Monday, January 30, 2012

Organic Foods Equal Improved Health?

I know for me, one of the greatest lifestyle changes I've made in the past few years is switching over to almost all organic foods. Joining a local CSA has allowed me to do this in a cost-effective manner, and also have the satisfaction of supporting my local community farmers and knowing exactly where my food comes from. I don't know if this is the sole reason, but I'm sure it does have some correlation with the fact that I pretty much NEVER get sick anymore. No more flu, no more twice a year colds, no long drawn out weeks of coughing and sniffling. I have had 2 colds in the past 4 years, both of which lasted no more than 3 days (one of them I caught from my boss, who suffered with his for 5 weeks!)  I can't say for sure this is entirely due to eating organically, but I'm sure it has had some impact. Eating healthy and fresh foods is one of the absolute best things you can do for your body and overall health.

English: Organic Farm Foods The packing facili...Image via WikipediaOrganic food is food that is free from all genetically modified organisms, produced without artificial pesticides and fertilizers and derived from an animal reared without the routine use of antibiotics, growth promoters or other drugs. Once only available in small stores or farmers' markets, organic foods are becoming much more widely available.

Organic foods have been shown to improve your immune system, help you sleep better, shed the excess weight more easily, and improve your blood work just to name a few. Organic food can boast intense, realistic flavors, and a higher vitamin and mineral content.

And though logically it makes sense to consume a diet based on organic foods, some worry about the cost. But with careful planning and preparation, going organic is actually quite affordable. And, the peace of mind knowing you and your family are consuming foods that haven’t been treated with pesticides or genetically altered is worth the extra money spent.

The pesticides used by conventional farmers can have many negative influences on your health, including neurotoxicity, disruption of your endocrine system, carcinogenicity and immune system suppression. Pesticide exposure may also affect male reproductive function and has been linked to miscarriages in women.

csa_week_4Image by karenandbrademerson via FlickrAdditionally, conventional produce tends to have fewer nutrients than organic produce. On average, conventional produce has only 83 percent of the nutrients of organic produce. Studies have found significantly higher levels of nutrients such as vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and significantly less nitrates (a toxin) in organic crops.

So it’s a smart idea to buy and eat organic produce and free-range organic foods as much as possible for maximum health benefits. In addition, the knowledge that you’re supporting the organic foods industry that is dedicated to protecting the environment by steering clear of harmful pesticides and chemicals that can result in the loss of topsoil, toxic runoff and resulting water pollution, soil contamination and poisoning and the death of insects, birds, critters and beneficial soil organisms should help you feel even better.

For more information on these topics, visit and
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, January 27, 2012

Video - Natural Ways to Detoxify the Skin

Here is a quick video with a couple of helpful tips for natural skin detoxification, and helping your skin perform its detoxifying duties to its highest potential. By cleansing your skin thoroughly in this manner, you are allowing your pores to open and release toxins more easily, and without triggering acne breakouts or other similar skin conditions. These don't involve any lotions or potions - just a couple of natural tools that let your body work better naturally.

Check it out!

Detoxify the Skin Dr. Christopher Lepisto lists ways to detoxify the skin.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Eliminate Acne With the Proper Diet

Most people with acne attempt to treat their irritated skin with external face washes, soaps, lotions and treatments. However, the best way to treat acne is by changing your diet and getting rid of acne-causing ingredients such as fried foods.

A healthful diet rich in natural whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and beans is the first recommendation for treating acne (organic if possible, to avoid introducing more toxins into your body for the skin to eliminate). Foods containing trans-fatty acids, such as milk, milk products, margarine, shortening and other synthetically hydrogenated vegetable oils, as well as fried foods, should be avoided.

A Chinese buffet restaurant in the United Stat...Image via WikipediaIt seems the prevalence of acne in the United States is closely tied to the typical American diet. Americans tend to eat fried foods in large quantities, usually cooked in the most harmful of fats and oils. Not all fats are bad, but the fats that typical Americans eat make them more prone to develop acne and skin problems, such as what’s in processed and fried foods like potato chips, french fries, and convenience foods (and don't forget sugary sodas and other drinks - sugar can be a major trigger of acne and related skin problems).

Acne cannot really be cured using creams and soaps because the root of the condition lies beneath the skin. Pimples and blemishes are caused by bacteria and other irritants embedded underneath the skin's oil glands and hair follicles, which are generally caused as a result of improper hygiene and poor diet – such as too much processed, fatty, fried and sugary foods.

English: veggiesImage via WikipediaA skin-healthy diet emphasizes raw and lightly cooked vegetables, especially green leafy vegetables that contain valuable trace minerals and are rich in fiber. Fresh green vegetables are essential. Also include in your diet lean protein sources and complex carbohydrates, such as rice, whole-grain bread, and potatoes. These fiber-rich foods help ensure a clean gastrointestinal tract, which is especially important in the management of acne.

Eat three healthy meals daily to provide important nutrients and to decrease your appetite for sugary or greasy fried foods. Foods rich in vitamin A, like apricots, watermelon, and broccoli, as well as foods like lean beef, nuts, beans and whole grains that are rich in zinc can also be helpful in reducing acne breakouts. It’s also imperative to drink lots of water to help flush the toxins out that contribute to breakouts.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fall and Winter Skin Helpers

The skin is the largest organ of the body. Being on the outside of your body, of course it takes the brunt of the force from changes in the weather. Keeping your skin healthy and in good condition does more than just keep it looking good - it also maximizes its detoxification potential, which is important as your skin is your largest detoxifying organ.

Winter Snow - LandscapeImage by blmiers2 via FlickrDuring the summer, skin needs protection from the sun. When the weather gets cooler, the methods we use to keep our skin healthy need to change too. This way our skin can glow and be healthy all throughout the year.

Skin Tips for Cooler Weather

* Stay hydrated – Many people think that drinking water is only important when you are exercising or the weather is hot. However, it is just as important when the weather begins to get cold and dry out. Continue to drink at least eight glasses of water a day to replenish water lost through sweating, urination and normal cellular activity.

* Use a humidifier – Dry air can cause skin to become red and itchy. Restore moisture to the air with a humidifier. A cool mist humidifier in your room at night can give keep just enough moisture in the air to make sleeping comfortable.

* Find a good moisturizer – Regular lotions contain perfumes and additives that can actually dry your skin. Look for an all-natural moisturizing product that is light but also contains natural plant oils so that it absorbs into the skin well. (Aubrey Organics and Organic Fiji are two of our favorites - you can find ratings and reviews of other good all-natural moisturizers at

* Remember to exfoliate – It is still important to remove dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. Old cells can clog pores leading to acne and irritation, and can decrease your skin's detoxification potential. Once a week, use a good scrub (such as a natural sugar scrub) to gently remove any clinging dead cells from your face and body.

Lips 41Image via Wikipedia* Protect your lips – Lips can become chapped easily when the weather turns chilly. Keep them from peeling and cracking with lip balm. Choose one with a natural zinc oxide sunscreen added if you plan to be out in the sun a lot. Apply as needed to keep lips moisturized and supple.

* Wear gloves outside – Skin on the hands can easily be affected by the elements. When you go outside, wear a good pair of gloves. They will hold in moisture and keep your hands warm.

* Avoid drying out your skin – We often forget that we have skin underneath our hair. The scalp can become dry and itchy when we use blow dryers and other hot styling tools on the hair - especially in winter time. Keep the scalp protected by putting away your blow dryer. Towel dry your hair to protect the skin of your scalp, and use a moisturizing shampoo such as one of the gentler ones from Aubrey Organics formulated to be gentle on the scalp.

* Wear socks to bed – You may want to do this if it gets cold in your house in the winter. The reason here is to hold moisture in and keep the skin on your feet soft. Moisturize them before bed and wear socks to help it absorb overnight.

Protect your valuable skin from the elements with these tips, and your skin will look and feel great year-round.
Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, January 20, 2012

Video - Gentle Home Detox Program

Here is a short video detailing a simple and gentle detox method which can help you cleanse your liver and gall bladder, as well as your lymph system. This easy method doesn't require you to take a lot of weird supplements, and it can be done with just a couple of readily available ingredients you can find at just about any supermarket.

(Be sure to consult your heathcare practitioner before attempting this or any other detox or cleanse.)

Simple Home Detox Program
This simple home detox program is for people who are relatively healthy. If you are very toxic, you will start to feel sick after a few days, in which case stop the detox program because you are detoxifying too quickly. I...

Here are the details on this detox method:

Simple Detox Program:

When you get up in the morning drink:

2 Tbsp organic olive oil with juice of 1/2 fresh lemon

An hour later drink a Detox Tea or take a Milk Thistle capsule

You can then eat a healthy breakfast.

* Detox Program for 10 days
* Stop for 5 days
* Repeat these two steps

Note: This detox program is gentle and gradual. You can easily do this gentle detox program for at least 3 to 6 months.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Top 5 Detoxing Mistakes

Detoxing can be a good way to improve your health. You can reset your taste buds and metabolism. You can lose weight. You can get the toxins out of your body, blood and organs. With all of the benefits of detoxing, it’s also easy to make mistakes. These mistakes can derail your detoxing plan. However, knowing the mistakes in advance helps you prepare for them and avoid them. You can have a safe, effective and well managed detox.

Cover of "Detox (Natural Care Handbook)"Cover of Detox (Natural Care Handbook)Mistake #1: Choosing The Wrong Detox Plan

There are a wide variety of detox plans and programs. Some are designed for weight loss. Others are designed to help you eliminate a dependency on sugar, caffeine or gluten. Others are simply designed to help you purge toxins from your body. When you choose the right program, it’s much easier to stick to it. It’s also easier to recognize the benefits of detoxing and to celebrate the rewards.

Mistake #2: Not Preparing For The Side Effects

Most detox programs have side effects. They include headaches, nausea, diarrhea, fatigue, insomnia and mood swings. There are a few common reasons for the side effects. Most of them are caused by withdrawal. If you include sugary foods in your daily diet, going “cold turkey” can cause withdrawal. Eliminating caffeine and starchy carbohydrates can also cause withdrawal symptoms.

The other commonly held theory behind the side effects is the release of toxins into your body. When you detox you’re experiencing a sudden release of toxins from your tissues into your body. Your body will need to work to get them out of your system. Drinking lots of water helps.

Mistake #3: Bad Timing

Detoxing can be incredibly challenging. It’s best to detox during a weekend or a low stress time. That way you can take care of your body and manage your side effects without additional outside stress. If you cannot time your detox for a weekend or a vacation, consider choosing a gentle detox plan. There are plans that last a week or two but don’t require a sudden elimination.

Mistake #4: Not Drinking Enough

You’ll likely experience diarrhea when you’re detoxing. This is part of the purging your body of toxins. Make sure you drink plenty of water. The water will help you stay hydrated. It will also help the toxins get out of your body more quickly. Drinking water, and green tea if the diet allows, will also help you prevent headaches.

English: I took this image of my mum getting a...Image via WikipediaMistake #5: Not paying attention to your body

It’s very important to pay attention to your body during the detox process. It is possible to detox too fast. It’s also possible that detoxing can be bad for you. It’s not right for everyone. If you have compromised health or are fighting an illness, it’s not the right time to detox. Pay careful attention to how your body is reacting. It is okay to stop detoxing or to take it more slowly.

Detoxing can provide a number of powerful health benefits. Choose a plan that fits your needs, goals and lifestyle. Pay close attention to your body and prepare for the detox well and always remember to consult your doctor before starting. To your great health!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 16, 2012

Exploring Common Detox Methods

When it comes to detoxing there are as many ways to detox as there are reasons to. It can be confusing trying to figure out which one is right for you. Before you make a decision, decide what you want to accomplish with a detox plan. Also consider your lifestyle and how you might fit a detox program into your life for a few days. Finally, make sure the program is safe and reputable.

Once you know what you’re looking for then you can begin comparing methods. The following are the most common detox methods.

Beet juiceImage via Wikipedia#1 Juicing

A juice detox plan generally requires you to drink juice and only juice for several days to a week. Some juicing detox plans actually let you gradually ease into the plan and ease your way out. Juicing is a fairly easy way to detox. You are able to consume calories which is better than a starvation detox diet. And all of those organic vegetables and fruits are great for your body. You’ll be consuming a vast amount of fiber and nutrients.

#2 Tea

There are several tea type cleanses or detox diets. They essentially require you to drink an herbal or laxative tea for several days. The challenge to this diet is the fact that you don’t get to eat anything. You just drink a lot of tea. People tend to lose weight on a diet like this. However, they also tend to gain it back once they quit the diet. They do, however, often work to flush out your kidneys, liver, colon and cleansing organs.

#3 Elimination diets

Elimination diets like a Candida diet, a gluten free diet or a sugar free diet are all great for helping you regain your health. They tend to last a few weeks to several months. This means you need to be committed to the diet. However, once you cleanse your system of the offending food(s) you will be much healthier. These types of deist are best for those who are struggling with poor dietary habits. Or if you suspect you have a food sensitivity or allergy.

#4 Traditional methods

English: A Latvian sauna house covered by snow...Image via WikipediaTraditionally people detoxed by sweating. Saunas are a wonderful way to detox. You can enjoy a traditional steam sauna. You might also take a look at infrared saunas. Massage helps move the toxins from the muscles too.

Another traditional method to detox is to take a salt bath. Epsom salts cost just a few dollars at your supermarket. You can find them in the first aid section. Pour a cup, or two, of Epsom salts into a hot bath. Add essential oils to the bath to add an aroma therapy element to the bath. Bathe for thirty to sixty minutes. While bathing use a loofa or scrub to brush dead skin cells and toxins from your skin. Rinse off.

There are many detox methods to consider. Some are easy, like taking a sauna. Others are a bit more challenging. You might consider combing some methods to receive maximum benefit. Always take care to detox slowly and to make sure you’re healthy enough for a detox plan.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, January 13, 2012

Recommended Resource: The Eco Energy Saver 400

The Eco Energy Saver 400 Package is a great purchase that is packed full of energy- saving products. Not only will these products help you to save your hard-earned money, but you will also help the environment by being eco-conscious.

The package includes a lot of different energy-saving small products that will make a big improvement to your energy bill. It includes: Window Energy Film, Hot Water Heater Insulating Jacket, SmartStrip Power Strip, 6 Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs, Low Flow Showerhead, Foam Outlet Gaskets and other products to turn your home into an energy-saving household.

The purchase price of this bundle of energy-saving products might seem quite high at first, but you will certainly notice the financial savings over a relatively short period of time. I think that this package would make a fantastic gift/purchase for anybody wanting to improve their energy consumption in their home.

Where to buy:
(in the Search box right at the top, type "Eco Energy Saver 400")

Green Products -  Save Money & Energy
Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Why Eco-Conscious Home Owners Should Have an Energy Audit

If you are eco-conscious, that means you are concerned about your impact on the earth. And that extends to your personal energy use. Therefore, as an eco-conscious homeowner, it's a good idea to have an energy audit.

What Is an Energy Audit?

Essentially, an energy audit on your home means going over it in detail, noting any areas of energy inefficiency. For example, you would look at your home's insulation, windows, doors, lighting, and appliances. You'd also check your water heater, pipes, and heating and cooling system for signs of inefficiency and energy waste.

English: Southport, NC, October 4, 1999 -- Ele...Image via WikipediaOption 1: Do It Yourself

You can conduct an energy audit yourself. You will need to take notes, and inform yourself on just what you are looking for. Here are some tips:

* Insulation is not just pink fluff in the attic. When you audit your insulation, you will need to check your home's walls, the basement or second storey ceiling, and the attic. For example, you may have an attached garage at your house. If the ceiling of the garage is not insulated, cold air will penetrate to the room above it. Check existing insulation for leaks.

* Lighting is a big source of waste in some homes. Look for any rooms that have high-wattage, incandescent bulbs in them, and replace these with CFLs or other more efficient lighting options. Also look for ways to let in more natural light - which is free!

* Windows and doors will need to be scrutinized. If you don't have up-to-date windows and doors, seal leaks with caulk or weather stripping.

* Your hot water heater can be a source of energy waste. Insulate it with bubble wrap or special material available from your local utility company. Check your hot water pipes and insulate them with foam if they are not already. Replace worn foam.

Option 2: Hire a Professional

There are certified home energy auditors out there, and you might consider having one come to your home. They will go into detail and will undoubtedly cover things you would miss. He or she will have special equipment for detecting air and heat leaks that you could not detect on your own.

English: Typical window insulation kitImage via WikipediaFor example, home energy auditors have infrared cameras that can show heat loss too subtle for you to feel, and they have calibrated "blower doors." These are enormous fans that fit into your doorway, and they draw out so much air that the air pressure decreases inside your home. The higher air pressure outside means that air will rush in through even the tiniest cracks in order to equalize the pressure, thus revealing air leaks.

Your auditor will most likely want to go over your utility bills with you, so gather up the past year's records. Let the auditor know of any existing problems, such as a room that never seems to get warm or hot water that runs out after only a few minutes of use.

Whether you do it yourself or hire someone, a home energy audit is essential for eco-conscious homeowners.

For some great options for energy-saving products and resources, visit

Green Products -  Save Money & Energy

Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 9, 2012

8 Reasons Why You Should Use Rechargeable Batteries

While many may argue that convenience is a reason to use disposable batteries, using rechargeables is generally better. Here are some reasons why.

Rechargeable BatteryImage by freefotouk via Flickr1. Disposable batteries contain toxic heavy metals. There is no way to remove these metals safely, so when you throw away a disposable battery, it ends up in the landfill with all its toxins with it. Batteries do not biodegrade very easily.

2. The sheer quantity of disposable batteries that end up in landfills is staggering. Literally tons of them are thrown away each year. Although recycling programs for disposable batteries are in place in some areas, such programs are few and far between. And not everyone uses them even if they are locally available.

3. Rechargeable batteries contain toxic metals as well, but they can be recycled more easily. The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation has a program called Call2Recycle, and this is a fairly widespread program. Some major retailers participate, providing drop-off points for consumers.

4. Rechargeable batteries also have a much longer life before being recycled. In fact, they average anywhere from 500 to 1000 charges before they wear out, and that's more than a year's worth of use. (I have several that I have been using for up to 2 years, and they still work fine.)

5. Rechargeable batteries generally come in the same sizes and varieties as disposables. And as the popularity of rechargeables grows, the number of varieties is increasing - and the price is also dropping.

Battery chargerImage via Wikipedia6. The charger for reusable batteries is small and easy to carry, and often has a hook-up that enables it to receive power from your car (via the cigarette lighter). They are usually quite inexpensive, and sometimes you can even get a charger that comes with a couple of batteries included.

7. You will save money when using rechargeables. Yes, the batteries themselves are more expensive, and then there's the cost of the charger. But the charger only has to be purchased once, and the batteries themselves only rarely. Ultimately, the savings add up. After all, the average household goes through 100 disposable batteries a year. That's quite a lot of money. But you will only have to buy new rechargeable batteries once every 12-18 months or even less.

8. The newer rechargeable batteries available today hold a charge for a long time, making them a good choice for power-hungry electronic devices like digital cameras.

Using rechargeable batteries is better for the planet. And you'll find they save you money in the long run and provide enough "juice" for any portable device.

I've switched all my devices to rechargeable over the past couple of years, and am very happy with them. I've never had a problem - they last quite a while (in fact, some fully charged rechargeables last longer per charge than a disposable battery). My preferred brand is Rayovac if you can find them - they are usually several dollars cheaper than the other brands, and they work great. Pick up a pack today, and save some green while going green!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Friday, January 6, 2012

Flush the Fat With Smart Food Choices

If one of your New Year's Resolutions is to lose some weight this year, this resource may help flush some of that stubborn fat from your body.

Flushing the fat? As crazy as the concept might sound, The Fat Flush Plan can help you reshape your body while detoxifying your system. This low-carbohydrate, three-phase diet regimen was created by nutritionist Ann Louise Gittleman, Ph.D., C.N.S.

Cover of "The Fat Flush Plan"Cover of The Fat Flush PlanPhase 1 of the plan, called The Two-Week Fat Flush, lasts 14 days and is designed to jump-start weight loss. Phase 2, The Ongoing Fat Flush, helps you continue to lose weight, and Phase 3, The Lifestyle Eating Plan, focuses on maintenance.

The Fat Flush Plan was designed to increase metabolism, flush out bloat and boost the fat burning process. At the core of the plan is the commitment to promote a balanced lifestyle and encourage simple healthy habits that seem to have gone by the wayside in our modern and hectic everyday life. Every aspect of each phase of the plan is focused on accomplishing this goal: helpful essential fats, amounts of protein, antioxidant-rich vegetables, moderate amounts of fruits, calorie-burning herbs and spices, cleansing diuretic beverages, exercise, journaling and even sleep are addressed.

The Two-Week Fat Flush is based on an average of 1,100 to 1,200 calories daily, and is designed to jumpstart weight loss for dramatic results. It will transform your shape by accelerating fat loss from your body's favorite fat storage areas - your hips, thighs and buttocks.

The Ongoing Fat Flush is the next step for those individuals who have additional weight to lose but who also want to pursue a more moderate cleansing program and enjoy a bit more variety in food choices while still losing weight. This part of the program is designed for ongoing weight loss, with approximately 1,200 to 1,500 calories each day. This is the phase that will be followed until you reach your desired weight or size.

The Lifestyle Eating Plan is your maintenance program for lifetime weight control. This phase offers over 1,500 calories daily, providing a basic lifelong eating program designed to increase your vitality and well-being for life. You’ll add up to two dairy products and up to two additional friendly carbs. Phase 3 friendly carbs include more choices from a variety of starchier veggies and nongluten hypoallergenic grains. Foods are always introduced one at a time to make sure there are no allergic reactions and you’re your body tolerates the food well.

If you've had trouble losing weight and want to get on a healthy plan that will help you get started, but also provide ongoing support to help you maintain a healthy lifestyle, you may want to check out Louise's program. Several resources are listed below, and you can also find more at

The Fat Flush Plan:

Enhanced by Zemanta

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Healthy Diet Essentials For A Healthy Body

According to the United States Department of Agriculture (not that I entirely agree with them, mind you), a healthy diet is one that emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and low-fat milk and milk products; includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts; and is low in saturated fats, trans fats, salt (sodium), and added sugars. But just what minerals and nutrients are vital to our health and well-being? Consider these nutrient-dense foods when you’re looking to improve your vitamin and mineral intake.

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...Image via Wikipedia
Vitamin A is needed for good eyesight and optimal functioning of the immune system. Cod liver oil, dairy products, sweet potatoes and dark green leafy vegetables are all great natural food sources of vitamin A.

Vitamin B1, also known as thiamin, is imperative to the body’s ability to process carbohydrates. Whole grain breads, cereals and pastas have high amounts of thiamin, so you likely get quite a bit of this already. 

Riboflavin, or B2, can be found in fortified cereals, almonds, asparagus, eggs, and meat. It’s used in many body processes, including converting food into energy and the production of red blood cells.

Niacin, also known as B3, can be found in lean chicken, tuna, salmon, turkey, enriched flour, peanuts, and fortified cereals. It aids in digestion and also plays a key role in converting food into energy. 

Vitamin B6 can be found in fortified cereals, fortified soy-based meat substitutes, baked potatoes with skin, bananas, light-meat chicken and turkey, eggs, and spinach. It’s vital for a healthy nervous system, and helps break down proteins and stored sugars.

Vitamin B12 is needed for creating red blood cells, and can be found in beef, clams, mussels, crabs, salmon, poultry, and soybeans.

English: Vegetables.Image via Wikipedia
Citrus fruits, red berries, tomatoes, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, red and green bell peppers, cabbage, and spinach are all loaded with Vitamin C, which is vital to promoting a healthy immune system, and making chemical messengers in the brain.

Vitamin D can be found in fortified milk, cheese, and cereals; egg yolks; salmon; but can also be made by the body from sunlight exposure. It’s needed to process calcium and maintain the health of bones and teeth.

Vitamin E functions as an antioxidant and is essential to your skin’s good health. Eat plenty of leafy green vegetables, almonds, hazelnuts, and vegetable oils like sunflower, canola, and soybean to get this vital nutrient.

Folic Acid can be found in fortified cereals and grain products; lima, lentil, and garbanzo beans; and dark leafy vegetables. It’s vital for cell development, prevents birth defects, promotes heart health, and helps red blood cells form. Pregnant women need to take special care to ensure they are getting enough of this for themselves and their developing baby.

Dairy products, broccoli, dark leafy greens like spinach and rhubarb, and fortified products, such as orange juice, soy milk, and tofu are all loaded with calcium. Like vitamin D, it’s very important in helping to build and maintain strong bones and teeth. (However, what many people don't know is that milk (especially processed, homogenized, skim milk) is highly acidic, which means it leaches at least as much calcium from your bones as you consume, so be aware of this, and don't make the mistake of thinking that drinking a lot of milk is going to solve your calcium needs.)

Organ meats, oysters, clams, crabs, cashews, sunflower seeds, wheat bran cereals, whole-grain products, and cocoa products are all high in copper, which aids in metabolism of iron and red cell formation. It also assists in the production of energy for cells.

Public domain photograph of various meats. (Be...Image via Wikipedia
Iron can be found in leafy green vegetables, beans, shellfish, red meat, poultry, soy foods, and some fortified foods. It’s needed to transport oxygen to all parts of the body via the red blood cells.

Potassium can be found in foods like Broccoli, potatoes (with the skins on), prune juice, orange juice, leafy green vegetables, bananas, raisins, and tomatoes. It aids in nervous system and muscle function and also helps maintain a healthy balance of water in the blood and body tissues.

Red meat, fortified cereals, oysters, almonds, peanuts, chickpeas, soy foods, and dairy products are great dietary sources of zinc. Zinc supports the body’s immune function, reproduction capabilities, and the nervous systems.

Protein is the main component of muscles, organs, and glands. Every living cell and all body fluids, except bile and urine, contain protein. The cells of muscles, tendons, and ligaments are maintained with protein. Children and adolescents require protein for growth and development, and adults need it to maintain cell integrity. It can be found in foods like beans, milk and meat.

The primary function of carbohydrates is to provide energy for the body, especially the brain and the nervous system. Complex carbohydrates are the best choice for a stable blood sugar level. Whole grain breads and cereals, legumes, and starchy vegetables are all good complex carbohydrate sources.

Essential fatty acids play a part in many metabolic processes, and there is evidence to suggest that low levels of essential fatty acids, or the wrong balance of types among the essential fatty acids, may be a factor in a number of illnesses. Good sources are fish and shellfish, flaxseed, canola oil, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, leafy vegetables, and walnuts.

Though this list is far from complete, it gives a good base of knowledge on which to build a healthy, well-balanced diet. And if all this just seems too overwhelming to keep track of, just follow the simple rule in this blog post, and make sure you eat a lot of different colors every day!
Enhanced by Zemanta

Monday, January 2, 2012

Superfoods to Rejuvenate Body, Mind and Spirit

Happy New Year! I hope you had a great holiday season, and a good finish to 2011. Furthermore, I hope that 2012 is an even happier and healthier year for you and your family.

We'll keep you up to date with great tips and strategies for keeping your home and body healthy and free of toxins, and while you're thinking of it, why not head over to and grab your FREE Checklist for making your home cleaner and greener to start off the new year?

English: fresh fruit saladImage via WikipediaAnd this week we've got some great tips for getting a healthy start, and refreshing your body and mind after the rush of the holiday feasts and visits. These tips will help you get rid of that post-holiday bloated feeling, and renew your energy so you can start your year off feeling healthy and good, without going on any crazy crash diets.

When the goal is rejuvenating the body, mind and spirit, the method should be smaller, more frequent snacks and meals. This will help keep energy levels on an even keel, and regulate your blood sugar levels to avoid spikes and dips. When you choose the right combination of foods, your body gets the much-needed boost it needs to sustain itself properly, even through those slumps later in the day. So dump those high sugar junk foods and reach for the following foods and get that boost you need.

Any fresh fruit, especially with skins or seeds like peaches, apples, pears, oranges, and strawberries, is a great source of vitamins and fiber. In the summer you can choose a peach and get plenty of dietary fiber, niacin (vitamin B3), potassium, beta carotene and vitamin A, plus high amounts of vitamin C. Niacin is important for providing energy for cell tissue growth. Along with regulating fluid balance, potassium helps maintain the electrical stability of the cells of your heart and nervous system and is important for cell and muscle growth. Vitamin B12 plays a role in red blood cell formation, nerve function, and metabolizing protein and fat.

Dried Apricots and Almonds combination provides a high amount of vitamin A, iron protein and dietary fiber. Both foods are low in cholesterol and sodium, and apricots are a great source of potassium, which is important in regulating your body's fluid balance. The vitamin A in apricots contributes to healthy vision, bone growth, and reproduction, and helps fight infection.

Raisins are a healthy, low-fat, low-cholesterol, and low-sodium snack with significant amounts of potassium, phosphorus, copper, and iron, and when mixed with low-fat yogurt, you also get riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin B12, as well as a high amount of calcium, which is needed not only for strong bones and teeth but also plays a key role in the normal functioning of the heart and other muscles.

Carrots on display at local greengrocerImage via WikipediaBaby carrots and sesame sticks are a tasty treat that will provide significant amounts of beta carotene, vitamin A, vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, iron, potassium, copper, and fiber. Beta carotene helps protect against diseases like heart disease and some cancers.

Vitamin A is important for healthy skin, for better night vision, and to fight infection and respiratory ailments. Folate, or vitamin B9, is essential to human life, helping to form red blood cells and break down proteins, and playing a key role in cell growth and division.

Peanut butter on some whole grain crackers is an excellent source of protein, iron, niacin, and fiber. Peanut butter on celery is a classic snack, has great staying power, and the celery is stuffed with numerous vitamins, minerals, and is high in fiber. Low-fat string cheese is a good quick source of protein and calcium. They come in easy-to-carry individual servings and you can add a piece of fresh fruit for extra fiber.
Enhanced by Zemanta