Delicious Balsamic Grape Tomato Salad Recipe

Delicious Balsamic Grape Tomato Salad Recipe

Enjoy a delicious salad idea this fall!

Balsamic Grape Tomato & Seeds Salad

  • Marinate grape tomatoes in balsamic vinegar and store them in the fridge for up to 4-5 days.
  • Just add to the salad before eating: Pumpkin, sesame, sunflower seeds; pine nuts and hazelnuts are great source of crunch and flavor.
  • A scoop of hummus is an easy way to add fiber and protein.
  • Fresh herbs like cilantro, parsley or basil gives a happy surprise in every bite.

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Drink More Water

Drink More Water

Staying hydrated is a daily necessity. How much water should you drink? According to the experts at Harvard Medical School, most people need about four to six cups of water each day, however, water needs vary.

Water is the source that keeps every system in the body functioning properly. The Harvard Special Health Report 6-Week Plan for Health Eating notes that water has many important jobs, such as:

  • Carrying nutrients and oxygen to your cells
  • Flushing bacteria from your bladder
  • Aiding digestion
  • Preventing constipation
  • Normalizing blood pressure
  • Stabilizing the heartbeat
  • Cushioning joints
  • Protecting organs and tissues
  • Regulating body temperature
  • Maintaining electrolyte (sodium) balance.
  • Giving your body enough fluids to carry out those tasks means that you're staying hydrated

Tips for staying hydrated

  • All beverages containing water contribute toward your daily needs, but remember, water is always the better choice. Try to cut out caffeinated and sugary drinks leading to weight gain and inflammation
  • Limit alcohol intake to one drink per day for women, and 1-2 drinks per day for men
  • Ward off dehydration, drink fluids gradually, throughout the day
  • Water-rich foods provide fluids, such as salads, fruit, and applesauce

Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/how-much-water-should-you-drink?utm_source=delivra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=WR20160916-PosPsych&utm_id=253272&dlv-ga-memberid=23405218&mid=23405218&ml=253272

Why Probiotics?

Why Probiotics?

Why is important to incorporate Probiotics as a daily part of your diet? Probiotics can curb Insulin resistance.

Probiotics are the good kind of bacteria found in our gut and have a clear role in the health of our metabolism. Although there are many types of these little bacteria in our gut, there is growing evidence that Lactobacillus acidophilus curb insulin resistance after a few weeks of use. Insulin resistance is like a pre-diabetic state, where the pancreas begins to poorly regulate our sugar intake with insulin. In essence, the poor pancreas has had so much sugar dumped on it that it begins to overreact every time sugar comes into our systems.

Fiber Facts

Fiber Facts

How do we purify our body of unwanted toxins? We need a healthy ability to eliminate.

20-35 grams of fiber daily

What is fiber?

Dietary fiber is plant material that is normally left undigested after passing through the body's digestive system. Plant foods usually contain a combination of both types of fiber in varying degrees, according to the plant's characteristics. At least 20-35 gm of fiber is suggested each day by the ADA (American Dietetic Association). Start with mostly soluble fiber if insoluble fiber is too challenging.

Top 10 Sources of Fiber:

  1. Beans. Think three-bean salad, bean burritos, chili, soup.
  2. Whole grains. That means whole-wheat bread, pasta, etc.
  3. Brown rice. White rice doesn't offer much fiber.
  4. Popcorn. It's a great source of fiber.
  5. Nuts. Almonds, pecans, and walnuts have more fiber than other nuts.
  6. Baked potato with skin. It's the skin that's important here.
  7. Berries. All those seeds, plus the skin, give great fiber to any berry.
  8. Bran cereal. Actually, any cereal that has 5 grams of fiber or more in a serving counts as high fiber.
  9. Oatmeal. Whether its microwaved or stove-cooked, oatmeal is good fiber.
  10. Vegetables. The crunchier, the better. Enjoy raw vegetables, be sure to eat a variety of colors and types.

Clean Protein

Clean Protein

The biggest myth is that protein only comes only from meat. However, broccoli has almost as many grams of protein per calorie as steak.

The best source of animal protein is organic or with equivalent standards.

What are the best recommendations to follow?

Consume, in moderation, grass-fed beef. Feedlot beef has 600% the amount of saturated fat as grass-fed beef. Other benefits include:

  • Improved levels of essential fats
  • Increased blood levels of omega-3 fatty acids
  • Decreased pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids
  • Lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, depression and inflammatory disease

Saturated fat in conventional farm-raised animals is filled with the growth hormones (so they get bigger faster), and antibiotics (so the farm can grow more animals in a smaller area). Those hormones and antibiotics then end up in your fat tissue too, which slows your metabolism.

Place more value on plant-based proteins sources! Beans and legumes help you reach your daily fiber requirements and provide valuable phyto-nutrients. Most of the world is basically vegetarian and generally has little trouble meeting their protein requirements.

14 Great Sources of Protein:

  1. Almonds are a strong anti-inflammatory and good source for healthy fats, fiber and protein.
  2. Spirulina is one of the great superfoods. It is approximately 65-71 percent complete protein in its natural state, higher than virtually any other unprocessed food
  3. Wild Fish contains desirable omega-3, be sure to find fresh wild fish if you consume on a regular basis.
  4. Quinoa is a “complete protein” pseudo-grain, easy to cook and tastes great!
  5. Cage Free Eggs are a rich source of thiamine, riboflavin, pantothenic acid, folic acids, vitamin B12, biotin, vitamin D, vitamin E and phosphorus. Buy whole organic eggs.
  6. Hemp Seeds contain about 30% of protein and are hypoallergenic.
  7. Chia Seeds offer complete protein that are mildy inflammatory, easy to digest and easy to cook with. Chia seeds are also a good source of calcium, phosphorus, manganese and dietary fiber.
  8. Whey powder is the second most abundant protein derived from milk. Whey contains all of the essential amino acids, high in leucine, isoleucine and valine, glutamine (immune boosting amino acid). Be sure it’s grass fed, organic and hormone free.
  9. Lentils are a great source of amino acids, healthy carbs and filing fiber.
  10. Organic Chicken contains all of the essential amino acids, be sure to choose chickens that were raised in humane conditions, fed a nutrient dense diet and cage-free when possible.
  11. Cottage Cheese and Greek Yogurt can be a good addition to a balanced diet, both low in sugar, contain a good amount of protein and healthy fats.
  12. Tempeh is made out of fermented soy and can be a great source of clean protein.
  13. Grass-fed beef is loaded with zinc, iron and all the amino acids as well.
  14. Pea and Rice Protein Powder is a powerful protein concentrate, that is hypoallergenic and easily digested.

 

Source: http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-12047/14-great-sources-of-clean-protein.html

Nutrients That Work Together

Nutrients That Work Together

Nutrients work together. The following is a list of nutrients that work in pairs, from the Harvard Medical School, Nutrition Focus Issue No. 4, “Nutrients that work together – and that you should eat together,” published in May 2016.

Vitamin D and calcium

Like most nutrients, calcium is mostly absorbed in the small intestine. Calcium is important because it strengthens bones, but the body often needs vitamin D's assistance to absorb the nutrient. Vitamin D also has many other benefits throughout the body.

There's debate these days about whether to raise the daily intake goal for vitamin D. Right now, the official nutrition guidelines recommend that adults get 1,000 milligrams (mg) of calcium and 400 international units (IU) of vitamin D daily. For older adults, the recommended daily allowance is a bit higher: 1,200 mg of calcium starting in your 50s, and 600 IU of vitamin D starting in your 70s.

To give you an idea of how much that is, an 8-ounce glass of milk contains 300 mg of calcium and, because of fortification, 100 IU of vitamin D.

Sodium and potassium

Sodium is one essential nutrient that most Americans consume more of each day than they need (mostly in the form of salt).

Excess sodium interferes with the natural ability of blood vessels to relax and expand, increasing blood pressure—and increasing the chances of having a stroke or heart attack.

But potassium encourages the kidneys to excrete sodium. Many studies have shown a connection between high potassium intake and lower, healthier blood pressure. According to the current guidelines, adults are supposed to get 4,700 mg of potassium and 1,200 mg to 1,500 mg of sodium daily.

 To meet these criteria, you need to follow general healthy eating guidelines. To increase potassium intake, load up on fruits and vegetables. To decrease sodium intake, cut back on cookies, salty snacks, fast foods, and ready-made lunches and dinners.

 Vitamin B12 and folate

Vitamin B12 and folate (also one of the eight B vitamins) form one of nutrition's best couples. B12 helps the body absorb folate, and the two work together to support cell division and replication, which allow the body to replace cells that die. This process is important during times of growth in childhood, and throughout the body of adults as well. Cells that line the stomach and the cells of the hair follicle, for example, divide and replicate often.

Good food sources of vitamin B12 include:

  • Meat
  • Eggs
  • Milk

Natural sources of folate include:

  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Beans
  • Other legumes

Nutrition guidelines recommend 2.4 micrograms of B12 and 400 micrograms of folate daily. This can usually be achieved easily by eating a reasonably well-balanced diet.

However, vegans—people who don't eat meat and other animal-based products—may have B12deficiencies. And people who eat poorly or drink too much alcohol may have folate deficiencies.

Folate deficiencies can be corrected with multivitamins or folic acid pills. For a B12 deficiency, you can get injections every few months or take a pill daily. Deficiency in either or both vitamins may cause a form of anemia called macrocytic anemia. B12 deficiencies can also cause mild tingling sensations and memory loss.

Zinc and copper

Copper and zinc don't work together—they actually compete for places to be absorbed in the small intestine. If there's a lot of zinc around, copper tends to lose out and a copper deficiency may develop.

 Niacin and tryptophan

Niacin is one of the B vitamins, although it rarely goes by its B-vitamin moniker, B3. The daily niacin requirement is 16 mg for men and 14 mg for women. Niacin deficiency causes pellagra, a disease that causes a bad rash, diarrhea, and dementia. Tryptophan, an amino acid, is a source of niacin. So one way to avoid niacin shortfalls is to eat foods that contain a lot of tryptophan, including chicken and turkey.

Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu

Add Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet

Add Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet

Tips to add fruits and vegetables to your diet, from the Harvard Medical School, http://www.health.harvard.edu, originally published May 2016.

Eating fruits and vegetables helps to keep blood pressure under control, maintain healthy cholesterol levels, keep arteries flexible, protect your bones and keep your eyes, brain and digestive system healthy.

Tips to add more fruits and vegetables to your diet:

Know your needs: The guidelines recommend a minimum of 2 cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables a day. More is better. To calculate your fruit and vegetable needs, go to www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov. 

Set a goal: If fruits and vegetables are minor items in your menu, start by eating one extra fruit or vegetable a day. When you're used to that, add another, and keep going. 

Be sneaky: Add finely grated carrots or zucchini to pasta sauce, meatloaf, chili, or a stew to get an extra serving of vegetables. Cookbooks like Deceptively Delicious or The Sneaky Chef offer ways to slip vegetables and fruits into all sorts of recipes. 

Try something new: It's easy to get tired of apples, bananas, and grapes. Try a kiwi, mango, fresh pineapple, or some of the more exotic choices now found in many grocery stores. 

Blend in: A fruit smoothie (recipe below) is a delicious way to start the day or tide you over until dinner. 

Be a big dipper: Try dipping vegetables into hummus or another bean spread, some spiced yogurt, or a bit of ranch dressing. Or slather some peanut butter on a banana or slices of apple. 

Spread it on: Try mashed avocado as a dip with diced tomatoes and onions. Puréed cooked spinach is also a delicious dip. Either can also be used as a sandwich spread. 

Start off right: Ditch your morning donut for an omelet with onions, peppers, and mushrooms. Top it with some salsa to wake up your palate. Or boost your morning cereal or oatmeal with a handful of strawberries, blueberries, or dried fruit. 

Drink up: Having a 6-ounce glass of low-sodium vegetable juice instead of a soda gives you a full serving of vegetables and spares you 10 teaspoons or more of sugar. 

Give them the heat treatment: Cut up onions, carrots, zucchini, asparagus, turnips — whatever you have on hand — coat with olive oil, add a dash of balsamic vinegar, and roast at 350° until done. Grilling is another way to bring out the taste of vegetables. Use roasted or grilled veggies as a side dish, put them on sandwiches, or add them to salads. 

Let someone else do the work: Food companies and grocers offer an ever-expanding selection of prepared produce, from ready-made salads to frozen stir-fry mixes and take-along sliced apples and dip. 

Improve on nature: Jazz up vegetables with spices, chopped nuts, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, or a specialty oil like walnut or sesame oil. Even a dash of grated Parmesan cheese can liven up the blandest green beans. 

Chocolate: Try any type of fruit dipped in dark chocolate: what could be a tastier two-fer? In addition to a delectable dessert, you get plenty of heart-healthy antioxidants, some fiber, and a host of vitamins, minerals, and other phytonutrients.

Enjoy this recipe for a simple fruit smoothie:
This is a great way to use bananas that are beginning to get too ripe. (You can always cut ripe bananas into thick slices, freeze in a plastic bag, and thaw when you're ready to make another smoothie.) 

Makes 1 serving
¾ cup plain yogurt
½ cup berries (fresh or frozen strawberries, blueberries, or other berry of your choice)
½ ripe banana
½ cup pineapple juice
Optional: 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed (for healthy omega-3 fats)

Put all ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend to combine. You can branch out by adding a dash of ground cinnamon, a splash of vanilla, some mint, or other flavoring.

Tips for Healthier Meals on the Go

Tips for Healthier Meals on the Go

Source: Harvard Health Publications, Harvard Health Letter, Originally published: January 2016

We know how difficult it can be to eat healthy when you are on the go. The daily grind can drag down even the best-laid plans for attending to your health. And have you ever noticed how nutrition takes a back seat when you are hungry and unprepared?

Here are a few tips with help from the experts at Harvard Medical School to create healthier meals on the go:

Ingredients list: If you have to eat convenience foods, start with the ingredients list. The fewer ingredients, the better and make sure real foods are on the list. Watch out for added sugar, it will be one of the last ingredients on the list. 

Nutrition Labels:  Check nutrition fact labels, it is recommended to choose serving sizes that provide 600 or fewer calories; 5 or more grams of fiber; 500 or fewer milligrams of sodium; zero grams of trans fat; 5 or fewer grams of saturated fat; and zero grams of sugar. 

Dry foods: Look for whole-grain cereals, shredded wheat or rolled oats

Frozen and canned: Vegetables, without added salt, canned tuna or salmon; some frozen fish or shrimp and some frozen entrees that use organic ingredients

Make your own fast food: Batch cooking, make meals in a large quantity that you can freeze in small portions. Vegetarian or turkey chili, lentil or bean soup with plenty of vegetables all work well. Try making a marinara sauce to freeze, then thaw and add some turkey meatballs or whole-wheat pasta.

Keep a list of grab and go foods: Be prepared with your list of nutritious and healthy go-to foods to replenish each week. Ideas include low-fat, no added sugar yogurt, whole fruit, hummus, nuts, whole-wheat crackers, chopped vegetables. Prep these items in grab and go portions to keep on hand when you are out.

Revamp Your Snacking Habits

Revamp Your Snacking Habits

According to the experts at the Harvard Medical School, snacks can help bridge the gap between meals, according to Liz Moore, a dietitian at Harvard-affiliated Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Control your portion sizes and avoid overeating with healthy snack routines. 

Healthy snack suggestions

When choosing snacks, select whole foods with little processing, and look for the healthiest sources of fats, carbs, and protein.

  • 8 ounces plain Greek yogurt with fresh or frozen berries and a sprinkle of granol
  • 1½ ounces trail mix with dried cherries, dark chocolate, and walnut
  • ¼ cup hummus with 1 cup fresh vegetables, such as baby carrots, broccoli florets, and cherry tomatoe
  • 1 slice whole-grain flatbread with 1 tablespoon almond butter and 1 teaspoon fruit sprea
  • 1 banana, sliced and spread with 1 tablespoon peanut butte
  • 1 cup of cooked oatmeal with a dusting of cinnamon, 1 tablespoon raisins, and ½ cup low-fat milk or soy mil
  • Low-fat string cheese with an apple or small bunch of grape
  • 1 cup edamame* in the shell

If you crave something crunchy or savory, try making your own snack! Enjoy this recipe from the Harvard HEALTHbeat:

Spicy roasted chickpeas

Try this recipe for an easy, inexpensive snack that's rich in fiber and protein. All you need is a can of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans), a little olive oil, and spices (garlic powder, oregano, chili powder, curry powder, or any others you like). 

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Drain the chickpeas in a colander or strainer and rinse under running water.
  3. Spread the chickpeas on a large baking sheet.
  4. Drizzle with about one tablespoon of olive oil and stir to coat evenly.
  5. Sprinkle with your choice of spices.
  6. Roast for 15 to 30 minutes, to desired crispness.
  7. Store at room temperature in a resealable bag or container.

6 Steps to Getting More Phytonutrients

6 Steps to Getting More Phytonutrients

Food is more than nutrition. It is essential to incorporate food and nutrition as a lifestyle. Consuming optimal amounts of these nutrients will benefit your mind, your body and will cultivate joy.

6 Steps to Getting More Phytonutrients

1. Aim for 9-13 Servings of Plant Foods Everyday
To prevent chronic disease, consume at least 9-13 servings of plant foods each day. One serving is half a cup of cooked vegetabls, one cup of raw leafy vegetables or a medium-size piece of fruit. Aim to have about 3-4 servings of plant foods for each meal of the day.

2. Know Your Phytonutrient Sources
Phytonutrient-rich eats are limitless so experiment, try new things and have fun! Read more about the spectrum of phytonutrient foods.

3. Eat the Rainbow of Colors
Stay away from one food group or one color, variety is the key. Try a fruit smoothie for breakfast with blueberries, peaches, and raspberries! Make it your goal to get the full seven colors every day with a variety of foods.

4. Vary Your Choices
Try a new food every week to ensure you are getting different nutrients and foods to try! 

5. Maximize Combinations
Certain foods in combination together may achieve a better effect. Try putting turmeric with black pepper together with olive oil to enhance phytonutrient effects of all three foods on your health. Add lemon juice to spinach to help the iron become more absorbed by your body. Try putting plant foods together for an enhanced health benefit.

6. Be Creative with Substitutions
Think of foods that are commonly eaten that may not be as nutrient dense and replace with nutrient-dense options such as substituting mashed potatoes with sweet potatoes or purple potatoes.

The Detox Challenge, Dietary Guidebook, by Deanna Minich, PhD, in collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine.

Phytonutrients - Spectrum Foods

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Phytonutrients - Spectrum Foods

Eat a rainbow of phytonutrients every day to avoid chronic disease, nourish your body and live a healthful life.

What is the Spectrum of Phytonutrient Foods?

Red foods provide benefits including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cell protection, gastrointestinal health, heart health, hormone health, and liver health.

  • Apples, blood oranges, cranberries, cherries, grapefruit, goji berries, grapes, plums, pomegranate, raspberries, strawberries, watermelon
  • Beans (kidney, red)
  • Beets, bell peppers, onions, potatoes, radicchio, radishes, sweet red peppers, rhubarb, tomato
  • Rooibos tea

Orange foods provide benefits including anti-cancer, antibacterial, immune health, cell protection, reduced mortality, reproductive health, skin health, source of vitamin A.

  • Apricots, cantaloupe, mango, nectarine, orange, papaya, tangerines
  • Bell peppers, carrots, pumpkin, squash, sweet potato, yams
  • Turmeric root

Yellow foods provide benefits including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cell protection, cognition, eye health, heart health, skin health and vascular health.

  • Apple, asian pears, banana, lemon, pineapple, starfruit
  • Bell peppers, summer squash
  • Ginger root, millet

Green foods provide health benefits including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, brain health, cell protection, skin health, hormone balance, heart health, liver health.

  • Apples, bitter melon, limes, pears
  • Artichoke, asparagus, avocado, bamboo sprouts, bean sprouts, bell peppers, bok choy, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, celery, cucumbers, green beans, green peas, greens (arugula, beet, chard/swiss chard, collard, dandelion, kale, lettuce, mustard, spinach, turnip), okra, snow peas, zucchini
  • Decaf green tea, olives, watercress

Blue/Purple/Black foods provide health benefits including anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, cell protection, cognitive health, heart health and liver health.

  • Berries (blue, black, boysenberries, huckleberries, marionberries), figs, grapes, plums, prunes, raisins
  • Bell peppers, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, kale, olives, potatoes, rice (black or purple)

White/Tan/Brown foods provide health benefits including anti-cancer, anti-microbial, cell protection, gastrointestinal health, heart health, hormone health and liver health

  • Apples, applesauce, coconut, dates, jicama, pears
  • Bean dips, garlic, ginger, legumes (chickpeas, dried beans or peas, hummus, lentils, peanuts, refried beans/low-fat), nuts (almonds, cashews, pecans, walnuts), seeds (flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), tahini, naturally caffeine free tea (black, white), gluten-free whole grains (brown rice, quinoa)
  • Cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, sauerkraut, shallots

The Detox Challenge, Dietary Guidebook, by Deanna Minich, PhD, in collaboration with The Institute for Functional Medicine.

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Sunscreen Tips for the Summer

Sunscreen Tips for the Summer

12 things to know when choosing and using sunscreen this summer from the experts at the Harvard Medical School, Harvard Medical Publications, HEALTHbeat:

1. Get rid of old sunscreen. Sunscreen has a shelf life of 3 years, but you don't know when a product first landed on a shelf. Check the expiration date, if there is one — but be mindful that the expiration date is only good if the sunscreen hasn't been exposed to any extreme heat.

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2. SPF tells you how much protection the sunscreen offers. Higher SPF values (up to 50) provide greater sunburn protection.

3. Stick with SPF 50 or gear up with protective clothing. You don't need to buy a product with an SPF higher than 50. You are better off buying a hat — or clothing that deflects UV rays.

4. Sunscreen is not waterproof. The FDA has banned the term "waterproof." It's now been replaced by "water-resistant." Labels on water-resistant sunscreens must clearly state how long they provide protection after water exposure or sweating. Depending on how often you swim, you can choose one that needs to be reapplied every 40 or 80 minutes.

5. Broad Spectrum. The FDA has also banned the term "sunblock." Instead, look for labels that state "broad spectrum." A broad spectrum sunscreen must pass tests proving that it truly protects against both ultraviolet A (UVA) and ultraviolet B (UVB) rays.

6. UVA vs UVB. When sunlight hits your skin, it is absorbing both UVA and UVB rays. UVB rays are the main cause of sunburn. UVA rays can prematurely age and wrinkle skin. Both contribute to skin cancer. That's why you always want a broad spectrum product.

7.    Use an ounce of sunscreen per large child or adult. That's about as much as would fill your hand — or a shot glass. You really want to cover all exposed skin well. Reapply at least once every 2 hours, even if your child doesn't sweat or go in the water.

8. Keep the Bug Spray Separate. Don't buy a product that combines a sunscreen and an insect repellent. Sunscreen should be reapplied frequently, but insect repellents should not. Buy separate products and apply them separately.

9. Choose lotions over sprays. While sprays seem easier, it's harder to be sure that you are covering all the skin well. Also, there are concerns that breathing in the spray (which is easy to do while spraying it) could be harmful.

10.  Don't buy sunscreen powders. These go on your scalp. They're easy to inhale, so avoid them.

11.  Apply sunscreen before you go out in the sun. That way, you go into the sun protected. Plus, you don't have to worry about children being squirmy or running away from you. If you have small children, apply the sunscreen before you put on their clothes or bathing suits. Then you'll be sure you don't miss any spots.

12. Safety. The safety of some sunscreen ingredients is controversial. These include oxybenzone, retinoids and nanoparticles. The Environmental Working Group has a list of 184 sunscreens that meet their safety criteria. You can choose one of those to be on the safe side. However, it's important to know that the American Academy of Dermatology does not believe that those ingredients pose a health risk. What does pose a health risk is too much sun exposure. Burns during childhood can especially raise the risk of skin cancer later in life. So the most important thing is to buy that sunscreen — and use it often and well.

Detox and Purify Your Body

Detox and Purify Your Body

Are you interested in learning more about the state of your health? Are you ready to discover your authentic body? 

Join us on a journey to detox and purify your body of excess toxins that have accumulated in your organs and soft tissues.

What does the program include?

  • Support, you will receive as much or as little support as you like over the 2-week period to ensure your success.
  • Health History including body composition testing, functional movement screening and additional ratio and symptom evaluations.
  • Daily Email Plan with a menu, shopping list, recipes, nutrition lesson and endless resources for success!
  • Coaching, let us help you along this journey with one-on-one consultations or email/phone communication when you need it.

 

Ancient vs. Modern Grains

Ancient vs. Modern Grains

These days, it’s common knowledge that whole grains like oats and wheat are important for maintaining health: they raise “good” HDL cholesterol levels and lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.

A Harvard study published online on June 13, 2016, in the journal Circulation found that, compared to people who didn’t eat many whole grains each day, people who ate four servings of whole grains daily (about 70 grams) during the study period had a 22% lower risk of death from any cause, a 23% lower risk of dying from cardiovascular disease, and a 20% lower risk of dying from cancer. The study doesn’t prove that whole grains prevent early death, but it adds to increasing evidence that whole grains really are full of “goodness.”

Maybe that’s why some whole grains, called ancient grains, are now trending among foodies, even showing up on the list of the National Restaurant Association’s “What’s Hot in 2016” culinary forecast.

What are ancient grains?

Unlike modern grains such as wheat, corn, and rice, ancient grains have never been processed through hybridization or genetic modification; they’re grown just as they were a thousand years ago. They have exotic-sounding names like teff, einkorn, emmer, amaranth, millet, quinoa, black rice, black barley, and spelt. And they pack a nutritional wallop. “Generally speaking, they offer more protein, fiber, and vitamins than modern grains,” says Debbie Krivitsky, a registered dietitian at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts General Hospital. For example, a cup of cooked teff has 10 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber, compared with 5 grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber in a cup of cooked modern brown rice.

Nutrition isn’t the only difference. Ancient grains sometimes have more calories than modern grains. In our example of teff and brown rice, teff has 255 calories per cup, compared to brown rice, which has 216 calories. Furthermore, a cup of cooked modern oatmeal has only 124 calories, and a cup of cooked modern corn has only 74 calories. In addition to the higher calorie content, there is another difference between the two forms of grains: ancient grains tend to cost more than modern grains.

Whole grains, always in style

Just because ancient grains are “in” right now, it doesn’t mean you should discount modern whole grains. All whole grains are better for you than refined grains. Whole-grain kernels have three parts — the bran, endosperm, and germ — that give you phytonutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants, which protect against chronic disease. “Refined grains get rid of the bran and germ in the processing, and you lose the fiber and many of the nutrients,” says Krivitsky.

Many whole grains contain plenty of fiber, which helps lower cholesterol, improves digestion, and controls blood sugar. “It’s okay to eat lower-fiber whole grains. Just make sure you include other foods that are high in fiber, such as fruit and vegetables or high-fiber breads, cereals, and crackers,” says Krivitsky.

Where to start

The takeaway message is to vary your whole grains. “Keep eating oatmeal and brown rice if you like it, but add in some ancient grains from time to time,” suggests Krivitsky. Enjoy ancient grains as a side dish to a meal, or sample products that contain ancient grains, such as breads, cereals, and pastas.

When buying any whole-grain product, to ensure that you are getting an appreciable serving of that grain, make sure it’s one of the first ingredients listed; ingredients are listed by quantity, in descending order. Also, make sure there’s not a lot of added sugar, which takes away from the value of the food.

And remember to watch your calories when eating any grains. “Some of these are calorie-dense foods, so you really have to be mindful of portions or you may gain weight. But you can have less and still get more nutrients,” says Krivitsky.

Original article, shared by the Harvard Health Publication
POSTED JUNE 29, 2016, 9:30 AM
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter

Attend to Your Mind and Body

Attend to Your Mind and Body

According to the Harvard Health Publication, the way we live, the foods we eat and how we treat our body affect not only our health but also our memory. The following are five things you can do every day to keep your mind and body sharp:

Manage your stress. The constant drumbeat of daily stresses such as deadline pressures or petty arguments can certainly distract you and affect your ability to focus and recall. But the bigger problem is an ongoing sense of extreme anxiety—that can lead to memory impairment. If you don’t have a strategy in place for managing your stress, protecting your memory is one reason to get one. Deep breathing, meditation, yoga, and a “mindful” approach to living can all help.

Get a good night’s sleep. People who don’t sleep well at night tend to be more forgetful than people who sleep soundly. A good night’s sleep is essential for consolidating memories. The most common reason for poor sleep is insomnia—difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. Unfortunately, many medicines used to treat insomnia can also impair memory and general brain function. That’s why it’s best to try improving your sleep habits first and turn to medication only if those steps don’t help. If you do need sleep aids, use the lowest dose for the shortest time needed to get your sleep back on track.

If you smoke, quit. Easier said than done, certainly, but if you need additional motivation, know that smokers have a greater degree of age-related memory loss and other memory problems than nonsmokers. People who smoke more than two packs of cigarettes a day at midlife have more than double the risk of developing dementia in old age compared with nonsmokers. However, those who stop smoking by midlife and those who smoke less than half a pack a day have a similar a risk of dementia as people who have never smoked.

If you drink alcohol, do so moderately. Drinking too much alcohol increases the risk for memory loss and dementia. People with alcoholism have difficulty performing short-term memory tasks, such as memorizing lists. Another type of memory loss associated with alcohol use is called Korsakoff’s syndrome. In this condition, long-term vitamin B1 deficiency combined with the toxic effects of alcohol on the brain can trigger sudden and dramatic amnesia. In some cases this memory loss is permanent, but if caught early, can be reversed to some degree.

Protect your brain from injury. Head trauma is a major cause of memory loss and increases the risk of developing dementia. Always use the appropriate gear during high-speed activities and contact sports. Wear seat belts when riding in motor vehicles. Car accidents are by far the most common cause of brain injury, and wearing seat belts greatly reduces the chances of severe head injury. Wear a helmet when bicycling, riding on a motorcycle, in-line skating, and skiing.

http://www.health.harvard.edu, Harvard Health Publications

Tips for Healthy Grilling

Tips for Healthy Grilling

Summertime is in full swing and it is time to enjoy the grille! 5 Tips for healthy grilling from the Harvard Health Blog:

Start out clean. Don’t let the charred buildup on your grill transfer to your meal. Use a wire brush to give your grill a good cleaning. Then wipe it down with a cloth or wadded-up bunch of paper towels to make sure that no grill-cleaning bristles will get into your food—or your guests.

 Smoke and fire. Exposing protein-rich meat, poultry, and fish to high heat and open flames creates heterocyclic amines. When fat drips and burns on the grill, the resulting smoke contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons. These two groups of chemicals have been linked to various types of cancer. You can reduce the formation of heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons several ways: Line the grill with foil perforated with holes. Cook for longer at a lower temperature. Have a spray bottle filled with water handy to control fatty flare-ups.

 Marinate. Marinating food for a while before cooking limits the formation of potential carcinogens while grilling. Recipes abound for healthy marinades that will add flavor to whatever you are grilling. If you rely on bottled marinades, choose those that are low in salt.

 Give veggies and fruit equal billing with meat. Grilling intensifies the flavor of fruits and vegetables, just as it does for meat. Kebabs that alternate meat with pieces of onion, pepper, or other produce, like spicy chicken kebabs with Moorish flavors, are a great way to increase vegetable and fruit intake. Or skip meat altogether, with something like grilled eggplant cutlets with tomato or portabella mushroom “steak” sandwiches.

 Practice safe grilling. Keep raw meat, poultry, and seafood separate from vegetables and other foods. Use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of grilled meat, poultry, and seafood. Place grilled foods on clean plates, not on the ones that held them when they were raw. The USDA offers other tips for keeping food safe.

Source: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/5-tips-for-healthy-grilling-201305276318?utm_source=delivra&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=GB20160629-HealthyEating&utm_id=185789&mid=21804441&ml=185789

5 foods that Fight High Cholesterol

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5 foods that Fight High Cholesterol

Changing what you eat can lower your cholesterol and improve the composition of the armada of fats floating through your bloodstream. Fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and “good fats” are all part of a heart-healthy diet. But some foods are particularly good at helping bring down cholesterol.
— Harvard Health Publications, HEALTHbeat

How? The following cholesterol-lowering foods deliver a good dose of soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Others provide polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. And those with plant sterols and stanols keep the body from absorbing cholesterol.

Here are 5 of those foods:

1. Oats. An easy way to start lowering cholesterol is to choose oatmeal or an oat-based cold cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram.

2. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That's one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices — from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond — and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.

3. Nuts. A bushel of studies shows that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5%. Nuts have additional nutrients that protect the heart in other ways.

4. Foods fortified with sterols and stanols. Sterols and stanols extracted from plants gum up the body's ability to absorb cholesterol from food. Companies are now adding them to a wide variety of foods. They're also available as supplements. Getting 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10%.

5. Fatty fish. Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream and also protect the heart by helping prevent the onset of abnormal heart rhythms.

Harvard Health Publications, HEALTHbeat, Harvard University, June 11, 2016

 

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Tips for a Healthy Independence Day

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Tips for a Healthy Independence Day

The Fourth of July has arrived! How do you manage the joys of the holidays? The holidays, no matter what time of year, represent some of the biggest challenges to maintaining healthy eating habits and exercise.

A few tips for maintaining your healthy independence:

  1. Maintain your exercise schedule. Write it in your calendar and do it. You will feel less stressed and enjoy the holiday more. 
     
  2. Make a conscious effort to eat healthier foods. Choose the lower calorie items such as fresh fruit salad, watermelon, vegetable salad, and lean proteins. Challenge yourself to pick the healthiest food. If you do this most of the time, you can enjoy the treats some of the time. 
     
  3. Everything does not have to be perfect! When you are most frazzled, stop and spend 2 minutes reflecting on what you are most grateful for this holiday season. Take several calming breaths and do one of your favorite stretches. Repeat as many times during the day as needed. You'll be surprised how just 2 minutes can improve your state of mind.

Authentic Body Therapy wishes you a very Happy Fourth of July, enjoy the celebration and festivities!

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Improve Your Sleep and Manage Stress for a Healthier Heart

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Improve Your Sleep and Manage Stress for a Healthier Heart

According to the Harvard Health Experts, two ways to protect your heart are to improve sleep and manage stress.

If you have heart disease, you’re probably all too familiar with tenets of a heart-healthy lifestyle; eat wisely, get regular physical activity, keep weight, blood pressure, and blood sugar on target; and if you smoke, quit. What you might not know is that sufficient, good-quality sleep and stress control also offer genuine benefits to your heart.
— Harvard Medical School, Health Publication

Sleep

Two sleep-related problems that plague many people — sleep deprivation and sleep apnea — have been linked to a higher risk of heart disease.

· Sleep deprivation. Over time, inadequate or poor quality sleep can increase the risk for a number of chronic health problems, including heart disease. Studies have linked short-term sleep deprivation with several well-known contributors to heart disease, including high cholesterol, high triglycerides, and high blood pressure.

· Sleep apnea. This common cause of loud, disruptive snoring makes people temporarily stop breathing many times during the night. Up to 83% of people with heart disease also have sleep apnea, according to some estimates.

In the most common form, obstructive sleep apnea, soft tissue in the upper part of the mouth or back of the throat completely blocks the airway. Oxygen levels dip and the brain sends an urgent “Breathe now!” signal. That signal briefly wakes the sleeper and makes him or her gasp for air. That signal also jolts the same stress hormone and nerve pathways that are stimulated when you are angry or frightened. As a result, the heart beats faster and blood pressure rises—along with other things that can threaten heart health such as inflammation and an increase in blood clotting ability.

If you snore often and loudly — especially if you find yourself tired during the day — talk with your doctor about an evaluation for sleep apnea.

Check your stress (and negative thoughts) at the door

A growing body of evidence suggests that psychological factors are — literally — heartfelt, and can contribute to cardiac risk. Stress from all sorts of challenging situations and events plays a significant role in cardiovascular symptoms and outcome, particularly heart attack risk. The same is true for depression, anxiety, anger, hostility, and social isolation. Acting alone, each of these factors heightens your chances of developing heart problems. But these issues often occur together, for example, psychological stress often leads to anxiety, depression can lead to social isolation, and so on.

Does reducing stress, or changing how you respond to it, actually reduce your chances of developing heart disease or having a heart attack? The answer isn’t entirely clear, but many studies suggest the answer is “yes.” There is much to learn about exactly how. Research indicates that constant stress contributes biologically to heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure and the formation of artery-clogging deposits. Other research finds that chronic stress may make it harder to sleep, eat well, quit smoking, and exercise.

Fortunately, you can learn healthier ways to respond to stress that may help your heart and improve your quality of life. These include relaxation exercises (deep breathing, guided imagery), physical activity (walking, yoga), and staying connected with friends, co-workers, family members.

 

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Sunbather's Live Longer? But Don't Forget the Sunscreen!

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Sunbather's Live Longer? But Don't Forget the Sunscreen!

Here’s something unexpected: Sunbathers live longer

Surprising, right? But that’s the conclusion of a new study that compared the life spans of many people with varying amounts of sun exposure. They found that among nearly 30,000 women in Sweden, who were each monitored for about 20 years, those who spent more time in the sun actually lived longer and had less heart disease and fewer non-cancer deaths than those who reported less sun exposure.

Can the sun extend your life?

With summer just around the corner, this news is timely — and a great excuse to get out of the house or office and soak up some sun. But there are some important caveats about this research:

Deaths due to cancer were more common among those who spent more time in the sun (The authors suggest that the higher probability of being diagnosed with cancer among the sun worshippers was because they were surviving longer and not dying as often of other causes)
The impact of sun exposure on longevity was relatively small. Even those with the greatest sun exposure only benefited from an extra 7 months to 2 years of life.
This study detected an association between sun exposure and a lower frequency of certain causes of death; however, that’s not the same as proving that sun exposure was the cause of longer life. It could turn out that there is another explanation for these results that has little to do with sun exposure itself. For example, perhaps people with more sun exposure tend to be more active, smoke less, and have healthier diets. The researchers tried to account for other factors such as these in their analysis, but it’s always possible that something important was overlooked.
The reason why more sun exposure might prolong life or prevent heart disease deaths could not be determined by this study. Because the sun’s UV light triggers chemical reactions in the skin that lead to the production of vitamin D, it’s possible that vitamin D is responsible for the health benefits of sun exposure described in this study. And that could mean vitamin D supplements would promote longer life free of heart disease, even without sun exposure. However, that’s only speculation and prior studies have not been able to prove this.
The study did not include men. The impact of sun exposure could be quite different among men.

Before you ditch the sunscreen and head for the beach…

While there is some uncertainty about the overall importance of this study, one thing is for sure: when it comes to the impact of sun exposure on health and disease, the findings of this new report won’t be the last word. There are competing risks linked to sun exposure: skin cancer and other skin damage are clearly a risk; but there may be health benefits as well (as suggested by this study). Since this type of study cannot determine the exact reason that those with more sun exposure lived longer, we’ll need more research to sort out just how much sun exposure is best.

The authors of this study speculate that recommendations to limit sun exposure might actually do more harm than good; in fact, they suggest that avoiding the sun could have a negative health impact similar in magnitude to smoking. That’s quite a statement!

In my opinion, that kind of declaration is premature and overstates what we can conclude from this type of research. After all, there are plenty of examples in which retrospective studies like this one (that is, those that ask people to think back and self-report their experiences with an exposure or treatment) turned out to be completely wrong. Routine hormone replacement therapy for perimenopausal women is one of the most dramatic and recent examples. Let’s not make sun exposure the next one.

Source: POSTED JUNE 06, 2016, 9:30 AM , UPDATED JUNE 07, 2016, 12:06 PM by Robert H. Shmerling, MD, Faculty Editor, Harvard Health Publications

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