten raw, compared to many other cruciferous vegetables.

Boosts the Working of Your Thyroid Gland

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You likely don’t give your thyroid much thought, unless you’ve had to have the gland’s efficiency checked. The thyroid is the gland that affects your metabolism. When it suffers from degrading, the metabolism slows down and can’t break down the food as effectively. You end up storing calories, and your body will feel the lack of energy.

The thyroid can be affected by all sorts of reasons, but a healthy diet helps to keep it working. Watercress is one of those foods that will support the health of the thyroid gland. It helps to reduce the hormone production within the thyroid, keeping it level and health.

Yes, the thyroid can produce too many hormones. Sometimes this will slow the metabolism, and sometimes it speeds it up. The latter isn’t a good thing. While you will want to increase your metabolism now and then, an overactive thyroid will prevent your body from absorbing all your nutrients.

Eating most cruciferous vegetables will offer benefits for the thyroid, but you want to eat them raw. This is where watercress comes into play. It’s not bitter and relatively tasteless, making it much easier for people to enjoy raw. You can add it on top of your salads without really thinking about it.

If you need to cook your watercress, steam it. Cooking in other ways will damage the nutrients, and your thyroid doesn’t gain as much from your diet.

Protect Your Cardiovascular Health

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Are you worried about the health of your heart and lungs? The cardiovascular health is a concern for many people, especially those with heart disease, heart attacks, or strokes in the family history.

Watercress can act as a secondary metabolite. This means it can help to break down more food and lower the amount of bad cholesterol in the body. Like other cruciferous vegetables, it protects your arteries from the friction layer that the bad cholesterol causes, reducing the risk of high blood pressure, blood clots, and cardiovascular disease.

The vitamin C levels also help. Vitamin C helps to protect the tissue around the heart, preventing damage due to oxidative stress. It will get into the cells, improving the development of cardiac myocytes to ensure the heart health is as good as possible. When the heart works more efficiently, it can pump more blood around and strengthen. Remember that the heart is a muscle!

You will also gain benefits for the heart due to the amount of calcium. This mineral is usually linked to bone health, but it also helps to reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease, metabolic issues, and much more. You’ll be able to absorb more nutrients easier, and your metabolism will continue to work effectively.

Yes, you can get this from other cruciferous vegetables, but we go back to that taste benefit. Watercress is much more appealing to the taste buds because it isn’t as bitter!

Get More Calcium for the Bones

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Your bones need calcium. Deep down you know that, but that doesn’t stop you from finding it hard to gain the mineral. You know you can get it from yogurts, milk, and other dairy products but what if you want to avoid them? What if you’re allergic or choose to eat a vegan diet?

Well, you need to look at the vegetables that have calcium. Watercress is full of it. This small vegetable packs a powerful punch, and since you’re more likely to eat it raw, you will find you gain more of the calcium in one serving. You don’t damage the nutrient through the cooking process.

More calcium doesn’t just mean stronger bones. It means you’re less likely to suffer from problems like osteoporosis and other bone diseases. These are common as you get older, especially in women.

At the same time, watercress has the folate you will need. This is a nutrient that is often lost in post-menopausal women but helps to protect the bones from osteoporosis. It will also help to keep the brain functioning healthily, protecting the tissues and connections.

Protect Your Brain and Avoid Mental Illnesses

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Folate is linked to good brain health, so it shouldn’t be surprising now that watercress is good for the brain. The folate doesn’t just help to keep the cognitive functions intact. It can also help to reduce the risk of some mental illnesses, especially depression.

Most doctors will prescribe antidepressants to their patients, but you can gain a natural antidepressant through watercress. Studies have shown that those with low folate levels are at a higher risk of suffering from depression or having future issues with it. Folate improves the pathways around the central nervous system, improving the amount of serotonin that can be not just released but passed around the body. With the right levels of serotonin, your mood will be stabilized, and you’ll feel the positive effects throughout your body. This is known as the happy hormone for a reason!

But there are other benefits within the brain. The folate will help to improve all connections within the brain. It helps to maintain the development of tissues, reducing inflammation and keeping all parts of the brain connected and working. You’ll see better memory, concentration, and verbal fluency from the nutrient.

Studies have shown that getting more folate could help to reduce cognitive decline later in life. You can reduce the risk of dementia and other diseases.

On top of that, the vitamin C can help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other problems. The cells are more protected because of the watercress nutrients. Less oxidative damage occurs, and the cells can remain healthy and alive.

If you do have a stroke, you can see a full recovery thanks to the vitamin C. The antioxidant helps to reduce the amount of bleeding during the stroke and other traumas. It’s possible to prevent long-term damage, as it will be easier for the connections to repair and sustain. Vitamin C will also help to rebuild some of the connections. If they are lost, you’ll want to keep eating watercress and other foods that are high in vitamin C to repair the damage that has occurred.

Offers Benefits for the Eyesight

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Are you worried about losing your eyesight later in life? We all tend to fear the development of cataracts. They are extremely common in older age, and everyone is at risk of getting them. However, you can reduce the risk of formation and the growth of them. Eating watercress is one of the best ways to reduce that risk.

It’s all thanks to the vitamin C again. Studies show that the vitamin C helps to promote the cellular growth and health. Healthy cells can prevent damaged ones covering the eyes, blocking the sight.

But that’s not all. There are also studies that show watercress has beta-carotene and lutein. Both antioxidants are linked to eye health. They can help to slow down the formation of cataracts and macular degeneration. If you don’t have either, you can prevent the development. If you have one of them, you won’t be able to repair the damage, but you can slow down and even stop the progression.

You can get all these benefits from other foods. The great thing about watercress is the ease of eating. You can opt for it as a quick snack to make sure you protect your whole health.

Boost the Immune System and Overcome Diseases

Oxidative stress is often viewed as a reason for cancer development, but that’s not all it does. It affects the whole health. Oxidative stress within the red blood cells can prevent the oxygen from getting around the whole body. The white blood cells and platelets are all affected, making it harder for the immune system to work.

And we can’t forget about what the inflammation does to the body. Inflammation is an immune response but doesn’t always mean there’s an infection to fight. The immune system believes there is, so it can’t fight the infection that’s there.

Watercress has the vitamin C to help prevent the oxidative stress and inflammation. There’s also vitamin E which can reduce inflammation and give the immune system a boost. Studies have shown that higher levels of vitamins C and E can help to reduce the effect that common colds have on the body. Common colds can’t be treated in other ways, and there’s no vaccine for them. They’re annoying and pesky viral infections that you can avoid with the right diet.

On top of that, watercress can help to overcome older diseases. Many children have asthma, but that doesn’t mean they have to put up with it in adulthood. Studies show that more vitamin C can help to reduce asthma symptoms and get rid of it by adulthood.

Natural Support During Pregnancy

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There are many ways that watercress will help you through pregnancy. One of those is to the taste. Since it isn’t as bitter as other cruciferous vegetables, it can be easier to stomach. Even if you have severe morning sickness, you may find that watercress is relatively easier to stomach. It also has water, which can help to keep your hydration up when you feel you struggle to stomach anything.

On top of that are all the other health benefits we’ve considered. The vitamin C will help to keep your immune system boosted while you carry your unborn child. The folate doesn’t just help you but will also protect your baby’s development. Pregnant women are encouraged to get more folic acid (another name for folate) and naturally is always the safest and best.

Will You Add More Watercress to Your Diet?

There are many health benefits to this small vegetable. Being small, it’s often much easier to add to your diet. It’s time to look at how to use watercress in your daily life to gain from all the health and taste benefits.

Is Peanut Butter Healthy? Here’s What You Need To Know

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Last Updated: 28th September 2016

Is Peanut Butter Healthy? Here’s What You Need to Know…

Peanut butter: as the old song says, “it’s good for your dad, it’s good for your mother”!

Peanut butter makes everything better! Dark chocolate is delicious, but adding peanut butter gives you the world’s most delicious candy: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

Toast and jam is a great way to start your day, but with a bit of peanut butter, you get the PB&J, the sandwich you can never stop eating.

Smoothies are a tasty treat to help you consume more protein, but with a scoop of peanut butter, it’s like a whole blender full of healthy, peanut-flavored goodness straight from the gods themselves.


DID YOU KNOW?

Did You Know 91% of American households use peanut butter? U.S. sales of peanut butter came close to $1.2 billion in 2015 alone. That’s a lot of people with a peanut butter-induced smile on their faces!

Sadly, we have to look the nutty gift horse in the mouth and ask the tough question: Is peanut butter healthy?

Below, we’ll take a look at peanut butter both the pros and cons to answer the question “Is peanut butter good for you?”

The answer may surprise you…

The Facts: Peanut Butter Nutritional Info

Before we can get into the details, first we have to know all the facts.

Here is a look at the cold, hard data on peanut butter’s nutritional value:

In the basic serving size (32 grams, or 2 tablespoons) of everyone’s favorite smooth, creamy peanut butter, you get:

Let’s take a closer look at that nutritional data, so we can better understand how eating peanut butter affects us:

The point of this article is to answer the question “Is peanut butter healthy?” Well, to answer that question, let’s take a look at the things that make peanut butter such a great addition to your diet:

Of course, for every pro, there has to be a con, right? To truthfully answer the question “Is peanut butter good for you?” we have to look at the downsides/risks/dangers of peanut butter:

Allergic reactions — This is one of the primary arguments against not only peanut butter, but all peanut products! According to Food Allergy Research & Education, roughly 15 million Americans suffer from food allergies.

Only EIGHT foods account for 90% of the allergic reactions, and peanuts (all nuts, really) are on that list of the “Hateful Eight”. Roughly 3 million people suffer from tree nut and peanut allergies. The number of children (under the age of 18) living with peanut allergies has increased by 300% since 1997.

Thankfully, there is a light at the end of the peanut-shaped tunnel: F.A.R.E. estimates that up to 20% of children outgrow their peanut/nut allergies. However, it’s vital to understand that for children with peanut allergies, peanut butter is a DANGEROUS food–one that can cause symptoms like runny nose, digestive upset, skin reactions, itching, and shortness of breath.

Aflatoxins — Uh-oh, you see the “-toxins” there, don’t you? Time to freak out? Perhaps…

According to Wikipedia, Aflatoxins are “poisonous and cancer-causing chemicals that are produced by certain molds (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus) which grow in soil, decaying vegetation, hay, and grains”. Where do you think these molds are often found? That’s right, in improperly stored peanuts.

The good news is that 89% of aflatoxins are killed off during the processing of peanuts into peanut butter. The bad news is that aflatoxins have been linked to a number of health problems, including liver cancer, impaired child growth, and even reduced mental function/performance. Thankfully, the USDA monitors the levels of aflatoxins in peanut butter, so the risk of being exposed to these toxins is fairly low. However, it’s vital to understand that the risk is still there.

Atherogenic — To put this in layman’s terms, it may increase the risk of atherosclerosis (constriction of the blood vessels). Peanut butter has been used to induce atherosclerosis in animals (for research purposes). It usually only works if cholesterol levels are high, but it’s definitely something to be aware of.

So, we’ve looked at the good and the bad, and it’s time to answer the question: Is peanut butter healthy? The answer: Yes, but…

Yes, peanut butter is healthy. The high nutritional value makes it a useful addition to your diet, and it can help protect your heart, reduce your risk of diabetes, and promote feelings of satiety that will prevent you from overeating.

But, if you’re not careful, it can cause you to gain weight, and there is always the risk of allergy.

Understanding this will help you to keep peanut butter in its correct place on your menu!

Not certain peanut butter is the right spread for you? Looking for something with a slightly different (read: lower in fat, higher in nutrients) nutritional profile? Here are a few healthy alternatives to peanut butter:

Some other recent alternatives for peanut butter are Sunflower Seed Butter and Cookie Butter. Both are relatively easy to find, mostly right next to peanut butter in large chain grocery stores. Both have a nice nutty flavor and is smooth and easy to spread. You won’t even feel like you’re missing out peanut butter with these two!

Try these peanut butter alternatives if you want a healthy snack, or if you’re just looking to give your palate a break!

A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Prepare A Filling Healthy Meal Plan

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Meal Plan Image Design 1 - A Step-By-Step Guide On How To Prepare A Filling Healthy Meal PlanThere are many diets and food lifestyles out there. While many people look for a quick fix, there are now many people looking for a sustainable lifestyle that helps them lose weight and keep it off in the long term. They want more than just a way to get rid of the flab and want a way that doesn’t make them feel like they’re on a diet.

Therefore many dieters and healthy eating plans focus on filling and healthy foods. If you followed one of the old Weight Watchers diets, you’ve likely heard of the “filling and healthy” plan. This was full of food that was designed to make you feel fuller quicker and keep you feeling full for longer. The food was also healthy, offering a range of nutrients rather than empty calories.

Whatever type of diet you follow, you want to create a filling and healthy meal plan. In fact, you can do this without following a specific type of diet. Focusing on foods that are good for you and will make you feel satisfied sooner and for longer will help you eat fewer calories and lose more weight.

But how do you create a filling and healthy meal plan? Just where do you start and what do you need? This is your step-by-step guide to prepare and create your filling and healthy meal plan. We’ll start from the very beginning.

What Is a Filling and Healthy Meal?

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Before we look at planning, let’s take a look at the idea of filling and healthy meals. What makes a meal both filling and healthy?

Think about your current meals. Do you find that after a few hours you feel hungry, or you don’t have much energy? This is likely because you’re eating the wrong mixture of nutrients—or you’re not getting any nutrients at all.

You could end up with too many carbs and not enough fiber or protein. Sure, carbs are important, but your meal shouldn’t be completely made up of them. You’ll need to make sure you get a good mixture of carbs, proteins, and healthy fats. And you’ll want to get the right types of carbs; the ones with the fiber.

Proteins, fiber, and healthy fats break down slowly in the body. They help to avoid sugars metabolizing quickly, so the energy is released throughout the space of the day. You’ll feel more satisfied throughout the day because of this. This can mean you eat fewer calories throughout the day, although you will have to think about your portion sizes.

It is possible to lose weight without calorie counting. You focus more on the type of food you’re eating, naturally making you eat less.

Filling and healthy foods include:

  • Fruits and vegetables
  • Lean meals
  • Olive and coconut oil
  • Whole grains
  • Whole wheat bread, pasta, and rice
  • Legumes
  • Nuts and seeds

Now that you know more about the filling and healthy foods, it’s time to create your filling and healthy meal plan.

Step 1: Make Sure You Have a Book or Planner

Let’s start with something to create your meal plan. It can be in a notebook or a planner for the wall. You just need somewhere that you can look at to know what you will be making on the day or the meal that you’ll pull out of the freezer. We’ll move on the freezer element later!

There are meal planners available in most craft stores now. You can also get a white board that you put up in the kitchen. You simply mark out a table for the week with sections for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.

Make sure you have enough space to write in each section. Your snack section can be smaller than other sections.

You may want to have a wall planner just for dinners, as they may be the only meals that your family will eat together. The other meals can be planned separately in a book. It’s also possible to use different colored pens for individual people in the house. This can be a good way to manage certain types of meals, such as gluten-free or dairy free diets.

Some people have taken to bullet journaling for meal planning. They have a small notebook that they use for all types of planning and organizing.

Step 2: Plan Out All Meals and Snacks

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Some people will only plan out one meal a day. They forget about the other two meals. Those that plan out all three meals will often forget about the snacks. It’s important to plan out all your meals.

You will also want to plan out the timings of your meals. This is important to help keep your energy leveled throughout the day.

When your main meals are four hours apart, you’ll find you need fewer snacks and can cut down to just one. Alternatively, you can opt for smaller meals spaced out three hours throughout the day. You get a constant stream of energy that breaks down and is used up slowly throughout the day.

Any more than four hours between meals and you will start feeling hungry. This is because your body will use up the energy that you’ve provided it. If you eat the wrong types of foods, you’ll feel hungrier at earlier points in the day. Feeling hungry can make your body going into a panic mode. While it seems silly, your body doesn’t exactly know when you’re going to get your next meal. It starts making you crave the instant rushes of energy to sustain it.

You want to focus on the smaller meals throughout the day, rather than two big meals and a couple of snacks. This helps you stick to your filling and healthy meal plan.

Step 3: Have a List of Low GI Foods

Remember when I said you needed to focus on the right carbs? Well, you want to focus more on the low GI carbs. These are those that don’t release as many sugars directly into the bloodstream. They don’t cause a large insulin response and are healthier for you, especially if you have diabetes.

That doesn’t mean all high GI foods are off limits. Surprisingly some fruits are considered high GI foods. You just must be aware that these foods aren’t as good for your health or your hunger levels. They can metabolize quicker than other foods, leaving you feeling hungry throughout the day.

Make a list of all the low GI foods that you can eat. This will help you decide whether a recipe is good for your filling and healthy diet. Consult the list for any new recipe that you find, especially if it claims to be filling and healthy. One or two ingredients on the recipe list can be high GI, but you want most them to be low.

Step 4: Spend Time Looking for Recipe Ideas

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While you will have some staples for your meal plan, you’ll want to add some new recipes to your weekly plan. This helps to avoid getting bored. You’ll find it much easier to stick to this healthy lifestyle.

Spend time each week looking for some new recipes to try. Don’t just pick up cookbooks. You can check out blogs, websites, and even Pinterest for some ideas. Speaking of Pinterest, set up a board for all your recipes. Quickly repin all the ones that look interesting to you and then you have them for easier grabbing.

You don’t need to add a new recipe to every single day of the week. Opt for a new and fun recipe once or twice. Get the kids involved in this process and find out what they would like. You can offer a couple of choices to choose from, so they feel like they have total control, but you’ve still made sure the meals are filling and healthy.

Plan strategic places for putting them into your meal plan. Think about the days that you have more time to cook and those when you’re not going to resent spending time at the stove. This means it will be less likely that you will switch the plan and opt for something that isn’t filling and healthy.

Don’t forget to plan in some desserts. These will become part of your meals. Dessert with your evening meal is the most common.

Step 5: Make Sure You Have Some Family Friendly Staples

You won’t want to spend all your time cooking something new. There will be times that you just want to grab ingredients and create a meal. Therefore you’ll need some staple meals that your whole family will love. These could also be meals that your guests are guaranteed to love, instead of risking trying something new.

Set up a recipe folder or a Pinterest board full of the family-friendly recipes. This will make it easier to pull them out when you want to make them.

You may not have the recipes. After a while, the staples will be ones that you make off the top of your head.

Step 6: Don’t Be Afraid to Bulk Cook

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I mentioned that you could grab some meals from the freezer. I wasn’t talking about processed meals that you can get from the grocery store. This comment was about bulk cooking one day of the week.

This can be an excellent way to stick to your filling and healthy meal plan during a busy week. Opt for a day off work when you make a range of meals throughout the week. You can have Bolognese sauces, marinades, and soups. You can even pre-prepare some of your vegetables and salads to make it easier to grab and go.

You don’t have to prepare every single element of your meal. Simply have the elements that usually take the longest to make, so you can reheat while your pasta or meat is cooking. You’ll find it is much easier to grab a meal after a long day at work. You won’t think about the takeaways that just aren’t filling and healthy.

Step 7: Try Out Themed Nights

“Meatless Monday” is a popular hashtag on Twitter. You could opt for Soup Saturday or Pizza Friday. There are all sorts of themes that you can have.

Yes, they will help with creating the meal plan for your filling and healthy lifestyle. Each day of the week has a designated theme. This is your theme throughout a month or a few months; then you can always change them up if you want to try something else.

Each meal of the day will work with your designated theme. You will find that coming up with ideas is much easier. You just must search for recipes that work with the theme or adapt your favorite meals to work with the theme.

All you have to do is make sure that the recipes are still filling and healthy.

Step 8: Create a Shopping List of Necessary Foods

Once you’ve created your weekly meal plan, create a list of foods that you will need to buy. Some meals will use the same ingredients, so you’ll need to make sure you stock up on plenty for your needs.

Don’t worry if you do run out. You can always go to the shop on the way home. However, having everything ready will help to limit the frustration of running out of a particular ingredient.

When you are out of a staple ingredient, make sure you put it on the shopping list. This will avoid forgetting about it when it comes to creating your next shopping list.

Step 9: Don’t Be Afraid to Be Relaxed

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It will be tempting to stick with your filling and healthy meal plan strictly. This isn’t necessary. Your meal plan needs to be fun. Eating with your friends and family should be enjoyable, as well as healthy and good for your energy levels.

It’s important to create a meal plan that is relaxed and works for you. If you decide you want to switch the meals for Friday and Saturday around, don’t be afraid to do it. If your kids decide that they want Wednesday’s planned dinner for Monday, go with the flow. A simple swap is not going to affect your diet or your meal plan!

However, you only really want to do swaps. If you are going to opt for alternatives, make sure they are still filling and healthy recipes. You don’t want to swap out the Friday filling and healthy fish dish for a takeaway pizza!

Are You Ready for a Filling and Healthy Meal Plan?

It’s time to stock up on filling and healthy ingredients. Look out for foods that work great for recipes but also for good snacks throughout the day.

A filling and healthy meal plan will be fun to create. There is lots of inspiration on the likes of Pinterest or in cookbooks. Just make sure you have your calendar or planner and create a meal plan that works for everyone in the house. You’ll soon have a list of staples and wonder what the panic or confusion was all about.